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30 Screen-Free Activities Your Family Can Enjoy This Summer

by Justin Metz on
Source: https://www.erieinsurance.com/blog/screen-free-summer-fun

Summer is finally here! As a kid, few times of the year bring more joy. But for parents, all that unstructured free can bring its own share of struggles.

When you were growing up, summer probably meant spending more time outdoors than inside. It meant swimming, bike rides and games of pickup basketball. Today, however, many children are content to replace those activities with television, video games and social media.

According to health professionals, all that screen time can have a negative effect on your child’s development. So how can you get everyone outside and away from the television or iPad? Continue reading “30 Screen-Free Activities Your Family Can Enjoy This Summer”

Yep! Accidents Happen. (Then What?)

by Scott Westcott on
Source: https://www.erieinsurance.com/blog/accidents-happen

You pride yourself on being a good driver. You drive defensively, avoid texting and other distractions, take safety precautions, and keep your car in good shape.

Still, accidents can happen. And when they do, you’re faced with the question: What now? For Erie Insurance customers, the best first step is to seek the advice of an expert: your ERIE agent.

See also: 6 Reasons You’ll Love Having an Insurance Agent

Even if it’s minor, there may be considerations that you’re not thinking about regarding your deductible or certain features in your auto insurance policy. This is where your agent can coach you and offer guidance about filing a claim.

We’ve enlisted the help of longtime ERIE agent Jill Yaekel of Yaekel & Associates in Belleville, Illinois, to walk us through some common scenarios in which customers often call to seek guidance from their agent. Come along for the ride to see what some of your options might be if something similar happens to you. Continue reading “Yep! Accidents Happen. (Then What?)”

This Program Uses Brain Science To Help Teens Drive Safer

by Erie Insurance on June 7, 2019
Source: https://www.erieinsurance.com/blog/teensmart

For many teens, getting a driver’s license is a prized rite of passage. But with drivers age 16 to 19 involved in more accidents than any other age group – it’s also a risky and nerve-wracking time for parents.

So, what’s a safety-minded family to do?

Enter teenSMART®, an award-winning crash reduction training program from ADEPT Driver®. A new partnership between Erie Insurance and ADEPT Driver offers special discounted access to the program to teen drivers covered by ERIE policies in Wisconsin and Virginia.

Read more: What To Know About Insuring a Teen Driver

Using advanced behavioral science and research, teenSMART offers youthful drivers realistic and challenging driving simulations. Teens that complete the computer-based course learn skills proven to dramatically reduce teen driver crash frequency and severity.

Even better? Teens who complete the program may be eligible for an auto insurance premium reduction when they’ve finished. Continue reading “This Program Uses Brain Science To Help Teens Drive Safer”

How to Parallel Park Like a Pro

by Justin Metz on
Source: https://www.erieinsurance.com/blog/how-to-parallel-park

Will my car fit in that parking space?  How do I park without hitting the cars around me? I don’t have time for this!

If you’ve ever been forced to parallel park your vehicle, chances are these thoughts have crossed your mind. It’s sometimes an intimidating and frustrating task. And the potential for embarrassment can leave you wanting to just find somewhere else to park.

But in some cases, parallel parking may be necessary. And if you’re just learning how to drive, it may even be required to pass your driving test.

See also: What To Know About Teen Drivers and Auto Insurance

There are some self-parking cars on the market today that will do the job for you. However, they do come with a hefty price tag.  So, what’s the easy way to parallel park without taking too much time – or worse, causing a fender bender? Continue reading “How to Parallel Park Like a Pro”

Buyer’s Remorse: Can You Guess What Homeowners Regret Most?

by Erie Insurance on
Source: https://www.erieinsurance.com/blog/home-survey-2019

These stainless steel appliances show EVERY fingerprint!
Is that how much it’ll cost to refinish our hardwood floors!?
I thought I’d love these granite countertops… but I’m so over them!

Ever experience a homebuyer’s hangover? You’re not alone. What seemed like a great feature during that walk-through gradually loses its sparkle when you’re living with it every day.

Our latest national survey asked 500 U.S. homeowners what they would – and wouldn’t – choose again if they were buying a home today.

Here’s what we found out.

WHAT DO HOMEOWNERS REGRET MOST?

By a slight margin, the majority of homeowners said they wouldn’t change anything. More than half of U.S. homeowners (53%) said they’re happy with the features they chose. The rest (47%), however, admitted to some regrets.

Infographic: See More Results From Our Homeowner Hindsight Survey

The survey asked homeowners about features they wanted and got when they bought their home, but wouldn’t get again if they were buying a home today. It also asked about features homeowners did not get but now wish they had. Continue reading “Buyer’s Remorse: Can You Guess What Homeowners Regret Most?”

