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.

7 Tips to Save Money During this Holiday Season

The holidays are a time for being thankful and reflecting on the year. One of the most popular traditions during the holiday season is gift giving. Whether they are treating themselves to something nice or buying something special for others, people spend millions of dollars every year on gifts. This year, though, things are different due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of buying lots of gifts, people are saving money during the pandemic. If you are looking to save money and avoid going into debt this holiday season, there are a few things that you can do.

Here are some money-saving tips to help you maintain your financial independence during the holiday season and these uncertain times.

Start Saving Ahead Of Time

Try to start saving money a few months before the holiday season. If you start managing your expenses during the fall, you’ll have less expenses to cut back as the holiday shopping season approaches. If you start searching for money-saving tips right before the holiday season, you’re likely starting too late to enjoy substantial savings.

Research Deals

The ongoing pandemic has left millions of people out of work and struggling to make ends meet. For that reason, there is pressure on every single purchase that you make. One of the top money-saving tips during the pandemic is to search for deals. Deals and special sales make the holiday shopping process easier and less expensive. By searching for deals throughout the holiday season, you could potentially save hundreds of dollars.

Do Some Early Shopping

If you pinpoint one or two gifts that you would like to purchase, try to buy the gifts ahead of time. Due to the pandemic, you’ll likely have to do all of your shopping online. Doing early shopping will help you avoid expensive shipping fees. The closer it gets to Christmas, the more difficult it becomes to find a great deal that will still ship to arrive on time. One of the most important money-saving tips is to shop early.

Make Another Account

One way to keep saving money during the pandemic while also allowing you to set aside a few dollars for gifts is through opening a new account specifically for your holiday expenses. Opening this account should help keep you focused and ensure that you don’t spend too much money from your regular expenses fund. Any money you put aside for expenses but didn’t use can be saved in your new account to start earning interest. This is one of the more underrated money-saving tips during the pandemic.

Look Into Autosaving

Ask your bank if they have an autosave feature. Many banks use an autosave feature that transfers money after you make a purchase. The money heads from your checking account into a savings account. If you sign up before the holiday season, you can enjoy even more discounts and potential savings.

Ask Around

Speak with some of your friends and family who are also implementing money-saving tips and exchange some ideas. While you may not be able to meet in person because of the pandemic, you can video chat or exchange ideas over the phone. If you are planning a safe holiday dinner with friends and family, consider holding a potluck to reduce your expenses.

Stick to Your Budget

Thousands of people go into debt every year during the holidays because they purchase expensive gifts that they really cannot afford. The ongoing pandemic has tightened budgets as well. The easiest way to save money during this difficult time is to only make necessary purchases. Do not seek to purchase luxurious gifts if you don’t have the means. Avoid getting a loan or a new credit card, as you may end up going into debt. Make a list of two or three gifts that you can realistically afford and stick to those.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for everyone and saving money is extremely important at the moment. However, if you stay disciplined, you can manage your finances while also enjoying the holiday season. For assistance with all your insurance needs and questions, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services in Carlisle, PA. We look forward to helping you with all your coverage needs.

Protect Your Identity from Hackers

Research suggests that more than 14 million Americans were the victims of identity theft in 2018, and the numbers only continue to rise. With data breach cases growing quite frequently, it’s important that you take all the necessary steps to protect your identity. Here’s how:

Shred Mail Documents and Personal Details

You risk personal information theft if you are not careful when discarding sensitive documents. By just digging through your trash, identity thieves can impersonate you to steal your benefits and commit crimes. Use a cross cutter shredder to destroy your documents before discarding them.

Leave Your Social Security Card at Home

To avoid Social Security identity theft, do not carry your card in your wallet or enter your number into your phone or laptop. Never give out your number in unsolicited calls or emails.

Monitor Your Credit

Keep tabs on your credit situation regularly and set up an alert feature. Order free credit reports and review them thoroughly. In case of any red flags, report identity theft immediately.

Reduce Social Media Footprint

Everyone loves social media, and so do fraudsters. Be wise about what you post, and make sure your accounts are private. Refrain from sharing your birth date as it makes it easy for scammers to guess your passwords.

Use Encryption

Encrypt all wireless networks and sensitive information with a unique username and password. For easy steps to use protection and encryption tools on your computer and digital data, check out some tools such as VeraCrypt and Bitlocker.

