Five Parts of an Insurance Policy

Five Parts of an Insurance Policy

Shield Insurance Agency Blog | May 19, 2023 | Insurance | Start a quote today!

Insurance policies can be complex and confusing, but understanding the different parts of a policy is essential to ensure that you have the right coverage for your needs. In this blog post, we will discuss the five parts of an insurance policy: premium, deductible, policy limits, exclusions, and riders.

1. Premium: The premium is the amount you pay for your insurance coverage. It is typically paid on a monthly or annual basis and is based on several factors, including your age, location, and the type of coverage you need. The premium is the cost of your insurance policy, and it is important to choose a premium that fits your budget.

2. Deductible: The deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in. For example, if you have a $500 deductible and your car is damaged in an accident that costs $1,000 to repair, you will pay $500, and your insurance company will pay the remaining $500. Choosing a higher deductible can lower your premium, but it also means you will pay more out of pocket if you need to file a claim.

3. Policy Limits: Policy limits are the maximum amount your insurance company will pay for a covered loss. For example, if you have a $100,000 policy limit for liability coverage and you are sued for $150,000, you will be responsible for paying the remaining $50,000. It is important to choose policy limits that are high enough to protect your assets in the event of a lawsuit.

4. Exclusions: Exclusions are specific situations or events that are not covered by your insurance policy. For example, if you have a homeowner’s insurance policy that excludes flood damage, you will not be covered if your home is damaged by a flood. It is important to read your policy carefully to understand what is and is not covered.

5. Riders – Additional coverage and options: Riders are additional coverage options that you can add to your insurance policy. For example, if you have a homeowner’s insurance policy that does not cover earthquake damage, you can add an earthquake rider to your policy for an additional cost. Riders can provide additional protection for specific situations that are not covered by your standard policy.

Does Your Insurance Meet Your Needs?

Understanding the different parts of an insurance policy is essential to ensure that you have the right coverage for your needs. It is important to review your policy regularly and make changes as needed to ensure that your coverage meets your current needs. If you have questions about your insurance policy or need help choosing the right coverage, contact your insurance agent for assistance.

At Shield Insurance Agency, we are committed to helping our clients find the right insurance coverage for their needs. Our experienced agents can help you understand the different parts of your insurance policy and make sure that you have the coverage you need to protect your assets and your family. Contact us today to learn more about our insurance products and services.

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How to Paint an Aluminum Boat

How to Paint an Aluminum Boat

Nationwide | December 07, 2022 | Aluminum Boat | Boat Insurance | Start A Quote Today!

Aluminum fishing boats and pontoon boats provide an affordable, fun way to explore the water. Records show 85,431 aluminum boats were registered in 2021 alone. [1]

Proper maintenance is key to making sure you can get ample enjoyment and use from it for years to come. To keep your aluminum boat in top condition, follow these tips for cleaning, polishing, and painting.

Clean and prepare your boat

Prior to polishing and painting your boat, make sure the surface is clean. Follow these steps to clean your aluminum boat:

1. Dry dock your aluminum boat

Pull your boat out of the water and prep a work area. This can be in a garage or a larger space that can get wet, such as a driveway or a dry-docking space at your local marina.

Elevate the boat off the ground in this workable space. If you need to use a sander or buffer, dry-dock your boat in an area where you have access to electricity.

2. Sand off loose paint and rust

If the boat has any rust, sand it off so you have a smooth surface. Depending on the sizes of the rusty patches, you might need a power sander and varying grit levels of sandpaper.

3. Wash the aluminum boat

You’ll want to clean all the grime and dust off. If you’ve waxed your boat previously, use a dewaxing solvent to remove traces of old wax. [2]

Mix mild soap and water in a spray bottle. Spray the boat and wipe it down with a sponge. This removes dirt but not hard stains. To remove tougher stains, mix a solution of 50% distilled vinegar and 50% warm water. Spray that mixture on the boat, let it sit for 60 seconds, and wipe it away.

Mild soap and vinegar are simple DIY solutions, but there are special cleaning products available too. Sometimes a stronger cleaner is necessary to remove oxidation. There are specific cleaners that can handle these dark patches, but they’re abrasive. Carefully follow the instructions on these products to keep yourself safe.

