Blog Archives

Tips to help you find your dream vehicle.

A car of your own means freedom to go wherever you please. Buying a car is an exciting time of your life, but this often requires some thought beforehand. Check out these tips to help guide you through the process of buying the right car for your needs.

Determine what you are looking for. Before you start your car search, assess what you want and need. Do you have three kids with lots of school supplies? Do you drive in the city and need a small vehicle to park in tight spaces? Do you have a lengthy commute that eats up gas? Ensure you consider how your vehicle must fit your lifestyle.

Set a budget. Buying a car is expensive. Establish a budget so that you know what you can afford, and so that you can look for cars within that budget. Now is a good time to decide if you want to buy a used or new car, too, since there may be a significant price difference between the two. Do not forget to factor in maintenance, tax, and insurance costs.

Do your homework. Once you know what you want and how much you can afford, it is wise to do a little research. Check out a few comparable vehicles and look at their features, consumer ratings, crash test ratings, and other useful information. You can then compare vehicles to narrow down your search.

Head to the dealership. Once you have found what you are looking for, it is time to take it for a spin! A test drive can determine if a vehicle is right for you or not. Once you have made your decision, you can move forward in the car-buying process.

Secure reliable auto insurance for your needs and new car! Talk to the team at Mayer Insurance to find out how to get affordable and quality auto insurance.

Here is what to consider before securing a boat insurance policy.

Before you set out on your next sailing adventure, you will want to be sure that you have the proper and adequate boat insurance. Whether you are shopping for a new policy or considering switching insurers, here are a few questions to ask your insurance agent.

Agreed value or actual cash value?
Agreed value means that your insurer, in the case of a total loss, will cover the total value you agreed upon when you insured your boat. On the other hand, cash value takes into account depreciation and the effects of wear and tear over time to determine a total loss payout. While agreed value is often better coverage for the boat owner, the premiums may be higher than those of actual cash value. Work with your insurer to determine what is right for your financial needs.

What about standard coverages?
In general, you will want boat insurance to cover liability for medical care and property costs for other boaters and boat owners if you are at fault for an accident on the water. You may also want to consider medical payments coverage that includes you and your passengers, regardless of who is at fault. Uninsured/underinsured coverage also helps to pay for medical treatment, lost wages, and other costs if you are hit by a boater who has too little or no insurance. Ensure that you have financial protection against financial loss if your boat is stolen, too.

How can I protect my gear?
There are several ways to protect your gear! You can look for personal effects coverage for property such as scuba diving attire, unattached equipment for items like deck chairs, and physical damage coverage for personal effects. Keep in mind that it is worth knowing how much all of your equipment is worth so you can purchase enough coverage.

Take the time now to review or secure your boat insurance to determine if it will see you through the summer and beyond. Visit the team at Mayer Insurance to get started on securing reliable auto insurance in Apple Valley, Minnesota.

Things to go to celebrate your mom this Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day only comes once a year, so we must make the most of it by showing our mothers how much they really mean to us. To most of us, our mothers are super moms. They are patient, caring, and love us unconditionally, despite our faults. This year, treat your mom to something special. Here are a few ways you can celebrate the special lady in your life.

  • Start with flowers – Almost every lady appreciates flowers, because the act of giving a bouquet of beautiful flowers is so sweet. You can show your love to your mom by giving her flowers that match her personality.
  • Do the chores for her – Houses can take a lot of upkeep. Why not relieve your mom’s chore load a bit by doing some chores for her? Instruct her to sit down, relax, and let you handle the cleaning.
  • Cook for her – Even though there is nothing quite like mom’s cooking, reverse roles on this day by cooking her favorite meal. She will definitely be full (of happiness) afterwards.
  • Take her to the spa – Moms are so busy doing everything for everyone else that they often forget about themselves. Treat your mom to a pamper day at the spa to ensure she relaxes.
  • Buy her a gift – Make sure you know she will love it! Jewelry is usually a good choice, but consider her tastes and your pocketbook before committing to an expensive purchase.
  • Spend a day with her – Spend a day together, and she will treasure the moment. You might just watch movies and catch up all day, or you might grab some lunch and take her out shopping. Either way, this would mean a lot to her!

