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In the insurance industry, the term “flood” refers to water that comes in over top of the ground, while “water backup” generally enters the home through floor drains. Don’t assume you’re covered for water damage, though, because a basic homeowners insurance policy doesn’t cover either one. Flood insurance must be purchased as a separate policy, and limited coverage for.

What you can do: Protect your valuables by keeping them several inches off the floor, and use plastic tubs to store important papers and other items that could suffer water damage. Purchase flood insurance sooner rather than later, as there is a 30-day waiting period before the flood insurance policy takes effect. Review with your agent your needs and the availability of optional water backup coverage in your homeowners insurance policy.

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Technology is rapidly changing. Has your company’s driving policies kept up?
If you have employees who drive as part of their job, your driving policy should address cell phone use. Drivers using cell phones are four times more likely to be in an accident, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
A  cell phone policy can include the following provisions:
•Employees are expected not to text or talk on their cell phones while driving, regardless of whether they use a hands-free device.
•Regardless of how fast traffic is moving, employees must pull into a rest area or parking lot and stop the vehicle before placing or accepting a cell phone call.
•Employees charged with traffic violations for using their cell phones while driving will be responsible for the resulting liabilities. (Texting while driving is against the law in Minnesota and that includes doing so at a stop light.)
Research shows the cognitive distraction of talking or texting while driving is dangerous, even when drivers have both hands on the wheel. According to 2013 research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, these mental distractions slow reaction times and cause drivers to miss important visual cues.
Make employees aware of the risks
Avoiding cell phone use while driving is important for everyone, while working or for personal use. Tell employees:
•Using a cell phone while driving poses a risk comparable to driving under the influence of alcohol.
•Cell phone users have significantly poorer driving performance whether measured by speed control, following distance or reaction time.
•To stay safe, eliminate all cell phone use while driving including taking calls, sending or reading text messages, sending or reading email and surfing the Web.
•Cell phone laws (like Minnesota’s prohibition on texting while driving) apply while at a stop sign or stop light as well.
A Safety Message from our Friends at SFM

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Posted by on in Partner Sponsor Blog

Your car is headed to the shop after a crash. Will your auto insurance pay for a rental car? Make sure you’re covered by following these three simple steps.

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Some new technology might reduce auto insurance premiums. AAA investigates.

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From ice dams to basement flooding, make sure your home is safe from the damaging effects of snow and ice.

Another winter is just around the corner—will it be as rough as the last one? Thanks to the “polar vortex,” last winter was one of the worst in nearly 100 years, marked by heavy snowfall and unusually low temperatures. Weather like that can take a toll on your home, so it’s a good idea to be prepared. Here are a few tips to help you keep your home safe—from top to bottom.

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PIA of Minnesota
8646 Eagle Creek Circle, Suite 202
Savage, MN 55378

Phone: 866-694-7070
Fax: 866-749-8678

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