Activate a Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication is a must for online banking, email accounts, and cloud storage. It protects you from any instances of fraud by reconfirming your identity.

Use Public Wi-Fi Cautiously

Public Wi-Fi does not guarantee identity theft protection, so be cautious while using them. Never use public Wi-Fi for banking or sharing sensitive information and install a VPN for an added layer of security.

Consulting the best identity theft protection services have become a necessity. If you’re looking to get covered, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services. Our dedicated team is happy to help 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.

How to Can Manage Work-Related Stress

Try out these stress-management tips at work.employee looking stressed at work

For most people, work stress is an unavoidable part of life.  Unfortunately, constant stress can wreak havoc on your mental, emotional, and physical health.  To protect yourself from the negative effects of stress, try out these stress-management strategies at work.

  • Take a Time Out

Everyone has moments where their job feels too overwhelming.  If you notice yourself starting to get panicked, then it’s important that you take a moment to calm yourself down and assess the situation rationally.  Momentarily step away from the stressful situation and take a bathroom break, have something to eat, or simply clear your mind.  Once you feel your anxiety ebb away, revisit the issue that is triggering your stress.  Now that you are calmer, you will have an easier time thinking of productive ways to deal with the problem.

  • Delegate

Having too many responsibilities on your plate can be stressful, even for the most efficient employee.  If you find yourself overwhelmed with work, you need to think about things rationally.  Rather than attempting to handle everything on your own, think about the tasks that you can pass on to a co-worker or subordinate.  Once you have taken some of the smaller things off your schedule, you can handle the remaining tasks more carefully and efficiently.

  • Be Flexible

No one wants to hear that they have a major assignment due in a couple of hours.  Unfortunately, getting hit with last-minute assignments is often part of the job.  Rather than wasting time lamenting the unfairness of it all, it’s best to accept the situation and start thinking about how you will complete things in the given time frame.  By being flexible and making things work, you can keep a cool head and earn the respect of your peers and superiors.

These are some of the things that you can do to manage work-related stress.  Are you looking for another way to reduce your stress?  Then turn to the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Service for the easy insurance experience that you deserve.  Our experts are ready to help you get the coverage that you need today.

How You Can Keep Your Home Safe

Try out these suggestions to protect against common home security and safety firefighter putting out home firerisks.

Protecting your home, loved ones, and personal property is a tall order to fill.  Fortunately, there a many small steps that you can take to keep your home safe.  Here are some of the things that you can do to protect your home from these common risks.

  • Natural Disaster

No matter where you live, you are at risk for some kind of natural disaster.  Whether it be wildfires, earthquakes, hurricanes, or floods, it’s important to know which emergencies you are most likely to face.  Once you know which natural disasters you are most likely to be exposed to, follow expert guidelines to protect your home and prepare your loved ones.  For instance, you may have to create an evacuation plan, pack a family emergency preparedness kit, and make structural upgrades to your home.  It’s also important that you read through your homeowners insurance to see what your policy will cover after a natural disaster.  Oftentimes, homeowners need to secure supplemental forms of insurance to cover the damages related to natural disasters.

  • Fire

Home fires are one of the most common and devastating damage events that a homeowner can face.  In homes, cooking equipment is the leading cause of fire.  However, fires can also break out due to faulty lighting fixtures, malfunctioning appliances, overheated electronics, and so on.  Smoke detectors are one of the best fire prevention tools, and homeowners are advised to install a detector in every room and floor of their homes.  You should also keep a fire extinguisher on every floor of your home and in your kitchen.  This ensures that you can quickly put out a fire before it spreads.

  • Slips, Trips, and Falls

Falling is a common household hazard.  In fact, statistics show that one in three older adults fall in their homes, with one in five falls resulting in a head injury or broken bone.  The best way to reduce the risk for someone slipping or tripping is by keeping your home clear of clutter such as toys, electrical cords, loose papers, and so on.  You should also secure floor mats and rugs to ensure that they do not curl up and pose a fall risk for your loved ones.  Finally, make sure to install adequate lighting throughout your home, so family members have an easier time spotting and avoiding potential fall risks.

These are some of the top safety and security risks that homeowners have to face.  Want another way to protect your home, belongings, and loved ones?  Then make sure you have the proper homeowners insurance in place.  For assistance with all your home coverage needs, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services today.