As springtime approaches, you’ll probably notice something in addition to the warmer weather and blooming flowers: more motorcycles on the roads of Mecklenburg County.
Riding looks like a lot of fun, doesn’t it? Just imagine heading down I-77 with the sun shining and the road stretching out to the horizon. There are other benefits motorcycle riders enjoy as well, such as lower fuel costs and easier parking; but riding a motorcycle safely requires different skills than driving a car.
If you’re thinking that this is the year you’re going to buy your very own bike, let us at policyline insurance help you determine if a motorcycle is right for you. We’ve provided some questions below that the Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommends you honestly answer before becoming a bike owner.
Are you a risk-taker?Or are you safety-minded?
Think about how you drive your car. If you have aggressive tendencies or do things like talk on your phone while driving, a motorcycle probably isn’t for you. Motorcycles lack the protection that cars can provide in an accident, so driver focus and caution are extremely important.
How is your vision? What about your balance and coordination?
It’s extremely important that you see well – peripherally and in general – when riding a motorcycle. Motorcycles are not as visible as other vehicles on the road, so riders need to be alert and aware at all times. And, of course, riding requires balance and coordination, much like a bicycle. If you’re not great on non-motorized two-wheelers, you might want to think again about motorcycling.
Do you respect dangerous machinery?
When you use a chainsaw or other equipment that can cause harm, do you always follow the instructions and wear the proper safety gear? If not, a motorcycle probably isn’t right for you. Maintenance and protective equipment is vital to riding safely. What you might be able to get away with when driving a car or using power tools could lead to a tragic outcome on a motorcycle.
Are you willing to invest in riding safely?
The best way to stay safe on a motorcycle is to invest some time before you get on the bike. Take a safety course and learn how to ride the right way. Purchase the right gear, including approved helmets and padded clothing. And learn about properly maintaining your motorcycle.
If you’re prepared and commit to safe riding, motorcycling can be a great way to get around. The freedom you’ll feel on the road is different than driving any car, which is just one reason millions of people find riding to be incredibly rewarding.
And when you’re ready, we are too! Feel free to give us a call at 704-768-1880 to discuss your motorcycle insurance options as well as safety tips!
Motorcycle safety resources
There’s a lot of great information out there about safe riding. We’ve just scratched the surface. To read more, check out:
It is the start of a new year, and we want know that for some of you, your resolution is to save money. Who doesn’t want to save money?
Our policyline insurance agents are here to help. Let us review your current policy and see what we can do to help. Want to shop around? We can do that for you. At policyline, we have multiple carriers that we work with to save you money.
What will an annual insurance check-up do for you?
Let’s go over a few things that you can speak about with your insurance advisor on an annual basis to make sure that you have the insurance coverage you need.
1) Have you made any additions/remodeling/physical changes to your home?
If you have remodeled your home, you may need to upgrade your homeowner’s insurance to reflect additional value.
2) Have you installed a Burglar or Fire Alarm?
If you have installed a monitored home alarm system, you may be eligible for discounts in the premium on your homeowners insurance.
3) Have you acquired artwork, jewelry, firearms or collections?
A standard homeowner’s policy only covers these items up to a certain amount, so if you’ve acquired anything new this year, you may need additional coverage.
4) How old is your vehicle?
Does it still make sense to carry comprehensive and collision on your vehicle now that it’s older or now that your loan is paid off?
5) Has the usage of your vehicle changed?
If your employment status has changed, you may need to change the use of your vehicle-commute, business, or pleasure.
6) Are you comfortable with your deductible?
The higher the deductible, the lower the premium. Your agent can give you options to help decide what is most appropriate for your financial situation.
No matter what you do or what you own, don’t let an unexpected accident or lawsuit put your possessions and savings at risk. Protect yourself and your family with inexpensive personal liability umbrella insurance, which also adds to your auto and home liability insurance.
At policyline, we have agents at both of our locations to help get you started with your insurance check-up. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. We are always here to help.
Millions of Americans will do some traveling this holiday season – the majority of it by car. Of course, winter weather creates a unique set of challenges on the roadways, whether you’re simply driving around in Charlotte or headed to see family in Virginia, Atlanta, or going so far as Pennsylvania or Ohio.
At policyline insurance, we’d like to help you not only enjoy your holiday season, but help ensure you’ll be around for future holidays, too! So please take these winter-travel safety tips to heart.
