What is the value of having recreational insurance in Michigan?

What is the value of having recreational insurance in Michigan?

Shield Blog | Recreational Insurance | Start A Quote Today!

Living in the state of Michigan can come with a lot of amenities. One of the benefits that come with living here is that you can enjoy many local parks and other attractions. If you are going to move here, investing in a recreational vehicle can be a great option as it can be very fun to use. When you are looking for a recreational vehicle, getting recreational insurance for it is quite important.

This type of coverage can come with many forms of coverage which makes it quite valuable:

Cover the Vehicle

A reason to get a recreational insurance plan is so you can cover the vehicle. When you are going to get a recreational vehicle, you will find that it can cost a lot of money to purchase and maintain. Because of this investment, you will want to protect your asset and ensure it is always covered. With a recreational insurance plan, you will get support to replace or repair your asset. 

Reduce Liability Risks

It can also be a good idea to get recreational insurance so you can reduce your liability risks. There is always a chance you can be found liable for an accident when using a recreational vehicle. If you have a full recreational insurance plan, you will get support to cover any damages that you have incurred. 

Reach Out To Us

Having recreational insurance continues to be a necessity for those that are in Michigan. When you are looking for one of these plans here, it would be a great idea to call our team with the Shield Insurance Agency. If you do call us with the Shield Insurance Agency, you can receive top support to ensure you are able to make an informed decision and properly protect your recreational asset. 

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Shark Attack App Uses AI to Forecast and Detect Risk for Swimmers at 89% Accuracy

Shark Attack App Uses AI to Forecast and Detect Risk for Swimmers at 89% Accuracy

A sophisticated app generates shark attack “forecasts” using artificial intelligence.

GoodNewsNetwork.org | By Andy Corbley | May 19, 2023 | Shark Attack | Boat Insurance

The developers are taking advantage of a deep learning algorithm to compartmentalize over a hundred years of shark attack data to create a sort-of weather forecast for beaches around the US with an 89% accuracy.

Called SafeWaters.AI, they hope not only to save lives—their primary objective—but to help reduce the persecution of sharks in response to attacks on humans.

Shark Attack Risks

The risk of shark attack is about 1 in every 3.7 million swimmers, and 60% (28) of all recorded shark attacks in the US have occurred in Florida.

As the developers point out, most consumers of news regarding AI see it employed for aspects that seem frightening or purely futuristic, such as deep fake video creation or self-driving cars.

But the ability of a targeted AI to parse out trends and forces in mountains of data lends it to working with all manner of unique applications. In this case, over a hundred years of shark attack reports are analyzed, with data points being whether it was a swimmer or surfer, where the victim was swimming, what time of day it was, what the marine weather conditions were like, and even whether they were wearing shiny jewelry.

Shark Attack App Uses AI to Forecast and Detect Risk for Swimmers at 89% Accuracy

credit SafeWaters AI

In an era where artificial intelligence is progressively transforming our daily lives, a groundbreaking app, SafeWatersAI, has arrived. This innovative application, which has recently launched its crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, revolutionizes our interaction with marine environments. SafeWaters forecasts the risk of shark attacks with an impressive 89% accuracy rate. You can say it’s like a weather app, for sharkiness.

All of this contributes to the total percentage risk displayed on the app.

Currently, the project is being crowdfunded, with 5% of all future sales to be donated to ocean cleanup efforts.

Click here to read the full article and see some great photos…


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Biker Gang Gives Granny the Ride of Her Life

Biker Gang Gives Granny the Ride of Her Life

Great-Grandma Gets 90th Birthday Wish to Ride a Harley Again, Courtesy of a Biker Gang

 Good News Network | Apr 29, 2023 | Biker Gang | Motorcycle Insurance | Start A Quote Here

A great-grandmother who is mad for motorcycles was granted her birthday wish to ride on the back of a Harley-Davidson – a call-back to her youth while celebrating turning 90.

Fearless Brit Barbara Morris said she “felt 21 again” during her spin around town on the powerful American cruising bike.

She mentioned to her family several years ago that if she made it to 90, she’d like to get back in the saddle one last time.

She was left stunned when her sons arrived recently at her nursing home with members of a local biker group. Though wearing a dress, she had no concerns about straddling the bike right there on the spot, before taking a trip with 13 other riders to a pub.

“I just felt the years melt away,” said the great-grandmother of six. “It was just an incredible experience to feel the wind blowing in my face again.”

Barbara got her first motorcycle license as a teen in the 1950s.