How are you spending Mother’s Day? Remember to visit the team at Mayer Insurance to get started on securing reliable insurance coverage in Apple Valley, Minnesota.

Here is what renters insurance can cover.

It is common for renters to believe that they do not need renters insurance. After all, they may think that they do not have a lot of belongings, or that what they do have is easily replaceable. However, renters insurance can do a lot more than just protect possessions. Securing this type of coverage is important to protect your finances as well as your belongings. Here are some other things renters insurance can cover.

Loss of Use
What would you do if a fire or other disaster forced you out of your home? You would have to find a temporary place to stay, possibly for weeks or months while your rental property was being evaluated and repaired. The expenses of a hotel room, restaurant meals, and gas for a further commute can quickly add up. Renters insurance can help to cover these costs and additional expenses associated with you losing the use of your rental property.

Personal Liability Protection
If someone trips and injures himself or herself on your rental property, they could sue you. Similarly, if your dog bites a guest, they might file suit, too. As a result, you could be looking at covering their medical costs and a sky-high bill from a lawyer. Renters insurance can help cover legal expenses and even judgments against you.

Personal Property Coverage
Take a look around your property. Do you have any valuables lying around? Jewelry, heirlooms, musical equipment, antiques, or sports equipment? You may need additional coverage if you have items of high value. Imagine how much it would be to replace every item, including big-ticket items, and it is probably a higher number than you thought! That is why renters insurance is so important.

Skip the search of finding the right renters insurance policy for your needs, visit the team at Mayer Insurance in Apple Valley, Minnesota to get started on your tailored coverage today.

Poor credit can impact your life insurance rates.

Life insurance is one of those policies that most people can’t afford to skip out on. Since coverage is designed to ensure your loved ones are provided for financially when you are no longer around, it is a selfless and caring policy to secure. Along with your health history, insurers look at a multitude of factors when determining your life insurance rate. One of these factors is credit history. Before you apply for a life insurance policy, it is wise to take a look at your credit report.

Your credit history gives insurers a snapshot of how well you have managed your finances. Insurance companies tend to look for red flags that indicate you are too much of a risk to insure. After all, they are looking at your profile to determine how much risk you pose so that they can match premiums accordingly. If you have a lot of debt or you have missed several credit card payments, it could signal that you are not on top of your finances. Generally, bad credit will not hurt your chances of qualifying for life insurance, though.

While late payments can be detrimental to your score, some things – such as charge-offs, accounts in collection status, bankruptcy, and foreclosure – can do even more damage. If you have any of these delinquencies on your credit report, you could expect to pay higher premiums overall.

It is possible that bad credit is the result of errors on your report, rather than poor money choices. Before you start shopping for life insurance, it is best to take a look at each of your credit reports to check that there are no errors and inaccuracies.

Ensure that you leave your family with the right support by securing reliable life insurance. Contact the team at Mayer Insurance in Apple Valley, Minnesota to get started on your tailored coverage today.

Environmentally-friendly hacks for around the home.

We all love the environment. It keeps us alive and healthy, after all! So, shouldn’t we treat it with the respect it deserves by making our homes more eco-friendly? Since Earth Day is coming up (April 22), now is the perfect time to adopt some greener practices in your household.

Turn Off Appliances

You can save energy (and money!) every year by turning off appliances rather than leaving them on standby mode. For example, don’t let the shower run before you step into it, turn off lights when you’re not in the room, and turn off appliances when not in use.

Use Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

Many cleaners are filled with harsh and toxic chemicals for humans and the planet. Opt for eco-friendly, non-toxic cleaners, from kitchen sprays to dishwashing detergents to liquid soaps. There are many green brands available at major supermarkets, or you can choose to make your own! These include baking soda – a great all-purpose cleaner, polisher, and fungicide – white vinegar for window cleaning and grouting, and natural disinfectants like tea tree and citrus oils.

Cut Back on Plastic

Plastic takes thousands of years to decompose and, during that time, causes major harm to wildlife and the environment. Currently, plastic is floating in the oceans and dominating landfill sites. Aim to cut back on your use on plastic by using reusable bags, bottles, and mugs.

Grow Your Own

Grow your own salad greens, vegetables, and herbs without using toxic pesticides or chemical fertilizer. Instead, purchase organic and earth-friendly garden products from your local garden center.

