The perils of distracted driving

The government’s web page on distracted driving points out that 3,179 people were killed, and more than 431,000 were injured as a result of distracted driving in 2014. Those figures place the problem second only to drunk driving, which killed 9,967 people during the same year, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The leading causes of distracted driving include texting, talking on a mobile phone, adjusting an electronic device such as a car radio or CD player, eating or drinking, or even watching a video. The things that some people will do when they should be paying attention to the road can be mind numbing.

Operating a nearly two-ton motor vehicle at speeds up to 65 miles an hour on the road with other vehicles is no joke. Often things happen on the road that requires split-second reactions to avoid. The act of taking one’s attention off the road even for a second can lead to a crash that will render your vehicle a twisted mass of metal and you and your passengers mangled flesh, dead or seriously injured.

To avoid distracted driving Pinnacle Insurance Agency of MN serving  Coon Rapids, MN  suggests a couple of common-sense procedures.

Have a passenger attend to fiddling with electronics, including using the phone, texting people, and adjusting the radio, CD player, or GPS. Anyone who calls you while you are on the road can wait to speak to you directly when you have reached your destination. If the call is urgent, pull over to the side of the road.

Do not eat, drink, watch a video, or do anything that distracts you from driving. It can wait.

For more information on auto insurance visit Pinnacle Insurance Agency of MN serving Coon Rapids, MN

Understanding Home Insurance in Coon Rapids

Home insurance is just one of the things you have to buy for your house in Coon Rapids, MN, along with furniture and a new blender. But home insurance is a much more important purchase than another end table or an extra toilet brush for the upstairs bathroom. Pinnacle Insurance Agency of MN wants you to have more information when it comes to understanding home insurance. 

A Resource for the Community 

Home insurance helps keep the houses on your block from becoming run-down, much the same way a fresh coat of paint or a new door might do. Broken windows from vandalism or the last big blizzard can be replaced right away, giving everyone who passes by an impression that this neighborhood is full of people who pay attention to what happens on the block. Maintained homes can keep criminals at bay because they get the rightful sense that their behavior is likely to be noticed by those who care about safety and order.

It’s Up to You

Home insurance is all about what you want — if you don’t want to insure your second-hand furniture you received from your Aunt when you first moved in, then you don’t have to. This is about finding a policy that works for you, and ensuring that its clauses are tailored to fit your needs. There are so many threats out there that you’ll want to consider, though, meaning you should really talk to an expert. If you’re looking to update or renew your home insurance in Coon Rapids, MN, then our agency is full of people who are happy to help. If you want to ask us questions or merely request a quote, then give Pinnacle Insurance Agency of MN a call today to see how we can help. 

 

 

How Traffic School Can Keep Your Auto Insurance Rates Down After a Ticket

Most states use a point system to determine how safe of a driver you are. For example, a speeding ticket may be one point, reckless driving may be two points and an accident may be three points. Insurance companies can then look at these points and determine what your insurance rates will be. In these states that use points, you are often allowed to take traffic school once every two to five years to reduce a certain number of points and keep your insurance rates low. However, Minnesota is not a state that uses a point system. As such, you may be wondering why you should think about taking traffic school after you have gotten a ticket. Here is some information you will want to know.

While points may not be removed from your driving record when you take traffic school, because Minnesota doesn’t have a points system, many insurance companies will offer you a discount for taking part in a defensive driving or traffic school course. So, while your auto rates may rise after a ticket, taking one of these courses may cause a reduction. Thus, the two balance each other out, helping to keep your insurance rates as low as possible after you are given a ticket. However, keep in mind that not every insurance will give you, nor are they required to give you, a discount for taking one of these courses.

If you have received a ticket and your insurance rates have skyrocketed, it may be time to shop around for a new policy. Here at Pinnacle Insurance Agency of MN, serving the greater Coon Rapids, MN area, we know that not everyone has a perfect driving record. We can help you find the right policy for you at an affordable rate, regardless of your driving record. Give us a call or swing by our office today to get started.

Do You Really Need Auto Insurance?

For many people in Coon Rapids, MN, the thought of having an auto insurance payment every month is just too much. If you fall into this category, you may even be wondering if you should have an auto insurance policy at all. At Pinnacle Insurance Agency of MN, we know that it is a necessity both by law and for your peace of mind. 

