Ways to Winterize Your Vehicle for a Smooth Drive

As the seasons change and it starts to get colder, it’s also the perfect time for you to make adjustments to your car maintenance in order to withstand the wear and tear of winter driving. When you winterize your car, you reduce the chances of having car troubles during the season.

Here is a look at multiple ways that you can winterize your vehicle to help ensure that you have a smooth driving experience during the winter.

  • Have Your Tires Checked
    Getting your tires checked should be at the top of your checklist. Your tires are the foundation of your vehicle. Check your tires every week to see if they are starting to lose tread or pressure. If your tires are worn, you should replace them immediately. All terrain tires are normally a good investment during the winter. Having a strong set of tires is especially important if you live in an area where it snows regularly and the roads are icy. Winter tires will grip the pavement, which decreases the chances of you being involved in an accident.
  • Make Sure That Your Car Has Antifreeze
    As you go through the process to winterize your vehicle, check your antifreeze. Every year, you should drain your car radiator and add new coolant. If you are not aware of your vehicle’s optimal coolant level, check your manual. Also, make sure that the tank fluid levels are appropriate. This will prevent your vehicle from having internal issues.
  • Make Sure That You Always Have Gas
    Try to keep at least a half tank of gas in your car at all times. Keeping gas in your car will prevent any excess moisture in the gas line from freezing. Also, keeping at least a half tank of gas in your car will decrease the likelihood that your car won’t start during the winter. This should give you peace of mind throughout the winter months.
  • Check Your Headlights
    Driving during the winter can be extremely dangerous when you aren’t aware of your surroundings at all times. Check your headlights to make sure that they are working properly. It’s very difficult to drive safely without functioning headlights. If your headlights are dirty, be sure to clean them, as it should only take a few minutes. If your headlights are really foggy or damaged, you may have to replace them in order to decrease your chances of being involved in an accident.
  • Inspect Your Windshield Wipers
    Inspecting your windshield wipers should also be on your checklist. In order to have maximum visibility while you are on the road, replace your windshield wipers if they are starting to erode. During the winter, excess sand and salt builds up on your windshield, which can seriously impact your driving ability. You may have to change your wiper blades to a more powerful model to break down the snow and ice. If necessary, replace the wiper fluid to a winter-based formula.
  • Check Your Car Battery
    During the winter, you may have the occasional issue starting your car. However, checking your car battery will prevent more serious problems from happening. Your battery cables should be secure. Check to see if there is any build-up around the battery. If your headlights are extra bright before you start your engine, that’s a sign that something is wrong and you need to have a mechanic take a look.
  • Change Your Oil and Brake Fluid
    Change your oil to winterize your car. Consider using a less thick water-based oil for better lubrication. Check your brake fluid to see if it needs to be replaced. Inspect your brake pads to see if they need to be replaced due to excess wear.
  • Wash Your Car
    Washing your car regularly will prevent salt and snow build-up on your car, which impairs your visibility as you are driving.
    Winter driving can be dangerous, but winterizing your car using the above tips can help keep you safe. For assistance with all your insurance needs and questions, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services in Carlisle, PA. We will help you get the right coverage you need.

Great Tips for Managing Online Customer Reviews

Word of mouth was a valuable asset for any business. However, much of this has moved to the digital domain in the form of online customer reviews. A consumer survey shows that online reviews influence 91% of customers between 18 to 34 years. Further, consumers require a business to have at least 40 online reviews before they believe its average star rating.

Clearly, businesses cannot ignore online reviews. Let’s check out some handy dos and don’ts for managing online customer reviews.

Do Track Your Reviews

You should track online customer reviews whenever and wherever they appear. Sign up on sites that will send you notifications, or do a quick search on your social media.

You can also employ agencies that assess reviews. These steps will help you know whether you have a positive or negative image in the marketplace.

Do Thank Positive Reviewers

If a customer takes the effort to appreciate your work online, you should express thanks with a short note of acknowledgment. Avoid answering such reviews with links to ads, or requests to join mailing lists. The reply should be heartfelt and simple.

You can also provide helpful news related to the comment, if any. This lets your customers know that your company is responsive.

