3 Tips to Avoid Being a Distracted Driver

Driving and navigating the roadways in Brandon, FL can be a stressful and complicated process. Even traveling the same streets on a daily basis can suddenly have surprises and obstructions, such as stopped traffic or road work, making navigation even more difficult. Because of the risks that come with driving, it is essential that you take the appropriate measures to remain focused while driving. Everyday activities that many drivers engage in while behind the wheel constitute distracted driving, which can lead to serious, even fatal accidents. Here are 3 tips to help you avoid being a distracted driver.

Do Not Drive Fatigued

Staying focused on the roadway is critical for your safety and the safety of the other drivers around you. One of the most common causes of fatal accidents is driving while fatigued. Driving while you are tired produces the same effects as driving while under the influence; you may fall asleep at the wheel, you can easily lose focus on what is around you and you will not have the alertness that is necessary when driving.

Do Not Groom While Driving

The rearview mirror in your vehicle is designed to help you see what is behind you it is not designed to be used as a bathroom mirror. You should either complete your grooming before leaving home or wait until you reach your destination-this includes shaving your face, fixing your hair and/or putting on makeup. It only takes one second of not focusing on the road to cause serious injuries to yourself and/or others on the roadway.

Silence Cell Phone While Driving

Keep your cell phone put away while you are driving. You shouldn’t ever, under any circumstances text, dial a number or video record while you are driving. If you must make a call, either pull over to a safe place or use a hands-free set to make the process safer for everyone. It is best to turn your phone off or to vibrate to avoid the distraction of answering calls while driving.

It is also important that you always keep your hands on the wheel, so do not eat or drink while driving and if you are listening to the radio, be sure to keep the sound low enough so you can hear other drivers on the roadway.

Residents of Brandon, FL who are interested in reviewing their current auto insurance policy or purchasing a new policy should contact Runnels Insurance.

Do You Need Boat Insurance Year Round?

It is a lot of fun to have a boat during the summer in Brandon, FL. Water is a way of life in the state of Florida so many people have a boat. However, after summer is over, many people stop their boat insurance policies because they are not using their boats outside of summer. However, that is not the smartest thing to do because there are a lot of things that can happen during the year even if you are not using your boat. Here at Runnels Insurance, we recommend that you have boat insurance year round and these are just a few reasons why:

  • Damage can happen to your boat even if it is stored. If you find that damage has happened when it has been stored, if you did not have boat insurance, there is nothing you can do except to pay for the repairs out of your own pocket. 
  • Someone can steal your boat, even in the off season. Even though you may not be using your boat, no one said anyone else would be looking away. If it is stolen in the time that you are not using it, then you want to have insurance to protect yourself. 
  • You want protection against someone getting injured on the boat. When you are using the boat, you want that protection to ensure that you will not have to pay out of pocket for any medical bills because of an injury. 

Having a boat is a lot of fun but you also need to make sure that it is protected all year long. If you have a boat and need boat insurance, be sure to reach out to us here at Runnels Insurance, serving Brandon, FL, today so we can get a policy for you.

Top 3 RV Insurance Claims and How to Avoid Them

Your RV is basically your home away from home, so it is essential that you give it the same attention as you would your home in Brandon, FL. Make sure to carefully inspect the RV for any damages before heading out on the road. Unfortunately, accidents happen, but with a little preparation, you may be able to avoid common problems. Here are 3 of the most common RV insurance claims and how you can avoid them.

Hitting Bridges and/or Gas Station Overhangs

One of the most common claims insurance companies see when it comes to RV’s is damages caused by hitting bridges and gas station overhangs. RV owners in Brandon, FL, who don’t know the height of their RV, enter areas that do not have enough clearance overhead. The first step to avoiding this type of claim is to measure the height of your RV from the ground to its highest point, which is typically at the top of the air conditioner. For extra safety, add an extra 6-8 inches to the overall height. Make sure to write the information down and post in an area that you can easily see and remember to check the clearance of bridges and overhangs.

Rodent Infestations

Damages caused by rodent infestation are also a common claim, primarily damages that occur when an RV is being stored for the winter. The most common as well as extensive damages are often caused by squirrels and/or mice. Rodents are notorious for chewing through plastic lines, wiring, and upholstery. To prevent rodents from finding their way into your RV it is important to do a careful inspection of the RV before storing. Look for any holes or gaps, including inside, under and behind drawers and cabinets, and fill them with expanding foam. Remove all food items from the RV and thoroughly clean it to remove any food droppings that may attract rodents.

Tire Blowouts

Tire blowouts on an RV are often caused by tires that underinflated, old, overloaded and/or damaged. A tire blowout can cause extensive damage to your RV as well as put you at risk of severe injuries if you lose control of the vehicle when the tire blows. RV tires generally have the maximum rating that can be found on the side of the tire. The best way to find out if your tires are overloaded is to find scales where you weigh them individually. Tire failure may also be caused by underinflated tires, so make sure to check the pressure frequently using a quality pressure gauge. Age also plays a role in the risk of tire blowouts, so make sure to replace the tires when needed.

