Holiday Safety Tip #3: Christmas

Can you believe how quickly the holidays are flying by? Seems like we were just writing about Halloween. Thanksgiving came and went, and now we’re on to Christmas. Crazy! But holidays are all about celebrating. And how are you supposed to celebrate when disaster strikes? So we just want you to be aware of some of the dangers you could be facing during Hanukkah or Christmas.

Here are a few (though certainly not all of them):

Fire Danger – you can figure out the basic dangers… dry Christmas trees going up in flames, candles lighting curtains or furniture on fire. But what about those hidden fire dangers that damage your home and make you grateful you have insurance?

What about the cords that you stretch clear across the floor (you know, as you check to make sure everything works)? Then there is the danger of an oven fire if you were to spill juice from your turkey or ham. Or perhaps you forget there’s something in the oven. According to ABC news, chimney fires are on the rise.

No one wants to spend their special day calling their insurance agents about fire damage, so be careful.

Break Ins – how tempting is a house full of gifts? New electronics? Perhaps, jewelry? All the other gifts you might buy for the holidays? It’s tempting. And during the holidays, you are likely to be out a lot more. Make sure your windows and doors stay locked. Set your alarms if you’ve got them. And avoid bragging about the expensive things you bought or received.

Although your home insurance should cover any losses, you may not have taken the time to document the new purchases. Who wants to wake up to a Christmas without presents?

Driving Hazards – you wake up early Christmas morning, eat a big holiday meal, and then drive home or to mom and dad’s. You’re tired, full, and probably getting an earful of noise from your children playing with their new toys. Be careful. You’re not in the best of driving conditions. Furthermore, if you’ve had anything at all to drink, stay off the roads!

Nothing is more devastating on the holidays than winding up in the emergency room. Or, worse yet, losing a loved one. Remember, your car insurance can only fix your car. It can’t erase the damage to individuals. The police won’t thank you for having to write an accident report on Christmas Day.

More than anything, we want you to enjoy safe and happy holidays. If you give us a single thought… well, let’s just hope it’s only because we sent you a holiday greeting card in the mail.

Keeping Your Business Risks Low

last night when I was watching television, I saw a commercial that interested me. It was a plea to consumers to buy at least one thing from a small business this holiday. With just 30 seconds of play time, the commercial couldn’t describe the struggles small businesses are going through, but obviously things could be better.

When the recession hit, businesses everywhere started shutting their doors. But it’s not just the recession that business owners need to worry about. Anything and everything can happen to a small business. Which is why we offer business insurance.

Many service businesses have already invested in business insurance. You see their workers driving around in trucks with this message painted on the side, “Licensed, bonded, and insured”. But what happens to other businesses when a natural disaster hits, they face a lawsuit, or an employee gets injured?

For companies just starting out, business insurance may be way down on the list of “things we’d like to invest in.” However, tragedy is not going to wait for you to make more money before it strikes. If you’re going to own a business, it’s worth it to protect that company.

If you don’t have business insurance, then it’s time you call our office. We look at all aspects of your business and then help you determine the best insurance package for you.

There are a million things you should be doing to keep your business risks low:

  • Keep a physical address locked up and protected by a security system
  • Get all “deals” in writing
  • Carefully enter partnerships – if you do at all
  • Sell more than you buy

But when it comes right down to it, business insurance is your best investment for long-term stability.

Call or email your insurance agent and let them know how they can help you and your business.

Holiday Safety Tip #2: Thanksgiving

It’s the most dangerous holiday of the year for drivers. As a traditional family holiday, people sometimes drive several hours to eat a good meal with their loved ones. Then, after consuming large amounts of turkey dinner and a few glasses of, well, whatever, they start the journey home.

Between the rush to get back home (so they can work the next day), the exhaustion of a long day, too much food, and possibly kids screaming in the background, you can understand why Thanksgiving produces some of the most dangerous drivers.

But guess what? Dangerous road conditions are not the only thing that may put you, your family, and your friends in jeopardy. Here are some things you can do this Thanksgiving to keep yourself safe:

1. Plan Ahead – If you are making a long trip to see loved ones, plan to get plenty of rest before heading back out on the road again. If you need to get home on Thursday night, then plan to eat an earlier dinner and then get a power nap in before hitting the road. Or, plan a meal that’s not quite as rich in sugars and heavy foods. That way you won’t be as drowsy as you drive.

2. Keep on Eye on the Food – No one wants a burnt turkey. But more than that, accidents happen when you’re cooking. When you’re cooking an entire table full of food it’s even more precarious. In fact, the Red Cross says there are more than double the number of cooking fires on Thanksgiving than on a regular day. Keep a close eye on hot oil, boiling pots, and crock pots that might be sitting too close to flammable materials (like paper plates and cups). You need to protect yourself from getting hurt and your home from experiencing any accidental burns.

