8 Summer Driving Tips

Written By Charlotte Insurance on August 29, 2016. It has 0 comments.

Summer is supposed to a time to relax and have fun with your family. The kids are out of school, and you’ve got places to go. You’re not the only one who’s out on the road this summer. All the extra cars and people can be a major hazard if you’re not prepared.

Whether you’re traveling, moving, or just trying to get to work this summer, check out these driving tips to keep you and your family safe while out on the road this summer.

  • Watch out for all the people. Runners, walkers, and kids playing outside are common in the summer thanks to the warm weather. They don’t always watch out for cars so you need to watch out for them.
  • Pay attention to people on bicycles and motorcycles. In the summer more people ride around on two wheels instead of four.
  • Use your visor and sunglasses to deal with the glare from the sun. Too much sun in your eyes means you won’t be able to watch out for kids playing or people on their bikes.
  • Watch for debris in the road, especially after a big thunderstorm. More people move in the summer, too, and unfortunately, things fall off the back of trucks all the time and end up in the middle of the road.
  • Keep your car in good shape. Tire blow outs aren’t good for you or anyone else on the road. Plus, if your car breaks down in the middle of the road, you and everyone else is more vulnerable to an accident.
  • Check your insurance coverage and policy limits. With more drivers on the road in the summer, the chance of an accident goes up. Don’t get caught without enough insurance.
  • Be patient. Teenagers and families are out on the road in force during the summer. Traffic can easily get congested. It’s easy to get frustrated at all the “crazy drivers” but that frustration could lead to an accident. Instead, take a deep breath and remember, summer won’t last forever.
  • If you’re traveling with your family this summer, remember to take your time and map your route as best you can. It’s hard to enjoy your time on the road if you’re busy making U-turns the whole time.

Don’t let the extra traffic get to you. Remember it’s better to take your time and stay calm when the roads are congested with people and cars.

Damaged Windshields – To Repair Or Replace?

Written By Charlotte Insurance on August 23, 2016. It has 0 comments.

Drive long enough, and your windshield will get hit with gravel, sand, salt, or even a bird with a bad sense of direction. The impact will most likely crack or chip your windshield.

The question most people ask is whether they should ignore the problem, repair their windshield or replace it. The one thing you don’t want to do is ignore cracks and chips in your windshield.

Many chips and cracks can be safely repaired by trained professionals. However, it’s important to know when you should consider replacing a damaged windshield instead. Either way, you need to take care of your windshield to stay safe out on the road.


Small cracks and chips in your windshield can usually be repaired instead of going through the time and expense of a full replacement. Most professional repair companies can repair chips that are as big as a quarter and cracks up to three inches long. The important thing to remember is to get the repair done quickly. The bump of a bad pothole or sudden braking can cause the crack or chip to spread past the point where repair is an option.

Many Charlotte auto insurance policies include windshield repair or replacement. If you need to repair your windshield, contact your insurance agent to find out how your policy handles repairs.


Windshield replacement is the more expensive option but may be necessary in some situations. If your insurance policy covers replacement, depending on your policy, you may have to pay your deductible and the rest should be covered under your policy. Always check with your agent to be sure.

There are several instances when a replacement is the only option.

  • Cracks or chips in the driver’s line of sight
  • More than three chips or cracks in the windshield
  • Damage at the edge of the windshield
  • Old windshields
  • Windshields covered with tiny pit marks from sand, gravel, or salt

Your ability to see clearly out of your windshield is something that should be taken seriously which means that sometimes, the only option is a replacement. It’s also important to know that the windshield of your car has important safety features. It’s made of three layers: glass, vinyl, glass. If you’re in an accident and the windshield shatters, the vinyl is what keeps the glass shards from going everywhere and causing more damage. Most windshields are also important for the structural integrity of your car. If not properly installed or weakened from too many cracks, the roof of your car could cave in on you in a bad accident.

Windshields are so important to your safety that you want to make sure only a professional company or dealership takes care of your windshield. Some companies will come to you, but they should all be licensed and insured with plenty of experience. Check reviews online and with the Better Business Bureau to make sure there are no major complaints against them.

If you need to know if your auto insurance covers windshield repair and replacement, contact us at Charlotte Insurance. We can help you understand your current policy or help you find one that fits your needs and your budget.

Boat Safety Tips

Written By Charlotte Insurance on August 15, 2016. It has 0 comments.

Warm weather, long days, and the open water – it’s all calling your name. You’re more than ready to take out the boat for a day of family fun, a party on the water, or a fishing trip with friends.

Before you hitch the boat up to take out, be sure to review these safety tips so the trip is a good one for everyone.