Her granddaughter Kirsty Harvey, 34, who helped organize the surprise for Barbara along with the local biker chapter of Widows Sons, said the inspiring senior had a ‘daredevil spirit’ and wasn’t fazed by anything.

“My uncle said to her ‘You always said if you made it to 90, you wanted to go on a Harley,’ and then she said, ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t believe you remember that’.”

“She’s got nerves of steel, she’s not really afraid of anything. She’s kind of from that generation that was made of tough stuff. Nothing really fazes them.”

Barbara got her first bike, a Royal Enfield 350, when she was about 19, and used it to get around while in college. She quickly caught the bug for riding, which she then passed on to the rest of her family.

“She always had a little bike that she nipped about on. Her three sons later all had motorbikes and a keen interest in motorbike racing and groups.”

Visit GoodNewsNetwork.org for the rest of the story…


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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]

Sources

[1] “The Glass is Still Half Full,” tradeonlytoday.com/columns-blogs/the-glass-is-still-half-full (July 18, 2022).

[2] “Polishing an Aluminum Boat [Guide],” boatlife.com/boatlife-blog/polishing-an-aluminum-boat-guide (accessed Aug. 4, 2022).

[3] “Cleaning an Aluminum Boat with Vinegar,” pontoonopedia.com/cleaning-aluminum-boat-vinegar (June 11, 2018). x

[4] “6 Steps to Painting Aluminum Boats,” chiyachtrefinishing.com/blogs/6-steps-to-painting-aluminum-boats (June 20, 2018).

[5] “How to Paint an Aluminum Jon Boat,” bottompaintstore.com/blog/aluminum-application/paint-jon-boat (accessed Aug. 4, 2022).

[6] “How to Paint a Boat,” boats.com/how-to/how-to-paint-a-boat (April 14, 2021).

[7] “How To Paint Over Your Aluminum Boat (Step-by-Step),” watercraft101.com/how-to-paint-aluminum-boat (accessed Aug. 4, 2022).

[8] “How to Apply Bottom Paint to an Aluminum Boat,” bottompaintstore.com/blog/aluminum-application/how-to-apply-bottom-paint-to-an-aluminum-boat (accessed Aug. 4, 2022).

[9] “How To Clean Painted Aluminum Boat? Complete Guide,” emozzy.com/how-to-clean-painted-aluminum-boat (April 9, 2022).

[10] “Why Boat Insurance Is Important & How To Obtain It,” wavetechpowersports.com/why-boat-insurance-is-important-how-to-obtain-it (accessed Aug. 4, 2022).

Disclaimer:

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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Microplastics are fragments of any type of plastic less than 5 millimeters (mm) in length and are an increasing topic of risk

Microplastics

Liberty Mutual Business | Commercial Insurance | Microplastics | Start a Quote Today!

Microplastics are fragments of any type of plastic less than 5 millimeters (mm) in
length and are an increasing topic of risk discussions due to their prevalence in
the environment and the negative impacts they potentially pose on the earth and its
inhabitants. The term microplastics was first introduced to differentiate these smaller
fragments from their larger counterparts, macroplastics, which describe larger plastic
waste, such as plastic bottles.

Two classifications of microplastics are
currently recognized

Primary Microplastics

Primary microplastics include any plastic fragments or particles that are already 5 mm (5,000 mm) in size or less before entering the environment. Primary microplastics are purposefully manufactured and can include feedstock for manufacturing plastic products, such as plastic pellets (also known as nurdles), microfibers from clothing, microbeads in personal care products, glitter, and industrial abrasives. Once in the environment, microplastics can degrade to be even smaller in size. 

Secondary Microplastics

Secondary microplastics arise from the breakdown of larger plastic products through natural weathering processes after entering the environment. Sources of secondary microplastics can include water and soda bottles, fishing nets, plastic bags, shedding of fibers from polyester/nylon clothing, and tire wear. Over time, a culmination of physical, biological, and photodegradation can reduce the structural integrity of plastic debris to a size that is eventually undetectable to the naked eye. This process of breaking down large plastic material into much smaller pieces is known as fragmentation. Microplastics can be further divided into four sub-groups based on particle size: 

  1. Large microplastics (100–5000 mm)
  2. Small microplastics (1–100 mm) 
  3. Sub-micron plastics (100–1,000 nm) (0.1– mm) 
  4. Nanoplastics (1–100 nm) (0.001–0.1 mm) Because of their smaller size, nanoplastics can present additional risks and challenges: 

They may bypass filtration methods intended for larger microplastics. 

They may be less likely to settle, have greater mobility, and may be transported further. • They may be more likely to enter and bioaccumulate in the food chain. 

Due to their higher surface area, faster leaching of plastic additives can occur. 

