Car Insurance Information for Parents of Teens

For most parents, watching their child get a driver’s license and embark on a life on the road is nerve wracking. Between worrying about auto accidents and dealing with high insurance costs, the process can be quite stressful for some.

However, a bit of knowledge can help you navigate your child’s new-found independence—without watching your bank account run dry due to high auto insurance costs. Here are three things every parent of a teenage driver needs to know about auto insurance.

#1: You Are Required to Report Your Teenage Driver to Your Insurer

Many parents falsely believe that not reporting their teenage driver to their auto insurance company is a great way to save money on rates. However, most insurers require that they have record of all drivers in the household who have access to car keys. If you fail to do so and your teen is involved in a wreck, your policy could be cancelled and the claim denied due to breach of contract—costing you thousands of dollars in legal fees and damages.

#2: Your Teen’s Good Grades Could Save You Money

Insuring a teenage driver is expensive, but his or her good grades could save you a ton of money. Most insurers offer discounts for young drivers with a “B” average or higher. All you have to do is submit your child’s most recent report card to your independent insurance agent to have the discount applied to your policy.

#3: A Safe Driving Course is More Than Just a Good Idea

Your teen’s participation in a safe driving course is more than just a good idea—it could save you a ton of cash. Most auto insurance companies offer discounts for teen drivers who participate in driver’s education courses. In addition to the discount, your child will learn important tips and facts about being on the road. Think of it as a win-win situation for you and your teen driver!

For more information and tips about teenage driving, please talk to your independent insurance agent today.

Make sure your teen is covered. Call Pan American Insurance at (915) 562-0009 for more information on El Paso auto insurance.

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The Causes of Floods

We’re all familiar with the water cycle thanks to elementary science class teaching us that water travels from clouds, down to bodies of water and then evaporates back up to the clouds. But what happens when the hydrological system gets backed up or clogged? Those imbalanced conditions often lead to floods, which can cause extreme damage to our infrastructure. Let’s take a closer look at how floods are formed.

    • Heavy rainfall: Soil and foliage act as sponges that soak up rain as it falls. But over-saturated ground may not be able to absorb any more water during excessive rainfall, which can result in floods.

 

    • Urbanization: Areas covered in concrete and asphalt disrupt the natural cycle of rain being absorbed by the ground. Rainfall can overflow storm drains and sewers, and the water needs somewhere to go.

 

    • Flash flooding: Flash floods have various origins, but involve a wall of water quickly sweeping over an area. This process is often unpredictable, which makes it the most dangerous type of flood.

 

    • River flooding: This is when rain falls over the land surrounding a river, called the watershed. When that land falls into the river, the water may rise over the river’s edge and cause damage to nearby infrastructure. However, river floods can often be predicted in time to evacuate.

 

    • Natural disasters: Tsunamis and hurricanes create very large waves that can damage dams and levees, then wash over coastal areas.

 

  • Ice jams: A flood can occur if ice chunks break up and float down a river, piling up at a bend and blocking normal water flow.

Though there are areas that are more likely to experience flooding, the truth is that floods can occur anywhere and at any time. Protect your family today by speaking to your independent insurance agent about flood insurance.

Get the coverage you need. Call Pan American Insurance at (915) 562-0009 for more information on El Paso flood insurance.

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Insurance for Electronic & Mechanical Equipment

As technology develops, more and more businesses rely on computers and other electronic devices in order to maintain daily operations. Not to mention, businesses, for years, have used heating/cooling systems, phone systems and break room appliances. But what would your business do if this equipment malfunctioned or if a power surge zapped a company server?

Business owners often believe that such damages are covered by their property insurance. However, if you study the details of your policy, you’re likely to find that that’s not the case. Property insurance focuses on external damages, such as fires, theft or weather-related incidents. But internal incidents, such as electric arcing or mechanical or motor failure, are typically excluded.

Just because property insurance may not cover these damages doesn’t necessarily mean you have to pay for the high expenses out of pocket. In fact, there’s another option for a more well-rounded insurance portfolio.

Equipment breakdown insurance is a key component of business insurance portfolios because it provides valuable protection for your electronic and mechanical equipment. However, keep in mind that this policy is designed to cover hardware; software coverage is likely to fall under cyber risk insurance. Equipment breakdown insurance, depending on the details of your policy, may also cover a loss of income that results from failed equipment causing a business interruption.

Your independent agent can help determine if equipment breakdown insurance is right for your business insurance portfolio, along with any additional policies to cover your business’ risks and needs.

We’ll help you find the coverage you need. Call Pan American Insurance at (915) 562-0009 for more information on El Paso business insurance.

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Important Tire-Pressure Checking Information

To keep your car driving safely and efficiently, it’s important to inflate your tires to the correct pressure, which is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI). Underinflated tires will wear and overinflated tires are at risk of a blowout. You can find the appropriate PSI for your tires listed in your owner’s manual and on the sticker on the driver’s side door. It may also be visible on the side of your tires. Smaller cars will typically have a tire pressure between 30 and 40 PSI, while larger cars will typically be around 45 PSI.

Check your tire pressure using an air pressure gauge, which you can buy for a few dollars at any store that sells auto supplies. You can use a standard gauge that measures PSI by the notches on its metered stick or one with a digital reading. It’s best to check tire pressure at a gas station that also has an air station so you can inflate any tires that are on low on air.

Start by removing the caps on all four tire valve stems, which are the air nozzles on the sides of the tires. Use your gauge to check the pressure by placing it evenly onto the valve stem. Your gauge will get a reading of air flow either by blowing out the metered stick or giving a digital reading. The tires with low pressure will need to be inflated.