Don’t Ignore Negative Reviews

Some reviews are best ignored, especially if they display clear bias. If you suspect fake online customer reviews, it’s best to report them. Understand the customer’s point of view and try to assess what could have caused a negative response.

Your reply should always be polite. Assure them that their concerns are being looked into. If possible, you can give them the steps towards a resolution. This will show customers that your business can be trusted and relied upon.

Managing online customer reviews is important for the success of your business. Want to learn more about business risks and how you can ensure a risk-free future for your business? Contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services. Our dedicated team is eager to assist you with all your business insurance needs today.

My Car Is a Total Loss: What Do I Do?

If you get into a severe accident, your car may be damaged beyond repairs. When you raise a car insurance claim, the agent may inform you that your vehicle is a total loss. In this blog, we cover what you need to know about a total loss car insurance claim.

How Do Insurance Companies Identify a Total Loss?

When it comes to a car insurance claim for total loss, the first step is to identify if the vehicle can be repaired or should be declared a total loss.

This is based on three factors:

  • A comparison of the actual cash value (ACV) of the car against the cost of repairs
  • Whether the car can be repaired to meet the safety standards
  • Local and state regulations on deciding whether the damage equates to a total loss

What Happens Next?

You may be worried after knowing that your car is a total loss! However, here’s what you can do:

Pay Your Deductible

If someone else caused the accident, their insurance carrier would handle the total loss car insurance claim. However, if you are at fault, then you will have to pay the deductible.

Transfer Ownership

To facilitate the settlement of your car insurance claim for a total loss by your insurance carrier, you will have to transfer the ownership of your vehicle to them. However, do retain the insurance coverage on your car.

Get Paid

To settle your total loss car insurance claim, the insurer will pay you the ACV, minus any fees and deductibles. In case you own the car, the check will be in your name. Otherwise, it’ll be made out to the car purchase financing agency.

Buy a New Car

Now that you have no car, it is time to get behind a new set of wheels! You might ask: How do I get another car after a total loss? Simply cash in your insurer’s check to get a new vehicle and recover from the damages of your totaled car.

Once you get a new vehicle, don’t forget to secure complete auto insurance coverage. Do you have additional questions about your car coverage? Contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services. Our dedicated team is eager to assist you with all your auto insurance needs today.

Home Security Technology: Stay Ahead of Threats

Do you end up tossing and turning at nights fearing a break-in? These fears get worse if you reside in an unsafe neighborhood. Securing your home from burglars is not an expensive thing now. In recent years, home security technology has become more affordable.

If you want home security to protect your home and your loved ones, here are some options:

Full-Service Systems

Several companies offer full-service home security systems with central monitoring. These services cover everything from video surveillance to smoke or carbon monoxide detection to remote access and even medical emergency.

These systems send out texts and notifications to alert you of any regular or suspicious activities. Given the popularity of IoT devices, these companies have also started securing your home with home automation.

Do-It-Yourself Approach

If you’re the DIY type, you can purchase a starter kit for basic home security. With a DIY approach, you can choose the features that you want and remove the unnecessary ones. As a result, you get a customized home security solution.

To have a complete home security system, you will need:

  • Smart cameras and motion sensors: Compact wireless cameras that are equipped with sensors can be paired with doorbells, lights, or recording devices to act whenever it detects motion.
  • Keyless entry systems: Rather than ditching your keys entirely, you can use a hybrid entry system that uses keys and codes to grant access to your home.
  • Home automation: Combining home security elements with automation devices can be powerful in keeping burglars away. The popularity of devices like Amazon Echo, Google Home, etc. has made it easier to have home automation.

Home security technology is not only a luxury but a necessity. Looking for another way to protect your home? Contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services. Our dedicated team is eager to assist you with all your home coverage needs today.

Connecting With Your Family by Disconnecting From the Superficial

Technology gives us tremendous power to get things done. It serves many purposes, but not all! When you start relying on it for emotional needs, you are letting it overpower you. It’s time to disconnect to connect with your family.

The Problem of Immediate Satisfaction

You’d be wondering, what is the meaning of disconnect to connect? Relationships are built over time with a great deal of effort. But instead of genuine bonding, social media focuses on immediate satisfaction and superficial happiness.

The joy of quick responses on a picture or post can be misleading. You feel you’re getting all the attention, and there’s always someone to talk to. This creates a false belief that you don’t need to spend time with people to share feelings. It can be done at the click of a button.