When is a Car Considered Totaled – And What Happens When It Is?

by Erie Insurance on
Source: https://www.erieinsurance.com/blog/totaled-car

The first step in determining whether a car is totaled (or, in insurance terms, a total loss) is to calculate its actual cash value (ACV) at the time of the loss. The ACV is how much your vehicle is worth after factoring in depreciation. On average, vehicles depreciate more than 20 percent the first year and approximately 10 percent each additional year for the first five years according to Carfax data.

How is total loss value calculated?

At Erie Insurance, a claims adjuster assesses your vehicle’s condition. Then, they run the make, model and year of your vehicle through an industry-leading vendor database.  The database generates an accurate estimate of your vehicle’s market value based on its mileage, condition, options and other comparative factors. The database also considers the demand for a particular vehicle in your local market. For example, a pickup truck could fetch a higher price in a rural area than in a heavily populated city.

Another factor is the resale value of the parts and the metal. This factor, known as the “salvage value,” is considered along with the cost of repair.

If a vehicle’s cost of repair plus its salvage value exceeds the vehicle’s ACV, it is typically declared a total loss. (One exception is certain state laws that require insurance companies to declare a vehicle a total loss even if the cost of repair and salvage value are less than the ACV.) Continue reading “When is a Car Considered Totaled – And What Happens When It Is?”

7 Benefits of Driving Stick Shift

by Leah Knapp on
Source: https://www.erieinsurance.com/blog/seven-benefits-of-driving-stick-shift

You know the great thing about driving a car with an automatic transmission? They’re so much fun. The thrill of shifting from park into drive is just exhilarating…said no one ever.

Thirteen years ago, I was in the market for a new car when I found it: a beautiful Saab 9-3 in pristine condition and heated seats. Heated seats! (Please keep in mind this was long before those things were mainstream.)

The dealer was willing to negotiate, putting that beauty well within my price range. There was just one, tiny glitch. It had a stick shift, and I didn’t know how to drive one of those.

“No problem,” said my then boyfriend, who helpfully test drove it, assured me it was a great find and then got it home for me.

All that was left was to learn how to drive it. After a couple weeks of frustrating (and sometimes harrowing) commutes, I more or less had it figured out and never looked back. I’ve since traded in my beloved Saab for a Volkswagen. The one requirement I had when I was looking for a car the second time around? It had to have a manual transmission. Continue reading “7 Benefits of Driving Stick Shift”

How to Freeze Your Credit (and When You Might Need To)


Source: https://www.erieinsurance.com/blog/how-to-freeze-your-credit

If you’re like most Americans, you probably rely on the internet to do everything from buying birthday presents and booking vacations to managing your bank account and paying bills.

But for every transaction you make, you’re trusting a company with some type of personal information. And even if you’re not making purchases online yourself, most corporate systems are still connected to the internet. All this means that your personal data is likely being stored in dozens, or maybe even hundreds, of online databases.

Learn More: How to Add Identity Theft Recovery Coverage to Your Policy

Data security is a hot topic these days – and rightfully so. With so many high-profile data breaches in the news, we all know that it’s possible for personal information to get into the wrong hands.

If you’re looking for an extra layer of protection, you may want to consider freezing your credit. Continue reading “How to Freeze Your Credit (and When You Might Need To)”

Weird Car Noises and What They Mean

by Matt Hubert on
Source: https://www.erieinsurance.com/blog/weird-car-noises-mean

The purr of an engine, the whoosh of the wind and the sound of a bass pulsating in time to your favorite song: No doubt about it—your car can serve up some pretty sweet sounds.

But there are plenty of car noises that aren’t so pleasant. From clunks and clicks to rumbles and rattles, your car usually speaks up when something needs to be fixed. But do you know what it’s trying to tell you?

To help you decipher, here are car experts’ insights into six of the most common car complaints.
Continue reading “Weird Car Noises and What They Mean”

How to Move From the Couch to a 5K

by Justin Metz on
Source: https://www.erieinsurance.com/blog/couch-to-5k

If you’re looking for motivation to get off the couch, running a 5K is a great fitness goal to work toward. Don’t be intimidated by the number. At a distance of just over three miles, a good training program can have you crossing the finish line of your first 5K in just a few months.

Where to start

There are plenty of benefits to running for exercise. It’s been proven to improve both your physical and mental health. And because you can run nearly anywhere, it’s an activity that’s accessible to anyone.

But you should first talk to your doctor to see if you’re healthy enough to start training. Once you’re cleared to begin, it’s time to set your goal and get to work!

What to expect

The biggest rookie mistake many aspiring runners make is trying to do too much, too fast. This can lead to an injury, which will set you back from achieving your goal. So don’t overdo it during your first few workouts. Instead, follow a 5K training plan.

Related: 7 Tricks to Stay Motivated About Your New Year’s Resolution… All Year Long

Most programs give you about 8-12 weeks of training leading up to the race, which helps you steadily build stamina. You can start with an online training plan, like this series of 5K training programs from Runners World. Some are more aggressive than others, so be sure to choose one that’s a good fit for your level of fitness and running experience.
Continue reading “How to Move From the Couch to a 5K”