They may act as pollutant “vectors” because their higher surface area also allows for more adsorption of metals and other pollutants.

Microplastics can also be categorized according to type of polymer, additives used, and shape.

U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the European Chemicals Agency (Note: 1 mm = 1,000 micrometers [mm] = 1,000,000 nanometers [nm])

Source of microplastics in the environment There are countless sources of both primary and secondary microplastics in the environment, including the following:

Cosmetics: Microplastic “scrubbers”, “microbeads”, or “micro-exfoliates” used in hand cleansers and facial scrubs have replaced traditionally used natural ingredients, including ground almond shells, oatmeal, and pumice. These products are typically composed of polyethylene, a common component of plastics, but they can also be manufactured from polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), and nylon. The beads may be washed into the sewage system immediately after use. 

Textiles and clothing: Many synthetic fibers, such as polyester, nylon, acrylics, and spandex, can be shed from clothing and persist in the environment. The process of washing clothes causes garments to lose an average of over 100 fibers per liter of water. Each garment in a load of laundry can shed more than 1,900 fibers of microplastics, with fleeces releasing the highest percentage of fibers. 

Tires: Car and truck tires. which are composed partly of synthetic styrene-butadiene rubber, erode into tiny plastic and rubber particles as they are used. The estimated per capita emission ranges from 0.23 to 4.7 kg/year, with a global average of 0.81 kg/year. In air, 3–7% of the particulate matter (PM2.5) is estimated to consist of tire wear and tear. 

Plastics manufacturing: Plastic pellets (aka nurdles), 2.0–5.0 mm in size, which are used as a raw material to create other plastic products, can enter the environment through spills and other accidents. 

Air blasting: This process involves blasting acrylic, melamine, or polyester microplastic scrubbers at machinery, engines, and boat hulls to remove rust and paint. As these scrubbers can be used repeatedly until they diminish in size and their cutting power is lost, they may become contaminated with heavy metals such as cadmium, chromium, and lead. 

Fishing industry: Recreational and commercial fishing, marine vessels, and marine industries can be sources of macroplastics and secondary microplastics. 

Wastewater treatment plants: The size of microplastics prevents them from fully being retained by preliminary treatment screens at wastewater plants, thereby allowing some to enter rivers and oceans. Wastewater treatment plants only remove an average of 95–99.9% of microbeads. This leaves an average of 0–7 microbeads per liter being discharged. Sewage sludge that is reused as fertilizer after the wastewater treatment has also been known to contain microbeads. Persistence of microplastics in the environment Microplastics are persistent and ubiquitous in the environment, particularly in aquatic and marine ecosystems. The most significant transport pathways to surface water are presumed to be via dust and stormwater runoff. It has been estimated that there are 51 trillion individual pieces of microplastics in the world’s oceans, estimated to weigh 236,000 metric tons. Microplastics can also accumulate in the air and terrestrial ecosystems but the cycle and movement of microplastics in the environment is still not fully understood. Microplastics have also been found in deep layer ocean sediments and in the high mountains, at great distances from their source. According to the U.S. EPA: 

Of the total plastics released to oceans (4.8–12.7 million tons (Mt)/year), 15%–1% originate as microplastics from homes and industrial products. 

About half of the total (3.2 Mt/year) microplastics released, or about 1.5 Mt/year, ends up in oceans. The following are the estimated sources of microplastics to oceans:

  • Washing synthetic textiles (35%) 
  • Tire wear (28%) • City dust (24%) 
  • Road Markings (7%) • Marine Coatings (3.7%) 
  • Microbeads (2%) 
  • Plastic pellets (0.3%) It has been estimated that 80% of microplastic pollution comes from textiles, tires, and city dust

here for the full story…

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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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Coexisting with bicyclists

Coexisting with bicyclists

Foremost Insurance Blog | by Jenean McLoskey | bicyclists | Start an Insurance quote now! | Shield

Cycling has grown significantly in popularity over the past decade. Towns across the country are adding bike lanes to their roads to become more bike-friendly, and more and more people are ditching their cars and using a bike as their primary form of transportation. According to USA Today, larger cities like Portland, Ore., and Minneapolis have more than doubled their rate of bike commuters since 2014 — and as a cyclist, I can’t help but get excited.

Now, with bike riding growing in popularity across the U.S. — it may be a good idea to brush up on some traffic guidelines to avoid any accidents.

When you purchase a bike, you’re likely not required to take a safety class before you ride it. And, for drivers, the instructors touched on bike safety as part of Drivers Ed, but who remembers details from a course they took in their teens?