However, the moment you need some company, this false belief breaks off. Relying on immediate satisfaction through social media can harm your communication skills. You feel awkward around people and during face-to-face conversations, and loneliness kicks in.

Disconnect to Reconnect With Your Family

Now that you’ve seen why you need to disconnect from social media, you may have this question – how do I reconnect with my family? Well, it’s simpler than you imagine.

Ways to Connect With Your Family

  • Respect family time: If you’re having dinner with them, keep your phone away!
  • Mind your surroundings: Don’t keep using your phone when you’re around people and try to start a conversation.
  • Limit your use: Disciplining yourself is an effective way of rewiring your brain and getting it used to the natural way of socializing.
  • Analyze your habits: Analyze your daily habits and identify all the unnecessary time spent on devices.
  • Choose offline games: Love games? Try planning group activities with board games or card games.

Getting personal is the only way to build relationships. Are you looking for customized insurance policies covering all your personal needs? Contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services. Our dedicated team is eager to assist you with all your coverage needs today.

Tips for Starting a Business as a Woman

How to launch your own company.smiling business woman

With International Women’s Day right around the corner, you may be feeling inspired and motivated to get your business off the ground.  To help you launch your own business, here are some of the suggestions you should keep in mind.

  • Focus on Marketing

While many start-ups do not have the budget to launch major marketing campaigns, you should still do whatever you can to announce your business’s presence.  When money is a concern, it’s best to focus on quality rather than quantity.  By creating specific marketing materials and distributing them to your target audience, you can make the most of your small marketing budget.

  • Outsource to Address Your Weaknesses

Many entrepreneurs try to handle everything on their own.  However, this isn’t reasonable or sustainable.  One of the first things that new business owners should learn is how to delegate and outsource.  By hiring other people to handle things you aren’t good at, you can save yourself time, effort, and avoid serious mistakes.

  • Focus on Customer Service

When your business is small, you can’t realistically think of competing with big-name, national corporations.  However, there are some advantages to being a smaller operation.  By being responsive, polite, and ready to go the extra mile, you can attract a base of loyal customers.  This can help you generate a stable income that will help your business grow and succeed.

These are some of the suggestions that female entrepreneurs should keep in mind when launching their own business.  Remember, your business cannot get off the ground without comprehensive commercial insurance.  For assistance with all your business insurance needs, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services today.

Helping Your Teen Get Out of an Unhealthy Relationship

Helping your child escape a bad relationship.sad teen curled up in corner of dark room

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.  As the name suggests, this month is all about educating teens to recognize the signs of an abusive relationship, and offering them the support to get out of this toxic situation.  As a parent, the idea of your child in an unhealthy relationship is terrifying, and you want to do everything in your power to help them.  If you suspect that your teen is in a harmful relationship, here are some of the ways that you can help.

  • Listen and Offer Non-Judgmental Support

Oftentimes, it can be difficult to get your teen to talk about a bad relationship.  The best way to get them to open up is by offering gentle support without judgment.  If your teen does want to talk, then be a good listener.  Do not interrupt to offer advice or make accusations.  Let your teen lead the conversation and only offer insight when prompted.  Of course, if your teen is in immediate danger, then contact the necessary authorities or emergency services.

  • Don’t Impose Ultimatums

As a parent, you may have to resist the urge to order your teen to break up with their abusive partner.  While you are doing this out of concern, your teen may see this as interfering and shut you out again.  For a breakup to be successful, your teen needs to want it for themselves.  While it will be difficult, you have to accept the situation and trust that your child knows how to manage it.  Continue to offer support until your teen can find the strength to walk away.

  • Create a Safety Plan

Having a plan of action can help your teen feel safer and can empower them to break up with a toxic partner.  If your teen seeks your help, then ask them which steps they would like to take and discuss ways that they can accomplish this.  If your teen is not comfortable discussing a safety plan with you, then help them find the support they need.  Encourage them to speak to a trusted friend or counselor to help them with this process.

These are some of the things to keep in mind when helping your teen through an unhealthy relationship.  Want another way to take care of your children?  Then make sure they are protected with the right insurance.  For assistance with all your coverage needs, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services today.