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Garry Insurancenter Blog

Safe Boating Tips

Thursday, May 21, 2015

 

The weather is finally warming up and a lot of Minnesotans are gearing up for a fun Memorial Day weekend spent on the water with family and friends.  We here at Garry Insurance enjoy are time out on the water just like everyone else so we wanted to provide you with some good reminders as the weekend approaches.

Remember:

  • Keep an eye on the weather, especially on larger lakes and obtain up-to-date weather information from a marine band radio, AM radio, or by simply watching the sky. (Summer storms in Minnesota usually come from the west and particularly from the southwest.)
  • Wear your personal flotation device (PFD or life jacket), especially in small boats. Models are available for all ages and for various boating activities. Wearing your PFD is the best “life insurance” policy afloat.
  • Before you leave on a boating or fishing trip, let someone know where you are going and when you will return. If you run into trouble, this will assist authorities in looking for you.
  • Don’t drink and boat! Boating under the Influence is both dangerous and illegal.  Not only does consuming alcohol impair your judgment, but it puts fellow boaters at risk.
  • Make sure to read the MN DNR Boating Guide for more tips and regulations on staying safe on the water.
  • No matter what, we hope you have fun while you are on the water!

For more information about this topic or to get some answers about any of your current Minnesota Insurance, please visit our virtual insurance office at www.garryinsurance.com, stop by our office, or give us a call at (877)548-9528.

 

 

Tornado Safety Tips

Sunday, April 12, 2015

 

With Spring Weather upon us and already numerous deadly tornadoes tearing through the states your St. Paul Homeowners Insurance agency wants to provide you with safety tips in the event of bad weather.

Signs of a Tornado:

  • Strong, persistent rotation in the cloud base
  • Whirling dust or debris on the ground or below the cloud base
  • Heavy Rain or Hail followed by dead calm weather or fast, intense shift in wind
  • Rapid cloud movement
  • Greenish black color in the sky
  • Loud, continuous roar or rumble which lasts longer than typical thunder

What to Do in the Event of a Tornado:

  • If you are in a house with a basement: Get below ground and under sturdy protection such as a heavy table or work bench, cover yourself with a mattress or sleeping bag if possible and try to avoid areas that may have heavy objects on the level above you as they may fall through the floor.
  • If you are in a house with no basement or an apartment: Avoid windows and go to the lowest floor possible, try to go into a small center room like a bathroom or closet, under a stairwell or in an interior hallway that has no windows.  Crouch as low as possible to the floor, face down with your hands covering your head.
  • In a car or truck: It is never a good idea to try to drive out of the Tornadoes path.  In the event that you are in the car and a tornado is coming, park the car and get out and find a sturdy building if possible to seek shelter.
  • In the open outdoors:  If possible, seek shelter in a sturdy building.  If shelter is not available, lie flat and face down on low ground protecting the back of your head with your arms.  Try to find low ground that is as far away from trees and cars as possible.

It is important to remember that weather is unpredictable and can change very quickly so be alert to what is going on around you and any drastic changes in the weather.  Make sure to pay attention and look for the above mentioned signs as well as watch the weather channel or listen to the radio for any weather alerts.

If you have any questions about this or questions regarding your St. Paul Homeowners Insurance, please feel free to give us a call at 877-548-9528, visit our Virtual Insurance Office at www.garryinsurance.com or stop by our office.

 

 

Do You Have an Umbrella for Protection?

Thursday, April 2, 2015

 

It was a  rainy start to April and no one wants to get caught without an umbrella, especially during a downpour.  You may be wondering what an Umbrella has to do with insurance.  And the answer is quite a lot!

Have you heard of an Umbrella Insurance Policy?  If you haven’t, prepare yourselves, because it is extremely important to have to protect you and your future!

Minnesota Umbrella Insurance policies offer an extra layer of protection if you were to get in a serious car accident or have an accident on your property?  This policy is liability insurance that protects your assets & future income above and beyond your standard limits on your primary policies.

You may not think you need an umbrella policy, but consider this: What happens to you and your family’s assets should you be sued for something that occurred at your home and the legal costs of the lawsuit greatly exceed the liability coverage defined by your homeowner’s policy? Who will pick up the tab if you are responsible for a multi-car accident and your liability costs exceed the limits on your car insurance by thousands of dollars? That’s right… you may not think these things can happen, but they do on a daily basis and many people are under-protected for these types of situations.

So what types of costs are covered by an Umbrella Policy?

  • Legal Fees
  • Settlement Costs
  • Other Expenses for Covered Losses
  • And much more…

If you have any questions about Minnesota Umbrella Insurance please don’t hesitate to give us a call 651-777-8361, visit our Virtual Insurance Office www.garryinsurance.com or stop by our office.

 

 

Don’t Drink Away Your Luck on St. Patrick’s Day!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  It’s time to break out the green and do a little celebrating!!  For many of you that means heading to a favorite local bar or tent to consume some Corned Beef & Cabbage and sip on a few Green Beer’s.

Before you head out and have some fun, it is important to make sure you are prepared and have a safe way to get home.  St. Patrick’s Day ranks as the 2nd deadliest holiday for alcohol related traffic deaths.  Law Enforcement will be increasing their patrol and not only can driving under the influence be dangerous but it can make a major impact on your Minnesota Auto Insurance.