Pay for air at the stations and then fit the hose nozzle onto the valve stem. It may take some force to press the nozzle firmly in place, but you’ll know when it’s correct when air stops leaking out. To avoid overinflating, remove the hose every few seconds and check the pressure again with your gauge. This may take several repetitions until the pressure reaches the recommended level. Once all tires are inflated, replace the caps and you’re done.

Fully protect your car with comprehensive coverage. Call Pan American Insurance at (915) 562-0009 for more information on El Paso auto insurance.

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Spring Cleaning Tips for RV Owners

Rewcreational VehicleAfter your RV is awoken from its wintertime slumber, it’ll need a bit of TLC to get it road ready once again. And while you’re at it, it’s the perfect time to attend to some spring cleaning chores to make your road trips as enjoyable and comfortable as possible. We recommend that you get started a few weeks before a planned vacation so you have adequate time to accomplish your RV to-do list before hitting the open road. So where do you begin?

 

De-Winterize and Tune Up

To take your RV from winter mode into spring mode, flush the system of antifreeze, reinstall fuses that may have been removed for storage, flush the water system and test the battery. It’s a good idea to take your RV to a mechanic to ensure that all systems are in working order. It’s also recommended that you get an oil change, check all fluid levels, replace the spark plugs, service the fuel injection system, replace the air and fuel filter, rotate/inflate the tires, lubricate hinges/locks and any other necessary maintenance.

Clean the Exterior and Interior

A good exterior wash not only keeps you RV in great condition, but it also provides you the opportunity to inspect the panels, seams, seals etc. for any damages, which you should have repaired before a trip. Once that’s done, it’s time to clean up the interior. Vacuum, wash the linens, scrub the bathroom, air out the cabin, check the kitchen for insects etc. Perform all the cleaning tasks that you would in your home.

Organize

Because an RV has such limited space, de-cluttering and organizing is key for a relaxing road trip. Go through your RV and remove anything that you haven’t used in over a year. The extra space can be used for new items that will garner more use. You may also wish to make use of racks, hooks and any number of organizational options to optimize the space.

Before backing out of your driveway, review your RV insurance policy to make sure that it’s valid. And don’t forget to call us with any questions or concerns at (915) 562-0009.

Get RV coverage before your next big trip. Get a free El Paso RV insurance quote.

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How to Prevent Home Theft

Home robberies occur every 15 minutes in America, most of which happen while you’re away at work. It takes an average of 10 minutes for burglars to get in and out with your stuff if your home is visibly unarmed. This means that the harder you make it for a person to break into your home, the less likely they are to target it in the first place.

Installing dead bolts in all exterior doors provides an extra layer of protection between thieves and your valuables. Since most burglars enter homes through unlocked doors or windows, simply locking up when you leave and before bed can be an effective deterrent for less experienced thieves. If you have a sliding glass door, placing a wooden rod in the track prevents the door from being opened from the outside.

To prevent luring burglars to your home, keep valuables out of plain sight. Use blinds and/or curtains to block the view of expensive items such as TVs, computers and fine artwork. Many criminals break into homes to steal car keys, allowing them to drive your car off your property. Keeping car keys hidden away in a drawer helps prevent such crime. Similarly, most burglars head straight for the master bedroom to look for jewelry, money and other expensive treasures. Storing such items in another room can protect them in the event of a break in.

If you’d feel more comfortable taking a more proactive approach to home security, you can try motion-sensor outdoor lighting and a security alarm. The outdoor lighting gives the appearance of an easy, dark target, until the motion sensors are tripped and the thief is caught in a flood of light. This scares away many inexperienced criminals. A security alarm, though a pricey option, offers the most protection with 24/7 monitoring by representatives who will call the authorities if the alarm is tripped.

Other anti-theft methods include installing security cameras, glass-break alarms and even owning a large dog. If funds are low but you still want peace of mind, you can select a few cheap methods (like dead bolts) and buy dummy security cameras and yard signs for security monitoring. This can trick thieves into thinking your home is protected more than it actually is.

Add another layer of protection. Call Pan American Insurance at (915) 562-0009 for more information on El Paso home insurance.

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What Are the Benefits of Forming an LLC?

A limited liability company, commonly known as an LLC, is a form of business that protects its owners, members and itself from certain legal liabilities. It’s like a compromise between a partnership and a corporation in the sense that it possesses a pass-through tax status like a partnership, yet offers limited-liability protection like a corporation.

Members of LLCs are not held personally responsible for the actions or debts of the company, meaning that a business lawsuit will not result in a personal car or home repossession. However, an LLC cannot protect members from personal liability for their own wrongdoings, in which case, their assets may be at risk in a lawsuit.

Forming an LLC also involves considerable tax benefits, which, when paired with the limited personal liability exposure mentioned above, often makes it a more favorable option than incorporating. A single owner of an LLC is taxed as a sole proprietorship; owner compensation in the form of distribution of profit is taxed at the individual owner’s marginal tax bracket (which is potentially lower than that of the business itself). The pass-through tax status can also offset any of the owner’s other nonbusiness income.

An LCC with multiple owners still offers similar tax benefits, along with the added benefits of a corporation. Owners can elect to have their LLC taxed as a partnership or as a corporation.

Even with limited personal liability, it’s still important to insure LLCs as you would insure a corporation. Property and liability insurance are business standards that are often enhanced with additional coverages such as lost income, commercial auto, umbrella, data breach, equipment breakdown and worker’s compensation. Your local agent can help you select a comprehensive policy that meets the needs of your LLC.

Protect your business from the unexpected. Call Pan American Insurance at 888-726-3380 for more information on El Paso business insurance.

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