4. Rinse the boat

Grab a hose and rinse the cleaner from the boat. Be sure to use fresh water; you don’t want to use seawater or lake water. If you have the time, polish your boat once it’s dry.

Polish your boat

Follow these steps to polish your aluminum boat: [3]

1. Use aluminum boat polish

There are dozens of polishes on the market, but you need an aluminum-grade polish. You can also use an aluminum cleaner that can clean, polish, and protect your boat as an all-in-one option.

2. Apply the polish

To start, rub or paint the polish on the boat. You can do this by hand or with a power buffer. Polishing by hand can be rewarding, but it’s labor-intensive and can be more time-consuming. A power buffer can get the job done efficiently and quickly. However, you still might need to hand-buff nooks and crannies.

3. Work in small sections

Apply polish to small sections of the boat, working to completely cover each area before moving on to the next. Results should be instant as you work the polishing compound into the boat’s surface.

4. Check the boat

After applying the polish all over the boat, take a walk around it to make sure you haven’t missed any spots.

5. Let the polish dry

Let the polish dry completely, which usually takes 5 to 20 minutes. Be sure to check the instructions for your polish for the exact drying time. Wipe the boat down with a clean, dry cloth. [4]

Paint your aluminum boat

After your boat’s surface has been cleaned and polished it is ready to be painted. Plan for this project to take a few days. Follow these steps to paint an aluminum boat: [5]

1. Find a location for painting

Try to start this project when the weather forecast says there will be a few days of rain-free weather. Pick a work area that’s outside. It’s important that the work area is away from cars and buildings. Put a piece of plastic down to catch dripping paint. Elevate the boat so you have access to all areas of the hull.

2. Prepare the surface for paint

Before painting, remove rust, dirt, chipping paint, old wax and polish. Depending on the amount of rust present, you may need a power sander to create a smooth surface. Once you’ve removed rust, clean the boat by following the cleaning steps above.

3. Apply primer

Apply a self-etching, oil-based primer that sticks to aluminum surfaces. [6] Using a brush or a sprayer, apply a thin layer of primer inside the boat. Let it dry and then paint the outside. Let the primer dry overnight, or for at least 12 hours, before moving on to the painting process.

4. Apply aluminum boat paint

Choose a water-resistant marine paint that adheres to aluminum. Using a sprayer or brush, paint the inside of the boat first. Paint in horizontal strokes for an even coat. The inside coat should dry for around 12 hours before you paint the exterior. The outside coat needs to dry for the same amount of time. You may decide to add a second layer of paint to the boat for protection. If so, make sure the paint dries completely between applications.

5. Apply a clear coat

Once the painting is finished, apply a clear protective coat. This layer helps keep the paint intact and prevents scratches. Check the product label to determine how long this coat will need to cure before you put the boat in the water again.

A fresh layer of paint will help protect the exterior of your boat, but this is not the only way to protect it. Another component of caring for your boat is having boat insurance. Find out whether you need boat insurance before you put your boat in the water.

Frequently asked questions

Can you paint over old paint on an aluminum boat?

Painting over old paint on an aluminum boat is not advised; however, there are a few key things to consider if you do attempt it.

  1. What type of paint was the old paint? Will the new paint adhere or react to it?
  2. Is the old paint flaking or peeling? If so, the new paint won’t have a good surface to stick to.
  3. Are you planning on sanding the old paint surface or chemically preparing it for a fresh coat of paint?

If you know the paint types and there are no conflicts, it’s recommended that you sand the hull prior to painting so that the loose paint will flake off. [7]

Should you paint the bottom of an aluminum boat?