There are plenty of options to get around on this holiday if you plan on having a few green beers.  Besides the easy plan of having a designated driver, there are a lot of options to get around safely:

  • Take a Cab – Plenty of cab companies are operating extra cabs
  • Metro Transit – Taking the bus is an easy way to get around town and Metro Transit typically offers up free rides on St. Patrick’s Day
  • NHTSA Sober Cab – Sober Cab will drive you in your car home

No matter how you choose to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, we hope it is safe & fun!

If you have any questions about your Minnesota Auto Insurance and how it can be affected by alcohol related driving incidents please feel free to give us a call 651-777-8361, stop by our office or visit our virtual insurance office www.garryinsurance.com.

 

 

Heart Awareness Month

Sunday, February 15, 2015

 

Did you know that February is Heart Awareness Month??  According to the CDC , the leading cause of heart attack and stroke is uncontrolled high blood pressure.  Yet many Americans don’t know that monitoring their blood pressure can be easy and help prevent heart attacks and strokes.  Blood pressure can be checked using a home blood pressure machine, at a drugstore or by visiting your doctor.

Other ways to control your blood pressure:

  • Discuss with your doctor what a healthy blood pressure is for you
  • Monitor your sodium intake
  • Quit Smoking
  • Take your blood pressure medicine regularly

To learn more about heart healthiness and the risks of high blood pressure, visit our source, the CDC’s website here!

 

 

Super Bowl Eats

Monday, January 26, 2015

 

The teams are set and the Super Bowl is upon as.  Now it’s time to whip up some tasty eats and get together with friends and family to watch the big game!

We’ve found some delicious and easy recipes for you to enjoy!

Nothing says football party like a good dip.  Dips are usually very easy to make and everyone enjoys them.

One of our favorites around the office is Buffalo Chicken Dip!  You can’t go wrong combining chicken, cream cheese, cheese and hot sauce for a tasty hot dip that everyone will enjoy.

Your friends and family will be sure to invite you back next year if you make this delicious Loaded Potato Dip.  Cream cheese, sour cream, bacon, cheese and a few more ingredients make this dip one that you won’t soon forget!

Dessert dips are just as great as the rest of them and they are easy to serve up!  Some of our staff really enjoys making a Brownie Batter Dip, that is so easy to make you will feel almost guilty serving it up!  Combining browning mix, yogurt, chocolate chips and cool whip never looked so good!

No matter what food you are serving up or taking to your party, we hope you have a safe and enjoyable Super Bowl Sunday!

 

 

Super Bowl Parties and Social Host Liability

Monday, January 26, 2015

 

Did you know that Super Bowl Sunday is the SECOND LARGEST day of food consumption behind Thanksgiving?  Over 450 million Wings will be served, 14,500 tons of chips and 4,000 tons of popcorn are eaten on Super Bowl Sunday!  So what do most Americans wash all that down with?  That’s right, an ice cold beer!  Over 325 million gallons of beer are consumed on Super Bowl Sunday.  So you might be wondering what all of this has to do with your Minnesota Home Insurance policy?

If you are throwing a party and serving alcohol there is a possibility that you could be held liable in the event that a guest or 3rd party gets injured in an accident related to consuming alcohol at your event.

Prior to hosting a Super Bowl party, you should review your homeowners or renter’s policy and call your insurance agent (which we hope is us) with any questions you may have.  It is highly likely that typical homeowner’s limits won’t cover you for the full amount if you are being sued in a situation like this.  That’s why we recommend all of our insured’s having an umbrella policy.  The Minnesota Umbrella policy goes above and beyond your basic homeowners insurance and covers the excess amount of a lawsuit or file against you.

On top of having an Umbrella Policy, here are some Super Bowl Party Host Liability Tips:

Limit the guest list to people you know

  • Provide food and alternative non-alcoholic beverages
  • Do not pressure guests to drink
  • Be a responsible host and limit your own alcohol intake as well
  • Stop serving alcohol towards the end of the game (serve coffee, tea, water or soft drinks)
  • Encourage guests to bring or have a designated driver on call in the event that they drink too much
  • If you think someone has had too much to drink arrange a way for them to get home by calling them a cab, sending them with a sober driver leaving the party or offer to let them stay at your house

Having fun at your Super Bowl party is just as important as being a responsible host.  If you have any questions about this topic or your Minnesota Home Insurance please feel free to give us a call 651-777-8361, visit our virtual insurance office www.garryinsurance.com or stop by our office!

 

 

Merry Christmas!

 

 

Avoiding Insurance Claims This Holiday Season

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

 

Tis the season to be Jolly… but it is also the season for insurance claims.  Whether you are planning a holiday party or out shopping for the perfect presents for those you care about, hazards are all around you!  Check out these great tips so that you can avoid major holiday hazards:

  • Holiday parties fill everyone’s weekends throughout December, but if you are hosting you should consider the liability risks so you can protect your assets.  If you are having people over to your home, always consider how much alcohol you are offering and be sure to keep an eye on people who may have had too much to drink.  If they leave your house and get in to an accident, you could be liable and your assets could be at risk.
  • House fires can happen in the blink of an eye during this season.  Our houses are all decorated with a lot more than normal which means that there are a lot more fire hazards.  Candles, Christmas lights and fireplaces are all major fire hazards.
  • Not everyone is in the holiday spirit especially criminals so make sure you are taking extra precautions.  Be aware of your surroundings when you are shopping and always lock your doors of your car and your home to avoid being mugged or your house being broken in to.
  • Many people travel this time of the year which can cause traffic to be out of hand and combine that with winter weather increases the number of accidents.