Let us know how you are celebrating Earth Day! Visit the team at Mayer Insurance for all of your insurance needs throughout the spring season and beyond.

How small businesses can benefit from an umbrella policy.

As a small business, it can be tricky to know what insurance coverages you need. After all, you may not have hundreds of employees or millions of customers. Even so, your small business is open to a whole host of risks that you may not see as issues. Many small business owners believe that umbrella insurance is for large businesses with more risks. Generally, umbrella insurance is for any business whose risks are great enough.

The function of a commercial umbrella insurance policy is to extend your liability coverage. If a claim exhausts your general liability policy, for example, you will be left to pay the remaining costs. With umbrella insurance, your policy will step in to help cover the costs. Here are a few good reasons why small businesses need umbrella insurance:

  • It can save you money. Raising the limits of your individual liability policies means your premiums will likely increase, too. With an umbrella policy, you can benefit from added coverage without raising individual limits and incurring higher premiums. Umbrella insurance is affordable for each business and is available in $1 million increments.
  • It may be necessary to meet a contractor’s insurance requirements. If you work with wealthy clients or big businesses, they usually want a little assurance that you have safeguards in place. You can fill any limit gap between what policies you have and what they want with an umbrella insurance policy.
  • It gives you peace of mind. Unexpected things happen all the time. Work-related car accidents, slips and falls, and other incidents can cost a business big. That kind of liability can be enough to ruin a small business, but if you have umbrella insurance, you have the financial flexibility to handle it all.

Are you ready to get started on your necessary commercial umbrella insurance? For the protection your business needs, contact Mayer Insurance in Apple Valley.

How are you celebrating International Women’s Day?

It is not just the start of spring we are celebrating in March – the 8th of the month marks International Women’s Day. This is a day dedicated to the development and celebration of women across the world. Many people across the globe celebrate the special and influential women in their lives with notes and gifts.

The holiday has political roots, having gotten its start as a Socialist event, but its focus has expanded since the first International Women’s Day in 1911. Women of all ages, backgrounds, and achievements should be celebrated today! Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can make the special lady in your life feel celebrated.

Send cards to the favorite ladies in your life. It could be your mom, significant other, best friend, sister, or old mentor! Who doesn’t love getting an unexpected card in the mail? Let her know that you are thinking of her and truly value her.

Support women of the future. Donate to or get involved with an organization that supports and inspires the younger generation of women. Look for a non-profit in your area that helps women of all ages to achieve the best in life.

Promote women. Use your social media platforms to highlight the special women in your life and encourage others to do the same.

Connect in person. Today is a great excuse to see the women you love. Get your favorite women together at a bar or café and ask each of them to bring a friend. This is a great way to expand your network and social circle.

How will you celebrate today? The team at Mayer Insurance wishes you a happy Women’s Day. For all of your insurance needs, contact us today.

Know what to do with your life insurance when going through a divorce.

Anyone who has been through a divorce will know that it can get messy separating joint assets. While it can be challenging and stressful, it is important to do to ensure both sides are properly valued and protected. As part of the discussion about how to divide property and investments, it is important to consider how divorce might affect your life insurance policies.

Most married people with life insurance list their spouse as the primary beneficiary. The purpose of life insurance is to protect those closest to you from financial hardship if you die or if your income is lost. Having your spouse as your beneficiary ensures that he or she can keep paying the mortgage and meeting financial obligations.

In the case of divorce, there is a good change you will not want your ex-spouse profiting from your death. If no children are involved, it may be wise to remove him or her from your policy altogether. The easiest way to change your beneficiary after the divorce is to contact your life insurance agent.

If there are children involved, more care is needed. Many divorced people become the sole responsibility for the care and upbringing of their children. When this happens, it is important to have an emergency plan in place. As a single parent, you need adequate life insurance to protect your children, should something happen to you or your income.

When planning your revised financial future, keep in mind that life insurance can be one important way to help protect your family’s financial security. Both divorce and remarriage may impact your life insurance planning.

Ensure that you leave your loved ones with the right support by securing reliable life insurance. Contact the team at Mayer Insurance in Apple Valley, Minnesota to get started on your tailored coverage today.