While many might think painting the bottom of your boat unnecessary, it’s actually an essential part of protecting your aluminum row boat from the elements. When choosing your bottom paint, make sure to pick one that is specifically designed for aluminum boats, as some bottom paints can cause corrosion on aluminum. In general, you’ll want to apply two coats for the best results. [8]

How to clean a painted aluminum boat

Maintaining your boat’s condition is important to keep it clean, especially for an aluminum boat, which can be easily damaged by dirt and algae. Follow the steps below to clean your painted aluminum boat:

  1. Remove the boat cover, motor, and any other large items
  2. Hose down the entire boat
  3. Scrub the hull with a smooth brush that won’t damage the paint
  4. Rinse the hull with clean water at a low pressure
  5. Dry the hull with a cloth
  6. Inspect the hull for any remaining dirt or debris
  7. Let the boat dry completely
  8. Wax the boat

Cleaning a painted aluminum boat isn’t difficult, but it does require special care. Avoid using harsh chemicals, and be sure to use the proper detergents and brushes. Waxing the boat will help create a barrier that will protect the paint from scratches and rust. [9]

Protect your boat

You have made this investment in your aluminum boat and carefully painted and cleaned it; now you need to protect it. Why? Boat insurance can be the difference between navigating a crisis peacefully and needing to pay tens of thousands of dollars if things go wrong. It could also protect against third-party liability for damage caused by you and your boat, which may be the bare minimum protection required to moor in your marina. Ultimately, boat insurance will give you peace of mind knowing you’re protected while you’re out on the water, no matter what occurs. [10]


[1] “The Glass is Still Half Full,” (July 18, 2022).

[2] “Polishing an Aluminum Boat [Guide],” (accessed Aug. 4, 2022).

[3] “Cleaning an Aluminum Boat with Vinegar,” (June 11, 2018). x

[4] “6 Steps to Painting Aluminum Boats,” (June 20, 2018).

[5] “How to Paint an Aluminum Jon Boat,” (accessed Aug. 4, 2022).

[6] “How to Paint a Boat,” (April 14, 2021).

[7] “How To Paint Over Your Aluminum Boat (Step-by-Step),” (accessed Aug. 4, 2022).

[8] “How to Apply Bottom Paint to an Aluminum Boat,” (accessed Aug. 4, 2022).

[9] “How To Clean Painted Aluminum Boat? Complete Guide,” (April 9, 2022).

[10] “Why Boat Insurance Is Important & How To Obtain It,” (accessed Aug. 4, 2022).


The information included here is designed for informational purposes only. It is not legal, tax, financial or any other sort of advice, nor is it a substitute for such advice. The information may not apply to your specific situation. We have tried to make sure the information is accurate, but it could be outdated or even inaccurate in parts. It is the reader’s responsibility to comply with any applicable local, state or federal regulations. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, its affiliates, and their employees make no warranties about the information nor guarantee of results, and they assume no liability in connection with the information provided. Nationwide and the Nationwide N and Eagle are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. © 2022 Nationwide and Shield Insurance Agency.

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Top Five Uses for a Trailer Hitch

Top Five Uses for a Trailer Hitch

Foremost | by Rachel Neva | Trailer Hitch | Auto Insurance | Click here to start a quote today!

A trailer hitch just might be the most inventive way to add more cargo space, value, and extra opportunities for fun to your vehicle. While some vehicles like trucks and SUVs may come with a factory-installed hitch or tow package, it’s very common for drivers to install a hitch or tow package to their vehicle as an after-market accessory.

Wondering what the difference between a hitch and a tow package is? Depending on what you plan to tow, you may need more than a standard hitch with a trailer ball attached to your vehicle. In addition to the tow hitch itself, a tow package (especially if it’s factory-installed) may include things like a wiring harness and circuitry to power the lights and accessories on a trailer, heavy-duty suspension and brakes to handle the extra weight, an enhanced engine and transmission cooling system, larger battery and alternator to help power your vehicle and what you’re towing with ease, and additional driver-assistance systems that can help with overall spatial awareness while towing.

Depending on what you’re towing and where you’re going, this article provides some helpful information if you’re deciding between a factory-installed tow package or an aftermarket tow package for your vehicle.