All of us at Garry Insurance want you to have a safe and fun holiday season.  Contact Garry Insurancenter for all your Minnesota Insurance needs!

 

 

Thanksgiving Fun Facts

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

 

Turkey’s have been thawing all week, bread crumbs are drying and people are in the midst of preparing a huge feast for family and friends.  So, it’s time to put on some comfy pants, come with a huge appetite and celebrate this time of year and give Thanks to all we have.

To get in the Thanksgiving mood we wanted to share some fun facts with you!  Now you can wow your family as you sit down to eat tomorrow:

  • The 1st Thanksgiving was a 3 Day Celebration in 1621
  • Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade started in 1924
  • Thanksgiving was finally declared a national holiday in 1789 by President George Washington
  • Roughly 46 million Turkeys are devoured on Thanksgiving Day
  • More than likely Seafood and Venison were served at the first Thanksgiving instead of Turkey
  • Minnesota is #1 in Turkey production in 2012, producing 46 million turkeys
  • 37 places or Townships are named Plymouth in the U.S. and Plymouth, MN has the largest population of those 37

Now for some safety tips:

  • Make sure all smoke alarms are working to avoid any Minnesota Home Insurance claims
  • Avoid loose clothing when cooking so things don’t have a chance to catch on it and you can avoid accidents in the kitchen
  • Avoid burnt food by setting kitchen timers
  • Make sure to shut off any burners or ovens as soon as food has been served
  • When frying your turkey never do it indoors, even if the weather is bad and always have someone attending to the fryer
  • Kids and pets should be no where near a fryer while they are in use
  • Keep cooking utensils, food packages, and potholders away from the stove top to avoid fires

Whether you are looking forward to eating, spending time with family or just a day off we hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

 

 

Snow Shoveling Tips

Monday, November 17, 2014

 

It’s that time of year again where we as Minnesotan’s realize that shoveling snow is inevitable and will be a part of our weekly chores for the next 4-5 months.  Shoveling can be a good workout, but it can also be harmful to your back.  Check out these great tips to help save your back as you shovel your driveway and sidewalks this winter:

  • Don’t throw snow over your shoulder
  • Always lift with your legs when shoveling snow and do not bend at the waist
  • Scoop smaller amounts of snow into the shovel and then walk it to where you want to dump it
  • Push the snow. Do not lift it. Pushing will put a lot less strain on your back and spine
  • Move your feet versus twisting them
  • Always pace yourself and take breaks to gently stretch
  • When gripping the shovel make sure your hands are 12 inches apart which can help reduce strain on your body

These great tips came from MyFOXTwinCities website and you can find the full article here.

 

 

Don’t Hit the Ditch, Hit the Deer!

Monday, November 3, 2014

 

It’s that time of year again… where right around dusk you see those pesky deer on the side of roadways.  Unfortunately for Minnesotans, The Land of 10,000 Lakes ranks in the Top 10 for highest number of deer related accidents each year.

So remember, as you’re driving this time of year, keep your head on a swivel, pay attention to the sides of the road and be careful when you see a deer.  They are so unpredictable!  Do your best to avoid any collision but your best option before heading for the ditch is to hit the deer.  Why?  Because your insurance rates WON’T go up after a claim for a collision with an animal!

Keep these tips in mind when driving

  • Keep an eye out for Deer Crossing signs – there are located in active deer crossing areas and are there to keep you aware
  • When driving, remember that deer are the most active between 6 and 9 p.m.
  • Using your high beam headlamps at night can help illuminate areas where deer enter roadways from
  • Deer generally travel in herds, so remember that if you see one, there will most likely be others nearby
  • Do not rely on car-mounted deer whistles

 

 

Halloween Safety Tips

Thursday, October 30, 2014

 

Trick or Treat…..it’s that time again when pumpkins are being carved and children are dressing up as ghosts & goblins in search of candy & Halloween fun!

Whether you are taking the kids out Trick-or-Treating or passing out candy here are some helpful tips on how to keep your family and home safe during Halloween!

  • Prevent Accidents by removing any obstacles, such as lawn furniture in your yard and make sure your home’s entry is in good condition and is free of any debris or broken pieces
  • Fire Dangers Make sure that pumpkins lit by candles are placed at a safe distance from where any child’s costume could catch fire and extinguish all candles before going to bed.  To be extra cautious invest in battery operated lights & candles whenever possible
  • Costume Safety Make sure that costumes are made of flame-resistant material and there shouldn’t be any sharp accessories.  Make sure that masks do not obscure vision and opt for hypo-allergenic makeup instead of masks
  • See and Be Seen Carry a flashlight when taking your child trick-or-treating or encourage them to carry one.  Also apply light reflecting material to children’s costumes so that they can be easily seen
  • Safe Driving Practices Drive slowly & carefully and be alert for children on the move in Halloween costumes
  • Power in Numbers Make sure that trick-or-treaters travel in groups and stay on brightly lit streets
  • Pet Safety Keep pets inside when children are out trick-or-treating.  Warn your children to stay away from any animals as Halloween night can strike up odd behaviors in these animals
  • Candy Inspection Inspect all of your children’s treats and never allow them to eat candy that is already unwrapped

For additional tips visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and remember to have a safe and Happy Halloween!!

