Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Distracted driving has always been a concern, but with smartphones and other digital distractions, most states have stepped to implement stricter laws related to texting while driving.
Why does it seem like driving is scarier nowadays than it has ever been? While driverless cars may be the future, right now too many people drive like they’re already in one. And the fact that vehicles today are equipped with so many bells and whistles, the dashboard looks like an Airbus A380 passenger airliner. That alone can be a distraction. Add smartphones to the picture, with their ever-present pings and dings, distracting drivers with something that usually can wait; but, too often the compulsion to respond wins out and distracted driving follows.
It’s an astonishing statistic that one in four car accidents in the U.S. are caused by texting while driving. Each year, thousands of injuries are caused by texting while driving and government statistics show there is a 400 percent greater likelihood for an accident when texting while driving.
Smartphones are not the only culprits. Eating, reading and applying makeup raises the chance of an accident 2-3 times. Daydreaming, believe it or not, is responsible for over 60 percent of distracted driving accidents. And let’s not forget the distraction provided by kids and pets. Taking your eyes off the road for even five seconds increases the odds of an accident.
Laws to curb distracted driving are getting tougher, thankfully. There are over 35 states which ban cell phone use by drivers in the age group of 18-21. There are 45 states, Texas being one of them, banning text messaging for all drivers. While fines for texting while driving vary from state to state, Alaska fines texting while driving lawbreakers with a $10,000 ticket.
Let’s face it, taking your eyes off the road (not to mention your mind) for even a moment can be disastrous. When you’re behind the wheel, you have the responsibility for your life and others. It’s a task that requires your full attention. You have a choice, so don’t take the risk. Be a conscientious, safe driver and you’ll get to your destination just as fast. You will also have much lower auto insurance rates.
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
If you take fishing seriously, then you’re probably ‘chompin’ at the bit’ to get out there on the water. How’s your boat insurance coverage?
It’s March and that means getting ready for some high stakes bass fishing in the Permian Basin area. If you’re a member of the Bass Club, you’re probably thinking about the fishing tournaments, the first of which is later this month.
If that’s the case, then getting your bass boat prepped and ready to go is a big priority. A major part of that preparation is making sure your boat insurance is up to date and covers what you need, including those tournaments. Your homeowner’s insurance may cover your boat up to a point, but there are some circumstances when it may not be enough.
Comprehensive coverage is best to protect your boat from vandalism, fire/flood, theft, personal property coverage for gear, uninsured boater and even roadside assistance, in case you have a breakdown and need a tow.
If you participate in fishing tournaments, you may want to talk with your agent about some of the special coverages that could include some of the following:
- Disappearing Deductible
- Consequential Damage Clause
- Fishing Equipment
- Protection & Indemnity (P&I)
- Medical Payments
- Tournament Fee Reimbursement
- Towing and Emergency Assistance
- Unlimited Trailering within the continental United States
Good safety protocol, along with the right insurance will protect you and your fishing crew from accidents. Everyone will have much more fun and much less worry. After all, isn’t the main reason you’re out there is to reel in that ‘big catch’?
Your independent insurance agent is your best bet if you want low rates and complete fishing boat coverage. Killebrew Insurance has been insuring watercraft for many years. In fact, a few of our customers have been big catchers in the past fishing competitions.
Give us a call or come by. We will get you outfitted with the insurance you need so you’re ready for the big day. Besides, we always enjoy a good fish story – large or small.
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Under certain circumstances, your fence may or (may not) be covered under your homeowner's insurance policy. Understand the details to be better prepared.
The fence around your property is usually covered under your homeowner's insurance policy under the "Other Structures" provisions. This normally only pertains to fences that service just the dwelling and not those that service acreage. Fences are covered at Actural Cash Value and for the perils on the policy.
If your fence needs repairs due to a flood or earthquake, be sure you have specific protection in your home policy. Your homeowner's insurance will not cover damage caused by mold, fungus, termites, or landscaping problems.
Trees can be a problem to fences if they fall over on them. If it is a healthy tree, your homeowner's usually covers it and it is likely tied to storm or wind damage. If on the other hand, the tree is already weak and declining due to age or negligence, a claim may be denied or noticeably reduced.
Stormy weather, tornadoes, and hail can wreak havoc on homes and fences. In most cases, your homeowner's insurance policy will cover the damage up to your coverage limits. Vandalism is usually covered, too.
Although unusual, this has been known to happen. Someone crashes their car into your fence. In this case, your homeowner's policy should cover the damages; however, you could save the possibility of your rates going up by filing a claim against the driver of the car. And if your homeowner's policy does not cover all the costs, filing a claim against the other driver can help meet the total costs.