Minimum Requirements for Coverage

In Minnesota, you are requited by law to have a minimum amount of auto insurance coverage. Failing to have this minimum amount of auto insurance coverage can result in fines, jail time, loss of license, and more. If you want to stay in line with the law, this is what you need:

  • $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident of bodily injury liability
  • $10,000 of property damage liability
  • $40,000 of PIP or Personal Injury Protection
  • $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident of uninsured motorist coverage
  • $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident of underinsured motorist coverage

Other Benefits of Having Auto Insurance in Minnesota

Other than staying on the right side of the law, there are some other benefits of having auto insurance in the state. Some of these benefits include:

  • Protecting yourself financially. Auto insurance is designed to assist you in case of an accident. It is something you want to have in place so you can get help repairing your vehicle, paying for medical bills, and more. Even though the monthly payment may scare you, insurance helps in times of need.
  • Having peace of mind. There is nothing better than driving your car and knowing that you are protected financially. 

If you are interested in learning more about your auto insurance options and getting a quote for your policy, be sure to contact Pinnacle Insurance Agency of MN serving Coon Rapids, MN. 

Maintain Your Heating System and Protect Your Home and Family

It’s that time of year. The temperatures are dropping and you are starting up your furnace and wood stove.  Do you wonder if you really ought to have your Coon Rapids MN HVAC company come out to do routine maintenance, like their direct mail ad says you should?  The answer is yes!

Protect Your Family From Poisonous Fumes

Carbon monoxide is truly a silent killer.  If your furnace is not burning efficiently and clean, it could be spewing the colorless and odorless gas into your home. Your HVAC service person will also check that your CO detectors by the furnace and in the bedrooms will warn you of a leak before it is too late.

Check the Chimney and Flue are Free of Build Up

If you are burning oil or wood and have not done routine cleaning, build up in the flue can become a fire hazard over time. A simple cleaning routine can prevent a fire that can destroy your house and possessions. All it takes is a single spark to start a terrible incident.

A Failing Heating System Devalues Your Home

If your furnace is not working as it should, you will be spending far more money every month to keep you and your family warm.  At the same time, high utility bills can lower the value of your Coon Rapids MN home when it comes time to sell. Completing repairs and maintenance consistently prolongs the life of your system and keeps skyrocketing utility bills at bay.

For more tips on how to protect your home and property, talk to your Coon Rapids, MN independent home insurance agent today.

 

5 House Chores You Can’t Forget this Fall

With the cold weather arriving in Coon Rapids, MN, it is time to ensure your home is ready to withstand the attack of Old Man Winter. These five tasks will help you protect your home while maintaining its value and preventing you from having to file a claim on your home insurance from Pinnacle Insurance Agency of MN.

  1. Clean Out and Secure Your Gutters:  It’s a messy job, but leaves and needles can freeze, cracking your downspouts and increasing the odds of ice dams backing up around the edge of your roof.
  2. Patch Loose Paving Stones: It’s hard enough to keep your balance on ice covered walkways. A loose paver or crumbling surface can end up with twisted ankles and trips to the ER.  Repairs won’t cost much and take a limited amount of time.
  3. Stake Out Your Curbs, Driveway and Front Walk: Help the snowplows and your teenager from destroying your driveway, mailbox and stonewall when the snow has piled high. Flourescent tipped stakes can be picked up for a couple dollars at your hardware store, but can help prevent thousands in damage.
  4. Secure Deck Furniture: When a blizzard blows through Coon Rapids, MN, unsecured property lying around the yard can turn into damaging missiles. After your last backyard BBQ, bring your table and chairs into the basement for safe storage will preserving your patio for another year of entertainment.
  5. Check Roof for Loose Shingles: Your roof may only be a couple years old, but it can have a couple loose shingles, opening the door for ice and water to enter into your home and causing considerable damage. An hour or two spend with hammer and nails can prevent a world of frustration.

For more suggestions on how to protect your home this Fall, give your agent at Pinnacle Insurance Agency of MN a call today.

How To Add More Home Insurance Coverage

It’s important to be responsible as a homeowner in Coon Rapids, MN. When you first purchased your home, you may have purchased the first policy offered to you because you needed to have insurance in place. Now, you want to look at adding more coverage so that you have financial protection in place.

Look at Your Home

Your home is automatically covered within your home insurance policy. However, as you at various things to your home, you want to make sure that your policy is updated. If you build the fence, at a security system, or do anything else, your coverage can change.

Additionally, you want to make sure that everything on your property is encompassed within your home insurance policy.

Our independent insurance agents at Pinnacle Insurance Agency of MN will be able to help you.

Look at Your Belongings

It’s important that everything you own inside your home is covered. If you have expensive jewelry, collectibles, artwork, or anything else, the value could be higher than what stated within your home insurance policy. This means you may want to look at adding additional coverage so that a claim would take care of everything.