 

 

Avoiding the Flu this Season

Sunday, October 12, 2014

 

Stuffy nose, high fever, chills, headaches and a sore throat… all of these are symptoms of the dreaded Flu Bug.  Its flu season and no one wants to get the flu.  It’s no fun to lay in bed and suffer for 3 or 4 days when there are some things you can do to prevent it.

According to the CDC the first and single most important way to protect against the flu virus is to get a flu vaccine.  This vaccine prevents against the most common flu viruses that go around and it can reduce the risk of illness and time that you will be ill from the flu.  Anyone over 6 months should get the vaccine which is available at doctor’s office and pharmacies nationwide.  The people who are at highest risk of the flu are children and elderly people.  But really anyone can get it.

Besides getting a Flu Vaccine there are other things you can do to try to prevent getting the flu:

  • Avoid contact if at all possible with sick people
  • Coughing and sneezing happens but try to cover your mouth when doing so
  • If you are sick, limit your contact with other people as much as you can
  • Washing your hands can help prevent the spread of the flu germs and if soap & water aren’t available use a hand sanitizer that is alcohol based
  • Touching your mouth, nose and eyes spreads germs quicker

It’s hard to avoid contact with people so the most important thing you can do is to get your flu vaccine and stay healthy!

Source: CDC Website

 

 

Fun Fall Activities in the Twin Cities

Sunday, October 12, 2014

 

Falling leaves, pumpkin spice everything and apples are on everyone’s mind! Fall is officially here and it is the perfect time to get out and enjoy some of the Fun Fall activities with friends and family!

We have compiled a list of some of our favorites for everyone to enjoy:

Fall just wouldn’t be Fall without a visit to an Apple Orchard.  Here in the Twin Cities we are lucky to have plenty to choose from.  All of them offer plenty of family fun beyond Apple/Pumpkin Picking! Check out one of the following for an afternoon of fun:

  • Afton Apple Orchard
  • Aamodt’s Apple Farm
  • Whistling Well Farm
  • Pine Tree Apple Orchard
  • McDougall’s Apple Junction
  • Fischer’s Croix Farm Orchard
  • Pinehaven Farm

Check out Sever’s Corn Maze in Shakopee! Tickets are available online or on site and admission will provide you with a whole afternoon of fun.  Besides going through the corn maze visitors can enjoy Extreme Corn Pit, Goat World, Live Music, Petting Zoo and much more!

If you are looking for a good scare there are several options throughout the Twin Cities that are sure to have you jumping out of your skin!  Check out ValleyScare in Shakopee or The Haunting Experience in Cottage Grove!
Did we miss something on our list? Leave a comment and let us know what your favorite fall activity is!

 

 

Fire Prevention Tips

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

 

October is National Fire Safety Month and the perfect time for everyone to brush up on their fire safety knowledge.  Here at Garry Insurancenter we love to keep our readers informed and educated on ways to keep their homes safe.  Throughout the month we will be sharing information relating to fire safety month in an effort to keep you and your families safe.

House fires kill thousands of people each year and typically most house fires can be prevented.  Although your St. Paul Homeowners Insurance protects your home against a fire it is important to walk through the fire prevention checklist at least once a year in an effort to prevent a fire loss from occurring.

Fire Prevention Check list:

  • Keep clothes dryer vents clean – lint buildup in the dryer vents can heat up and cause a fire.  These vents should be cleaned every 6 months
  • Keep kitchen towels and oven mitts away from stoves while cooking and keep an eye on pots and pans to make sure they don’t boil over
  • Have an electrician examine your homes electrical wiring, especially if it is an older home – faulty electrical wiring is a leading cause of house fires
  • Have a professional or licensed technician repair or replace faulty appliances
  • Keep curtains, clothing and blankets away from baseboard or electrical heaters
  • Blow out candles when leaving a room for any length of time – a fire caused by a candle can be spread quickly throughout a house
  • Regularly clean fireplaces to prevent a fire from starting in the chimney
  • Check your gas furnace before you use it each year

 

 

Keeping Your Home Safe While You Are on Vacation

Thursday, September 18, 2014

 

Vacations are something we all enjoy!  Whether it means a long weekend away at the cabin or a planned out weeklong vacation with the family, vacations are something we treasure.  The chance to get away and enjoy time with the ones we care about is priceless.  However when we are away, things can go awry at home whether it be frozen pipes or stolen items from your home.  Prior to your next vacation make sure you help protect your home from a loss by paying attention to the following:

  • Home Inventory – it’s always wise to have a photo inventory of your belongings and keep them outside of the home.  If they stored as a file on your computer won’t do you much good if your computer is stolen or your home is destroyed in a fire.
  • Shut Off the Water – whether it’s the summer or winter there can be issues with pipes overflowing or freezing.
  • Stop Your Mail – stopping the mail can prevent would-be burglars as they can target homes that have mail piled up.
  • Set Back the Thermostat – In the summer it will save you money, but in the winter be careful not to set it to low so that your pipes don’t freeze.
  • Have your Driveway Plowed or Yard Mowed – Depending on the time of year you are gone you should keep up with the season.  An unplowed driveway is a dead giveaway that you are out of town.
  • Alert the Neighbors – If the neighbors are aware of your vacation they can help keep an eye on things and report any suspicious activities.  Just be sure to do the same for your neighbors when they are traveling.
  • Review Your Insurance Coverage – It’s always a good idea to know what your insurance covers from rental cars to lost/stolen items while you are on vacation.
  • Unplug Electronics – it’s smart to unplug televisions, computers and small appliances that can be damaged from lightning strikes or power surges.