Understanding your home insurance policy coverage.

You probably already know the importance of investing in homeowners insurance, but unless you have read the fine print, do you really know what is covered? You may know the basics, but check out these surprising covers you may not have been aware of.

Cleaning up messes thieves leave behind. Depending on the severity, you may just do it yourself. However, if your home is broken into and thieves completely wreck the place, causing damage while stealing, your homeowners insurance is likely to cover this.

Medical bills for guests injured on your property. One of the major perks of homeownership is being able to have plenty of people over. However, entertaining company can have its own pitfalls including guests tripping, falling, and injuring themselves. Home insurance can help with medical expenses if a guest gets hurt while on your property (even if it was entirely due to their clumsiness).

Your trees, plans, and grass. If someone drives through your front lawn and damages your yard, your home insurance can help you to replace your trees, flowers, plants, and grass. While every form of coverage has its limit, this additional aid can help you restore your garden to its full glory.

Skip the search of finding the right homeowners insurance policy for your needs, visit the team at Mayer Insurance in Apple Valley, Minnesota to get started on your tailored coverage today.

Protecting your business with cyber liability insurance.

Computers can help make running a business much easier and smoother. However, it can also open the door to serious cyber security problems. If your business deals with any type of sensitive data, from bank account numbers to employees’ Social Security Numbers to credit card information, investing in the right cyber liability insurance policy is the best way to ensure that your company and clients stay safe.

Skilled hackers are now able to tap into devices within seconds, gaining instant access to sensitive data, emails, online bank accounts, employee records – the lot! The more you rely on your smartphone, tablet, and computers to store information digitally, the more vulnerable the data and your business.

One data breach can lead to thousands of dollars in damage. If you are a small business, just one data breach can be enough to financially ruin your business. If the data breach leads to a lawsuit, your business will be responsible for any court ordered settlements, legal fees, and any other costs that are associated with the lawsuit, which can easily reach thousands of dollars.

Along with any legal fees that are associated with the breach, you will also have to pay for notification costs to notify all of your customers that their personal information may be compromised, as well as credit monitoring services for all the customers. Data breaches can also cause a serious problem with your business’s image, which is best solved with a strong public relations team.

Does your business store important information online, have a digital business, or work in online retail? Contact Mayer Insurance for the right cyber liability insurance your business needs.

Make Your 2018 a Healthy and Happy One with These Habits

Now that it is February, many of us are into the swing of our New Year’s resolutions – or have already broken them. Whatever your situation, there are still ways to adopt healthy habits for the New Year to make it the best year yet. By making healthy, simple swaps, there is a greater chance that you will stick to them throughout the year.

Drink water first thing in the morning.
While you are waiting for your coffee to brew or the shower to heat up, get in the habit of drinking a glass of room-temperature water. As you sleep, your body loses hydration, because there is no longer any water coming in. After you wake up, it is important to rehydrate, as this is essential to maintain proper function for the day ahead.

Eat more vegetables and less processed foods, dairy, and meat.
It is no surprise that vegetables make their way onto everyone’s New Year’s resolution lists. Not only are vegetables full of vitamins and minerals, but they can also be delicious if prepared correctly. Work on cutting back on processed foods, meat, and dairy and increasing your intake of fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and plant-based protein.

Move more.
You may be getting in a full hour of exercise every day, but could you improve? Whether you live a sedentary lifestyle, work at a standing desk, or are always moving around, aim to improve your steps every day. It is easier than you think! Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park your car further away from the grocery store, and go for a brisk walk around the building on your lunch break. Easy!

Let us know what healthy habits you are taking on this year! Visit the team at Mayer Insurance for all of your insurance needs throughout the New Year and beyond.

How to Prepare Your Business for the Most Common Types of Insurance Claims

Protect Your Business from Insurance Claims

Common insurance claims for small businesses help us understand what parts of your business are most at risk. The smaller your business, the bigger the financial impact could be if you are sued or experience a loss that is not covered by your insurance policy. To help you understand where you need to improve your business’s protection, check out these common insurance claims.

