3 Tips for Buying Your First Car

Buying your first car is an exciting milestone in your life. Before you decide what kind of car you want to buy, consider these three tips to help you in your search for your first car.  

1. Create a Budget that is Realistic

To come up with a budget for your first car, take a good look at your cost of living expenses. Add up what you currently pay for rent, food, tuition, entertainment, and any other monthly expenses. Now take a look at how much you make and subtract your expenses. Whatever is left over is what you can afford for a car payment, gas, and auto insurance on a monthly basis if you don’t have a lump sum of cash stored away to pay for the car up front.    

2. Think about Safety

While you may find yourself gravitating toward a car that looks good, safety is the biggest feature you should be looking for. Whether you are a new or experienced driver, buying a car that ranks in the top safety categories is worth every penny.  

3. Be Sure to Take a Test Drive

Now for the fun part – you get to test drive your first car choices at a dealer in Flowood, MS. This is extremely important because the way the car feels when you sit in it and the way it handles on the road will determine whether or not you enjoy driving the car.  

Once you buy your first car, you will also need to purchase an auto insurance policy. At Insurance Protection Specialists we work with you to find the best auto insurance policy for your first car in Flowood, MS. To speak with a specialist at Insurance Protection Specialists call us at 601-992-4040.  

 

 

6 Dangers You Might Encounter In Your Backyard

Spending time in your backyard is a part of living in Flowood, MS. the weather is beautiful throughout much of the year, allowing you to enjoy the fresh air. There are various dangers that you may encounter in the backyard, and it’s important to know what these are. Some will be protected within your home insurance policy and others will not be. Even if you do have protection within your policy, you will want to exert caution to avoid having to file an insurance claim.

Hot Grills

Hot grills are dangerous, especially if you aren’t exercising caution. It’s possible for small kids to get burned on flying embers. Additionally, if you are not watching the flames, something could easily catch on fire.

Trampolines

Trampolines are a lot of fun for kids and adults alike. However, head injuries are common. If the trampoline is not properly screened in, you might want to require everyone to wear helmets.

Sunburns

UV rays have the capability of burning the skin after just 15 minutes. It’s important to offer SPF protection in the form of sunscreen to everyone who is going to spend time outdoors.

Ticks

Ticks have been known to be carriers of Lyme disease, even in Fort Myers, FL. Over 300,000 people are diagnosed with this every year. When spending a large amount of time outside, wear insect repellent and cover as much skin as possible.

Drowning

If you have a pool, drowning is a concern. This is why liability coverage on homeowners insurance is more expensive and at Insurance Protection Specialists, we can help you find affordable quotes. Be sure that the pool is fenced in and that there is always someone watching kids inside the pool.

Trip Hazards

When anyone is walking or running around outside, there might be trip hazards. This could be toys that have gone without being picked up as well as potholes throughout the yard.

Contact us at Insurance Protection Specialists today to learn more about the dangers that occur in and around your home. One of our independent insurance agents will show you how to protect yourself by building a custom home insurance policy.

 

5 Priorities for Spring Cleaning your Home

Spring cleaning will clear out the cobwebs of winter and make your home a more pleasing living environment. Prioritizing your spring cleaning jobs saves you time and money in the process. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

Floors

If your home receives a lot of traffic, your floors are bound to need some attention after a long, hard winter. Deep cleaning tile flooring will make them look and feel like new. Carpets can be professionally steam cleaned to get rid of dirt, dust, and stains that have accumulated over winter. Clean floors will brighten your entire home environment.

Air Conditioning Unit

Spring’s a good time to have maintenance done on your AC unit in preparation for summer. A smooth running AC system will greatly improve the air quality of your Flowood, MS your home. If you need to upgrade your AC system, spring is a good time to invest in a new one.

Declutter

Ridding your home of clutter will improve safety and home appearance. Clutter can come in the form of old clothes, books, magazines, broken electronic equipment, outdated DVDs or damaged toys. Whatever you are not using or need can be donated to others.

Kitchen Appliances

As the hub of your home, your kitchen deserves deep cleaning, starting with kitchen appliances which should be wiped down inside and out. This includes your stove, oven, refrigerator, blender, coffee maker, microwave, etc.