Prepare your car for winter:
Before leaving on your trip in North Carolina, give your car a thorough check-up. Do wipers need to be replaced? Are your fluid levels where they should be? Your tires need to be in good shape for driving on wet or snowy roads, and be sure your radiator and cooling systems are up to snuff. And – we know you’ve heard this before, but bear with us – your car should have an emergency kit. Pack it with jumper cables, blankets, a first-aid kit, flares, food and water, a flashlight and other safety gear. A shovel and cat litter or sand (to provide traction should you get stuck in snow or ice) are good ideas as well.
Before you leave:
Know exactly where you’re going, with printed maps, and check weather conditions along your planned route. Let someone know your itinerary, so if you don’t arrive on time, officials know where to look for you. If your car has snow or ice on it, make sure it is completely cleared off before you depart. Don’t forget to clear your headlights and other lights, along with the roof – ice and snow blowing from your car could create a hazard for other drivers.
When you’re on the road:
Are roads snowy or icy? Take it slow. Take it slow. Take it slow. Sorry for repeating ourselves, but it’s absolutely vital to, yes, take it slow. Give yourself extra time to get to your destination, and make sure you leave extra room between your vehicle and others on the road. Watch for ice patches on bridges, overpasses and shady spots. Remember, having four-wheel or all-wheel drive does not mean your car will stop or steer better on ice.
If you’re caught in a storm that seems like it’s too much for you to handle, seek refuge as soon as you can. Of course, sometimes it’s best not to drive in snow and ice at all – stay home if you can.
If your vehicle becomes disabled:
Nobody wants to think about being stranded on the side of the road in a storm, but it happens to thousands of people every year. If your vehicle is disabled, be sure to stay with it. Run your engine and heater for short intervals, and open one of your windows slightly to prevent carbon monoxide build-up. Light two flares (remember that vehicle emergency kit? Now’s the time to use it) and place one a safe distance from both the front and rear of your vehicle. Note your location with mileposts, exit numbers or cross-streets and call the authorities or a tow truck.
We hope you enjoy your holidays with friends and family, and we look forward to serving you in the New Year!
Now that summer’s over and the weather is cooling down, it’s time to think about pulling your boat out Lake Norman and putting it away until next year.
As you begin to prepare your boat for the winter, take the time to make sure it still has the right insurance protection. After all, we here at policyline insurance want to make sure you’re ready for the next boating season! (And maybe, just maybe, you’ll also be ready to invite your favorite insurance agent out for a day on the lake. Just a thought.)
First things first: Insurance
If you have a small boat with limited power, you may have some coverage under your North Carolina homeowners or renters insurance policy. If you aren’t sure, please check with us. Of course, larger and faster boats, along with personal watercraft, require their own policies. And we can help with those, too!
But do you even need boat insurance during the offseason when your boat won’t even be in the water? Well, that depends. Keep in mind that your boat can still be damaged no matter where it is. Often, damage from fire and theft isn’t covered unless you have a watercraft policy. And there always is the chance that we could get a streak of great weather in November that lures you to take the boat out on Lake Norman for a day or two! There are plenty of reasons to keep year-round coverage, but if you have questions about seasonal policies, give us a call: 1-800-725-POLICY. (1-800-725-7654)
And while you’re thinking about insurance, consider your current watercraft coverage. Is your boat older? It might be time to move to cash-value coverage instead of agreed value. Do you have a lot of expensive fishing equipment? Make sure you have enough optional coverage so your gear isn’t at risk. You might also want to consider uninsured boater coverage and a personal umbrella policy, which provide more liability protection than a standard watercraft policy.
And remember, you might be able to save money on your insurance by taking a boating-safety course, increasing your deductible or bundling your policies with one company.
Now: A different kind of protection
After you’ve squared away protecting your boat with the right insurance options, it’s time to think about protecting your boat in a more literal sense – by properly preparing it for winter. Below are some general tips to follow, but, of course, you should check your owner’s manuals for manufacturer recommendations.
Follow manufacturer instructions when winterizing your engine, but you’ll want to flush the engine with fresh water and make sure to drain fuel from the carburetor to prevent a build-up of deposits. Use fogging oil in the cylinders to lubricate cylinder walls and pistons.