Fire
One thing that is consistently a top concern for businesses is fire – After all, it can happen anywhere and at any time. The average cost of a fire claim is $35,000, with 10 percent of small business owners being affected. Check your policy to see if the claims settlement is replacement cost to cover items lost in the fire or whether it is actual cash value.

Reputational Harm
Claims that involve libel, slander, and violation of right of privacy are known as reputational harm and are the most expensive claims that businesses can experience. Luckily, you can prevent this from happening by requesting background checks on employees and vendors, having a professional look over your advertising copy, and having an emergency preparedness plan ready.

Visitor Injury or Damage
As soon as you open your doors to the public, it is your responsibility to keep them safe. If a visitor gets injured while on your premises, then that can lead to a bodily injury claim against your business. The most common form of bodily injury is slip and fall. There are ways to reduce the risk of this happening, such as having good lighting, ensuring all pathways are clear, placing floor mats inside doors, and ensuring all floors are dry.

Are you ready to get started on your needed commercial insurance? For the protection your business needs, contact Mayer Insurance in Apple Valley.

Understanding Why Your Auto Insurance Price Went Up

For good drivers, there is nothing more frustrating than getting a car insurance renewal and seeing the price go up when you have not filed any claims. The first question that always gets asked in this scenario is “Why?” If you are wondering what the answer is to this very question, consider these possibilities.

Changes in Your Policy
Even making a minor change to your policy can affect your premium. For example, if you recently moved to a different area, you may see a change in your premium price. This is because insurers are always looking for the average risk in locations. If you moved to an area which has a higher risk of filing claims, your insurance will reflect this rise in risk. Fortunately, if you move to a location where there are, on average, fewer claims, you may see your premium decrease.

Changes in Your Driving Record
Statistics show that an at-fault accident increases the odds that you will have another within the next three years. Many companies adjust insurance prices to reflect the added risk during this period of time, but you will typically pay far less in added premiums than it would cost to settle your claim without coverage.

Take the time now to review your auto insurance to determine if it still meets your needs and lifestyle. Visit the team at Mayer Insurance to get started on securing reliable auto insurance in Apple Valley, Minnesota.

Why You Need Renter’s Insurance

As a renter, you leave a lot of faith with your landlord to protect you and your belongings. You hope that in the event something does happen, your landlord will help you pay for your lost things. However, that is very unlikely. The best chance you have for replacing your items without forking out the cash yourself is to have renter’s insurance.

Unfortunately, millions of renters in America are without insurance. It is important to secure this protection to safeguard your assets so that, if a disaster does occur, you are not without coverage.

Protects Yourself and Belongings
Renter’s insurance not only covers your belongings, but yourself too. Coverage includes:

  • Personal possessions
  • Personal liability
  • Medical payments
  • Additional living expenses

If there was a fire, a visitor gets injured and sues, or you need to live elsewhere while your current apartment is being recovered, your renter’s insurance is there to back you up.

It Fills Coverage Gaps
Renter’s insurance can also fill gaps left by your other policies. For example, if you leave your laptop in your vehicle and it gets stolen, auto insurance will not cover items left in the vehicle, but your renter’s insurance can! In this case, your renter’s policy could help replace your stolen laptop.

It is Affordable
This type of coverage is cheaper than other policies and usually works out to a few cents a day! If you add it to your other existing policies, like an auto policy, you could save even more.

Skip the search of finding the right renter’s insurance policy for your needs, visit the team at Mayer Insurance in Apple Valley, Minnesota to get started on your tailored coverage today.

January is National Get Organized Month

It is easy to think about getting organized in the New Year, but it can be difficult to know where to start. Luckily, January is National Get Organized Month, and homeowners, businesses, and individuals across the nation are looking for ways to improve their organization skills. These tips can help you stay in control and prepared every day!

Leave your keys and phone in the same spot.
Leave your keys, cell phone, iPad, etc. in the same place every single time you walk through the door of your home. Have a spot in your entryway for these items so you are never running around late for work, wondering where you left them.

Utilize a task list.
There is a lot to be said for to-do lists. These lists help to keep us on track with our daily goals, as well as remind us to do the things we would have otherwise forgotten. Even if you are not a big list-maker and only jot down the big projects, look at it every day and cross off what you have completed.