If you’re thinking about adding a hitch to your vehicle … here are our top five uses for a trailer hitch:

  • Hitch-mounted bike rack — If you like to hit the mountain bike trails, go on scenic family bike rides in your area, or take bikes along on family vacations, a hitch-mounted bike rack is an easy way to transport bicycles of all kinds. While this type of bike rack extends the overall length of your vehicle (something to be aware of when parking), loading and unloading bikes can be much easier than bike racks that are mounted on a vehicle’s roof.
  • Utility trailer — A small utility trailer can be ideal for many towing tasks such as hauling plants and supplies for a garden or landscape project (and any debris resulting) or moving large items that won’t fit in your vehicle, like furniture or appliances.
  • Travel trailer — From pop-up camper trailers to luxury, fifth-wheel travel trailers, there’s a camping travel trailer to fit almost every kind of person who enjoys camping and exploring the great outdoors.
  • Boat trailer — If you don’t live on a lake or body of water but want to take nearly any kind of boat — a small fishing boat, a ski or wake boat, a pontoon or sailboat – out on the water, you’ll need a trailer that’s specific to the boat. Unless you have a boat slip at a marina that offers haul-out and storage service, you’ll likely need a trailer for your boat at some point.
  • Off-road vehicle trailer — There are many types of off-road vehicle trailers from simple, utility-type trailers for things like ORVs and off-road motorcycles to enclosed cargo-type trailers for ORVs and snowmobiles. If you like to explore new trails on your ORV or snowmobile, you may want to invest in a trailer to haul them with you wherever you go.

If you add a trailer hitch to your vehicle and have questions about insuring the things that you’ll tow, give Shield Insurance A call to shop for coverages that can help you protect the things you tow.

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Four things you might not realize about boat insurance

Four things you might not realize about boat insurance

Boat Insurance | Start a quote Today!

Purchasing boat insurance is important for boat owners in Michigan. Shield Insurance Agency provides boat insurance policies that can cover your watercraft.

Before you buy boat insurance, it’s a good idea to spend some time researching how boat insurance works and what the different coverage options are.

The following are four things you might not realize about boat insurance.  

A boat insurance policy typically offers some coverage for belongings in your boat.

If you keep valuable items in your boat, these items can be covered up to a certain amount by your boat insurance policy.

Boat insurance is frequently required by marinas.

You aren’t required by law to have boat insurance in Michigan. However, boat owners often need coverage because it is a requirement of the marina they use to store their boats. 

Boat insurance policies specify a certain geographic area. 

Boat owners need to realize that they won’t be covered if they travel in their boat outside of the coverage region that’s specified by their policy. That’s why it’s important for boat owners to let their boat insurance provider know where they’ll be traveling with their boat when they buy their policy. 

A number of boat insurance policy add-ons are available.

When you buy a boat insurance policy, you may want to take advantage of various policy add-ons. Add-ons available for boat insurance policies include coverage for dock contract liabilities, ice and freezing issues, towing, boat trailers, and equipment like fishing tackle. 

Reach Out To Us

Do you have questions about boat insurance coverage in Michigan? Get in touch with us at Shield Insurance Agency to learn more about boat insurance coverage. Contact us today for a policy quote!

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Top eight towing mistakes people make

Top eight towing mistakes people make

The Foremost Creative Team | towing mistakes | Auto Insurance | Start a Quick Quote here!

The idea of hauling something huge behind your truck or SUV may sound like a fun adventure, but for those who aren’t familiar with the complexities of towing, it can actually be pretty intimidating! According to Complete Trailers LLC, there are eight common mistakes people make while towing. To avoid costly damages, read this list before you hitch and go:

Towing Mistakes: Overworking Your Engine

The number one towing mistake people make is overworking their tow vehicle. Overextending your vehicle can start a landslide of engine problems. This mistake could lead to a meltdown on the side of the road and potentially require a brand-new transmission. To avoid this, keep an eye on your pressure, temperature gauges, and exhaust gas temperature gauges.

Towing Mistakes: Weight Distribution Bars

If you don’t have your weight distribution bars set up right, you’re bound to have your vehicle and trailer bouncing from each other. Your ride will be bumpier than usual and the hitch and frame can be damaged from this too. And when it comes to weight distribution bars, bigger is not better. The bars with chains are tunable and come in various strengths and weights. If you properly load the correct bar size, they’ll be parallel to the trailer’s frame.

