January, 2022 | Boizelle Insurance Partnership

How to Drive in Snow Safely

  1. Drive Super Smoothly

When the roads are slick with snow or ice, your tires, naturally, have a harder time getting traction on the surface beneath them. Slow down and be gentle with your steering and your movements to ensure the stability and overall safety of yourself and your vehicle. Remember, easy does it.

  1. Look As Far Ahead As Possible

There may be situations you find yourself in that are slippery that also hinder your ability to see in front of you. In these particular cases, it’s essential that you take extreme care and caution while driving. If you can see, however, do your best to look as far down the road as possible. See what’s in front of you and what’s around you and anticipate. Driving more slowly will afford you more time to react in the event of a fallen tree or branch or if a rock jumps up and hits your windshield.

  1. Heed the Flashing Lights

When was the last time you paid attention to the little symbols in front of your steering wheel? These are indicators that illuminate when your car needs something. Basically, your car is sending you a signal saying, “Pay attention! I need some help!”! One symbol that you should pay particular attention to illustrates squiggly lines behind the outline of a car. When this light flashes, it means that the wheels of the car are slipping. It would serve you well to ease up on the accelerator if you ever see this. Once you do, your tires will regain their grip on the road, making it far less likely you will lose control of your car and cause a collision.

Additionally, if you are turning and you see a blinking light, this is what is known as the stability-control system telling you that the car is starting to slide from its intended path. To regain control of the situation, slowly ease up on the gas pedal. Do not accelerate around corners in town on slushy or snowy streets. Remember, it’s best to drive slowly and carefully in these conditions, so in case something happens suddenly, you’ll have plenty of time to react safely.

  1. Look Here!

If you ever feel your car beginning to slide or skid, always look to where you want to go, not to where your car is going in the given moment.

  1. Deal with the Skids

Whenever you feel your car sliding or skidding, do not slam on your brakes. For a front-wheel skid, where the front tires lose traction and the car turns in a wider arc than you expect, slowly ease off of the gas. When you do this, the front tires should regain their grip on the road surface.

If it’s your rear wheels skidding, turn your steering wheel in the same direction in which the rear of your vehicle is sliding. Gently ease off of the accelerator and do not brake. As your rear wheels regain their tread, steer your car back in the original direction.

  1. Use Your Anti-Lock Brakes This Way

Every new vehicle on the road today comes standard with an anti-lock-brake system (ABS). If you find yourself in a situation where your car is sliding and you cannot recover yourself, push the brake pedal down hard and do not let up. The computer system in your car that supplies the ABS will keep each wheel braking as aggressively as possible based on the available traction.

  1. Constantly Assess Your Traction

Before you do this, make sure there are no cars or objects within close range of your vehicle to ensure that you don’t get hit from behind.

  1. Beware of All-Wheel Drive

All-Wheel Drive vehicles can put you into a false sense of security as a driver, especially on slippery roads. It’s important to note that just because you are driving an all-wheel drive vehicle doesn’t mean you are protected in snowy or slushy weather conditions. Drive with the same amount of caution as you would driving any other type of vehicle.

  1. Change Your Tires to Winter Tires

Put simply, winter tires provide far more traction and tread on road surfaces than other tires. They perform best in the snow and slush, and even ice.

  1. Read the Road

When observing the road, shiny is bad. This typically means there’s either ice or water on the road surface. Slush behaves like deep water, making it far more difficult to gain proper traction on a road surface.

  1. Carry the Right Supplies

If you’re about to embark on any kind of road trip or extended period of time on the road, it’s important to have survival supplies and tools in case of an emergency. So, be sure to have a snow shovel in your car during winter. Salt is another good tool to have if you encounter slick surfaces.

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What Can I Expect to be Covered Under a Basic Auto Insurance Policy?

Depending on the state in which you live, you’ll be faced with different requirements regarding how much coverage you carry on your auto insurance policy. Although states around the country carry different requirements, there are some parts of auto policies that remain constant: bodily injury liability, personal injury protection, property damage liability, collision coverage, and comprehensive and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

Bodily Injury Liability

Bodily Injury Liability refers to any injuries you yourself (the policyholder) are responsible for. In other words, if you are deemed the at-fault party in an auto accident and the person or person in the other vehicle or vehicles sustain injuries, you may be responsible for paying for their medical care. 

Liability Insurance is one of the most important coverages you can purchase. This is due to the fact that serious accidents may involve serious injuries to one or more persons. You may end up being sued for large amounts of money, and your insurance policy will only cover you up to your own policy’s limits. This means that if any medical expenses exceed your limits, you are forced to cover the rest out of your own pocket. We recommend limits of $250,000 for Bodily Injuries and at least $100,000 for Property Damage. You don’t want injured parties coming after your home, your savings, or assets. Protect yourself.

Medical Payments or Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Any treatment for injuries sustained in the auto collision will be covered under this portion of your policy (up to your policy’s limits). This also includes medical payments, lost wages, and the cost of replacing services usually performed by the injured party. This coverage may also cover the cost of funerals.

Property Damage Liability

Any damage you cause to someone else’s property will be covered under this section of your auto insurance policy. This also includes drivers whom you give permission to drive your vehicle. In addition to a vehicle, this type of coverage may also cover trees, telephone poles, fences, buildings, or other structures you may strike with your vehicle.


This type of coverage covers costs for damage to your car resulting in a collision with another vehicle, or an object i.e. a tree or telephone pole. Damage from potholes is also covered under this category.

Although you are always responsible for paying your insurance deductible first, collision coverage will reimburse you for the costs to repair your car to its state before the collision occurred. If you are deemed not at fault in the accident, your insurance company will attempt to recover the amount they paid from the other party’s insurance company. If in this process, your insurance company is successful, you will also be reimbursed the amount of your deductible. 