Carry a small notepad.
Use this to write down items for your shopping list, errands, to-dos, and thoughts that pop into your mind that you will forget later on. This notepad can serve you well – it is endlessly portable, user-friendly, and never needs charging!

Prep your meals.
Write down a list of meals that you will eat for the week, and find time at the end or beginning of the week to prepare. Not only will this save you hours every evening, but it can save you money in the long run, as you will know exactly what you have in your kitchen cupboards.

Follow a routine.
Have a plan of what you need to get done and when you are going to check those action items off your to-do list. Sticking to a routine helps to automate tasks that need to get done, whether you dread them or not! Establishing a routine can help you to become more organized and even get more sleep by knowing that you have created good habits.

Feel confident that you have the right insurance policies. Visit the team at Mayer Insurance to get started on securing reliable coverage in Apple Valley, Minnesota.

What to Know About End-of-Life Medical Care

A living will, despite its name, is not at all like the wills that people use to leave property at their death. A living will is a document that lets people state their wishes for end-of-life medical care, in case they are unable to communicate their decisions. This document is important to consider when estate planning. It can give invaluable guidance to family members and healthcare professionals if a person cannot express his or her wishes.  Without it, family members and doctors are left to guess what a seriously ill person would prefer in terms of treatment.

There are three very important reasons why an individual should have a living will composed.

The hospital needs instructions on what to do. The living will informs the medical staff of the type of care to be given in the event of a medical emergency or death. Without it, the hospital staff will have no choice but to leave the life support systems on indefinitely. Even if you were covered by a health insurance policy, the costs would continue to grow. The family is then left to deal with this.

A final decision needs to be made. There are regrettably instances where a patient is unable to make or communicate decisions, and the life support systems cannot be turned off. Medical power of attorney is a group legal services benefit that is ordinarily drafted along with a living will. It assigns a given individual the authority to make the final decision in the event where it is unlikely that the patient will ever regain consciousness.

The family needs closure. The family can be left in a state of emotional limbo following a severe medical emergency with the possibility of death. This is a circumstance no family wants to have to endure. The living will can bring about necessary closure, so that the family can grieve and move on.

The long-term benefit of a living will is peace of mind in knowing that you will be taken care of according to your wishes. Ensure that you leave your family with the right support by securing reliable life insurance. Contact the team at Mayer Insurance in Apple Valley, Minnesota to get started on your tailored coverage today.

Improve Business Health and Culture

These days, almost every business implements a workplace wellness program. Smart business owners know that it is all about the employees, from product quality to customer relations. Their talents collectively influence how others experience and perceive your brand. In short, they make your business unique. This is why their health and wellness matter. Fostering a healthy work environment can improve employee productivity, reduce employer healthcare costs, and boost morale in the workplace.

Hold Walking Meetings – Get your employees on their feet for the next group meeting. Outside or inside, a couple of laps around the block or office help to get your employees moving, and may even spark some new creative ideas.

Fresh Fruit Fridays – A gesture as small as providing fresh fruit once a week is a simple but effective way to show employees that their health is important to the company.

Provide Water Stations – The health benefits of water are plenty – but are you providing any water? Promote this valuable resource by providing fresh, clean water, along with reusable cups in the staff room.

Hold Team Challenges – Find new ways to get your team active! Divide them into groups and ask each employee to track their steps for the week. Whichever team has the most combined steps receives a prize.

Order Healthy Catered Meals – Instead of opting for pizza or Chinese takeout once a month with the team, opt for a healthy lunch. Bring in fruit and vegetable platters, sandwiches, or healthy fare from a local catering company.

Offer Flexible Scheduling – Offer working hour flexibility to allow employees to pursue physical activity opportunities. This could be one of the more important steps your business takes to preventing employee burnout.

Be a Leader in Wellness – Take advantage of the fresh fruit and walking competition yourself! Without saying a word, you can promote wellness in your office – simply lead by example!

You can maintain a happy and healthy office with these tips – the kind of workplace that attracts top talent. For the protection your business needs, contact Mayer Insurance in Apple Valley.

Water Heater Maintenance Tips

A water heater is one of those appliances that we do not realize how much we rely on it until it is no longer working. They are generally ignored until there is a leak, or until you run out of hot water. Whether yours is gas or electric, they are generally very dependable and quiet. You can extend the life of your water heater by following these three easy steps.