Residents in and around Brandon, FL who are interested in RV insurance should contact Runnels Insurance.

Do I Need Flood Insurance on My Home?

Your home is one of the biggest assets that you will ever own. Since it is so important and valuable, it is extremely beneficial to keep your home as protected as possible. One way to do this for many people is to invest in a flood insurance policy. For those that are in the Brandon, FL area, having flood insurance is often a necessity. There are several things that you should understand when trying to figure out if you need to have flood insurance on your property.

Flood Zone
When you are looking to determine whether or not you need to have flood insurance, the first thing you need to do is to check the FEMA flood zone map. FEMA is a federal agency that manages and updates a national flood map on a regular basis. Those that are located in an area that is determined to be a high-risk flood zone should consider having flood insurance on their property.

Mortgage Requirement
While your property may be located in a high-risk flood zone, you still do not necessarily need to have flood insurance. If you purchase your home in cash and do not have a loan out on your property, flood insurance is never required. However, if you have a mortgage, it is very likely that your lender will require that you have flood insurance the whole time that the loan is outstanding.

Since determining whether or not you need to have flood insurance can be a challenge, those that are in the Brandon, FL area should consider hiring the Runnels Insurance company to help them figure out their flood insurance needs. Runnels Insurance will be able to review your property and the flood zone map to determine whether having flood insurance is a necessity for you.

Multiple Life insurance policies for the same person:What you need to know

Having an additional life insurance coverage has been adopted in recent past due to a number of reasons,  most common being; change in policyholders situations or when in need of a greater level of coverage not offered on the current policy. Nevertheless, there are a number of factors to consider before engaging in multiple life insurance plans, this is according to Brandon, FL, Runnels Insurance. They include:

  • Management of the multiple policies is often complex.

The more life insurance covers you have, the more time you will need to manage and review them.

  • Cost implications

For each policy you purchase, you will need to pay premiums; this will be costly in the long run.

  • Time factor

Having multiple insurance covers have its own time implications since you’ll need to dedicate time to each cover for researching, reviewing and meeting the providers to ensure your needs are met.

  • Claims

This is one major benefit of having multiple insurance policies since you can file your claims and receive payments for each specific cover as long as your claims satisfy the terms and conditions of the policy. It’s vital to remember that the admissibility of each claim is determined by each individual insurer specific rules and regulations.

  • Beneficiaries

With multiple insurance policies, you can nominate multiple beneficiaries who will be entitled to claims. The number of beneficiaries, however, varies between providers. With multiple beneficiaries, the policyholder will have to split up what’s paid to each beneficiary.

It is of great importance to review and keep your nomination of beneficiaries current for purposes of circumstantial changes so as to ensure that the benefits end up to the intended recipients.

As a reputable insurance company in Brandon, FL, Runnels Insurance will help educate, empower and empower individuals in making right decisions regarding life insurance policies for your special needs.

Does It Make A Difference If Your Home Security System is Installed Professionally or DIY?

There are several home security systems available, each with advanced technology and various ways to monitor and protect your home. You can choose from systems that are professionally installed or those that you install on your own. In Brandon, FL, the agents of Runnels Insurance can explain what type of system would work best in your home or apartment, as well as the benefits of both professional and DIY installation.

The Benefits of Professional Installation

Systems like Guardian and ADT require professional installation. Part of this is due to the sophistication of the equipment. It is also one way that the companies can guarantee the system is installed correctly, providing the strongest line of defense when it comes to protecting your home. With professional installation, you get the guarantee that all aspects of the system are in good working order and are functioning correctly.

The Convenience of DIY Installation

Live Watch and Protect America are just two of the many systems that offer DIY installation. Both offer sophisticated technology without the need for a professional technician to visit your home. Most DIY installation systems are self-explanatory and can be installed and setup in less than an hour. DIY systems are ideal for renters who want to take the system with them if or when they move.

At Runnels Insurance, the agents serve residents who live in and around the Brandon, FL area. They understand the need you have to fully protect your home and family and can offer you recommendations when it comes to choosing the right home security system. The can also explain the differences between professional and DIY installation. Call the office today and find out the information you need so you can make an informed choice.

When to Choose Term Life Insurance

Term insurance is life insurance with a time limit placed on it, and it’s typically chosen by parents with young children. However, there are a few more things to note about this type of policy if you’re considering it. If you live in Brandon, FL, Runnels Insurance has a few tips on when to choose term life insurance over another type of policy.

How It Works

The policyholder of term life insurance will usually set up their benefits for a given length of time. For example, if they have two young children, they may set up the policy to last until the youngest child turns 21. Once this occurs, the life insurance policy will expire and there will be no benefits paid out to either child once that date has passed.

Why People Choose Term Insurance

The biggest reason why people choose term insurance over permanent insurance (which lasts forever) is that it’s more affordable. The extra cost savings are extremely attractive for the person who knows they don’t want to support their dependents indefinitely. However, permanent insurance also has an added benefit in that it can be used as a savings account if the worst comes to worse. Term life insurance does not have this same benefit, so it helps to be prepared when it comes to how your term insurance will function in your life.