Towing Mistakes: Checking or Maintaining Brakes

Brakes are the most essential and overlooked safety system. Trailer brakes don’t self-adjust like the brakes on your tow vehicle. In fact, they must be manually adjusted by you. Additionally, trailer brakes wear out just like any other brake does, so be sure to check for wear and tear regularly.

Poorly Loaded Vehicles us a towing mistake

It’s crucial for safety and damage prevention to always put a balanced load on your trailer. Read up on weight restrictions and follow them closely because if you don’t, your tow vehicle won’t last very long.

Wrong Ball/Ball Mount

Make sure that you have the right ball and mount for your trailer. There are three different sizes of balls: 1 7/8 inches, 2 inches, and 2 5/16 inches — each with a different weight rating. Using the wrong mount or ball will pitch your trailer up or down on your axles and it also puts extra stress on your brakes and tires, which eventually reduces your braking ability. If you use multiple trailers, carry multiple mounts.

“Racing” While Towing

We know how exciting it is to get to a destination, but remember, slow and steady wins the race! Speeding up or down a grade is the last thing you want to do because it’ll ruin the longevity of your tow vehicle.

Low-Pressure Tires

If you maintain the right tire pressure on both your tow vehicle and trailer, you’ll have even tire wear, which means you’re less likely to have blowouts from overheating. This scenario is especially dangerous when it happens on your rear trailer tires, so make sure to pay special attention to them. Tires degrade more quickly when not in use. Before you hitch and go, remember to always inspect your tires and pressure.

Not Lubing Your Components

Like any well-oiled machine, taking preventative measures with your trailer and tow vehicle goes a long way. Axles and all pivot points where steel meets steel (or rubber bushings meet steel) should be greased.

Shield Insurance Agency wants you to travel and tow safely.

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Get Your Boat Ready for Spring

Get Your Boat Ready for Spring

Foremost | by Marrio Roberts Jr. | Boat | Boat Insurance | quoting portal

Springtime is here! The weather is beautiful, the water is inviting, and your boat is looking better now than when you first laid eyes on it. The only thing that would make your marine beauty even better is a gorgeous body of water underneath it. But not so fast…

Before you take your boat out on the water, complete the actions on this de-winterizing checklist created for you by Foremost® Insurance.*

  1. Check engine and fluid levels.
    To keep your boat running smoothly, remember to check engine and fluid levels. This includes engine oil, oil filters, power steering, coolant, and transmission fluid. If you didn’t change your engine oil, oil filter, and drive lubricants before winter, you can do this now. For everything else, check for any leaks and repair the source first. Once this is addressed, refill the fluids.
  2. Inspect your battery.
    If your vessel has been idle for a long period of time, it’s likely the battery is dead and will need to be recharged. Additionally, the water in the battery can freeze in the winter. When this happens, the water can expand and cause cracks in the battery creating irreversible damage. If there are no issues here, ensure that your battery is filled with the proper amount of water. Be certain to use distilled water and not tap water, which can diminish performance. Next, check for any corrosion and clean the battery with a mix of baking soda/distilled water. If you discover your battery is damaged beyond repair, replace it.
  3. Examine the boat’s exterior.
    When checking the exterior of your seagoing machine, look closely for any cracks and holes. Check all around the hull and underneath it. If you notice any damage, repair them immediately. Always remember: “boats don’t sink because of water around them, boats sink because of water that gets into them.”
  4. Check the belts.
    Lack of use during winter can cause belts to crack and break. This happens because of the stress and tension placed on the belts. If any belts are cracked, replace them. You will also need to replace your belt if it’s loose or if you notice black soot around the pulley.
  5. Examine fuel lines.
    The cold winter weather can cause damage to your watercraft’s fuel line. Damage to your fuel line can stop fuel from reaching the engine, and your boat won’t run. Be sure to check this when you pull your watercraft out in the spring. Pay close attention to your fuel hoses and replace them if you see any leaks. Replace any section of your fuel system that show any leaks, cracks, or structural damage.
  6. Inspect the sails (if applicable).
    Winter weather can cause considerable damage to your sails. Take note of the shape of your sails. If your sails don’t maintain proper form, you could have issues when boating in strong wind. Lookout for wear, chafing, and other structural damage. Inspect your bolt rope and replace it if it is fraying or weak. If your sails are damaged, replace them.