Check the Temperature
Check your water heater thermostat setting. Turn the thermostat as low as it will go. This lowered setting will help to protect the tank from working too hard. In addition, it will draw in less energy to heat the water, helping you to save a few dollars!

Operate the Safety Valve
The temperature and pressure relief valve is critical to safety, as it prevents your water heater from becoming a bomb in your home. This simple yet important device should be inspected annually. Test it by lifting up on the lever, then let go and allow it to snap back. You should hear a rush of water as the valve allows some water to be released into the discharge piping. If you do not hear the water, contact your local plumber to change the valve.

Partially Flush It
Sediment and debris can accumulate at the bottom of the tank, wearing on the hot water heater’s efficiency. A partial flush works well, although a full heater tank draining and power flush is best. Talk to your plumber about completing this safely and correctly.

Skip the search of finding the right homeowners insurance policy for your needs, visit the team at Mayer Insurance in Apple Valley, Minnesota to get started on your tailored coverage today.

Safeguard your property while you are out of town.

Are you heading to a warmer climate this winter? Whether you are heading to the beach house for the end of the year or hitting the slopes, there are a few precautions to take to protect your home while you are away.

Clean the Fridge
Even if you are heading out of town for a week, take the time to eat/donate/throw away perishable food from your fridge. If you are leaving for a month or longer, consider turning off your fridge and emptying it entirely. Remember to give it a good clean so nothing can grow while you are away.

Drain the Pipes
Winter weather can wreak havoc on home pipes. Once they freeze, the water expands, causing the whole pipe to burst. Not only does this cause a destructive flood, but a costly one, too. If you live in an area that gets cold enough for pipes to freeze, ensure that you insulate them well. If possible, turn off the water supply, open all faucets, and drain the pipes of water.

Enlist the Help of a Friend
Ask a friend or trusted neighbor to check in on the house now and again. He or she can collect the mail, feed pets, water plants, and ensure all is well with the house. Do not chance leaving a key for them underneath the doormat. Give the key directly to him or her so that your home stays safe.

Turn Down the Heat
When no one is in the house, a setting of around 50 degrees is sufficient to keep the pipes running regularly to prevent them from freezing. If you are leaving pets or sensitive plants behind, adjust the temperature accordingly.

Unplug Appliances
Apart from the major appliances (oven, fridge, etc.), you should unplug all appliances and devices. Not only does this help to prevent a fire from occurring, but it can save you money, too!

Review Your Insurance
You might be on vacation, but criminals rarely take a season off. Ensure that your homeowners insurance policy has adequate coverage for theft and disasters so that you can enjoy the season away with peace of mind that you are protected.

Skip the search of finding the right homeowners insurance policy for your needs, visit the team at Mayer Insurance in Apple Valley, Minnesota to get started on your tailored coverage today.

Is your vehicle ready for winter roads?

Winter is full of excitement and festivities, from picking out the perfect tree to hosting family gatherings. What is not so great about the season is the cold, rain, and ice that can wreak havoc on your vehicle. Regardless of the season, it is important to keep your car in road-ready condition. In winter, it is absolutely essential.

The good news is that there are a number of things that you can do to ensure your vehicle is ready for unpredictable winter conditions.

Replace Worn Tires
Your tires are the only point of contact your vehicle has with the road, allowing movement and traction. It is important that your tires maintain good traction and tread throughout the season. Replacing worn tires can give your vehicle a better chance of sticking to the road in slippery and wet conditions.

Check Your Windshield Wipers
When it drizzles, do your wipers smear the droplets across the windshield? Worse still, do they rarely work? Now is the time to ensure that your wipers are in good condition. They are one of the few things that can improve your visibility when driving, so get them checked out (and replaced, if necessary) before the rain comes in.

Top Up Your Antifreeze
Remember to top up your car with antifreeze, which prevents the liquid in your radiator from freezing when the temperature dips below zero. Trust us, you do not want to forget this step – otherwise you may get stuck in the cold with a dead engine.

Test the Engine
Make sure that your battery is up for the cold weather challenge by making sure the terminals are clean and tightened. Keep in mind that you should replace the battery every three to four years. If you do not suspect your battery will survive the season, have a trained technician check it out.