3. Get a Designated Driver – If you know you’ll be having holiday spirits at your Thanksgiving feast, then take a minute and designate a driver. It’s something you plan for on New Year’s Day, and for other important celebrations. Why wouldn’t you do the same for this holiday?

4. Check Your Home Afterwards – In preparation for guests, you might light a few candles or plug in aromatic scents. Be sure to walk through your home after your guests leave and blow out candles or unplug anything you don’t usually leave plugged in. Plus, if you had children at your home, check under beds and in unusual places for any dangers they may have left waiting for you.

5. Keep Windows and Doors Locked – Recently, I was listening to the news when it said that more homes are robbed during the fall months. Why? Because that’s when temperatures cool down and people are more likely to open their windows and doors. Well, as you’re cooking, you’ll likely open a few windows of your own. Just make sure that when the meal is over, the windows are closed and locked again.

As an insurance company, we want to make sure you stay safe during the holidays. You have insurance to manage all those unexpected events in life. Wouldn’t you be better off if you never needed to make a claim? Keep yourself safe this holiday season by making good choices and staying aware of the dangers around you.

What Kind of Insurance Would a Halloween Character Need?

Halloween is right around the corner. Whether you are the love-to-dress-up kind, or the kind that prefers to go as “yourself” to Halloween parties, you’re going to see a lot of costumes in the next week.

This week, we thought it would be fun to speculate on some of our favorite characters. Who needs what insurance? And how much coverage would they need? If you think of a few more, please be sure to add your comments to this list.

Batman – As alter ego Bruce Wayne, the man has a ton of money. So it may not seem that he needs insurance. Having a lot of money also makes him a target. So he’s going to need home insurance to the tune of a couple million (both for the house and the person who wants to sue him for getting hurt on his property). All those vintage cars need to be insured. Of course, the Batmobile is going to need to be covered up to a million dollars or more. We can’t think of anyone who is going to need more car insurance, can you?

Transformers – Big the last two years, Transformers may be out of the Halloween running this year. Since they live most their time as cars, they’re going to need auto insurance that combines with medical. Right?

Pirate – Always big at Halloween, you’re sure to run into a few pirates this year. For the captain, there needs to be insurance on his ship. For the whole crew,  well, someone needs to insure the booty. If any of them own houses, they can wrap their personal belongings (booty included) in with their home insurance.

Princess – Big or small, you’re going to see a handful of princesses. Though her personal affects are undoubtedly insured by her father, each princess might be expected to provide insurance for her own pumpkin carriage.

Wizards – whether it’s a student at Hogwarts, or a more traditional blue robe, long beard costume, we’re looking forward to the wizards’ costumes. So, what kind of insurance does a wizard need? Well, whether you’re running away from Lord Voldemort or as old as Merlin, we’re going to suggest life insurance.

There are hundreds of costumes headed your way this next week. Pay attention and then come back to the site and let us know what type of insurance the characters you see are going to need.

If you haven’t taken the time to talk to an insurance agent, squeeze it in between now and Halloween. High insurance rates or bad coverage can be spooky for anybody.

Holiday Safety Tip #1: Halloween

Can you believe the holidays are just right around the corner? Yeah, neither can we. But while we look forward to holiday parties, good food, and lots of fun, this is the time of year when tragedy strikes most – causing your insurance rates to skyrocket. For example, more car accidents occur on holidays than on any other days of the year.

Over the next few months, we’re going to give you all kinds of safety tips to keep you safe and save you from having to file an insurance claim. A lot of these are no-brainers. But that doesn’t mean you can ignore them. It’s always a good idea to remind yourself of some of the basics. So, what do you need to remember about Halloween?

1) Be extra careful before, on, and after the 31st. Even though Halloween only lasts a single day, the parties, trick-or-treating, and other events could take place for several days before and after – especially when Halloween is on a school night.

2) Plan to drive slowly through neighborhoods and watch for children, smashed pumpkins and debris in the road. After all, your auto insurance may not take kindly to the claim that “a jack-o-lantern came out of nowhere.”

3) Keep an eye on the candles. Jack-o-lanterns, though fun, pose a risk to your house, and by extension, your home insurance. Only light candles when you plan to be home. And be sure to blow them out before going to bed.

4) Make sure all windows and doors are locked. Sure, most home insurance policies cover theft, but do you really want to risk it? With thousands of ghosts and goblins wandering the streets (and the parents out with them), it is far too easy for someone to break into your home unnoticed. Even if someone is home, keep everything shut and locked.

