With holiday travel and extreme weather in our near future, we thought it would be a good time to share extreme weather driving tips with the new drivers in your household.
RAIN AND THUNDERSTORMS
• Turn on your headlights, wipers, and defroster on to increase visibility.
• Drive in the tracks of the vehicle ahead of you and reduce your speed.
• Allow for increased space between your vehicle and the one in front of you.
• If you hydroplane, hold the steering wheel straight and remove your foot from the gas.
SNOW, SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN
• Clean ice and snow off your windows, hood, and trunk before departing.
• Drive with extreme caution and at reduced speeds.
• Do not brake quickly as you may spin out of control.
• Slow down before you reach a patch of fog in front of you.
• Use only your low beams or fog lights and put on your defroster and wipers to increase visibility.
• If the fog is extremely thick, roll down all of your windows to hear other vehicles around you.
Feel free to share with friends that have new drivers in their household.
TWFG Insurance Tony Voiron | 504-322-7299 | www.twfglouisiana.com
Halloween is an exciting time of year for kids, and to help them have a safe holiday, here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
ALL DRESSED UP:
©2018 American Academy of Pediatrics
On Oct. 9, 2018, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced that its Wage and Hour Division (WHD) recovered a record $304 million in wages owed to workers in fiscal year (FY) 2018. In comparison, the WHD recovered $270 million in back wages in FY 2017.
The DOL’s secretary, Alex Acosta, states that the recovered wages are a demonstration that the DOL and WHD are committed to ensuring workers receive the wages they deserve. Moreover, the WHD’s compliance assistance efforts demonstrate its commitment to helping employers meet compliance requirements. Specifically, in FY 2018, the WHD held 3,643 educational outreach events to help job creators understand their responsibilities under the law.
PAID Program Extension
On the same day, the WHD also announced a six-month extension of the voluntary Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program. This program is an initiative designed to help expedite back wage payments to workers. Without this program, workers may have to wait for investigations and court cases to be resolved or concluded.
What does this mean for my organization?
Complying with wage and hour regulations should be a priority for your organization. This is especially important as the DOL has demonstrated that it will focus on ensuring compliance, as seen by the record numbers it has collected recently.
With more employees working remotely, using their smartphones to access email or work at home, and looming overtime rule changes in 2019, now is the time to ensure your organization’s compliance.
Contact TWFG Insurance - Voiron Insurance Services today for help complying with wage and hour regulations, or for additional resources.
Did You Know?
One of the most common homeowners insurance claims is completely preventable. It’s not fires or theft; it’s water damage. This is not damage due to flooding, heavy rainstorms or snow on the roof – rather, it’s due to simple maintenance tasks that are often ignored or go unnoticed.
Use these tips to help prevent water damage:
How does water damage occur? It’s simple: homeowners fail to check the connection between the water line and their washing machine or other similar appliances. Eventually, the connection fails, and water leaks into the home until someone discovers the mess.
Do a quick check of all your water lines from time to time, especially in low-traffic areas of the home. If you notice anything suspicious, contact a licensed professional to come take a look immediately.
On Sept. 28, 2018, Facebook announced that nearly 50 million user accounts were compromised in a data breach. The breach, which can be traced back to July 2017, is one of the largest in the company’s 14-year history.
While investigations are ongoing, the company said hackers exploited a software vulnerability in Facebook’s "View As" feature to steal access tokens and gain control of user accounts. Access tokens are effectively digital keys to specific accounts, and stealing them allows attackers to view private posts or compose status updates without the knowledge of the affected user.
In addition, the attack allowed the hackers to see anything that users can see on their own profile, including the names and birth dates of friends and family members. Such information could be used in future phishing attacks.
In response to the attack, Facebook reset 90 million logins automatically, fixed the software vulnerability and informed law enforcement officials. While the company says that users do not need to change their passwords, individuals experiencing login issues should navigate to Facebook’s Help Center.
As a safety precaution, users are encouraged to log in and out of all of their accounts on every device. Users can see all of the devices they’re currently signed into here.
To learn more about the breach, read Facebook’s official blog post.
If you’ve had a fire, water damage or another unfortunate event in your home, don’t fret. We have all the information that you need to get your claim underway so you can get your life back to normal.
When you have a homeowners insurance claim, your actions can make all the difference.
Here’s how to maneuver through the claims process with ease:
Let us help you throughout the process—contact TWFG Insurance - Voiron Insurance Services, LLC if you have questions or concerns.
Know The Risks and Be Prepared
Many people do not realize just how dangerous fireworks and sparklers can be—which is a primary reason that injuries occur. Fireworks can not only injure the users but can also affect bystanders.
Most injuries and accidents occur because people often underestimate the dangers posed by fireworks and don’t take proper safety precautions. In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Commission found that more than half of fireworks-related injuries were the result of unexpected ignition or consumers not using fireworks as intended.
Unfortunately, all fireworks carry potential risks of burns, blindness and other injuries, but you can significantly reduce the potential for danger through proper planning and safety.