My point is, adults aren’t given much guidance when it comes to cyclists and cars coexisting on the roads. And as a bicyclist and a driver, I did some research because honestly, I needed a refresher myself.

Safety tips for DRIVERS:

  • Try to be 3 feet or more away from a bike.
  • Try to pass on the left when possible.
  • Blind spots are always lurking, make sure to watch for bikes.
  • Only pass a bicyclist when your passing lane is free and clear.
  • Look in your mirror for cyclists when you’re parking.
  • Always think of cyclists as equals – remember, they have rights on the road too!

Safety tips for BICYCLISTS:

  • Make sure to ride with the flow of traffic.
  • Traffic signs and signals aren’t just for cars. Stop on red to be safe.
  • Use marked bike paths or lanes if they’re available.
  • Use your arm to make turn signals and take advantage of turn lanes so cars are aware of what you’re doing.
  • Consider using a mirror to monitor the cars behind you.
  • If you’re riding at night or in a storm, make sure to use some sort of flashers.
  • Watch for parked cars.
  • And most importantly — stay alert at all times.

If you’re unsure about your city’s or state’s traffic laws, it doesn’t hurt to look them up beforehand. No matter what you drive, be sure to enjoy the roads out there safely!


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Five coolest places to travel in the U.S.A.

Five coolest places to travel in the U.S.A.

Foremost Creative Team | travel | Start a Quote Today! | Shield Insurance

Ah, summer. It’s the time of year the whole country comes alive and beckons us to get on the road and experience it. That’s why we put together this list of what I consider the five most incredible places to visit in the U.S. If you’ve never been to these places, now is the time to pack those bags, explore and enjoy your summertime travels!

Travel to New York City

You have to experience the “Big Apple” at least once. It has everything you could ever want from a big city—museums, Broadway shows, restaurants with every type of food you can imagine, specialty boutiques, and high-end shops. Plus, you need to see the Statue of Liberty in person and check out those neon lights of Times Square. Make Central Park one of your main destinations. Remember to see the amazing works of art at the Met and the Guggenheim. This is a city that never sleeps with endless things to try and taste.

Travel San Francisco

The home of the Golden Gate Bridge offers gorgeous sights across its renowned hilly landscape and so many fun things to do, like riding cable cars, checking out Alcatraz Island, strolling along Fisherman’s Wharf and driving up the famously steep and crooked Lombard Street. Just a few miles north, you can leave the hustle and bustle behind to visit the towering Redwood trees in Muir Woods. Or for some tranquility within the city, plan a picnic at Golden Gate Park and see lakes, museums, monuments and the Steinhart Aquarium. For another great view of the city, check out Strawberry Hill in the middle of the park.

If you’ve never been to these places, now is the time to explore! If you’re traveling by car, motorcycle or RV, contact your local Foremost agency to get the right coverage for your ride!

Travel to Grand Canyon

If it’s the natural beauty you’re looking for, you’ll definitely find it at the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona. If you weren’t seeing it with your own eyes, you’d swear it was a painting in glorious shades of red and orange. Nothing can top the magnificent views as you gaze through the canyon over the Colorado River. Visit the South Rim where you’ll find Grand Canyon Village and the Bright Angel Trail. And if you’re into roughing it in the wilderness, you’ll want to head to the North Rim for backcountry camping and some serious hiking.

Yellowstone

Yellowstone has 2.2 million acres of paradise for you to explore—crystal blue lakes, tumbling waterfalls, majestic mountains, hot springs, abundant forests, open meadows, and active geysers. There are so many trails, it could take weeks to travel them all. Check out everyone’s favorite spots like Old Faithful, Yellowstone Lake, and Mammoth Hot springs. Then visit lesser-known areas like the West Thumb Geyser Basin, the Lewis River Channel, and the Dogshead Loop. You will likely be treated to sights of wildlife during your journey since over 60 types of mammals call the park their home. You could see buffalo, elk, coyotes, badgers, and perhaps a few bears along the way.

Washington D.C.

Our country’s capital has earned its place on the list of exciting East Coast vacation destinations. Not only can you soak up loads of our country’s history by checking out the classic attractions like the White House, Lincoln Memorial, and the Washington Monument, but you can also enjoy the many hip restaurants, cafes, clubs, and boutiques. Endless opportunities abound to learn about our past at museums like the Smithsonian, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Newseum, and the Mount Vernon Estate. It’s impossible to leave the city without feeling a deeper connection to our roots and pride in our home country.

Now that you know where to go, get those bags packed and enjoy your summertime travels!


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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.


More great articles are at the Shield Insurance Agency Blog

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