5) Send your children out with flashlights. When children are dressed up in costume – especially dark costumes – they are difficult for drivers to see. Flashlights or glow sticks minimize your child’s risks and can make you feel a little safer as a parent.

The best insurance is always the insurance you don’t have to use. But when the holidays creep up, so do the dangers. The last thing you want to be doing this time of year is filing an insurance claim. By remembering a few small details about the holiday, you can keep yourself protected and have an enjoyable time.

If your car, house, or you are not covered by insurance, now is a good time to talk to an agent. We can get you signed up before the holidays start and get you on the path to a great year end.

What You Need to Know About Your Insurance Score

Did you know insurance companies don’t just come up with arbitrary numbers for your premiums? Nor do they offer everyone the same policy. Nope. Much like financial lenders, insurance companies assess your risk (as a client) based on your insurance score.

Never heard of insurance scores? You’re not alone. You see, most people know that when they get a ticket or have an accident, their insurance rates are liable to go up. Did you know that those incidents will affect your insurance score as well?

So what is an insurance score? Scores are likely affected by a few key factors including:



-Existing credit issues

-Number of insurance score inquiries

We do everything we can to help you get the best possible car insurance rates, but you can assist in the process. How? Well, you can make sure your credit rates remain high. Good credit is an indicator to both lenders and insurers alike that you are someone they should be willing to take a chance on.

Getting a car and getting insurance is not just a simple two step process. There is a lot more involved than just asking for insurance and getting it. If you’re looking to save money and get great policies, then you need to be paying attention to everything from financial credit scores to your driving habits.

If you’re looking for new insurance, or just want to check and make sure you have the best policies at the best prices, be sure to give us a call.

A Note From a Happy Insurance Client

One of the things we love best about providing insurance services is the number of people we can help. You see, we do what most insurance agencies can’t or won’t do for you- we shop for the best prices and the best policies to meet your specific needs. It’s fun for us and we know our clients love it.

If you’ve been on our website, then you may have noticed the client testimonials. Today, we’d like to provide you with the comments of one satisfied individual:

We have auto insurance, home insurance, and life insurance with you. So it’s important to us that we get the type of service and rates that we think we deserve.

Last week I received a notice about my auto insurance. I always get nervous when opening letters from service providers. So you can imagine how delighted I was to open the letter and discover that my insurance rate had decreased. (I already thought my rates were low.) I don’t know why or how, but it went down by about $10 a month. That’s the kind of thing I like to see.

But in addition to that, we have always been treated so well by employees. Thanks!

– Mike

So our question to you today is this: what is most important to you? Rates? Coverage? Who you’re working with?

That’s one of the things we can claim about our company… we have it all. If you haven’t talked to an agent yet, then we invite you to give us a try. We do our best to make your insurance experience a great one!

7 Insurance Details You May Not Know

Last week as we were looking up the funny insurance claims we shared with you, we came across this true story:

A woman sent a letter to her insurance agency requesting they cancel her husband’s life insurance policy. Her reason for canceling? Her husband had died and she was struggling to pay her bills.

At first, we found the story a bit comical. Imagine the relief that woman felt when she discovered not only could she stop paying the insurance premium, but she would be getting a nice chunk of cash to help her financially. Of course, after we stopped chuckling, we had to ask ourselves, “what does anyone really know about insurance?”

As you know, Hurricane Irene has left hundreds of thousands of people devastated. What if a natural disaster were to happen in Arizona? What if you had a loved one die? What if, what if, what if? So, we thought today might be a great time to share some must know insurance details with you.

Here are 10 important facts you may not be aware of:

  • There are two kinds of life insurance: term and whole life. Term life insurance includes a set premium payment and lasts a specific number of years. Whole life insurance is tied to your savings or investments.
  • Even if you are in a minor car accident and little to no damage was done to your vehicles or persons, call the police. You need a police report if you discover later that there was damage, or you need medical attention. Without a police report, most insurance companies cannot process claims.
  • Auto insurance prices are going to vary depending on which car you own. Before making a purchase, find out what your rate will be. It may affect how much car you can afford.
  • Most policies do not cover flood damage, and some policies won’t cover your electronics and jewelry replacements. But, those things can be added. Be sure to talk to your insurance agent about your specific needs.
  • Every state requires auto insurance.
  • Yes, you can be sued if someone gets injured on your property. However, you can get liability coverage to help protect you against such costs.
  • Your credit score affects your auto insurance premiums, so keep an eye on your credit.

Insurance can be tricky business. If there was something on this list you didn’t already know, then how do you know you’re getting the best insurance policy? Our insurance agents are always ready to help you review your options and find the policies that meet the needs of your families.

So, if you’re not sure, why not give us a call?