Have a conversation with your independent insurance agent about your homeowner's insurance to be sure you are sufficiently covered. Asking the right questions in advance could save costly unexpected repairs down the road.
Killebrew Insurance has been insuring customers in the Permian Basin for more than 40 years. If you want answers you can trust, give us a call. Because we're independent, we can shop around for you to get the lowest rates. Call or come by. We're here to help.
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Killebrew Insurance Agency is looking for a positive individual to work in the Odessa office as an Insurance Service Representative.
Killebrew Insurance Agency is looking for a positive individual to work in the Odessa office as an Insurance Service Representative.
We have a busy, insurance agency! We are searching for a long-term employee who is not intimidated to talk with our clients, handle the phone and computer often and wants to grow with our agency.
If you're the right one for us you will:
- enjoy helping people
- take pride in your work
- think of insurance as more than just a job, and
- will be efficient, aggressive and thrive in our fast-paced environment.
Job duties include (but are not limited to):
- Determine customer requirements and expectations in order to help the customer identify specific products and solutions
- Review renewal business and identify appropriate follow-up action
- Cross-sell to existing customers
- Keep records of customer interactions and transactions - recording details of inquiries, complaints, and comments as well as actions taken on ourcomputer based management system .
- Multi-tasking: Able to successfully perform multiple priorities at any given time.
- Communication: Possess outstanding written and verbal communication skills.
- Must be able to work well with others
- You will be required to get your Texas insurance license.
- Prior knowledge of home and auto insurance a plus.
Job Hours: Full-time Monday - Friday 8:30 to 5:00
Salary: $12.00 to $15.00 /hour
Candidates must answer the following questions:
- How many years of Customer Service experience do you have?
- How many years of Insurance experience do you have?
- Are you in Odessa, TX?
- Do you have a Texas Insurance License?
If this is job is for you, email our office today to set up an interview. Info@killebrewagency.com
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Representing some of the biggest names in the insurance industry is an honor; when the industry recognizes you for outstanding work, that’s an even bigger honor.
If you’ve lived in Midland or Odessa very long you have probably heard of us. But you may not know the story behind our logo - the Killebrew windmill. Well, it all started on the Killebrew Ranch (originally known as the Hamilton Ranch) in 1889.
In 1944 W.N. Killebrew built the wooden windmill tower that still functions today. That windmill has become the Killebrew symbol, and it continues to serve the Permian Basin today. Just as Killebrew Insurance has done since 1974. Independent and hard-working, our family-owned business is very much a friendly, community neighbor, serving both personal and business insurance needs.
As Killebrew Insurance has grown over the past 44 years, so has our prominence within the insurance industry. As an independent agency, we have the advantage of shopping for the best rates for our clients, while maintaining good working relationships with all the insurance brands we represent.
In recognition of our work, Killebrew Insurance has been named one of Safeco’s Top Elite Agencies,as well as making the list for the Top 10 Agencies for Safeco. We are within the Central Region, which covers the six states of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, and Louisiana. We feel very honored by Safeco’s recognition.
Of course, without our customers, there would be no recognition, so we say, “Thank You”, to our many wonderful Killebrew Insurance customers for letting us serve your insurance needs.
Our goal is to always be here for you, no matter what kind of insurance you need. Whether it’s auto, boat, home, business or any number of other things; Killebrew Insurance is proud you have chosen our agency to serve you. The recognition we receive by the industry we represent is icing on the cake.
Contact us today, in person or online, and let us help you get the right insurance coverage at the best possible rates. Getting your insurance for everything in one place sure makes life a lot easier.
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Before you curl up in front of that warm, soothing fireplace, make sure you have done your due diligence.
What could be more comforting and even romantic than a crackling fireplace with glowing embers? But before you get the logs for your fireplace or woodstove ready to warm up the room, take the time to be sure everything is safe and in order. Here are some helpful tips to help keep you and your family safe and warm, and your home insurance premiums affordable.
Your Chimney. Your chimney’s cap must be intact to keep out critters and debris that can get caught in your chimney. If you don’t want to tackle the chore, hire a chimney pro to do the job. Just make sure the cap meets safety requirements.
A Chimney Sweep. A professional chimney sweep will clean your chimney and connectors and do a complete maintenance for insurance purposes. Most sweeps now provide monitors to let you make the final inspection once the chimney is clean.
Your Flashing. You don’t want water seeping into your house where your roof meets your chimney, so inspect the flashing each year. Flashing can be metal or a sealant that guards the bottom edge of a chimney and joins where it meets the roof.