Do a thorough inspection and remove plant life or barnacles from the lower unit. Drain the gear case and clean the lower unit with soap and water.
Fill your fuel tanks to avoid a buildup of condensation and add fuel stabilizer, following the product instructions.
Fresh water system
Drain the fresh water tank and water heater, and pump a nontoxic antifreeze into the system. Then, turn on all faucets until you see the antifreeze coming out.
Remove all valuables from the boat. Clean drawers thoroughly, and turn cushions on their edges to allow air to circulate. Clean the refrigerator and freezer.
Cover it up!
A cover will keep your boat clean and protect it from water and UV rays, which can break down hoses and fade upholstery.
Now, with your boat safely stowed, you can focus on your other toys this winter. Snowmobiles, anyone?
It goes without saying that keeping yourself and your family healthy through the holiday season in North Carolina can be a challenge. When you combine chillier temps, housebound days, year-end deadlines and pre-holiday preparation – not to mention kids passing around colds at school like they’re playing “Hot Potato” – you can end up spending the holidays under the covers.
No matter how many inherent seasonal risk factors you face, there are ways to prepare for and get through the season virtually unscathed. At policyline insurance, we wish for you a happy and abundantly healthy holiday season, so here are a few tips to help you stay well and enjoy!
1) Consider ‘sticking it’ to The Flu. Flu shots seem to be available at practically every drug store or pharmacy. Discuss with your doctor the pros and cons of flu shots for yourself and your family.
2) Get some zzz’s. The holiday hustle and bustle can interfere with normal sleep patterns, yet sleep is essential to health and healing. Prioritize getting enough sleep – or taking a quick nap – despite your busy schedule.
3) Fill the fridge. It’s easy to allow your pantry to start looking like a sweet shop as the holidays near. Take care to stock your refrigerator and cabinets with healthy snacks and ingredients for balanced meals. Think fruit, nuts, lower-calorie snacks, veggies and lean proteins.
4) Get real. Emotional health is important, too, so be realistic about what can be expected through the season.
5) Keep moving. Despite the many holiday temptations to just relax, don’t give in to being a couch potato. Get to the gym or yoga studio, go for a walk in the park, jump on the treadmill or dance. The important thing is to just move!
From the policyline family to your family, we wish you a happy and healthy holiday season!
Need health coverage during the holiday season to get that flu shot? Contact your local policyline agent at 1 800 725 POLICY (1-800-725-7654) or visit us here and contact us online!
It’s a great feeling to hang out with friends and family around a blazing fire in your backyard in North Carolina — unless, of course, that fire blazes a little too much.
While a fire pit can be a wonderful addition to your home, all fires are potentially dangerous. So before you sit down with some marshmallows to roast, we here at policyline insurancehave gathered up some tips to help you keep that fire in the pit (and away from everything else).
Are you legal?
Before building or buying a fire pit, check the regulations in your area to learn about restrictions.
Your fire pit may be legal, but a fire might not always be. Monitor and follow community burn bans.
Be respectful. Nothing can extinguish the good vibes of a nice fire more quickly than police complaints from smoked-out neighbors.
What kind of pit do you want?
You can buy a fire pit or build one. If you choose the latter, there are plenty of resources online to help you design it. Don’t dig a hole just anywhere and throw some rocks down. Put some thought into it and you’ll have a better — and safer — spot to enjoy.
If you want convenience, a propane model might be right for you. They produce less smoke and have an adjustable flame.
Ready to build your fire?
Actually, you probably aren’t ready yet.
First, ensure the area under and around the fire pit is clear of flammable materials. Keep the pit itself at least 10 feet from any structures.
Before you start the fire, have a fire extinguisher or a garden hose handy.
Okay, now are you ready to build your fire?
Choose hard, seasoned woods. Sparks from softer woods like cedar can increase the danger of igniting something nearby.
Don’t use liquid fuels, even lighter fluid, to get your fire going. And don’t burn paper, cardboard, leaves, garbage, etc.
If you have a metal fire pit, don’t overload it and always use the included safety screen.
Is the fire out?
When you’re done, spread out the ashes and let them cool off for a bit. Then gently pour water or sand over them. Stick around for a little while to watch for flare-ups.
We want you to have plenty of nice, warm nights — without getting burned. Here’s to making memories around the fire!