It is important that you perform each action in this checklist with as much attention to detail as possible. Properly de-winterizing your watercraft is crucial to your performance and safety out on the water.

*Please note: You should also follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for any other maintenance requirements not mentioned in this article.

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Tips on filing claims

Tips for effectively filing claims

Foremost Insurance | Ryker Huizinga | Filing Claims | Homeowners Insurance | Get A Quote

Experiencing a loss can be stressful, frustrating, and disheartening, but having insurance coverage will help alleviate the financial burden a loss can cause. The first step in restoring your property and moving forward is to determine if your policy provides coverage for the loss. To do this you need to file a claim with the insurer.

While the claims process isn’t something many eagerly look forward to, there are definitely ways you can make it a less stressful experience. To help you successfully navigate the process, here are several tips for effectively and efficiently filing claims.

Keep an inventory of all your insured possessions.

Be proactive! If you keep a written document of your possessions, it can help make the claims process much easier if you experience a loss. Go from room to room and record each item and its value to prepare an inventory. An easy way to do this is to take photos or videos of each room and all of the contents in the rooms. Consider keeping receipts with the purchase date and original cost for your records too, in case of total loss. Your inventory list should be consistently updated, which can be done easily if you record new items shortly after purchasing them. Pro Tip: Your inventory should be easily accessible. It is a good idea to keep a couple of copies of your inventory at different locations, with one location being off-premises in case of a total loss, like a fire.

Before filing claims reach out to your agent.

In the event of a potential claim, it’s best to contact your agent directly instead of the broader insurance provider. Your agent will be able to explain your options and advise on whether filing a claim is in your best interest. In some cases, your agent may even file the claim for you.

Report your loss promptly.

Always file your claim as soon as you possibly can. Of course, theft losses should be reported to the police first, and in other situations of danger and urgency, safety takes priority. But once it’s safe and reasonable to do so, you should contact your insurance agent. This is important because your policy might require you to make the notification within a certain amount of time. Not filing a claim within the time required in your policy may lead to a denial of the claim or may result in the claims process taking longer.

Be prepared for filing claims with the right information.

When you file your claim or make follow-up calls regarding the process, be sure to have the right information so your conversation is easier and more effective. Have your inventory list and the details of your loss, and keep the following information handy for your claims representative:

  • The customer’s name and address
  • The policy number
  • The date the loss happened
  • A description of what happened
  • A preferred telephone number for future contact

Provide complete, correct information.

Explain the situation accurately without downplaying or exaggerating your loss. Incorrect or incomplete information may cause complications and delays in processing the claim. Additionally, materially misrepresenting the facts of your loss may result in a loss of coverage.

Record important details from all correspondence.

While going through the claims process, be sure to write down important information from your phone conversations and in-person meetings with claims representatives and other contacts. This should include the time and date, as well as the name and title of the person you spoke with. This will help you stay organized and create records that may come in handy later.

Make appropriate emergency repairs.

If you’re dealing with property damage it may be necessary to make immediate emergency repairs to prevent additional damages, such as calling a plumber to repair a broken pipe. Your policy might cover the costs of these emergency repairs, so be sure to inquire about them when filing the claim. It is also important to take photos or even videos before making the repairs and save the receipts from all of the work that is done.

Ask questions about filing claims

Don’t be afraid to ask your claims representative for more information or clarification. The process will go much more smoothly if you are both on the same page and fully understand each other. For example, if there is a disagreement about the coverage of the claim, ask for the specific language in the policy that is in question to find out if it is a matter of differing interpretations.

Overall, it’s important to have patience because every insurance claim is different! Some may be completed quickly, while others may take a few weeks or even months to be resolved. You never know when problems will arise, but these tips can help you to effectively address the situations and smoothly navigate the claims process.