Bathrooms

Deep clean your bathrooms to get rid of ground-in dirt and grime on fixtures, walls, and floors. Disinfecting bathrooms eliminates germs that can cause diseases, leaving you with a more hygienic bathroom environment.

In addition to cleaning, make sure your Flowood, MS home is protected with adequate insurance coverage from Insurance Protection Specialists. At Insurance Protection Specialists, we offer affordable home insurance packages that are sure to suit your need.

Recommended Auto Insurance Add Ons

There is more to car insurance than just the base coverage. Depending on the vehicle you own and the individuals driving your vehicle, there are add-ons you may want to consider. At Insurance Protection Specialists, we want to make sure your Flowood, MS vehicle is properly protected. That is why you should consider these different auto insurance add-ons. 

Roadside Assistance

Nothing is worse than having your vehicle experience some sort of trouble while out on the road. Whether this is a dead battery at the mall parking lot, a blown tire or some other issue, if the vehicle is not driveable you can be stuck for hours. With roadside assistance, all you need to do is pick up your phone and call. Towing fees and other typical expenses will be covered. 

Gap Insurance

This is a kind of insurance you need to discuss with your insurance provider. The insurance provider can determine the appropriate value of your vehicle, but it may actually be under what replacing the vehicle is worth. This doesn’t happen often, but for example, let’s say you purchased a five year old used vehicle that was never driven. The insurance company will market price the vehicle, but the market price looks at the average mileage. As your vehicle is unique in that there are very few miles on the car itself, should it be totaled in an accident you won’t receive what it the vehicle is worth. Gap insurance makes up the difference. 

With a variety of auto insurance add-ons, you can protect your vehicle investment and those inside the vehicle more so than ever before. You just need to know what is right for you and what works for your budget. At Insurance Protection Specialists, your Flowood, MS vehicle will be properly protected, no matter the kind of vehicle you drive. 

Should I Drop Full Coverage on My Car When It’s Paid Off?

Once you make the final payment on your automobile, you own it. And when that occurs, the financing company can no longer require you to carry full coverage auto insurance. This leaves you with an interesting dilemma. Should you drop full coverage on your car or keep it, even though your car is paid off? Here is some information you will want to know.

What Full Coverage Covers

Full coverage covers comprehensive and collision coverage to your car. This means that if you hit a telephone pole, your insurance company will not pay for the repairs if you drop full coverage. Or if someone steals your car, you will not receive any money from your auto insurer. Or if you hit another car, and are at fault for the accident, your repairs are not paid by insurance.

When it Makes Sense to Drop Full Coverage

Only you know the scope of your financial situation. However, most experts recommend dropping coverage if your car is only worth about $4,000 to $5,000. This is because you are paying more for auto insurance and odds are, if you are in an accident, your car will be totaled due to its low value. In that case, you would only receive the value of your car, less your deductible. As such, it typically is not worth carrying this type of insurance. But, if your finances are really poor right now, and you couldn’t afford to repair your car if damages are only $2,000 or so, then you may be best keeping full coverage.

If you need advice on auto insurance, Insurance Protection Specialists, serving the greater Flowood, MS area, is here to help. Give us a call today with all of your auto insurance questions and we can give you the answer. We can help you determine how much insurance you need and whether you should increase or decrease your coverage.

How To File a Home Insurance Claim

Every now and again we are forced to put our home insurance policies to good use and file a claim to help pay for repairs to our home. In many cases, people are not all that certain how to go about filing a claim and therefore they may need a bit of help. If you live in the Flowood, MS area the agents with Insurance Protection Specialists can help.

The first step to any claim is to determine if you have a claim at all. Generally, damage that was caused by you is not going to be covered. If you have storm damage or fire damage, however, these are certainly claims and can help you get money to fix your home. If you are at all unsure if you have a claim or not, contact an agent to find out.

The next step is to set up a time for an adjuster to come to your home. In most cases, your insurance agency will have an online or paper claims form for you to fill out to tell your agency what it is that is wrong. The form will allow you explain what happened and may allow you to provide some documentation like photographs or estimates depending on how your agency works.

After you fill out your form, you simply need to wait for an adjuster to come out to your home to assess the damage and repairs can begin. This process takes about two or three weeks to complete fully but you will generally have your repairs done as soon as possible. For those in the Flowood, MS area, the agents with Insurance Protection Specialists can help you find out what to claim, how to claim, and what steps to take to complete your claim.  

