Spring Forward with These 6 Simple Tips

Springtime is traditionally a time for renewal, a time for reevaluation and new starts. For a lot of people, that means spring cleaning, a new hairstyle and maybe a mad dash to the gym to get ready for the upcoming swimsuit season. But there many other areas of your life that need to be renewed as well. Here are a few ideas to help you get organized and “spring forward” this month:

  • wiseman march blogHave your car serviced. After a winter of cold, harsh weather, there’s a good chance your car could benefit from an oil change and tune up. Have the air conditioner and radiator serviced to make sure you and your car don’t overheat during summertime travel.
  • Give your house a deep cleaning. Help your house spring forward by paying attention to the areas of your home that are often overlooked during cleaning. Dust blinds and fan blades, deep clean carpets, and turn up your area rugs to clean under them. Clear out cabinets, and throw out expired medicines and spices that are a year old. Ditch the old cake mixes while you’re at it. Invest in some new, fresh bedding, and clean the old winter bedding before packing it away.
  • Inspect the outside of your home for winter damage. Check around your foundation for signs of pest infestation, including burrows, tunnels or cocoons. Inspect windows for loose or missing caulk, and check trim for flaking paint that can leave wood exposed. Make a checklist of areas that need attention once the weather warms up.
  • Clean up your yard. Rake your yard, and remove leaf litter and other debris, being careful not to uproot tender spring bulbs. Make a note of areas where grass appears sparse, and consider having your soil tested so you can make the adjustments your grass and other plants need to thrive. Also consider having your soil aerated, especially if it’s compacted. Have your mower serviced and blades sharpened and balanced now, before the spring rush.
  • See the dentist. Spring is a good time to schedule a checkup and cleaning that can help ward off gum disease, the leading cause of tooth loss among adults in the U.S. and a potential contributor to heart disease. While you’re in the chair, ask the hygienist for brushing and flossing tips to make sure you keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible.
  • Review your insurance to see if you need a policy update. Make sure your coverage is up to date and reflects the most recent upgrades to your property. Ask your insurance agent about discounts for auto or property features like security alarms or smoke detectors or safe driver programs. Scheduling an annual policy update ensures you have proper coverage and you’re not paying for coverage you don’t need.

Follow these six tips, and you’ll be ready to “spring forward” to the warm months of summer feeling more organized and more relaxed.

Looking for the Best Healthcare in the World? Start by Choosing the Best Healthcare Insurance

The deadline for open enrollment for health insurance is almost here, and that means if you haven’t yet selected your plan for 2015, you only have a couple of weeks – until February 15th – to get it done. Finding the policy that offers the best healthcare in the world for yourself and your loved ones is a tall order; after all, you want to be sure you have enough coverage and the right types of coverage to suit your needs, as well as the needs of anyone else on your policy. Choosing a family healthcare policy that provides inadequate coverage can leave you with some really steep medical bills, so if you plan on saving a few dollars on premiums by selecting a plan that offers only minimal benefits, you might want to reconsider your strategy.

Of course, it’s also not the best idea to choose a policy that comes fully equipped with all the “bells and whistles.” After all, you’ll be paying for all those coverage options, and you may wind up using only a small portion.

Ultimately, what you want is the best healthcare in the world for yourself and your loved ones. So when it comes to choosing family healthcare insurance, the key is balance. Select the options that are best for your medical needs without adding on a lot of extras that you probably won’t need.

Of course, sometimes that’s a task that’s often easier said than done, so here’s a quick list of tips to help you select your plan for 2015:

  • Log in to your account at HealthCare,gov to view your account from 2014 (or set up a new account if you didn’t have insurance under the Affordable Care Act last year).
  • Review last year’s coverage, and consider how you used your health insurance in 2014 – which benefits were important and which ones weren’t used at all?
  • Now have a look at the plans currently being offered that provide the coverage types you’ve identified as being important for you. Don’t just assume your policy from last year is the best fit; its terms may have change, or new programs may have been introduced that are a better fit or less costly.
  • Once you select your plan, call the company to confirm they’ve received your enrollment, and make sure you pay your premiums by their due date.

Still not sure what to do? We can help! At Wiseman Insurance, we understand the importance of choosing wisely. We work with carriers across the country, so we can offer our clients the best options for their specific healthcare needs. Give us a call today at 801-377-3060, or use our online contact form to let us help you find the right coverage so you can provide your family with the best healthcare in the world.

Snowmobile Safety for the Outdoor Enthusiast

Are you waiting for a fresh batch of powder to go out for a ride on your snowmobile?

Before you head out on the open terrain, there are a few things you can do to make sure that you are safe while out on your adventure in the snow. First, always wear safety equipment, including a helmet, goggles and protective clothing. If you aren’t dressed warm enough, you’ll want to cut your day out on the snowmobile short.