Unbelievable Insurance Claims

If you’re like us, you love hearing stories about the crazy things that happen in your industry. School teachers love swapping stories about the comments their students make in class (or excuses they come up with!) Military personal swap combat stories. And as you might guess, we also have our own pile of stories to talk about.

Now, we’re not going to share any of the stories from our office – we would hate to see one of the clients we love so much recognize their stories online. But here are some stories and insurance claims that may entertain you a little bit…

We thought this insurance story was mortifyingly funny:

“I was driving along the motorway when the police pulled me over onto the hard shoulder. Unfortunately I was in the middle lane and there was another car in the way.”

Sometimes we love how very honest and direct people are on their insurance claim:

The claimant had collided with a cow. The questions and answers on the claim form were:

Q: What warning was given by you? A: Horn.

Q: What warning was given by the other party? A: Moo.

Here’s a good reason to practice your driving skills as well as have insurance:

“I had been learning to drive with power steering. I turned the wheel to what I thought was enough and found myself in a different direction going the opposite way.”

Can you imagine being the insurance agent asked to process this claim:

“A house hit my car.” (A house was being moved by a large truck. My friend had his car parked on the side of the road correctly. The house began to tilt off the truck and eventually fell off the truck, landing on my friend’s car. He eventually had the insurance paid, after a lengthy explanation and the moving company confirming the story.)

You know, as funny as these stories are, they are really only funny after the fact. Imagine being the person who had to fight with an insurance agency about a claim. What if the man who had a house fall on his car was never compensated, despite being insured? We wouldn’t be laughing then.

So here’s the question of the day: what are your best odds for being able to laugh after an accident or after making an insurance claim? We have that answer: you need an advocate in the insurance world.

At Arizona Capital Insurance we’re here to make sure that you’re taken care of. We don’t work for insurance agencies, we work for you. And whether your accident or claim is straightforward and you get compensated right away, or it’s something that needs a little bit more time and investigating, we are here for you.


We found these stories at:

No Insurance? Expect Lightening to Strike Twice

This weekend I heard an interesting story that needs to be shared. A man was telling about his family (6 brothers and 4 sisters) and how all the kids enjoyed playing with matches. He talked about how fires had been started in the house 4 times, but it was never particularly devastating.

Thinking their troubles with kids and matches had finally come to an end, and that lightning couldn’t strike twice, this man’s father cancelled his fire insurance. Not long afterward by sheer accident (none of the kids involved), a fire was started in the garage that worked its way across the house and took off the entire roof.

With the economic struggles of this economy, you’re naturally going to consider canceling your insurance to save a dime. Now, not only is that unwise, but in many cases it’s illegal. Mortgage lenders will not let you have a mortgage without home insurance to accompany it. The state in which you live requires that you have auto insurance. So you can see that giving up house insurance and car insurance altogether is an unwise thing to do.

However, you might be tempted to go with a “cheaper” policy. Cheaper generally means that you’re only receiving the minimum possible  coverage. “After all,” you might rationalize, “what are the chances something is going to happen and I’ll need insurance before the economy picks up.” Perhaps you’ve already experienced a flood and decided it won’t happen again. So, you minimize your insurance coverage.

Now more than ever you need every bit of protection you can possible get through insurance. When you don’t have extra money lying around, you can’t afford to replace or repair your car, house, boats, ect. Expenses for each of those could be in the thousands (and for your home it could be in the tens of thousands.)

It’s tempting, yes. Especially if you’ve already used your insurance policy a time or two to make repairs or cover expenses. But before you rationalize that you won’t need that  coverage for a while, consider these facts about lightning striking twice:

  • The shuttle launch pad at Cape Canaveral frequently gets hit by lightning, sometimes twice in the same storm
  • A park ranger was struck by lightning seven times over the course of his career
  • The Empire State Building gets struck by lightning approximately 25 times each year
  • Commercial airliners are struck by lightning about twice per year
  • One woman lost 3 husbands the same way – they were all struck by lightning

Needing insurance is just as unpredictable as lightning. You really never know. So the best thing you can do is make sure that you get an insurance policy good enough to cover any expenses you would not be able to pay on your own. Don’t leave your possessions to chance.

If you are interested in looking at other options, feel free to contact one of the insurance reps at Arizona Capital Insurance. They can help you seek out the best coverage at the best rates. And maybe they’ll be able to save you a dime or two.

Now, considering the nature of this post, we’re hoping you’ll post a few comments. Not about lightning striking twice, but times when your insurance coverage saved your bacon, for the very same reason. Maybe you had a child get into an accident at the very same intersection twice in one year. Those are the stories we’re anxious to hear. Thanks for your feedback and let’s hope lightening doesn’t even strike once.