For more information visit our source here!

 

 

Think Before You Climb

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

 

Ladders are a common tool used for work.  And many who are using them don’t think twice about climbing up on them and not taking the proper safety precautions.  Your work will be a lot easier and even more productive if you think before you climb!

When using a ladder you should always remember the following Do’s & Don’ts!

Do:

  • Set your ladder up properly according to safety instructions and warnings
  • Always wear shoes with soles that are slip-resistant
  • Using 3 points of contact is important: One hand and two feet or two feet and one hand
  • Materials should be hauled using a line vs. carrying them up the extension ladder
  • You should always climb facing the ladder and move from one step to the other slowly
  • When moving materials you should use extreme caution so you don’t lose your balance
  • All new ladders should be inspected when you first use them
  • High quality stabilizers should be used on extension ladders
  • Extension ladders should be secured at both ends to prevent tipping from side to side

Don’ts

  • Don’t place the base of an extension ladder too close or far away from the wall
  • Don’t climb on the back of a step ladder of stand or sit on a stepladder top of pail shelf
  • When climbing the ladder – don’t over reach or climb to one side or try and move the ladder while you are on it
  • Never exceed the maximum capacity rating of the ladder

As a business owner with Minnesota Business Insurance, you should always share safety rules with your employees and always remember them for yourself as well.  Even if you think you know everything, it is always a good idea to brush up safety tips.  If you have questions about your Business Insurance or would like to speak to an agent about your policies, please don’t hesitate to give us a call 651-777-8371, visit our virtual insurance office at www.garryinsurance.com or stop by our office!

Source: SFM Simply Work Comp Blog

 

 

Start Your Workday Off on the Right Foot

Monday, August 18, 2014

 

Dreaded Monday… Most people complain about the weekend being over and the start of another week.  Here are some great tips to help you start off your work week and work day the right way!

  • Arrive On Time – Showing up late can throw off your entire day and even your entire week
  • Take a Breath – This will help to slow down and get focus on the day ahead of you
  • Eat Breakfast – We have always heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it can help you have the mental energy to take on the word day
  • Start the Day With a Clean Slate – Treating each day as a fresh one will help you put the past in the past and leave a not so pleasant previous work day behind you
  • Don’t be Moody – Your mood can have an effect on others so if mornings aren’t your favorite time of day, grab an extra cup of coffee or workout to improve your mood
  • Be Present – Even if you aren’t a morning person, being present and connecting with your team and co-workers will only improve your workday
  • Don’t be Distracted by Your Inbox – It’s hard not to be overwhelmed by the emails you have accumulated when you are away from work.  Have a plan for attacking urgent matters and sifting through the unimportant emails
  • Listen to Your Voicemail – Nowadays with most communication being done electronically it is easy to forget to check your voicemail messages
  • Mix Things Up – Shaking things up occasionally can help positively impact your productivity. Grab coffee from a different place or take a different route in to the office or around the office to change your perspective
  • Take a Mid–Morning Break – This break can help you re-focus so you can continue to be productive for the rest of your day
  • Remind Yourself of Your Core Purpose at Work – It may sound funny, but doing this can help you connect to a sense of purpose which is a powerful motivator
  • Organize Your Workspace – Clearing off your desk and starting the day with a neat workspace can set the tone for your entire day

If you want to learn more about starting your day off on the right foot, check out this great Forbes article!

 

 

Managing Your Homeowners Insurance Costs

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

 

Our agency wants you to get the most from your homeowners insurance.  That means we want to help you keep your insurance costs low while keeping you well covered for the unexpected.

Here are some things that influence the cost of your homeowners insurance:

  • Type of home – Masonry homes often receive the best insurance rates
  • Age of home – Owners of new homes may pay less for insurance because it is more likely that the home meets code and was built using newer materials
  • Location of Home – Homes farther from a fire station can have higher rates
  • Claims History – Lots of claims can drive up your rates
  • Deductible Amount – Higher deductibles lower your premiums

Here are some discounts available for your home insurance:

  • Age of Construction – This discount is based on the age of your home
  • Claims-Free Long Term – The longer you are insured and claims-free, the larger the discount
  • Multi-Policy – Qualify for this discount when you combine your home & auto insurance with the same company
  • Protective Device (Alarm) – You qualify if your home has items such as smoke detectors, fire extinguisher, fire alarm and burglary alarm, etc.

If you have any questions about homeowners insurance or you are interested in a free insurance analysis with one of our agents give us a call at 651-777-8361 or stop by our office.  We would love to help you out!

 

 

Managing Your Auto Insurance Costs

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

 

Our agency wants you to get the most from your auto insurance.  That means we want to help you keep your insurance costs low while keeping you well covered for the unexpected.