Determine Liability Scenarios

You may have people over to your home in Coon Rapids, MN on a regular basis. This can be friends and family, contractors, and others. Your home insurance has liability coverage, though it may not be enough. Take the time to look at the various scenarios you are protected against, and determine if it is enough.

You may want to protect yourself against various other scenarios, such as someone getting a DUI on the way home from a party or one of your family members damaging the property of someone else.

To learn more about adding coverage to your home, contact us at Pinnacle Insurance Agency of MN.

 

 

 

It’s Time for a Homeowners Insurance Review

Winter is right around the corner, and that’s when weather-related homeowners insurance claims in Minnesota increase. That’s why now is the best time of the year for a homeowners insurance review with your insurance agent at Pinnacle Insurance Agency of MN in Coon Rapids, MN.

Although the value of your home might be the same as from last year, the cost of rebuilding it is probably higher than its present market value. What about the personal property that you’ve accumulated since the last time you had a homeowners insurance review? Talk with us at Pinnacle about covering the replacement cost of your home and the personal property inside of it. You might even be interested in special coverage for particularly valuable items.

As your net worth is increasing, you’ll want coverage of your assets to increase too. All it takes is for the pizza delivery kid to slip on your front porch or for the cable guy to fall off of a ladder when a gutter separates from the house. You could be on the wrong end of a personal injury lawsuit with coverage that might not be sufficient to cover a verdict. You want sufficient liability coverage too. That might even involve umbrella coverage for an additional $1 million on up to $5 million. You’ll be surprised at how inexpensive it is.

Winter is coming, so the chances of an auto or homeowners claim rises drastically. It’s the perfect time to sit down and talk with us. Just call us at Pinnacle Insurance Agency of MN in Coon Rapids at 763-767-2323 before the snow and ice hits.  You’re not just protecting your home, vehicles and personal property. You’re protecting everybody around you too.

 

What to Remember About Your Homeowners Insurance

If you ask yourself what you really know about your home insurance policy, you may be surprised at just how few facts you come up with. People who are buying a home are often too busy with the many other tasks on their list that insurance gets pushed to the side. When you live in Coon Rapids, MN, you should know just how important it is to have the right policy though. Here’s what to remember before you settle on a coverage level. 

Separation of Events 

Just because you have basic coverage, doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to get the relief you need from different common events. For example, flooding is generally its own separate policy, but that’s often a surprise after the rains hit a town. Also, while you may be able to fix the damages to the outside of your home after a natural disaster, you may not be able to do the same with the objects inside. 

Updating Your Policy 

It’s important to update your policy whenever you change the value of your home. For example, if you install expensive new wall fixtures to your home, you’ll want those to be covered if they’re somehow destroyed from a terrible event. Keeping yourself protected from the elements is not a static task, it’s constantly changing based on what you do and the threats in Coon Rapids. MN. 

 Pinnacle Insurance Agency

Our staff is skilled in advising people just like you, so talk to us when you’re wondering what you need to keep your investment from tumbling to the ground. Our employees may not have seen it all, but they’ve seen enough to give you real stories that you can remember and use to make decisions for yourself. Learning about home insurance may not be the most exciting thing you do, but it may be one of the most valuable. Talk to  Pinnacle Insurance Agency today!

 

First Time RV Buying Tips

Traveling all around the country would be fun and exciting in a brand-new recreational vehicle, or motor home. Buying one for the first time can seem daunting with all of the options that are available. There are several tips you can keep in mind before purchasing your first RV.

Take it for an Extended Test Drive

Many people buy an RV to travel in for an extended period of time. The RV that you purchase will be your home for a while, so you should feel completely comfortable in the one you choose. Rent one for a few days and take it for a lengthy test drive. This will give you a better idea of what you want in the vehicle you choose.

Make a Pros and Cons List

After test driving an RV, you should write down the things that you like and don’t like about the vehicle. This could help you decide the type and size of the motor home you wish to buy. For example, if you’ve decided that you are not going to live in your RV year round and just vacation in it two or three times a year, you many consider getting a used option instead of a new one.

Research is Extremely Important

There are several different types and classes of RVs to choose from. You should research each online and stop by dealers to find out prices and deals. Know the value of the one you want. When you see one you want, check the RV’s history, if you’re buying a used, and know how many accidents or repairs the vehicle has had.

When you decide to buy an RV, the independent agents in Coon Rapids at Pinnacle Insurance Agency of MN are available to help you research insurance options for your vehicle.