Is it Time to Have an Account Review?
Happy New Year from all of us at the Crawford Insurance Group!
The holidays are finally over and things are settling down again, so now is the perfect time to review your insurance policies for a worry-free year!
We highly advise setting an appointment to speak to your account manager so that you can make sure that anything that might have happened at the end of the year doesn’t slip through the cracks. For example, did you give or receive a gift around the holidays that might need extra coverage? Did your child move out of the household? Did your business purchase any new assets at the end of the year for tax purposes? Did you recently get engaged or married? Or perhaps would you just like to go over all your current coverages to make sure that everything is exactly how you want them? We encourage you to start off the new year by evaluating your insurance policies, and to take some time to talk to your account manager to make sure that we are meeting your current needs. Feel free to call our office at 248-402-5005 to set an appointment!
Michiganders all know that with lakes surrounding us on all sides that there’s almost just as many winter recreational activities as there are summer ones. Ever since our last snowstorm, people have been starting to plan for those snow-filled activities, including snowmobiling. Here’s a few safety tips to keep in mind before we get the next round of snowfall and you start thinking about hitting the trails!
Take a Safety Course
Anyone with a driver’s license (unless that person’s license is suspended) can legally drive a snowmobile in Michigan. Youths over the age of 12 and under the age of 17 years old are required by the State of Michigan to take a snowmobile education course if they wish to ride (and must be supervised by an adult 21 years or older), which is available to sign up for on www.snowmobile-ed.com/Michigan though riders of all ages are encouraged to sign up for this course, which instructs how to ride safely and responsible, teaches the rules, and offers riding techniques to help operate the snowmobile and to avoid hazards.
Wear Protective Gear and Appropriate Clothes
Wearing a snowmobile suit, which consists of a jacket and insulated bibs, helps you stay warm and dry during the ride and makes it more enjoyable and safer. Be sure to check the weather forecast and dress in layers underneath the suit accordingly. Avoid dressing in cotton, which can freeze when it’s wet, and opt for polyester blends which wick moisture away from your body. Wear goggles or a face shield if you do not have a full-faced helmet, and always opt for a DOT-approved helmet, which not only protects your head from injury, but also helps keep you warm. Make sure any children riders have a helmet that fits them properly.
Avoid Riding Alone
Bringing along a buddy or riding in a group is not only fun, but also a lot safer. If your snowmobile breaks down or you get into an accident, having someone there who can help you can be lifesaving. It’s recommended to also tell a family member or a friend about where you’re going, just in case you get stranded, as cell phones don’t always work in more remote locations.
Stay on the Trail and Stay Alert!
Keeping on marked trails is safer, as they have been prepared for snowmobile riders and are less likely to have hazards. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings and to keep an eye out for potential hazards on the path, such as fallen trees, barbed wire fences, rocks, animals, snow banks, ditches, and other people, whether they be riding on snowmobiles, hiking, or skiing.
Riders are encouraged to bring along a first-aid kit, an emergency kit, and a repair kit when they’re on the trails. Some tips on what to keep in your kits:
First Aid: bandages, hand sanitizer, gauze, disinfecting wipes, band-aids, adhesive tape
Emergency Kit: Compass, local map, blanket, water, waterproof matches, snacks, knife, flashlight
Repair Kit: spare belt, spark plugs, tools, pry bar, duct tape, rope
Don’t Drink and Drive!
Same with operating any vehicle, it is against the law to be under the influence of alcohol (and drugs) while you’re riding your snowmobile. Driving while impaired can lead to delayed reactions and reckless driving, which can cause accidents.
Winterizing Your Motorcycle
Winter can be hard on your motorcycle, even when it’s not out on the road. Properly wintering can not only help prevent costly repairs that improperly stored motorcycles may face, but also extend the life of your bike!
Drain the Fuel
Modern gasoline contains ethanol, which is an ingredient that helps cut back on pollution but doesn’t store very well. Leaving gas in your tank or elsewhere in the fuel system can result in sticky deposits that can cause lasting damage. Therefore, it’s important to be thorough, emptying the carburetor and fuel filter, and then setting them aside to dry completely. This is also a good time to change your oil and check your fluid levels, such as your antifreeze. Old, stagnant oil can become acidic and corrode your engine.
Preserve the Battery
We highly recommend giving the battery a full charge before shutting it down for the winter, and then removing it from your motorcycle. Connect it to a battery maintainer and keep it in the basement or another part of your home where it won’t freeze.
Monthly Winter Maintenance
It’s a good idea to take some time every month to rotate the wheels, turn the engine over by hand a few times, work the brakes, and open and close the gas gap and fuel petcocks. Machines are meant to move, so even though your motorcycle isn’t getting regular use, it’s wise to keep them moving occasionally.
Tip: Don’t run the engine! Turning it over by hand prevents doesn’t cause condensation, which is best to avoid in the winter.
Other Maintenance Tips:
- Store your bike on blocks.
- Tires can develop permanent flat patches when sitting on the floor for months. Storing your motorcycle on blocks can eliminate this problem – just be sure to secure it so it doesn’t fall off!
- Cover the tailpipe.
- Small animals (especially mice) seek out warm areas like your garage when it gets cold and like to create homes in your vehicles. Covering the tailpipe helps prevent them from being able to do so.
- Protect your motorcycle from wear.
- Use leather treatment to condition and moisturize the leather on your bike to prevent it from becoming dry and cracked.
- Wipe down all the metal on your bike with a light machine oil.
Quote for a Cause!
- Starting now and going throughout the year of 2020, we are partnering with two causes that we’re passionate about, the Grace Centers of Hope and the Michigan Humane Society. For every person who reaches out to us for a quote, we will allow them to choose which cause they would like us to donate $10 towards, even if we don’t write the policy! Help us help our community, either by spreading the word to others or by calling us today for a free quote!
- If you wish to learn more about Grace Centers of Hope, click here.
- If you wish to learn more about the Michigan Humane Society, click here.
4 Ingredient Healthy Buckeyes
Trying to stick to your New Year’s diet, but still have a sweet tooth? These buckeyes can help you stay right on track, require only four ingredients, so are super easy to put together, and are even gluten free!
- 16oz jar of peanut or almond butter
- ½ cup coconut flour
- 2 tbsp honey (or several drops of liquid stevia)
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips, melted
- Mix peanut butter and sweetener with coconut flour in medium bowl, using just enough to form a firm ball that stays together
- Roll into 1 inch balls and place onto a wax paper lined baking sheet. Place the balls into freezer for about 30 minutes to become firm.
3. Melt the chocolate, either over the stove or the microwave, stirring often so that it doesn’t burn.
4. Using a toothpick or a fork, dip the balls into the chocolate.
5.Store the buckeyes in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to eat them. Enjoy!
We LOVE hearing your feedback! Did you know that if you leave us a Google review, we’ll mail you a $5 gift card to Starbucks? Tell us what you think about our service, and we’ll treat you to a coffee as a small thanks from us!