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chimney check

Chimney Check-Up

by Abby Badach on November 1, 2017
Source: https://www.erieinsurance.com/blog/chimney-check-up

The fireplace may be a happy spot for the family to gather ‘round. But did you know that fireplaces and chimneys caused 23,100 residential fires in the United States in 2013—and that those blazes caused $109.1 million in property damage and 10 fatalities?1

Statistics like these drive home the importance of scheduling an annual chimney inspection. Ashley Eldridge, director of education at the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), says that even homeowners who don’t use their fireplaces should spring for an inspection. That’s because a home’s other heating devices also release toxic gases through the chimney; when debris clogs its escape, those harmful fumes remain in your home.

“Preventative measures are typically much less expensive than repairs when you have a crisis,” Eldridge says. “It just makes sense to be ahead of the curve.”
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Drivers think distracted driving is causing more accidents than driving drunk, but a surprising number claim to be good at it

Source: Progressive
*https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/distracted-driving

Drivers under 35 are ten times more likely than drivers 55 and older to think they can safely text and drive

MAYFIELD VILLAGE, Ohio — September 6, 2017 — A new Progressive Insurance study shows about one third of drivers feel confident in their own ability to text and drive, yet the majority believe distracted driving is the biggest cause of auto accidents and more than 90% say it should be illegal.

The starkest difference in attitudes is between younger and older drivers. More than 60% of 18-34 year olds are confident in their ability to safely text while driving compared to less than 6% of individuals 55 and older.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2015 alone, 3,477 people were killed, and 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. Teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes.*

“We hope this study starts conversations around distracted driving and how to reduce it. It’s especially interesting that most people recognize this activity is dangerous, yet many people feel confident in their own ability to text and drive,” said David Pratt, Business Leader of Usage Based Insurance at Progressive. “Based on early results with users of our Snapshot Mobile app, we’re optimistic that personalized feedback will encourage safer behavior. For years we’ve been helping Progressive customers improve their driving habits and save money with our traditional Snapshot program. Snapshot Mobile takes this to yet another level.”Read more

leaves

Don’t Leave the Leaves!

by Erie Insurance on October 16, 2017
Source: https://www.erieinsurance.com/blog/dont-leave-leaves

Falling leaves may be pretty, but disposing of them can get ugly. Plus, options (or laws) for burning, bagging, and composting are different in each area. Here’s what to know:

Don’t burn
Many local governments are banning leaves and other yard trimmings from landfills, and you may be tempted to burn the leaves in your yard. Leaf burning, however, becomes a fire hazard that can lead to air pollution and health problems. The open burning of leaves produces particulate matter and hydrocarbons that contain toxic, irritant and carcinogenic compounds, such as carbon monoxide. Burning leaves is not recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—nor is it legal in most states.

Do bag
If you’ve got a lot of time and a strong back (who has either, right?), bagging leaves is one option. This moderate physical activity helps build upper-body and core strength and gives you the opportunity to get outside for some fresh fall air. Remember, sticks, rocks, pine cones, limbs and other debris should not be mixed with loose leaves. Also, check with your municipality or borough to see what, if any, weight limit or bag color has been specified for leaf-filled bags, Then, when they’re ready to go, put them at the curb on your regular trash collection day or as directed.
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How to Organize a ‘Trunk-or-Treat’ Event

by Jennifer Sonntag on October 6, 2017
Source: https://www.erieinsurance.com/blog/trunk-or-treat-event

There’s a new way to trick-or-treat that’s been gaining momentum in communities over the past few years. It’s called Trunk-or-Treat. Specific organizations or businesses partner with one another to offer a less-spooky alternative to the typical nighttime trick-or-treating Halloween event. It’s great for younger children and offers a shorter, friendlier Halloween experience.

All you need is a large parking lot, participating vehicles decorated for Halloween, and attendees to enjoy the fun. Here are some tips to help you plan a trunk or treat event:

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back to college

Back to College Q & A

by Carolyn Sennett on August 16, 2017
Source: https://www.erieinsurance.com/blog/back-to-college

Is your child among the million students heading back to college any day now? If so, you’re probably busy helping them gather all the things they need for life away from home.

