Over the River and Through the Woods to a Safe Thanksgiving

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Please note: Our offices will close at 3 p.m. today (Wednesday) and also be closed Thursday and Friday in celebration of Thanksgiving (and doing our part to boost holiday sales). We’ll be back in the office Monday with leftover turkey sandwiches.

Insurance agents, whether your clients are baking their bird at home or headed over the river and through the woods, here are a few Thanksgiving safety tips you can share with them to enjoy the season.


Car Safety

Winter driving accidents, animal collisions, parking lot mishaps and thefts from holiday shopping trips all occur more frequently during this time, according to claims data from Farmers Insurance.When temperatures hover around freezing, you know the drill: always keep your car more than half full; always keep a blanket in the trunk. Here are a few more tips for your trip:

  • Check your tire tread, especially if road conditions are forecast to be icy or snowy. Typically tires have built-in wear indicators to tell you if tread is low, but there’s always the penny trick: insert a penny into a tire’s tread groove with Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you. Can you see all of his head? If so, it’s time to replace the tires.
  • If you’re buying only a couple of tires- don’t mix radials with other types of tires. Various types grip the road differently – and mixing them can cause handling issues, particularly on slick roads.
  • Do everything more slowly. Don’t try to quickly accelerate, stop or make fast turns, or your car may head in a direction you didn’t intend.
  • Be on the alert for animals, particularly at night. Scan the sides of the roads as you drive.
  • When shopping, hide your holiday purchases in the trunk. If you’ve just scored some major purchases, rather than dumping them in the trunk and heading back into the mall, you may want to drive around and park elsewhere, in case thieves have just observed you filling up your trunk with all those nice gifts.
  • Shopping at night? Avoid dimly lit areas and ask store security to walk you out to your car.
  • To protect your car, don’t park in tight spots, next to oversized vehicles, or near cart returns.
Related: Fall road hazards for your auto insureds


While You’re Away

We’ve all seen the movie “Home Alone” and are aware that home robberies are higher during the holidays. Besides having your mail stopped (or collected by a neighbor), engaging timers for various inside lights and removing the key from underneath the ceramic frog on the front steps, here are a few more tips:

Don’t post your holiday plans on your Facebook page or other social media pages. Thieves are social media-savvy, too.

Set a timer on a radio inside your home, turned up loud. Have the timer go on and off several times during a 24-hour period.

If you still have a land line, turn down the ringer on all phones, so that they can’t be heard ringing…and ringing…alerting outsiders that there’s no one home.


Enjoying the Holiday at Home

We’re not Emeril or Julia Child, so we’re not sharing tips on thawing and properly handling your bird. But whether you brine and roast, fry or smoke your turkey, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Avoid the exploding turkey. If you plan to deep-fry your bird, know that adding a cold bird to hot oil can cause an explosion, so thaw it completely.
  • Don’t get distracted. Between extra kids in the house, friends and relatives coming and going (and offering cooking advice), it’s easy to get sidetracked. Just remember: cooking mishaps are the leading cause of home fire injuries, so be diligent to watch those pots, pans, roasters and more – especially while watching the Thanksgiving Day parades.

Savor the day with your friends and family – then settle back to watch the game or plan your Black Friday shopping strategy.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our insurance brokers and insurance agents!

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