Book Your Car for a Service
The best way to get your vehicle ready for the winter is to hand it off to the pros. Your local mechanic can top up the fluids, change the oil, inspect the brakes, tires, and battery, and advise you on necessary repairs before facing adverse winter weather.

Seasonal breakdowns and costly repairs can put a damper on the season of good cheer. Take the time now to ensure your vehicle is in tip-top condition and consider adding breakdown recovery onto your insurance policy. Visit the team at Mayer Insurance to get started on securing reliable auto insurance in Apple Valley, Minnesota.

Take action to prepare for disasters this season.

In many areas, winter storms are a scary reality for small businesses. Most business owners will not be singing “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow,” but hoping that severe weather stays well away from their business. Rightly so, since the threat of wind storms, blizzards, and ice storms can be a terrifying situation for all small businesses.

Preparing for a storm can save your business money by helping prevent structural damage, loss of revenue from unnecessary closures during repairs, and costly liability suits from preventable accidents. To make sure your small business is ready to take on the worst winter storms, read on.

Prepare your office building. Extreme weather storms can cause structural damage to your building. Typically, frozen pipes are the culprits, which then burst and allow water to seep indoors. Check your building carefully for drafts, leaks, and cracks, especially around the windows and doors. If possible, drain all exterior pipes so that the remaining liquid does not freeze and break the pipes. Additionally, add insulation to exposed pipes to help prevent the chill.

Establish and practice safety drills. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends running emergency drills before the bad weather hits. From evacuation routes, communications with employees, and running a business without phones, be sure that you know how to handle each situation.

Secure a generator. Keeping a reliable power source on hand is a safety precaution and a wise business move. If the power goes out, your office can rely on the generator to keep your business running – and turning a profit.

Keep everyone informed. Pay close attention to storm warnings, alerts, and updates. Have a plan to keep employees informed of office closures and further information. Now is the time to update and review your emergency plan, too.

Prepare for the worst. The fallout from winter storms can last for days and weeks. Because most small businesses cannot afford to be idling for that long, a business continuity plan is key. Ensure that this spells out how long you can keep your business afloat in the event of a disaster, how to communicate with vendors and clients, and how to set up temporary offices. You will also want to ensure that you know how to file insurance claims if your business has been badly hit.

A small investment in winter storm preparation for your small business can pay huge dividends when a blizzard hits. For the protection your business needs, contact Mayer Insurance in Apple Valley.

It is the season for giving, and there are so many ways to do it.

The holidays are not all about getting your hands on the latest iPhone. It is a time of giving, not just to those we love, but also to those less fortunate. A small gesture, token, or some time volunteered can make a huge difference. Whether you can spare a few dollars or a couple of hours, consider doing so during the festive season. If no charity or event comes to mind, here are some ways you can give back during the holidays.

Donate clutter to a charity shop.
Do you have old books, children’s clothes or toys lying around, unused? Take these down to your local charity shop so that they can be sold to keep funding the charity’s efforts.

Make cards for hospitalized kids.
Get your children involved and craft cards for kids who are in the hospital. This simple act of kindness takes almost no time at all, and it is sure to brighten up a child’s day. Make sure to write sweet messages inside and decorate them in glitter, stickers, and stamps. Drop them off at your local hospital to give children instant cheer.

Donate a Christmas tree to the troops.
Trees for Troops allows Americans to donate Christmas trees to a group of U.S. troops who are overseas during the holidays. Many tree lots participate in this program, so you can pick out the tree that you want to send to our country’s heroes. This gift also lets our troops know that they are not forgotten about during the holidays.

Donate food/toys/blankets to a pet rescue.
Do not let our animal friends be forgotten this season. Pick up a couple of extra food tins for pets while you are at the grocery store and drop them off at your local pet shelter. Toys, blankets, and leashes are often appreciated, too.

Donate to a cause instead of gifting.
Are you stuck on what to get the tricky person who has everything and does not want anything? Consider giving a donation in their name to a charity close to their heart instead of a present this year.

How will you give back during the holidays? The team at Mayer Insurance wishes you a happy holidays and time well spent giving. For all of your insurance needs, contact us today.

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