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Best Emergency Supplies to Have at the Ready

From Fire Starters to First Aid Kits, These Are the Best Emergency Supplies to Have at the Ready

Emergencies happen — be it snow storms, wildfires, or tornados. Here are some of the best emergency supplies to make sure you’re prepared

Rolling Stones | OSCAR HARTZOG | Emergency Supplies | Shield Insurance Quoting Portal | Shield Home

NO MATTER WHERE you live, emergencies can (and do) happen. But whether it’s snow storms, tornados, wildfires, or hurricanes, the danger of serious emergencies can almost always be mitigated by investing in the best emergency supplies.

But choosing the right emergency gear — or just figuring out what types of emergency supplies you should have — can be tricky. To make things easier, we’ve created a checklist of the best emergency supplies to help your household stay safe in the worst-case scenarios.

What Are the Best Emergency Supplies?

When stocking up on the best emergency supplies, you’ll want to start by considering what needs your emergency stash has to meet. Namely, you’ll need food and water, first aid supplies, and light and heat. If you want to go beyond the basics, we also recommend adding power, shelter (like an emergency tent), and survival tools to your emergency supplies checklist.

No matter what kind of emergency supply you’re looking at — be it a multi-tool, a camping stove, or an emergency food supply — be sure it’s well-built and capable of staying in working order while shelved. The best emergency supplies can be tucked away and taken out months, if not years later, and still function properly.

Read on for a full checklist of the best emergency supplies to stock up on now.

1. Survivor Filter Pro

The most important thing to secure in most emergency situations is clean drinking water. One way to create an emergency water supply is to buy a water tank that you fill up if you know an emergency is on the horizon (i.e. if there’s a tornado warning).

But a more efficient option for securing drinking water is to get an emergency water filter, such as this Survivor Filter Pro. The compact rig uses a pump mechanism to suck up water, run it through a filter, and pump out 500 milliliters of clean drinking water per minute. It’s also very lightweight (half a pound), so you can transport it if need be.

2. Leatherman Wave+

A reliable multi-tool has always been part of our everyday carry, but they become absolutely essential when disaster strikes. Our favorite multi-tool is this Leatherman Wave+, which packs 18 tools in a small package, measuring just four inches when closed. Inside, you’ll find basics like knives, scissors, screwdrivers, and pliers, as well as some good extras like a saw and a wire stripper.

3. Judy Mover Max

Survival kits are a great way to create an emergency supplies stash with just one purchase. Good examples include the Oprah-endorsed Judy Mover Max, which has water and food, safety and warmth, and tools and first aid — all in one ultra-durable, weatherproof backpack. It has enough supplies to sustain four people for 72 hours, and you don’t have to worry about grabbing multiple items during an evacuation.

4. Mountain House Classic Bucket of Emergency Supplies

Click here for a full list of Emergency Supplies…

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4 Brothers Are Close to a World First, Nearing End of Epic 3000-Mile Row Across Atlantic–Raising 80k for Charity

4 Brothers, a 3000-Mile Row Across Atlantic, and 80k for Charity

4 Brothers Are Close to a World First, Nearing End of Epic 3000-Mile Row Across Atlantic–Raising 80k for Charity

Good News Network | Andy Corbley | Jan 11, 2023 | 4 Brothers | Boat Insurance

In a few days time, four brothers will set a world record as the first rowing team made entirely of brothers to cross the whole of the Atlantic.

While many siblings find being stuck under one roof challenging, it’s a testament to their endurance that the four of them have shared two rowing benches and one tent-sized cabin for nearly 4 weeks.

The adventurous brothers are two sets of twins—26-year-olds Jack and Hamish Friend, and 24-year-olds Euan and Arthur Friend.

The foursome from Devon, England have already raised more than 80k for charities since setting off on their epic endurance challenge nearly a month ago.

Naming their team ‘The FriendShip,’ they trained for the grueling feat for a total of 18 months ahead of their departure on December 12th from La Gomera, in the Canary Islands.

And they are expected to finally complete the Talisker Atlantic Challenge race and arrive at their destination, Antigua, in the next week. The Talisker Challenge usually consists of 20-40 rowing teams, and the boys’ latest diary entry claims they were in 4th, but gaining fast on 3rd place-holders.

“There have been some massive highs and some pretty low moments over the past 26 days,” said Hamish in a video, reflecting on their progress on Friday. “High moments from just surfing down some massive waves (…) and these amazing starry skies and amazing sunrises and sunsets.