One of the things that you’ll want to discuss with them before they go back to college is how to keep their car and their belongings safe and protected. Here are some answers to a few of the most common questions that parents of college students often ask us.

Are my child’s belongings covered by my homeowners policy when she goes back to college?

That’s a great question. Students also often take expensive items to school like laptops, bikes and TVs, which can be pricey to replace if damaged or stolen items. The good news is that most insurers’ homeowners policies are designed to cover your child if something is stolen or destroyed.

At Erie Insurance, full-time students under the age of 24 are automatically covered under their parents’ policy. Part-time students and/or students who are 24 and older may need to take out a renters insurance policy to protect themselves and their belongings.
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Solar Eclipse Safety Check: 3 Things To Know

by Abby Badach on

Here comes the sun…

On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, North America will get a rare glimpse of a total solar eclipse. According to NASA, a total eclipse happens only once every hundred years or so – so it’s safe to say this is a once-in-a-lifetime event for many folks.

While a solar eclipse doesn’t bring the type of immediate destruction you’d see from other natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes or floods… it does present some unique risks.

Here’s how to make this eclipse viewing an enjoyable (and safe) experience.
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hidden risk most homeowners ignore

The Hidden Risk Most Homeowners Ignore

by Amanda Prischak on May 10, 2017
Source: https://www.erieinsurance.com/blog/hidden-risk

Last fall, Chuck Feeney of Glenview, Illinois, noticed some unusual things around his home. It took longer than usual for water to drain from his sinks, and his home’s sump pump struggled during storms. So he decided to check out his drains’ outdoor clean outs. The verdict: not good.

“They were overflowing at that point,” he remembers. “If I hadn’t checked them, the water would have backed up into my house.” It turned out the water service line to Chuck’s house broke off at the point where the main line meets the line serving his home. Professionals had to dig up Chuck’s yard to repair the line. It was an inconvenience to him and his family—and the bill was $7,500.
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Erie Insurance Earns Top Ranking in J.D. Power Insurance Shopping Study

(Erie, Pa.) May 3, 2017 – For the fifth year in a row, Erie Insurance received the highest ranking in Customer Satisfaction with the Auto Insurance Purchase Experience in the J.D. Power Insurance Shopping Study. In 2017, Erie Insurance received a score of 879 out of 1,000.

“In this digital age, we strive to provide our agents with the right tools to reach customers in ways they prefer and expect, but still reflect our hallmark of service,” said Tim NeCastro, president and CEO of Erie Insurance. “A customer might start an insurance search online, but we believe it should end with a handshake.”

The Insurance Shopping Study provides a detailed look at the customer experience in shopping for a new auto insurance policy. It explores what prompts someone to shop for insurance and which factors contribute to the purchase decision. Three factors were measured to determine overall satisfaction. They are, in order of importance: price, distribution channel and policy offerings.

Tips to Make Your Home Playground Safe

by Jennifer Sonntag on June 13, 2017
Source: https://www.erieinsurance.com/blog/home-playground-safety

We care about you and your family’s safety. As the weather warms up and you head outside, it’s important to anticipate any potential safety hazards or accidents that could happen during playtime. Each year, hospital emergency physicians treat more than 200,000 children for playground-related injuries, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Many of the injuries occur when a child falls from the equipment onto the ground. Here are some tips to keep your children – and their friends – safe on your home playground:

Create a play space
Before you install your playground, make sure you measure out an entire play space. It’s recommended to have a six-foot radius surrounding the play area in all directions. If your playground has swings, experts suggest that the surface extends in the front and back. Typically, twice the height of the suspending bar. Make sure your play space has any tripping hazards removed, too. Tree stumps, large rocks or uneven ground can all be dangerous for little feet.

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smart car

Will Self-Driving Cars Eliminate Distracted Driving? Most People Think So, Says New National Survey

by Abby Badach on

If you had a self-driving car, how much attention do you really think you’d need to pay to the road?

That’s what we wanted to find out when we asked nearly 3,000 licensed U.S. drivers in a new national survey to coincide with Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

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