Tips for Safe Firework Use
When using fireworks, always plan in advance who will shoot them, and what safety precautions will be in place. Here are some suggestions to ensure safety and avoid accidents:
• Keep spectators at a safe distance.
• Never give sparklers to children under five.
• Only use fireworks as intended. Do not alter or combine them, and do not use homemade fireworks.
• Do not carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them from metal or glass containers.
• Point fireworks away from people, homes, trees, etc.
• Show children how to properly hold sparklers, how to stay far enough away from other children and what not to do; throw, run or fight with sparkler in hand—and always supervise closely.
• Always have a hose or water bucket handy.
• Never try to relight a dud (a firework that didn’t properly ignite).
• Soak all firework debris in water before throwing it away.
• Use fireworks and sparklers outdoors only.
• Wear safety goggles when handling or shooting off fireworks.
• Do not shoot fireworks off while under the influence of alcohol.
Take Precautions, Reduce Risk
Be sure that your celebrations comply with all applicable state and local laws. The laws regulate who can purchase and use fireworks, when they can be purchased and used, and what the maximum noise levels may be. Under these regulations, the focus is not only on product safety but also on the reduction of accidents and injuries to you the consumer.
On June 21, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state governments can collect sales taxes from online retailers, even if a retailer doesn’t have a physical presence in the state. Until this decision, states could only collect taxes from online retailers that had in-state headquarters or another significant connection to that state.
This decision should benefit brick-and-mortar businesses, as sales taxes often forced them to increase prices—making it difficult to compete with the lower prices offered by online retailers. The court’s ruling also said that states should benefit from the decision by gaining access to a new source of tax revenue, estimated to be $33 billion annually across all states and online businesses.
Although critics of the ruling believe that consumers will face higher prices when shopping online, others think that increased competition between online and physical storefronts will cancel out any significant increases.
The ruling has already had a significant impact on the stock values of some major retailers. However, it’s still unclear how small retailers that have an online presence will be affected, and whether states will alter their tax collection practices to account for the size of an online retailer.
Sending a child off to college is a significant milestone that represents the culmination of years of planning and hard work. As you prepare for the start of the semester, you should consider how your insurance needs may change with your son or daughter away at school.
Protecting Your Student’s Belongings
Many homeowners policies consider a dorm room as an extension of your home, so items your child keeps there may be covered to some extent. However, if your child has expensive electronic equipment or furniture, you may want to consider purchasing additional coverage.
If your child lives off campus, his or her possessions may not be covered by your homeowners policy. In that case, you may want to consider renter’s insurance, which costs as little as $15 per month. Renter’s insurance will cover possessions in your child’s off-campus apartment or house as well as provide liability coverage if anyone is injured in the residence.
Keeping Your Child Healthy While on Campus
Many students can stay on their parents’ health plans if they are full-time students. However, restrictions vary greatly by state, and coverage could be even more complicated if your child is attending an out-of-state school.
If you find your child doesn’t have coverage under your plan, you have a few options. Most colleges have their own health plans, but some policies have high deductibles and low coverage maximums. A few don’t offer any coverage for conditions present before entering the school, so be sure to examine plans carefully. Otherwise, you may want to consider an individual policy for your child.
Changing Auto Coverage
If your child moves more than 100 miles away from your home to attend school and doesn’t keep a vehicle there, your auto insurance premiums could decrease by as much as 30 percent. Call us today at (504) 322-7299, and see if you can save money while still maintaining coverage for your child when he or she is at home.
Insurance Questions to Ask
Here are some important questions to ask when your child goes to college:
Count on UsIf you are sending a child off the college and haven’t looked at adjusting your coverage, contact us today to learn more. You could save money on your policies and protect your child from expensive incidents while away from home.
The American Cancer Society recommends that adults undergo colorectal cancer screening starting at age 45, opposed to the long-observed threshold of age 50. The new guidelines were published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.
This shift affects nearly 22 million Americans who fall within the 45-to-49 age range.
Like most cancers, colon cancer is easier to treat the sooner it is detected. The longer you wait—even a few years, as this update implies—the greater the risk of the cancer progressing.
Doctors are quick to note that colon cancer can occur at any age, even in teens.
Colon cancer is the second-highest cause of cancer deaths among adults in the United States. The disease kills over 50,000 people each year.
According to a study from the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer rates have been rising for every generation born after 1950.
As a way to encourage more people to get tested, the American Cancer Society suggested a few different screening options for doctors to promote.
These options include lab tests, stool samples and colonoscopies. The last option being the most invasive.
What Does This Mean for Me?
If you are 45 years old or older, you should speak with your doctor about what is right for you. Keep in mind that there are a number of screening options besides a colonoscopy if you are worried about taking time off work.
Remember that waiting only increases the risk of cancer progressing. Don’t wait to speak with your doctor about colorectal screening if you have any concerns, regardless of your age.