As you are driving your snowmobile, look for obstructions that may be in your way. Even if you are travelling on an established path, a recent storm could have knocked down branches that now block your way. Make sure that you can see far enough ahead of you to avoid coming up to obstacles too quickly. A defensive snowmobile driver is a smart one. IS of Wash, Wiseman

If you don’t know the area where you are driving your snowmobile, it’s best to go with a friend that is familiar with the land, as snow can cover up small ponds, rock formations and other potential hazards. While it may be cold out, a small pond may contain thin ice, and you could be in danger if you drive over thin ice without knowing it. Plan ahead, and be careful snowmobiling in areas you are not familiar with.

When you take your snowmobile out in the open country, you should know how to perform basic repairs on the machine. Bring with you basic tools, a spare belt and spark plugs, duct tape and a tow rope. If you get into mechanical trouble, it’s important to know how to fix the snowmobile. If the machine requires additional repair, a tow rope can be used by another snowmobile rider to bring you back into safety.

One of the most common problems that causes snowmobile accidents is drinking and driving. You need to be alert when driving a snowmobile, and alcohol doesn’t mix. Not only does alcohol lower your response times, but alcohol also stops you from feeling the effects of frostbite. You won’t know that you are experiencing problems from the cold until it is too late if you have been drinking.

When you enjoy outdoor activities this winter, remember to take safety precautions. Have fun in the outdoors, but make sure you are prepared for danger that can come your way.

We’ve Got Utah Local Events for the Holiday Season

Here at ISU-Wiseman Insurance, we plan to make the most of local events right here in Utah to celebrate the holiday season. These are some Utah events we have marked on our calendars, and we hope to share them with many members of the community:

Local Utah Events for the Holiday Season

  • Provo, UT: Enjoy the holiday art gallery at The Shops at Riverwoods from November 14 to December 31.
  • Orem, UT: Take your entire family to see A Christmas Carol at the Hale Center Theater from December, 1 to December, 23.
  • American Fork, UT: American Fork would like to remind everybody that November 29 is Small Business Saturday, a day to commemorate local small businesses.
  • Lindon, UT: Have fun at a dance party at Bright Night on December, 2 and help support a worthy women’s shelter at the same time.
  • Springville, UT: Take your kids to the library for a chance to check out books and meet Santa. The jolly old man will be there at special times during the month.
  • Spanish Fork, UT: Why not experience the Buckaroo Rodeo at the Spanish Fork Fairgrounds on December 20?
  • Lehi, UT: Visit with Santa’s Reindeer at Water Tower Plaza from November 28 to December 23.
  • Pleasant Grove, UT: Make sure you stop downtown to view the lighted Christmas tree and decorations.
  • Highland, UT: Highland City wants you to know that they are providing Christmas tree pickup after the holidays from January 6 through 14.
  • Alpine, UT: View the Living Nativity in Alpine from December 4 through December 8.  You can learn more and get tickets at AplineLivingNativity.org.

Wiseman, IS of WAAre you planning on attending any Utah events during December or January? We love attending local events because it gives us a chance to visit local businesses and meet other community members. If you have any favorites that we missed, we would be happy to hear about them!

We’d Love a Chance to Wish You a Joyous and Secure Holiday Season

If you plan to attend local events around Provo, stay home or travel further away, we wish you a secure and joyous holiday. As an independent and family-owned insurance agency in Provo, UT, we at ISU-Wiseman Insurance hope that we only hear good news. But we are always on the job in case you need help with an insurance claim or new coverage.

As always, we work hard to provide security for our local clients in the form of personal and business insurance. We welcome the chance to review your current policies and shop the market for the coverage that you need at a price that you can afford.

6 Tips for Safe Thanksgiving Day Travel

Like the song says, “there’s no place like home for the holidays,” and if you’re getting ready to head home – or someplace else – this Thanksgiving Day, you’ll be joining millions of others who see the long holiday weekend as the ideal time to hit the roads. Of course, the more people there are on the roads, the greater the chance of auto accidents, which is why the Thanksgiving holiday weekend is one of the most dangerous times of the year to travel. If you plan to travel this Thanksgiving Day, here are a few travel safety tips that can help ensure you enjoy happy holiday travel:Wiseman

