April, 2021 | Boizelle Insurance Partnership

How to Keep Your Baby Safe While You’re Driving

Becoming a parent is one of the most rewarding experiences a person can have in their lifetime. As a parent, wouldn’t you do anything and everything you could to protect your child? Children don’t understand the potential dangers of everyday living, so it’s up to parents to teach them and protect them. Of course, we can’t be with our children every second of every day. For example, when they are in school playing basketball with their friends at recess, it’s possible they may fall and scrape their knee. We can’t have our eyes on them all the time, but we can console them and comfort them when they get injured.

Unlike young children, babies are completely dependent upon their parents. Everything from feeding to clothing to helping them walk, parents need to always be there. Driving with them in the car is no different.

If you want to keep your little ones safe in the car while you’re driving, you’ll want to pay attention to a few important steps:

  1. Choose the Right Car Seat for Your Child

Not all car seats are created equal. Nor do all car seats fit in every car. Depending on the age of your child, you’ll want to choose a car seat that keeps your child secure when you’re on the road.

  1. Don’t Give Toys or Food to Your Baby in the Car

It’s important to remain as safe as possible while you’re driving. It’s a good idea to avoid having loose objects in the car while you’re driving. If your baby is craving attention, it’s best to pull over somewhere safely to give your baby the care he or she needs. Loose toys could cause injuries.

  1. Register Your Car Seat

Just as is the case with car manufacturers recalling their vehicles in the event of a malfunction, car seat manufacturers may tr to notify you of a potential problem they’ve found with their product. An effective way of becoming aware of these product issues is by registering your car seat with the manufacturer. When you do that, if the manufacturer finds a problem, they will notify you by mail.

  1. Install a mirror

A rearview mirror can be small and can leave your vision limited in the event of an emergency. Consider installing a mirror in your backseat, so you can keep a better eye on your little one. You will gain better peace of mind knowing your child is safe because you’ll be able to watch them more closely.

  1. Have the Car Seat’s Installation Checked

If you are not confident your car seat is installed properly, consider having it checked. It’s better to be safe than sorry. There are many public safety departments that offer free installation and safety checks.

  1. Make Sure that Seat Belts are Positioned Properly

Shoulder straps should be positioned at or slightly below the shoulders. The clip should be positioned at about the height of the armpit.

  1. Be Sure That You Car Seat Isn’t Damaged or Expired

Yes, car seats do come with expiration dates. Read your owner’s manual to find the date of when your product was manufactured. You car seat should be replaced at least every six years from the date the car seat was manufactured. Regularly inspect your car seat to check for cracks or breaks or visible defects.

  1. Have Your Baby Face the Rear of Your Vehicle For As Long As PossibleThe American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children face the rear of your vehicle at least until they reach the age of two. Another determining factor could be when your child reaches the maximum height and weight that is listed on the car seat. Make sure to pay close attention to that.
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Here’s Why Your Auto Insurance Rate Might Be Higher Than You Expected

Have you ever wondered why your auto insurance rate increased? You probably are not alone in your curiosity. There are several factors that may affect your how much you pay for your auto insurance.

  1. State Requirements

Depending on where you live in the country, the amount you are required to pay for your auto insurance may differ. Each individual state may have certain requirements it deems necessary that would ultimately affect your auto insurance rate. Additionally, if you elect to buy more coverage than what is deemed the bare minimum legally, you will probably end up paying more.

  1. Age

One way auto insurance companies determine what they charge for auto insurance is your age. Because young drivers are far less experienced behind the wheel, insurance companies assume that they will be more likely to get into accidents. Once a driver turns 25, their rates begin to decrease. One the other side of the coin, seniors (those 65 years of age or older) are, oftentimes, charge a higher rate for their insurance because they may have slower reaction times or worsening vision, etc. Additionally, seniors are more likely to become injured if they are involved in an auto collision.

  1. Car Make and Model

If you bought a more expensive car, you are more likely to pay more to insure it. Cars like BMWs or Ferraris are made overseas and are then shipped to the U.S. Because of this, less of these cars are made. Therefore, insurance companies increase the prices to insure these types of vehicles.

  1. High-Risk Violations

Your driving record ultimately affects how much you will end up paying for your auto insurance. If you are a safer driver with less claims on your policy, your insurance company will take note of this and provide you with a lower rate. If you tend to be a more aggressive driver who gets speeding tickets or gets involved in a lot of accidents, your insurance company will see you as a high-risk driver. High-Risk drivers pay more for their insurance than safe drivers do.

  1. Yearly Mileage

The more distance you drive, the more you will end up paying for your auto insurance. Insurance companies consider how often you are on the road when determining your insurance rate. Longer periods of time on the road may mean longer distances traveled. The more amount of time you spend on the road, the higher chance you may become involved in an auto collision. If your commutes tend to be on the shorter side, you may likely pay less for your policy.

  1. Credit History

If you have poor credit, insurance companies may charge you more for your insurance. If you live in a state that is not either California, Massachusetts, or Hawaii, your insurance company will take your credit history into account when determining your insurance rate. If you have a great credit score, you may be able to save some money on your insurance.


  1. Driving Record

Drivers with good driving records can pay up to as much as 40% less for their auto insurance than drivers with bad records. This is due to the fact that a lot of insurance companies offer discounts for safe driving. Keep in mind that if you file a lot of claims through your insurance company, regardless of whether or not you were at-fault in the accident, your rates may increase significantly. If you are involved in an accident, do not be surprised if your insurance rate jumps up for the next 3 to 5 years. If you have more experience behind the wheel, you may end up paying less for your insurance. For example, new drivers older than 25 tend to pay more than their peers who have had many years of driving experience.