“Low moments such as being slapped in the face by a flying fish at two in the morning, to getting absolutely soaked by these Atlantic storms that come along. Sitting in your cabin all damp and wet trying to get to sleep.”

Click here for the rest of the story and some great photos

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5 key specialty lines insurance trends affecting businesses

5 key specialty lines insurance trends affecting businesses

Liberty Mutual | Published 12/07/2022 | Specialty Lines Insurance

It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on many businesses. What began with supply chain issues soon transformed into even more complicated challenges, including labor market difficulties, an economic recession, and fraught geopolitical obstacles.

These changes left risk managers and other business stakeholders looking for innovative ways to help protect their specific and sometimes unusual risks — something they could only find in the specialty lines market.

Kristin McMahon, senior vice president, Global Risk Solutions North America specialty claims for Liberty Mutual and Ironshore, outlines five trends affecting the specialty lines market that businesses should be aware of and prepare for in the current risk environment.

1. Cyberattacks continue to loom. | Specialty Lines Insurance

As businesses increase their reliance on video platforms, continue to store more data in the cloud, and adopt remote and hybrid working models, the danger of cyberthreats looms larger.

“Cyber is one of the only risks that has the capacity to impact every company and industry,” said McMahon.

And while any industry size and type can be affected, businesses with fewer than 100 employees are currently experiencing 350 percent more attacks than larger companies.

“Historically it was the larger accounts in the crosshairs,” McMahon said. “But this year, we are seeing small- and medium-sized businesses suffer ransomware events more frequently than larger operations.”

Why? According to 2022 research by CNBC, small businesses are ill-prepared to handle cyberthreats. Less than half of small businesses have installed antivirus software or backed up their files externally, while only a third have implemented basic security measures like automatic software updates and two-factor authentication. Noted McMahon, “Without the proper digital ‘hygiene’ and contingency plans in place, organizations will increasingly place themselves in harm’s way.”

“Cyber is one of the only risks that has the capacity to impact every company and industry.”
-Kristin McMahon, senior vice president, Global Risk Solutions North America specialty claims for Liberty Mutual and Ironshore.

This doesn’t mean that larger organizations can be complacent. According to a 2021 Accenture survey of senior executives, the average number of cyberattacks experienced per company increased 31 percent compared to 2020.

“For larger companies, cyber hygiene is certainly critical. What’s also important is having the board of directors take an active role in protecting the business from cybercrime. Getting support from the top helps an organization prioritize cybersecurity and take active steps to stay on top of trends, conduct due diligence of third-party vendors, and more,” said McMahon.

2. A backlog of civil jury trials results in “rocket dockets”. | Specialty Lines Insurance

As businesses closed their doors to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, so, too, did the courts. While some innovations, such as holding trials in stadiums or over Zoom, allowed for the necessary social distancing, many cases were outright delayed. In Texas, for example, courts processed only 200 trials in 2020, compared to their normal 10,000 annual average.

Noted McMahon, “Since the return of in-person trials, the courts continue to navigate a significant case backlog. To get caught up, some judges are employing ‘rocket dockets,’ an approach that encourages plaintiffs and defendants to either settle or try their cases on an accelerated schedule.”

“Since the return of in-person trials, the courts continue to navigate a significant case backlog. To get caught up, some judges are employing ‘rocket dockets,’ an approach that encourages plaintiffs and defendants to either settle or try their cases on an accelerated schedule.”
-Kristin McMahon, senior vice president, Global Risk Solutions North America specialty claims for Liberty Mutual and Ironshore.

One side effect of this phenomenon: plaintiffs’ attorneys in some cases will settle in pretrial for a reasonable amount, opting to only try cases with juror appeal for which they could receive large jury awards.      

“It’s the older pre-COVID-19 cases accruing prejudgment interest where you have aggressive plaintiffs’ attorneys who believe in their high-damages cases — they’re going to hold out and try it to a jury,” McMahon said.   

3. Societal and legal trends continue to drive social inflation and nuclear verdicts.

Read the full story here…

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