Here are some things that influence the cost of your auto insurance:

  • Age – Can’t do anything about that!  A good rule of thumb is that anyone under 20 and over 80 should expect to pay the highest rates.
  • At-fault Accidents – if you are causing accidents, your costs may go up.
  • Coverage Lapses – Timely payment of premiums helps to keep your coverage in place and keep your costs low.
  • Prior Insurance – People buying insurance for the very first time often pay the highest rates.
  • Driving Experience – The longer you’ve been a safe driver, the lower your insurance rates will likely be.
  • Major Violations/Suspensions – Trouble with traffic laws results in higher costs.
  • DUI – If you are convicted of driving under the influence, your insurance rates will rise.
  • Homeownership – Owning a home or condo can mean lower auto insurance rates.
  • Minor Violations/Speeding Tickets – Violations indicate higher risk and can increase your costs.
  • Vehicle Type – Some vehicles are more expensive to insure, because they are costly to repair, risky drivers often drive them or they lack safety devices.
  • Deductible Amount – Higher deductibles lower your premium costs.

Now that you know some of the things that play influence your insurance costs, here are some available discounts:

  • Accident Free – earn a reduction in certain instances when an accident-free driving record is maintained.
  • Good Student – applies if a driver is a full-time student between the ages of 16-24 and meets a certain grade point or class ranking requirement.
  • Home & Auto – qualify for a discount when you insure both with the same company.
  • Long Term Customer – available if you are insured with a company for a certain number of years.
  • Safe Driver – applies in certain instances when violation-free driving record is maintained.

If you have any questions about auto insurance or you are interested in a free insurance analysis with one of our agents give us a call at 651-777-8361 or stop by our office.  We would love to help you out!

 

 

How To Improve Your Office Lunch Break

Sunday, July 27, 2014

 

Lunch breaks seem to be a thing of the past.  More and more employees are skipping the ever-so-popular lunch break to continue their work day.  Most are opting to sit at their desk to eat their lunch and get more work done while others are skipping lunch entirely.  America has become such a work obsessed society that the typical lunch break is almost non-existent.  Forbes Magazine put together a great list of things that we should be doing on our lunch breaks!  Here they are:

  • Make a Plan for the remainder of your day!
  • Take an ACTUAL Break – try to avoid the topic of work during this time and avoid checking work emails and taking work calls.
  • Leave your workspace – Getting up and moving is important… if you can get outside for some fresh air, that’s even better for you!
  • Decompress – taking a deep break and trying to relax will help you get focused for the second half of your day.
  • Eat and Enjoy Your Food – Lunch breaks should be about lunch.  No need to starve yourself just to check another item off your to-do list.  Packing a meal or getting out to a nearby restaurant is always a good idea.
  • Run some errands – As American’s we seem to be a busy society so take advantage of a quick break from your work by running an errand you won’t have time to that evening.
  • Network – Lunch is a great time to connect with other professionals in your industry and is critical to your success.
  • Don’t get stuck in a routine!
  • Did we mention it’s important to AVOID SCREENTIME? Your eyes will thank you for it :)
  • Catch up – maybe you meet an old friend for a quick lunch or engage in a conversation with a new co-worker.  These relationships are all important to have.

If you want to read more on the importance of taking a lunch break check out this great Forbes article!

 

 

Have You Reviewed Your Homeowners Insurance Lately?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

 

Homeowners insurance is something that a lot of people get when they are purchasing their home and they rarely ever think about it again.  Most mortgages have escrow accounts which mean homeowners insurance is completely out of sight and out of mind.  However, that is the worst thing a homeowner can do.  Reviewing your policy annually is a smart idea.  When you are reviewing your insurance it is smart to keep the following questions in mind:

1.)    Do I have enough insurance to rebuild my home?

When looking over your policy, it is important to ask yourself if you have enough coverage to rebuild your home in the event that it is completely destroyed.  Make sure that you have considered the following: Replacement Cost, Extended Replacement Cost, Inflation Guard, Ordinance or Law Coverage, Water Back-Up and Flood Insurance.

2.)    Do I have enough insurance to replace all of my possessions?

Most homeowner’s policies provide coverage for personal possessions for roughly 50 -70 percent of the amount of insurance you have on the structure of your home.  The best way to determine if you have enough coverage is to conduct a home inventory which will detail everything you own and the projected cost to replace all of these items if they are destroyed in a disaster or stolen.  Your possessions can be insured by either an Actual Cash Value Policy or Replacement Cost Policy.

3.)    Do I have enough coverage for additional living expenses?

Additional living expenses are those that extra costs that could be incurred while temporarily living away from your home due to an insured disaster.  It can cover hotel bills, restaurant meals, transportation costs and other living expenses sustained while your home is inaccessible. Only those expenses that are above your regular living expenses will be covered.  Additionally if you rent out part of your home, this coverage will reimburse you for the rent that you could have collected should your home have not been destroyed.

4.)    Do I have enough insurance to protect my assets?

It is important to have ample liability protection to cover you from lawsuits from bodily injury or property damage that you or your family members may cause to other people.  This coverage will also help pay for damage caused by pets, as well as the cost of defending you in court and any costs that a court rules you must pay.  Most homeowners’ policies provide a minimum of $100,000 in liability insurance but higher values are available.

If you would like to review your current policy or would like us to do a homeowners insurance analysis for you please give us a call 651-777-8361, visit our website www.garryinsurance.com or stop by our office!