  1. Check the local weather before you leave and pay attention once you’re out on the water. Come back in if you see dark clouds, the winds get rough, or there’s a major drop in temperature.
  2. Before you leave, make sure you have everything you need like life jackets, air horns, flares, tools, fire extinguisher, and more. Use a checklist to help you remember everything you need to have onboard.
  3. Let someone know you’re on the water with a float plan. Make sure they have your name and contact information, the name and phone numbers of all passengers, the total number of passengers on the boat, your trip itinerary, and the types of communication and signal equipment onboard.
  4. Check the fuel levels before you leave and top off as necessary.
  5. Test your radio and communication equipment before you get on the water.
  6. Make sure all your lights work.
  7. Maintain a safe speed out on the water.
  8. Stay away from larger boats.
  9. Watch the water and stay alert for buoys, debris, and even wildlife.
  10. Everyone should wear life jackets, especially children.
  11. Don’t drink while you’re on the water. Your chance of an accident doubles when you consume alcohol.
  12. Remind everyone to stay seated while the boat is moving.
  13. Turn off the engine when everyone gets on and off the boat, especially when you’re ready to swim or do other fun water activities.

You worked too long and too hard to afford the luxury of a boat and the lifestyle that comes with it. Make sure your time with family and friends is fun for everyone by making safety a priority with all of your boating activities.

If you’ve got questions about your Charlotte boat insurance policy or you’re considering a new boat and want to know more about your insurance options, give us a call. We’ll help keep you and your family a little safer out on the water.

Road Trip Preparation Tips

Written By Charlotte Insurance on August 12, 2016. It has 0 comments.

Summer is almost over, and you want one last family vacation before the kids go back to school. An easy and affordable option, especially if you’re planning this at the last minute, is a road trip. Hop in your car, hit the open road, and see some of the sights.

Before you pile everyone into the car, make sure you prepare first. This way your trip will be fun and enjoyable for everyone.


Even if it’s not due for an oil change, take it in to have the tires, brakes, and fluids checked. Make sure your windshield wipers and battery are all in good shape. Nothing derails a road trip like sitting on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck.


You’re taking your entire family, including the dog, on a long distance drive across state lines and over highways. Take a look at your Charlotte auto insurance policy or give your insurance agent a quick call to make sure you’ve got plenty of coverage. This is a good time to add roadside assistance or up your policy limits.


Assuming you’re not “going wherever the road takes you” for this trip, you’ll want to plan your route in advance. Your trip to Charleston will be long enough without the added time of turning around or getting lost. Know which way you’re headed before you start, even if you plan on using GPS to get you there.


There are all kinds of crazy diners, local specials, and truck stops along the interstates and highways on any road trip. But sometimes all you find is a lonely gas station in the middle of nowhere. As you’re mapping your route, get an idea of when and where you’ll eat and then pack snacks for those times when someone’s hungry and you can’t find a convenience store.


After your phone, battery chargers, clothes, and food, there will still be other things you’ll want to pack. Make sure you have a spare tire and tools if you get a flat. Throw a flashlight and first aid kit into the trunk in case of roadside emergencies. Bring games, pillows, and blankets for the kids.


Last of all, don’t forget to bring your patience on this trip. Road trips are fun but hectic. Between bathroom breaks every few minutes, bored passengers, and crazy drivers, there’s a lot going on. Take your time and try to relax. Remember, this is supposed to be fun.

Road trips make excellent vacations – as long as you’re prepared. Before you hit the road for your next trip, let Charlotte Insurance check your policy to make sure you’ve got enough coverage.

What Does Long Term Care Insurance Cover?

Written By Charlotte Insurance on August 10, 2016. It has 0 comments.

No one wants to admit they’re getting older and may need some help. Unable to live alone and take care of yourself, you might wonder if you’ll have to move in with your children or live in a nursing home. The cost alone may lower your options.

The best way to keep yourself from worrying about what you’ll do and how you’ll take care of yourself as you age, or if your health declines, is to prepare now. The sooner you can plan for your elder years, they better off you’ll be when they get here.

One thing to consider is how you’ll take care of yourself as you age. Can you afford to pay for a nursing home or have a full-time nurse in your home if you can’t live alone anymore? Most people can’t. That’s why there’s Charlotte long term care insurance (LTC).


Contrary to popular belief, Medicare won’t cover your non-medical needs if you need full-time care as you age. Long term care insurance will. This is the kind of care that helps you function in day-to-day life such as bathing, dressing, feeding yourself, preparing your meals, and more. LTC also helps you recover from surgery or illness. It’s best to buy coverage when you’re young and healthy, when costs will be lower. You also want to do it before you become ill because you can be denied for pre-existing medical conditions.