Seasoned Wood is Best. Using seasoned wood rather than green wood keeps your fireplace free of creosote, which is flammable and clogs chimneys. It is found in green wood which has too much moisture in it. Wood that's been cut and stacked for at least six months is seasoned and recognizable by the deep cracks at the ends of the wood. Seasoned wood will burn cleanly and not clog your fireplace.
Your Fireplace Tools. A good set of iron fireplace tools will help you manage the flaming wood as it changes position during burning. A good poker, set of tongs, and a brush and shovel are usually part of a set.
Ash Bucket. Ashes can fool you because they burn for hours after the flame dies. Get a solidly built ash bucket with a lid that fits tightly.
Spark Guard. You don’t need one if you have a woodstove as they usually have sealed doors and dampers. But you do need a spark guard or screen for a fireplace, as sparks are prone to jump and can be a fire hazard.
Smoke Detectors. Even if you don’t have a fireplace or woodstove, you should still have smoke detectors. But for those who do have fireplaces or woodstoves, smoke detectors should be installed on all floors of your home. Use detectors that are carbon monoxide alarms, and make it a habit to check the batteries at regular intervals.
Contact your independent insurance agent to learn other ways to maximize your home insurance coverage. Give your home and family the love they deserve with great insurance coverage and safe home maintenance.
Thursday, February 8, 2018
Your boat is a valuable investment, so properly storing it for winter is a priority and certainly no easy task.
If you’re lucky, you get to use your boat year-round, but few people live in an area that provides such a luxury. Most boaters must think about putting the boat away for winter, certainly not an easy task, but if done properly, can save money in the long term. After all, your insurance probably won’t cover damages caused by neglect of lack of maintenance.
The most secure place for your boat in winter is out of the water and under cover, preferably in a storage area that is climate-controlled. If not, try for the driest place possible.
Depending on the type of boat you have makes a difference in how you winterize it. Here are some helpful tips for boats with inboard and outboard engines. If you’re a new boat owner, refer to your owner’s manual and as an extra precaution, ask a knowledgeable boat owner friend to give you some help.
First of all, run the engine to warm it up and change the oil while it is still warm, allowing the oil to drain more completely. Supply cooling water to the engine via the flushing port. Remove the oil filter and properly dispose of it. Refill the engine, check the level and check it again for leaks.
Next, flush the engine with non-toxic antifreeze using an intake hose to the water pump. Place the end of the hose in a bucket or bottle of antifreeze. Start the engine and allow the antifreeze to circulate until it starts to exit the exhaust. It’s a good idea to also change the transmission fluid. Take out the spark plugs and use "fogging oil" to spray into each cylinder. Wipe down the engine with a towel sprayed with some fogging oil.
Measure the remaining fuel in the tank and treat it with the correct amount of a fuel stabilizer. Flush the engine with fresh water using the flushing port located on the back of the engine. Start the engine and keep it running with the cowl removed, then spray fogging solution into the air intakes on the front of the engine.
While it’s still running, remove the fuel line from the engine and continue spraying fogging solution until the engine dies. It is important to run the engine with the fuel line removed to burn all fuel from the carburetors to prevent build-up of deposits from evaporated fuel.
Next apply water resistant grease to propeller shaft and threads. Then change the gear oil in the lower unit and lightly lubricate the exterior of the engine or polish with a good wax. Finally, wash the engine thoroughly with soap and water and rinse clean.
Before you say good-bye to your boat for the winter, remember to check with your independent insurance agent to find out about saving money on your boat insurance while your boat is not in use. You may be able to pay less or put your policy on hold until spring, when you get your boat back on the water.
Monday, January 29, 2018
Super Bowl parties will soon be happening all over the country and if you’re the host of one of them, be sure that your insurance coverage protects you in all the right places.
With all of the excitement about the approaching Super Bowl 51, it may seem like an odd time to think about reviewing your insurance coverage. But the fact is, if you’re planning a get-together for the big day, your insurance coverage is a smart thing to look over.
Super Bowl parties are an annual event for many people, but taking time to consider some of the risks is not usually a big item on the planning list. Here are some tips that will help you have a fun, safe, problem-free Super Bowl party, no matter which team wins.
Clear the walkways of snow, ice or debris
Slips and falls head the list for the most accidents, both at home and work. Not only on the outside, but think inside the house. You might want to rearrange your furniture to avoid any cords, throw rugs or such that might invite a fall. Also consider relocating any of your collectibles from the room where your guests will be watching the game.
Make a protected place for food and beverage
The last thing you want is to have red wine splatter on your antique oil painting or imported rug. Valuable fine art and memorabilia are usually not covered under a typical homeowner’s policy. Avoid out-of-pocket loss by planning ahead.