 

 

Firework Safety Tips

Sunday, June 29, 2014

 

Fireworks and the Fourth of July go hand and hand.  However they can be dangerous if not handled property.  Roughly 200 people on average suffer an injury related to fireworks around the 4th of July.  This year, make sure you are being smart and follow these safety tips when using fireworks:

  • Don’t allow young children to play or ignite fireworks
  • Never try to pick up or re-light fireworks that have not ignited fully
  • Don’t EVER point a firework or throw a firework at another person
  • Always have a bucket of water close by in case of a firework mishap
  • Light fireworks one at a time and be sure to move back quickly after lighting
  • Fireworks should never be carried in your pocket or be shot out of glass bottles or metal
  • Once a firework has completed burning, douse it with water or spray it with a hose prior to disposing of it in the trash
  • Be sure to check your local laws and rules to make sure fireworks are legal in your area

We hope everyone has a great Fourth of July!

 

 

Camping Safety Tips

Sunday, June 22, 2014

 

Camping is something that is very popular in the summer months here in Minnesota.  Whether it’s a family get-away, an impromptu overnight outdoors or a guy’s trip, it is always important to be prepared.  To ensure that your experience in the great outdoors is safe, make sure to follow these tips:

  • Prepare food safely by storing it in tight waterproof containers.  Keep raw food separated from cooked foods and have adequate ice to keep foods in coolers.
  • Pack hand sanitizer to clean hands when preparing food in the event that you aren’t able to wash them.
  • Make sure to cover any exposed skin with insect repellent that contains DEET.
  • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing sunscreen that contains at least 15 SPF – remember to consume plenty of water and don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink water.
  • While enjoying the great outdoors remember safety first – wear a life jacket and never swim alone.
  • Avoid wild animals as they can be dangerous and carry disease.  Don’t feed or touch them to avoid any issues.
  • Be aware of poisonous plants near your campsite.
  • Always set up camp before dusk.
  • Tell someone your whereabouts and when you plan on returning so that someone knows where you are.

 

 

Summer Safety Tips

Monday, June 9, 2014

 

Not only is June the beginning of summer, but it is also National Safety Month.  At Garry Insurancenter we always like to provide our clients and friends ways to be safe while they are enjoying the warmer weather.

With the nice weather we are having, many of you will be spending time outdoors.  Whether you are working in the yard, playing with your kids or spending time on the water, it is important to keep yourself protected in the sun & heat.

Remember:

  • Apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or greater at least one half hour before sun exposure and every few hours thereafter
  • Try to avoid direct sun exposure between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.  These are peak UV radiation hours.
  • A lot of the sun’s rays can come through the clouds, so even if it is an overcast day, use sun protection on cloudy days.
  • Make sure to drink plenty of fluids, especially water.  The summer heat can take a lot out of you and cause dehydration.  Make sure to drink water before, during and after your time outside.

Most importantly have some fun! Get outside and Enjoy!

 

 

Twin Cities Summer Fun

Sunday, June 1, 2014

 

June means that it’s finally safe to say that summer is here to stay in MN!  There are so many things going on during the summer months but today we wanted to share a few of our favorite things to enjoy during the summer:

Walker on the Green – During the summer months Walker Art Center transforms a part of the museums lawn into a putt-putt course that is great for all ages.  Two courses of 9 holes each will be offered this season and each hole was created by a local artist, design team or organization.  Price $12; $18 full course

Live Racing at Canterbury Park – Whether you need a night away from the kids or want to have some family fun, races at Canterbury Park can be a fun and inexpensive way to enjoy a weekend.  Throughout the summer they are offering many different themed days along with a fireworks celebration for the 4th.  Price $6-$8

Minnesota Zoo – The Minnesota Zoo offers great summer fun for the whole family with affordable prices.  Visit all types of animals from Black bears and tigers to African birds and sharks.  Check out the zoo website for special events including exhibits and Music in the Zoo.  Prices vary from Free – $18

Valleyfair – As the upper Midwest’s largest amusement park, Valleyfair is known for family fun!  If you are visiting with younger kids, Planet Snoopy may be the place for you with more than 17 PEANUTS themed rides and attractions.  Rides such as The Wild Thing and Steel Venom are perfect for older kids and the thrill seekers in your family.

What do you enjoy doing in the summer time?

 

 

Garry Insurance Referral Program

Sunday, June 1, 2014

 

There is no better compliment than to receive a referral from a valued customer. Getting rewarded for referring new customers to us is simple! Just ask the person you’re referring to mention your name when they contact us about Auto, Home, Business or Life Insurance.  We’ll then get in touch with you to send you a $20 gift card to your choice of Target, Holiday or Caribou Coffee! It’s that easy!!

It’s easy to get in touch with us:

  • Give us a Call – 651-777-8361
  • Fill out a form via our virtual insurance office – www.garryinsurance.com
  • Stop by our office – 2555 7th Ave. E, North St. Paul, MN 55109

 

 

Are You a Safe Griller?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

 

It looks like the warm weather is finally here to stay.   On a daily basis there is the aroma of grills being fired up all around town. Nothing is better than a steak on the grill or some burgers and brats served up with some fresh fruit and sweet corn. But grilling can be dangerous and if the proper safety precautions aren’t taken they can cause problems for your Minnesota Homeowner’s Insurance.

The National Fire Protection Association has some great Grilling Safety Tips that you should keep in mind before you fire up that grill.

  • Charcoal and propane grills should only be used outdoors
  • Make sure to place the grill away from your home
  • Remember to clean your grill after each use to keep fat or grease from being built up which could cause a fire
  • Never use anything but charcoal starter fluid to light coals
  • Keep charcoal fluid away from heating sources and out of reach of children
  • Always let coals completely cool before disposing of them
  • Prior to using a propane grill for the first time check all hoses for leaks
  • Never leave a grill unattended

For a full list of safety tips check out the NFPA website where we got these here.