When It Is Not a Good Time to Use Cruise Control

There are several benefits to using the cruise control feature in your car. It can help you save gas. It allows your legs to rest on a long road trip. And, it can also help you avoid an unwanted traffic ticket. However, despite the benefits, at times it is unsafe. At Insurance Protection Specialists of Flowood, MS, the safety of our customers is a top priority, which is why we hope you will use these cruise control tips to stay safe while driving.

Avoid Cruise Control in These Weather Conditions

You should avoid using cruise control in any rain that follows a dry spell because it creates slippery road conditions. Grease, dirt, and oil accumulate on the road. Then, when it begins to rain, the grease, dirt, and oil start to rise above the layer of water on the road, which creates an effect like an icy road. The dirt, oil, and grease wash away as the rain continues, but initially, the roads are very slick and dangerous.

Heavy rain is another time to avoid using cruise control. It creates a thick layer of standing water on the road which may result in your vehicle hydroplaning, even if you are only going 35 miles per hour. Cruise control is dangerous is this situation because stepping on your brakes disables cruise control, but it can also cause your car to spin out of control.

Stay Safe While Driving

It is best to make a habit of turning off the cruise control when driving in the rain. At Insurance Protection Specialists of Flowood, MS, we hope all our customers stay safe while driving. If you are in an accident or need assistance, give us a call. We are here to help.

Termite Damage And Home Insurance: Protecting Your Investment

Termites are a common pest in Flowood, MS, and Insurance Protection Specialists has seen many of its clients suffer from this problem over the years. That’s why they’re offering tips on how to protect your home investment using insurance and other methods, including pest control contracts

Termite Coverage Can Be Complicated

Generally speaking, home damage caused by termites is typically not covered by home insurance because it is a long-term type that most companies consider preventable. That said, there are instances in which your home insurance company will protect you from termite damage, such as damage to electronic and electrical items due to termites (fits the “sudden and unexpected” clause of coverage).

Residual Damage Is Likely Covered

Another instance in which termite damage will be covered is if it causes other damage to your home. For example, if a termite-destroyed support beam falls and causes damage to your floor, its repair costs will be insured. Unfortunately the termite-destroyed support beam is not covered. That said, all the damage caused by the beam will likely to be higher than the cost of the beam.

The Protection Of Termite Bonds

Home insurance companies often react well when their customers purchase a termite bond with a pest control company. A termite bond is a document that states that the pest control company will pay for damage caused by termites if their control methods fail. Purchasing one of these bonds is likely to cause your home insurance premiums to go down, as you’re taking extra steps to protect your investment.

Please contact Insurance Protection Specialists if your Flowood, MS home is suffering from termite infestation. They can help you find a treatment method that will get termites out of your home and protect it from serious damage.

Is crime a major concern for insurers in Flowood?

Flowood and Brandon, MS are beautiful towns, but there are some issues that homeowners need to be on the lookout for. You need to know how to manage the humidity as a homeowner, making sure that you don’t have to make a claim with Insurance Protection Specialists on mold damage, and of course, as homeowners must do everywhere, you need to protect yourself from burglary and vandalism and other crime.

The question is: To what extent is crime a threat to your home, and to what extent will it be taken into account when you get a policy in Flowood or Brandon, MS through Insurance Protection Specialists? Here’s what you need to know:

  • The violent crime rate is actually lower in Flowood than in the rest of the state. Throughout Mississippi, the chances of becoming a victim of violent crime, for instance, are around one in three hundred fifty. In Flowood, that number drops to just one in about five hundred.
  • Unfortunately, the property crime rate is a little higher. Throughout the rest of the state, your chances at being robbed are around one in 35. In Flowood, that number is about one in 25.
  • You can get discounts on your insurance by protecting yourself against theft and crime. By installing a monitored system, for instance, burglar alarms, surveillance cameras and so on, it’s easy to get a few dollars taken off your premiums.

An insurance policy essentially costs what it’s worth. The lower the risk, the less money you’ll be spending to protect your home. Of course, the real upside to installing security measures is making your home less of a target. But the extra money in your pocket doesn’t hurt.