  • Buckle up. Make sure everyone is wearing seat belts – driver and passengers – and that children are in approved child safety seats or booster seats. Also, make sure the safety or booster seat you’re using was designed to adequately support and protect your child according to his or her height and weight. Children under 13 should always ride in the back seat, no matter what.
  • Don’t drink and drive. Yes, you’ve heard it a million times, and maybe you think one drink won’t matter. But even a single drink can affect your reflexes and reaction times, and on extra-crowded roads, every split second counts. Have a designated driver, or simply stay put.
  • Don’t text or talk on the phone. Drivers who use electronic devices are much, much more likely to be involved in accidents, including fatal crashes. Turn your phone off, and if you use social media, consider sending a message to friends that lets them know not to text. Avoid other distractions as well, like eating, drinking or fixing makeup.
  • Watch out for big trucks. Large vehicles have fairly large blind spots, so stay well away from trucks, buses and other big vehicles. If you can’t see yourself in their side mirror, they can’t see you either, and truck drivers can also become distracted. To be safe, don’t follow too closely, and provide plenty of room for them to maneuver, including room to make sudden lane changes.
  • Watch the weather. If roads are slick or visibility is poor, drive slowly, or wait until weather and roads are clear for driving. Being late is better than being injured or worse.
  • More tips: Don’t tailgate. Leave plenty of braking distance, always use blinkers and check carefully before changing lanes. And never drive if you’re feeling tired.

Happy holiday travel means practicing simple tips that can help you and other drivers avoid crashes. Arriving safely at your destination means you’ll have something else to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Day. Happy holidays from Wiseman Insurance!

A Simple Home Maintenance Schedule for Winter Preparations

Each season comes with its own home maintenance schedule. As summer winds down and cools off into autumn, it’s time to take care of those winter preparation tasks. Tune up your home systems before the first freeze takes you by surprise. You don’t want to discover a problem with your furnace while the temperatures are rapidly dropping.

Hunt for Drafts

WisemanDrafts around leaky windows and doors waste the heat you pay to produce. A simple application of silicone caulk fills gaps, while soft foam weather-stripping seals the moving edges. It’s hard to find drafts by hand alone, so look for an inexpensive draft detection device at your local hardware store that measures minor temperature changes.

Inspect the Furnace

Walk around the exterior of the home, and check out the vents coming from the furnace. Remove any plant debris or insect nests blocking the flow of these outlets for fumes. Test the carbon monoxide detector next to your equipment so you know immediately when a leak develops. Call a service technician for a thorough cleaning to make sure the fuel nozzle and other important parts are in great shape. Change the furnace filter as part of your home maintenance schedule, as well.

Roof Reflection

Take a look at your roof from all angles. If you notice any sagging, sloping or missing shingles, your roof likely needs professional attention before winter arrives. You should also take a look at the roof sheathing from the inside. Head up to the attic, and bring along a flashlight. If you spot signs of damage to the roof rafters, such as splintering wood or bending beams, then you’re at risk for a roof collapse when snow starts accumulating. Secure any loose or sagging gutters before icicles get a chance to pull them off, too.

Protect Your Pipes

Preventing frozen pipes is an important part of every home maintenance schedule. Both metal and PVC pipes benefit from a layer of insulation. Simple foam tubes slide on over the plumbing to keep them from dipping below the freezing point. For faucets and pipes running outside the house, try heated insulation wrap that plugs into an electrical outlet.

Complete your fall home maintenance schedule during your next free weekend. Even if you don’t expect snow or freezing temperatures for another month or two in your area, you’ll enjoy more peace of mind knowing the maintenance is done. Update your home insurance policy with Wiseman Insurance if you’ve made any major changes to your house during the spring or summer.

Your Insurance Survival Kit for National Preparedness Month

The Center for Disease Control, or CDC, declared September as National Preparedness Month. The CDC and more than 3,000 national, regional and local organizations plan to support this effort by holding a variety of educational activities across the country. At ISU-Wiseman Insurance, we would also like to extend our support and urge our clients and community Wisemanto take this opportunity to learn more about emergency preparedness here in Provo, UT.

How Can You Prepare for the Unexpected?

The CDC says that there are four steps to take to get ready:

  • Get a Kit: Every household should have food, water and other supplies for at least 72 hours.
  • Make a Plan: If your family gets separated, make a plan to communicate and get back together after an emergency.
  • Stay Informed: Learn about steps to take during, before and after emergencies, and of course, make sure you stock a radio that runs on alternative power.
  • Get Involved: Make sure that your place of work and children’s schools also have disaster plans in place.

Ready.gov, a website from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has many resources to help you get ready. Here in Utah, the Utah Department of Health also runs a statewide emergency program called the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and Preparedness that coordinates the efforts of local heath providers and other responders.

We Can Help Prepare A Utah Insurance Survival Kit

According to Utah Valley Magazine, the top five likely disasters to hit home are earthquakes, floods, fires, landslides and avalanches. These disasters can occur at any time of year. Did you know that typical insurance policies cover fires, but they do not cover floods or land movement? To protect your property from earthquakes, landslides and floods, you might need separate land movement and flood insurance.

At Wiseman Insurance, here in Provo, our goal is to help each of our family, individual and commercial clients enjoy a secure future no matter what happens. Contact us to review your current coverage, and let us suggest a complete and affordable package of protection to ensure your financial security.