When people come into your home, drink alcohol, and cause damages, you, as the host, are responsible. Because alcohol can impair judgment, people are often not aware that they have had their limit.
If they back their car into another vehicle when leaving your party, that liability is theirs, not yours. However, this law varies from state to state, so be aware of the liability laws in your state. Any property damage is usually the host’s responsibility.
The same applies if a guest gets too ‘friendly’ after a few drinks. Sexual harassment can become the issue even though the bad behavior is not the fault of the host.
These are a few smart tips to be aware of, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have a great Super Bowl 51 party. Understanding your role as the host lets you plan in advance, speak with your independent insurance agent, and enjoy the party just as much as your guests.
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
If you are parking your classic car for the winter, make sure you have prepared it for its winter nap.
Whether you own a vintage, classic or sports car, the winter usually signals that time of year to put your prize in winter storage.
Many owners of classic cars agree that the harsh winter months can be harmful to their prize collections. Here are some helpful tips to consider when it's time for winter car storage:
If you have reasonably dry garage, that should work fine. If not, choose a dry building preferably with a concrete floor, never bare ground such as a barn. Climate control isn’t mandatory, but the facility should be as dry as possible.
Check your engine oil and if it is dirty, change it before you store it. Synthetic oil remains stable for one year in the engine. If you are storing your vehicle for more than a year, you will want to fog the engine, a process your mechanic understands.
Clean and Detail
It’s recommended that you wash and thoroughly clean your vehicle to eliminate any contaminants that might be left on the car’s surface while stored.
Once you have washed your car, take a drive to eliminate water from all the crevices. Add a stabilizer after filling up the gas tank and run the car so the stabilizer can sufficiently flow throughout the system. Check all the other fluid levels, as well, such as anti-freeze/coolant.
Once you arrive at your storage place, inflate the tires to the maximum PSI rating. This will keep the tires from getting flat spots. No need to remove modern radial tires nor is it recommended that you put the car on blocks. Make sure it is parked on a level surface
Allow air to circulate and prevent moisture from building up inside the car by leaving the window rolled down about an inch.
Newer cars need the battery to stay connected to safeguard the computer. There are different ideas about taking the battery out before storing. If you do remove the batter place it on a piece of wood and connect it to a battery maintainer.
To ensure rodents don’t find a way into your car, place a ball of steel wool in the exhaust pipe , laundry fabric sheets inside the car and moth balls around the outside.
It’s important to cover the vehicle with a quality, secure fitting cover that will still allow ventilation.
If you have a newer vehicle, you may want to cancel the liability and collision portion of your insurance which can save money during the time you are not driving the car. But be sure to keep comprehensive. Many classic car policies don’t allow temporary suspension on part of the coverage.
While some think it is a good idea to start the vehicle every few weeks during storage, it can actually be very bad for the car unless you’re going to take it for a drive. Condensation can build up and cause problems. It’s best to let your classic car rest through the winter and enjoy it all the more in the spring.
Monday, January 15, 2018
Venturing out on the road in wintery conditions can be risky, especially if your vehicle is not well-prepped and properly insured for the possible hazards.
Your car depends on you as much as you depend on your car, believe it or not. And when winter weather creeps up, especially in the form of three-foot snow falls and below zero temperatures, your car must be ready to handle it.
Depending on where you live makes a big difference for sure, but, even in Texas, the weather can change drastically overnight. All the more reason to make sure the coolant/anti-freeze is in the radiator, snow chains in the trunk (optional), blankets (in case you get stranded), windscreen de-icer at the ready, heater/defroster working well, windshield wipers in good working order, and the right amount of air in your tires. (keep that tire gauge in the glove box, too)
Of course, it goes without saying that your auto insurance policy should be current, covering everyone in the family who drives the vehicle. Give your friendly, independent insurance agent a call just to be sure everything is covered.
And let’s not forget about a survivor kit.
A survivor kit should include a flashlight, batteries, blanket, snacks, water, gloves, boots, jumper cables, road flairs and a first-aid kit.
Besides getting the car prepared for winter there are good driving tips to know when you’re driving on snow or ice.
- Start out slowly to get the feel of the road. Begin slowing down sooner than you normally would when turning or stopping.
- Your speed should correspond with conditions.
- When stopping, avoid moving the steering wheel much and gently pump the brakes.
- Maintain a safe distance between you and the car ahead of. A lot of fender-benders happen on icy streets because drivers don’t leave enough space.
- Watch for danger or slippery spots on bridges or shady spots even though the rest of the road is clear.
Common sense goes a long way when driving in snow and ice. If you can avoid being on the road when the winter weather wreaks havoc, do so. Your car won’t mind a bit.