  1. Zip Code

Where you live may affect your insurance rate. People who live in cities that have higher crime rates statistically or heavy traffic areas tend to be charged more for their insurance. Because rural areas tend to be far less congested, the people who live in these areas likely will be paying less for their insurance policies.

  1. Marital Status

If you are married, you are in luck! Insurance companies look at married couples are the least risky drivers to insure! Compared to other drivers, married couples are involved in 50% less accidents! Do not wait to let your insurance company know if you are married! You could safe yourself some money!

  1. Gender

Believe it or not, in most states, it is not against the law to discriminate by gender. Statistically speaking, men under 25 pay the most for their auto insurance (about 15% more than their female counterparts). Once individuals reach the age of 30, insurance rates tend to become more similar.


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Tips for New Drivers

So, you have just passed your driver’s test and gotten your driver’s license! Congratulations! You have taken an important step towards gaining your independence and becoming an adult. While this is a great accomplishment, it is important to keep in mind that you should approach your newly found freedom responsibly and carefully. When you are behind the wheel, your actions affect not only yourself, but other drivers on the road.

It is extremely important to obey all traffic laws. Traffic laws are in place to keep yourself and others safe on the roads.

Slow down!

Montgomery County in Maryland has a lot of speed cameras. If you do not want your speeding tickets to be mounting, seriously consider slowing down while you are driving. Additionally, slowing down will afford you more time to react in case something unexpected occurs.

Keep Your Car In Good Running Shape

The better condition you keep your car in, the longer it is going to perform at a high level for you. Changing the oil regularly and getting other regular maintenance checkups for your vehicle can prolong its life. In addition to oil changes, rotating your tires and checking fluid levels are extremely important.

Wear Your Seat Belt

Not wearing your seat belt when you are driving your car is against the law. Passengers should also wear their seat belts at all times. This will help prevent potential injuries or death. Statistics show that, when it came to fatal accidents, 56% of teens were not wearing their seat belt at the time of the accident. Please buckle your seat belts.

Avoid Distractions

Having your eyes anywhere other than on the road is a recipe for disaster when you are operating a motor vehicle. Do not text and drive, do not play games on your phone, do not try to change the radio station. If you have other passengers in your car, make sure they are not horsing around in the back seat. It only takes seconds for something bad to happen. If you are paying attention, you have a better chance of avoiding a dangerous situation.

Adjust Your Accessories

Really, this should be done before you actually start driving your vehicle. Adjusting your seat to a comfortable position and adjusting your mirrors are actions you need to take to ensure that your visibility is good. You need to be able to see where other cars are around you.

Don’t Tailgate

If you do not create enough distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you, there is a higher chance of having a rear-end collision if the car in front puts the brakes on. For every ten miles per hour, make sure you are at least one car length behind the one in front of you. This should afford you enough time to come to a complete stop when you need to.

Be Prepared

Always have your important documents stored in your car. That way, in the event of an emergency, you will have what you need when the time arises.

Be Mindful of the Weather

Always pay attention to the weather forecast. Rain and snow and ice can present dangerous driving conditions. If the roads are wet, slow down. You do not want your car to hydroplane. This happens when your tire is lifted off of the road surface by water.

Do not drive under the influence

Driving while drinking or under the influence of drugs is not safe. It is also against the law.

The more you practice safe driving techniques, the better overall driver you will be.

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What You Need to Know About Flood Insurance

On April 1st, Governor Larry Hogan proclaimed the month of April as Maryland’s Flood Awareness Month. And for good reason. Each year, floods are responsible for more deaths than any other natural disaster.

As it is predicted that storms are going to increase in both frequency and intensity over time, the necessity and importance of obtaining flood insurance is becoming even more essential.

Governor Hogan’s Administration is joining forces with the Maryland Department of the Environment, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, the Maryland Insurance Administration, the Maryland Department of Planning, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Maryland Department of Transportation, the Maryland Environmental Service, the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, and the Maryland Association of Floodplain and Stormwater Managers in an effort to encourage residents of Maryland to learn more about the various flood hazards they could face.

Maryland’s bays and tributaries are subject to flooding after either short periods of heavy rain or prolonged steady rain. Additionally, hurricanes and tropical storms can cause tidal flooding.

Flood Insurance is offered through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), not specifically though any particular insurance carrier or provider. Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover flood insurance; it needs to be purchased separately. It is important to note that flood insurance policies can be purchased from an insurance carrier under contract with FEMA.

You may be wondering what exactly is covered under a flood insurance policy. If disaster strikes and your home is flooded, it can help cover: your home and its foundation, your electrical and plumbing systems, air conditioning equipment, furnaces and heaters, appliances i.e. washers and dryers, refrigerators and stoves. It can also cover damage to your personal possessions like your clothing, furniture and electronic equipment. Under a typical flood insurance policy, your personal property is only covered on an actual cash value basis. The maximum coverage amount for a flood insurance policy is $250,000 for the structure of the home and $100,000 for the contents of the home.

When you buy a flood insurance policy, it is also important to remember that there is a waiting period of 30 days before your flood policy takes effect. Do not wait until you need it to get it.

Without a flood insurance policy, relief from damage caused by flooding usually comes in the form of loans. If your area is deemed a disaster area, the federal government may provide no-interest or low-interest loans as an effort to assist in the recovery process. You are still responsible for paying these loans back out of your own pocket. Having a flood insurance policy in place just in case a disaster strikes could protect you against possible financial ruin.

As stated earlier, there is a waiting period of 30 days before a flood insurance policy goes into effect, so it is best to get the ball rolling towards obtaining a policy sooner rather than later.



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