Find Out More

Calling Runnels Insurance is one of the best ways for the people of Brandon, FL to find out whether or not term insurance is for them. Both types of major life insurance policies have a number of benefits, but those benefits are only helpful if everyone is on the same page about them. Whether you’re officially shopping around or just testing the waters, give us a call today!

How Much Motorcycle Insurance Do You Need?

Florida is an interesting state when it comes to auto and motorcycle insurance. A lot of states will actually mirror their auto and motorcycle minimum requirements in many ways but Florida is different. If you own and operate a motorcycle, then you need to make sure that you have the state minimum coverage on the motorcycle in order to be compliant with the insurance laws in the state. The coverage is not the same as auto insurance so you should make sure you are purchasing motorcycle insurance. If you drive a motorcycle in Florida, these are the minimum coverages you should have according to Runnels Insurance, serving Brandon, FL. 

The minimum motorcycle insurance coverage as set forth by the insurance laws in Florida outlines three different coverage amounts and types. The first is coverage of at least $10,000 for one person for bodily injury liability. The second is at least $20,000 in coverage for two or more people for bodily injury liability. The third is at least $10,000 in coverage per crash for property damage liability. Since these are just the most basic of coverages, you may also want to take a look at some of the other types of coverages you can add to your policy in order to provide more protection to yourself and others that are on the road. 

As a motorcycle owner and operator, you need to register your vehicle with the state and then get the subsequent insurance. If you do not already have the insurance or you want to make sure that your coverage meets the state minimum requirements, be sure to contact us today at Runnels Insurance, serving Brandon, FL. We will take a look at your current policy or we will find you one that will meet the requirements and will not break the bank. 

Winter Tips For Motorcycle Owners

Summertime is prime motorcycle-riding weather, no doubt about it. Many motorcycle owners keep their riding limited to the warmer, drier months and that’s completely fine. For some people, though, winter riding is a reality. And even if you aren’t riding all winter, it’s important that you maintain your bike and keep it in good condition during the colder months so you’re ready to go come spring.

Tips For Riding In The Winter

1. Wear Proper Winter Riding Gear

Layers are incredibly important, and so are gloves that keep your hands warm. Choose clothing that allows for movement and keeps you dry and warm. Don’t skimp, it’s about comfort and safety. Frostbite is no fun!

2.  Helmet With Fog-free Shield

Don’t take chances on visibility! 

3. Is It Time For New Tires?

Check to make sure your tires are winter-ready before it’s icy, wet and windy. Cold weather limits good traction, so always be sure your tires are in optimum shape. Avoid ice whenever possible and leave plenty of room.

4. Be Sure You Are Covered With Roadside Assistance

Motorcycle-specific towing and roadside assistance is a must, as well as adequate motorcycle insurance coverage. Accidents happen, and so do breakdowns, so don’t take any chances.

Tips For Keeping Your Bike In Good Shape During The Winter

Parking Your motorcycle for the winter? It’s important to keep it maintained so it’s ready to go when the weather clears up. Here are a few tips:

1. Change your oil. This is important because acid build-up can cause damage. Change it before you park your bike for the winter, even if you’ve done it recently.

2. Drain the carburetor.

3. Block your mufflers to keep the mice out.

4. Spray chain lube and oil other parts. Avoid rust and corrosion!

Whether you ride year-round or keep your motorcycle in the garage, it’s always important to be sure your investment is protected. If you are in the Brandon, FL or surrounding area, contact Runnels Insurance to learn more about motorcycle insurance.


Why it is Important to Consider Umbrella Insurance

You may have heard of umbrella insurance in the past. It is a beneficial form of insurance, but you may not exactly know what it is or how it can protect you and your home. At Runnels Insurance, we’re here to help you and all your Brandon, FL insurance needs. 

What Does Umbrella Insurance Cover

Umbrella insurance is also known as an excess liability coverage. This means it goes above and beyond the regular coverage of your standard policy. For example, if someone is injured on your property and takes out a lawsuit against you, the umbrella insurance coverage will kick in here.  It can also help you if someone attempts to slander your name or if you are falsely arrested. 

Why Is it Important?

Umbrella insurance kicks in at different times when you need it the most. For starters, if you are found liable and need to pay additional damages than the umbrella insurance policy will cover it. It will also help cover a legal defense, regardless of the result. 

This form of insurance also just doesn’t cover your home. It is called umbrella because many different elements fall under it. Beyond your home, your car, retirement accounts, checking account and investments are all protected. This way, in the event of a lawsuit you won’t have your other investment and retirement accounts gone after. This keeps you, your retirement and your children financially secure. 

At Runnels Insurance, we want to make sure you are properly educated on all the different insurance options out there. This includes umbrella insurance. So, whether you live in Brandon, FL or the surrounding communities, give us a call and we’ll make sure you have all the insights and information to make an accurate investment into the right insurance policies.