If you have any questions about grilling safety or any other insurance related question please don’t hesitate to give us a call 651-777-8361, visit our Virtual Insurance Office www.garryinsurance.com or stop by our office.

 

 

Boating Safety Tips

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

 

The weather is finally warming up and a lot of Minnesotans are gearing up for a fun Memorial Day weekend spent on the water with family and friends.  To continue with our theme for National Safe Boating Week, we wanted to provide you with some good times and reminders as the weekend approaches.

Remember:

Keep an eye on the weather, especially on larger lakes and obtain up-to-date weather information from a marine band radio, AM radio, or by simply watching the sky. (Summer storms in Minnesota usually come from the west and particularly from the southwest.)
Wearyour personal flotation device (PFD or life jacket), especially in small boats. Models are available for all ages and for various boating activities. Wearing your PFD is the best “life insurance” policy afloat.
Before you leave on a boating or fishing trip, let someone know where you are going and when you will return. If you run into trouble, this will assist authorities in looking for you.
Don’t drink and boat! Boating under the Influence is both dangerous and illegal.  Not only does consuming alcohol impair your judgment, but it puts fellow boaters at risk.
Make sure to read the MN DNR Boating Guide for more tips and regulations on staying safe on the water.
No matter what, we hope you have fun while you are on the water!

For more information about this topic or to get some answers about any of your current Minnesota Insurance, please visit our virtual insurance office at www.garryinsurance.com, stop by our office, or give us a call at (877)548-9528.

 

 

Is Your Boat Properly Insured?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

 

With Memorial Day right around the corner and the warm summer weather fast approaching it is the perfect time to talk about boating safety. This week happens to be National Safe Boating Week and the National Safe Boating Council is aiming to raise boating safety awareness, reduce the number of boating related accidents and deaths and remind you to ALWAYS WEAR YOUR LIFE JACKET.

One of the first ways to practice safe boating is to make sure you have it properly insured.  Whether you already have boat insurance or are looking to get some, make sure your policy covers the following:

  • Medical Payments – pays for covered medical or funeral expenses for bodily injury caused by a covered accident involving your personal watercraft
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Boaters – pays to repair/replace your watercraft due to an accident caused by an underinsured, uninsured or unidentified boater
  • Physical Damage – pays to repair or replace your boat after a covered loss
  • Liability – provides third party coverage for bodily injury and property damage
  • Rental Reimbursement – covers expenses incurred while renting a substitute watercraft when your watercraft sustains a covered loss
  • Fishing Equipment – provides protection for covered rods, reels, tackle boxes, lures, electronics and any other equipment used for recreational fishing
  • Personal Effects – covers person property, water sports equipment and boat lifts

If you have any question about insuring your boat or would like to have one of our agents take a look at your policy don’t hesitate to give us a call 651-777-8361 or visit our virtual insurance office www.garryinsurance.com

 

 

Disability Insurance Awareness Month

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

 

Disability is something that no one wants to think about, but in reality  income  is extremely important to any employees financial security.  Most employees rarely ever think about the fact that an accident or illness could put their income at risk.  With that being said, there are ways to protect your income, so why don’t more employees do so?

One of the reasons many don’t think about it is because they lack guidance on the subject.  Information on how workers can protect themselves from an income-interrupting disability is available but many employees tend to ignore it.   But more than half of employees could not pay their bills for more than a year without an income.

If you are interested in learning more about disability insurance and how you can protect your future, please give us a call 651-777-8361, visit our website www.garryinsurance.com or stop by our office!  We would love to talk to you and help educate you on how you can protect yourself.

 

 

Do You Have an Umbrella for Protection?

Monday, April 28, 2014

 

It’s been a rainy week and no one wants to get caught without an umbrella, especially during a downpour.  You may be wondering what an Umbrella has to do with insurance.  And the answer is quite a lot!

Have you heard of an Umbrella Insurance Policy?  If you haven’t, prepare yourselves, because it is extremely important to have to protect you and your future!

Minnesota Umbrella Insurance policies offer an extra layer of protection if you were to get in a serious car accident or have an accident on your property?  This policy is liability insurance that protects your assets & future income above and beyond your standard limits on your primary policies.

You may not think you need an umbrella policy, but consider this: What happens to you and your family’s assets should you be sued for something that occurred at your home and the legal costs of the lawsuit greatly exceed the liability coverage defined by your homeowner’s policy? Who will pick up the tab if you are responsible for a multi-car accident and your liability costs exceed the limits on your car insurance by thousands of dollars? That’s right… you may not think these things can happen, but they do on a daily basis and many people are under-protected for these types of situations.

Our Location

Garry Insurancenter

2555 7th Ave East
North St Paul, MN 55109
Main office: 651-401-7336
Toll free: 800-269-8361

Our Providers

Accommodating, professional, helpful, and quick. Very comfortable experience and I was impressed by their capabilities. Highly recommended.
Brad M.
I feel lucky to have found an agent willing to provide this level of service. No need to look anywhere else!
Michelle D.
Over the years we’ve never once had to worry about our coverage. My husband and I are long-time customers and proud to be.
Carol S.
Surprisingly flexible and in-touch with my needs as a small business owner. Can’t ask for more.
Spencer F.
They have strong ties with the community, and it shows. It’s nice to do business with people that really show they care about you and your family.
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