If medical care – doctor’s visits, hospital stays, and prescriptions – aren’t covered, you’re probably wondering why you need it. Take a look at what is covered by long term care insurance.

  • Home health care
  • Adult day care/service centers
  • Hospice
  • Respite care
  • Nursing homes
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Alzheimer’s care centers

Home health care covers nursing care and different types of therapy such as occupational, speech, physical, and rehabilitative. You’ll also receive personal care for dressing and bathing. Some policies include meal prep and housekeeping in conjunction with personal care assistance.

You might not get sick as you age but simply become more frail and need help. You may be diagnosed with something like cancer or Alzheimer’s long before you think you’ll be old enough to need a nursing home. That’s why it’s important to consider long term care insurance before you need it.

We all want to stay healthy and active for as long as possible. But anything can happen. It’s better to be prepared so that you know you’ll have access to care when you need it than it is to find yourself alone with no help when you’re least able to take care of yourself.

Securing your Home While on Vacation

Written By Charlotte Insurance on August 5, 2016. It has 0 comments.

When was the last time you went on a vacation and really unplugged? If you can’t remember, you may be overdue for some time away with family and friends. Whether it’s a cruise in the Caribbean or a whale-watching trip in Alaska, you deserve rest and relaxation.

Nothing ruins a great vacation like finding out someone broke into your home or that it was severely damaged while you were away.

Before you get on the road for your big adventure, make sure you secure your home using these tips.

  1. Make it look like someone is at home. A dark, empty house with no movement is a target for thieves. Ask a friend to come by or park in your driveway so there’s activity in your home.
  2. Stop your mail delivery or ask a friend/neighbor to check your mail so it doesn’t pile up in your mailbox.
  3. Put a light on a timer and schedule it to come on every so often. Lights that never go off are expensive on your electric bill and just as suspicious as a home with lights that never turn on.
  4. Keep your lawn trimmed and neat by hiring a landscaper or asking a friend or neighbor for help. A clean lawn will make people think there’s someone home to keep it up.
  5. Unplug electronics and appliances to prevent damage from power surges in bad storms or possible fire.
  6. Turn off the water to your sinks, the dishwasher, and the washing machine. This will help prevent flooding if a pipe bursts while you’re gone.
  7. Set your thermostat to higher than usual in summer or lower than usual in winter, but don’t turn it off completely. You don’t want extreme humidity and temperature changes to cause mold or damage your furniture and, in the winter, you want to prevent your pipes from freezing.
  8. Make sure your smoke detectors are working properly before you leave.
  9. Don’t announce your vacation plans in your outgoing voicemail or on social media. You never know who’s calling or watching you online. That vacation announcement on Facebook could be all the invitation a thief needs.
  10. Let the police know if you’ll be gone for more than a week. In many areas, they’ll add your home to their patrol if they know it will be empty for several days.

You can’t prevent every accident or theft but you can take steps to secure your home before you go on vacation. Just a few precautions before you leave will give you the peace of mind you need while you’re away.

4 Small Business Insurance Myths

Written By Charlotte Insurance on August 2, 2016. It has 0 comments.

As a small business owner, you’re constantly on the lookout for ways to save money, stretch a dollar, and increase your profits. We’re all for cutting out unnecessary expenses, but your insurance isn’t an area that you should skimp on.

Take a look at a few common small business insurance myths and make sure you understand exactly what kind of insurance coverage you do and don’t have.


If you drive your personal vehicle for business purposes and you get into an accident, two things will likely happen. Your personal auto insurance won’t cover the claim, and they might just drop your policy because you weren’t accurate in your explanation of how your vehicle was being used. As a small business owner, even if you’re a business of one, you need a commercial auto policy if you use your car for business purposes.


In most cases, a contract makes the terms of the agreement between you and the other party clear, including how disagreements will be handled. If you don’t meet the terms of the contract, whether due to a missed deadline or some other issue, your contract could be deemed void. Once that happens, you are definitely at risk of being sued.


Closing your business is an unfortunate outcome of many lawsuits, but it won’t protect you from paying a settlement, court costs, and any other fees associated with the lawsuit. It’s much better to have business insurance, at minimum a general liability policy, to protect you if you get sued.


If you think E&O (errors and omissions) insurance is unnecessary because all you do is give advice, think again. If someone uses your advice in their own business and damage occurs – physical or otherwise – you could be the one they blame. Not all the advice we give is good advice for everyone who hears it. A lawsuit you can’t afford isn’t the time to find out how costly your advice may be.

Regardless of how small your business is or what kind of business you run, you need business insurance. Contact us here at Charlotte Insurance, and let’s sit down to talk about your business. We’ll be able to help you determine which coverage will best protect you and your business.