Any losses due to theft or any damage caused by something other than a collision with another car or object will be covered here. Comprehensive coverage covers fires, falling objects, missiles, explosions, earthquakes, windstorms, hail, floods, vandalism, riots, malicious mischief, or contact with animals i.e. birds or deer. 

It is important to understand that comprehensive insurance coverage must be purchased separately from property damage.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

If you, a member of your family, or someone you deem a designated driver is hit by an uninsured motorist or someone who does not carry enough coverage to pay for the damages you sustained during an accident, if you have this type of coverage on your auto policy, your insurance company will handle the costs and then reimburse you. A hit-and-run situation also falls under this category, so if you are ever hit by someone who leaves the scene of the accident, you will be covered.

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What To Do When Your Tire Goes Flat

Being stuck on the side of the road due to a flat tire is one of the most dreadful situations a person may find themselves in. This is because you may be left exposed and unprotected from oncoming traffic or you’re stuck in an area with horrible cell phone reception, or it’s an area that is sparsely populated which means it will take a while before someone comes to your rescue. Sounds like a horror movie, doesn’t it?

For most people, services such as AAA provide the roadside-assistance that is needed in these situations. 

If you choose to change your tire yourself, make sure to read your owner’s manual first. It will tell you precisely which tools to use and how to use them, so you will ensure that your vehicle is not damaged during the tire-changing process. It’s good to practice at home a few times to make sure you’re performing all the steps properly. Plus, when you’re at home, you won’t have the added stress of oncoming traffic.

How to Change Your Car’s Tire

  • Make sure your car is placed on a flat surface. Being on solid ground will be helpful in using the jack safely. Carrying a small wooden board in the truck of your car can help provide a flat surface on which to change the tire. 
  • Turn on your hazard lights
  • Put your car in park. Also, Set the emergency brake.
  • Refer to your owner’s manual to quickly refresh yourself with the proper steps to change your tire. Remember, your safety is what’s most important here.
  • Get the spare tire, jack, and tools you need to perform the job. All of these tools should be in the truck or the cargo area. If you have a truck, minivan, or SUV, it’s possible that your spare tire is placed underneath the vehicle and will need to be lowered down.
  • Use a floor mat to make a more comfortable area upon which you can kneel while changing your tire.
  • If there is a wheel cover, remove it. 
  • Loosen but do not remove the lug nuts with the tire iron, turning counterclockwise. 
  • Jack up the car. Make sure the jack is positioned under the specific point of the vehicle’s body as what is stated in your owner’s manual. Follow the instructions very carefully because not doing so may damage your vehicle. Lift the side of the car until the flat tire is a few inches off the ground, then remove the lug nuts and the flat tire. 
  • Install the spare tire. Lightly tighten the lug nuts in a cross pattern, alternating across as if you’re drawing a star. 
  • Lower the jack and remove it from under the car.
  • Tighten the lug nuts firmly in a cross pattern motion.
  • Place the flat tire, jack, and tools in the car. 
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How to Protect Your Home From Brutal Winters

  1. Electrical Damage

During winter, it’s common to see a significant increase in energy use. Space heaters require a lot of energy in order to run properly and effectively. Be careful when using such devices if they are outdated or if your electrical system altogether is old. Space heaters may present a clear fire hazard if left unattended. Never use these devices for any other reasons other than those stated in the manufacturer’s instructions.

  1. Stress on your roof

During those bitterly cold, icy times of year, your roof may be pounded by significant amounts of snow and ice. Freezing temperatures contribute to the abuse your roof sustains. Additionally, condensation and ice dams are your roof’s nemesis. All of these factors put stress on your roof.

  1. Poor performing windows & doors

Whenever you’re faced with frigidly cold temperatures outside while keeping the inside of your home warm, the drastic differences in temperature tend to damage the caulk on your windows. When this happens, cold air is able to seep through cracks, thus defeating the whole purpose of keeping your home insulated and warm. In order to effectively repair caulked areas, wait for temperatures to rise a bit. This will ensure that the caulk cures the way it’s supposed to.

Harsh winters can inflict brutal damage to various areas of your home. When wood rots, you’re leaving an open invitation to termites as temperatures will increase come spring time. Once temperatures are warm enough, go ahead and proceed with repairing any damage with wood epoxy. You may want to consider replacing the whole door frame of the damage is severe.

To ensure that you won’t be experiencing cold air coming into your home, another way to solidly prevent this is by making sure your weatherstripping is in good condition. If you see any damage, replace it and you shouldn’t have a problem anymore.

  1. Freezing and damaged pipes

Frozen or bursting pipes can be one of the most costly insurance claims because of the severity of damage they can cause to your home.

You should seriously consider insulating your pipes with foam pipe insulation or heat tape BEFORE the cold weather comes. Every hose should be completely drained of water and disconnected. Make sure your water is turned off on any faucets that are outside your home. As far as your faucets inside your home and concerned, consider leaving a slight drip coming from each faucet to prevent freezing.

  1. Damage to steps & driveways

The good news is that many homeowners are proactive when it comes to prepping their driveways, sidewalks, and steps for the winter. Some place ice repellant on these areas before the freezing temperatures and snow storms hit. The bad news is that many chemicals used in these repellants have the ability to damage driveways and steps. This, in addition to your shovel, can cause cracks, chips, and loose bricks. Use a de-icing agent that doesn’t contain harsh chemicals if you want to prevent this from happening. Finally, if you don’t want to face snow and ice removal yourself, you can always hire a professional to do it for you.

Stay Proactive

The best way to prevent severe damage to your home and costly insurance claims is by taking necessary preventative measures. The sooner you take those measures, the better chance you have at protecting your home and your wallet.

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