Tips to keep game-day tailgating safe and fun

By Marita Mathe

Tips to keep game-day tailgating safe and fun

Keep the fun in your game-day festivities by following safety steps.

Football game day fuels emotions and festivities, whether you’re rooting for your college alma mater or your favorite pro team. Don’t let the distractions of tailgating, friendly get-togethers, the game or your busy neighborhood lead you to disregard safety issues.

Before decking out in your favorite team colors, keep these tips in mind:

  • Follow all posted rules for your tailgating site.
  • Make sure your grill is placed a reasonable distance away from your vehicle. Heat from the grill can damage the paint and could ignite the gas tank.
  • Place a fire extinguisher next to the tailgating grill. Make sure the extinguisher is a multipurpose extinguisher that can fight fires cause by ordinary combustible, flammable liquids or electrical equipment. Fire extinguishers have numerical ratings. Make sure the “A” number is at least 2 and the “B-C” number is at least 10.
  • Package and separate raw meats and poultry in your cooler to prevent contact with other foods, particularly raw vegetables.
  • Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot. Pack enough ice to keep foods from spoiling.
  • Use a meat thermometer to determine internal temperatures. You can’t tell if meat or poultry is cooked well enough based on color alone.
  • Wash your hands when handling food. Stock plenty of soap, water and disposable towels for the day.
  • Extinguish fully the hot coals of a charcoal grill before placing them back in your car.
  • Dispose of trash at your tailgating site before you leave or carry it away with you.
  • Keep all valuable possessions – such as phones, wallets and purses – with you at all times or lock them in your car, out of view. Thieves often exploit the distractions from the football festivities to steal property.
  • Be extra vigilant to the increased pedestrian traffic when driving around campus or near the pro stadium. Pedestrians may not be paying attention to where they are going.
  • Confirm that someone will drive you home before you decide to drink alcohol. Even if you’ve had only a couple of drinks, it is never smart to get behind the wheel of a car while impaired.
  • Keep your celebrations on the sideline. Despite your team winning a big rivalry game, rushing the field is never smart or safe. Rushing the field could lead to your being rushed to the hospital. The practice has been banned by some college conferences and NFL teams, and fans rushing the field will result …read more

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Allied health insurance coverage: Your professional ally

By Sam Hacker

Allied health insurance coverage: Your professional ally

Allied health professionals need insurance coverage.

Do you need medical malpractice coverage? Wait! Before you answer that, answer this: Are you in the medical field? You’re thinking, “Well, yeah. But I’m not a doctor, dentist or nurse.”

Are you a therapist? Are you an x-ray technician? How about an audiologist, nutritionist, orthopedic assistant, pharmacist, or one of dozens of other medical-related occupations that require special training, certification or higher education?

If you answered yes, then your answer to the first question should be a resounding “Yes!”

You are what’s known as an allied health professional. And you should consider allied health coverage. You play a vital role in medical care, and there is tremendous growth in your field.

Click for larger image

Whether you are a seasoned professional or a student completing a practicum at a medical office or clinic as part of your training, you may still need coverage. Your local independent agent can help you secure the appropriate coverage.

Many schools have on-site clinics or laboratories where students conduct on-the-job training. Often, the curriculum includes admitting the general public for minor medical or dental procedures performed by students under the direct supervision of a faculty member.

Similarly, medical and dental offices have supporting medical staff and personnel working directly with patients. These are clearly professional exposures. Educational and business entities also can purchase allied health coverage to make sure these exposures are addressed.

You can find an allied health insurance product that covers students in these programs and more:

  • Athletic trainer
  • Massage therapist
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Nurse
  • Optician
  • Physical therapist

So whether you are a doctor’s office that conducts on-site MRI exams or a dental school that provides free cleanings to the public, you will have peace of mind knowing that your MRI technician or dental student is covered should their professional performance be brought into question.

Talk to your local, independent insurance agent for advice on how to obtain the appropriate insurance protection for your situation.

Coverages described here are in the most general terms and are subject to actual policy conditions and exclusions. For actual coverage wording, conditions and exclusions, refer to the policy or contact your independent agent.

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Back-to-school tips for students, parents, drivers

By Cincinnati Insurance

Back-to-school tips for students, parents, drivers

Back-to-school time is a good time to review safety tips.

With families transitioning to new fall routines and back-to-school activities, it’s a good time to review tips for getting to and from school safely and to consult with your independent agent about insurance property and liability coverages.

Read our prior blog posts with information for kids, their families and the community.

Driver alert! Children often misjudge traffic — With school resuming around the country, drivers prepare for the unexpected in school zones, near bus stops and past crossing guards. But drivers should also be on the alert wherever they drive that children could be present.


Backyard hazards: After-school safety strategies — The start of school signals a seasonal change in routine for many families. Children may spend after-school hours at home with an adult or teen caregiver. Sometimes older children are trusted to be alone for an hour or two until a parent arrives. This change in routine offers a good opportunity to re-evaluate the safety and liability exposures right in your own backyard.


Make sure loaned school items are covered — As the school year begins, take note of the items your child brings home. For example, many school districts are assigning laptop computers to students for their personal use. Or, your band or orchestra student may be assigned a school-owned instrument, especially if it’s a larger or more costly instrument. It’s a good idea to make sure those items loaned to your child throughout the school year are covered by insurance in the event of a loss.


School bus safety for children and drivers — With schools gearing up for fall, school buses will be returning to the roads. While statistically school buses are the safest method to transport children to school, it’s a good time for parents to remind children to follow safety rules while on the bus and at the bus stop.


Homeowner liability is more than child’s play — Whether during school breaks or even just after school hours throughout the year, neighborhoods fill up with children playing in yards and on the sidewalk. Before sending your children out to play, be mindful of the liability they can present.

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Reasons to buy life insurance

By Cincinnati Life

Reasons to buy life insurance

Life insurance can help your family deal with the unexpected.

Life insurance is too expensive. Life insurance can wait. Life insurance is a waste of money. Life insurance is …. Whatever follows this phrase has undoubtedly been uttered to a life insurance agent. However, each of these reasons AGAINST purchasing life insurance can also be a reason FOR purchasing life insurance.

If paying for life insurance is too expensive, how will a family pay bills if the primary breadwinner were to die unexpectedly? Consider all of your debts. Now add on typical expenses such as housing, food, insurance, clothing, utilities, college tuition and any other future expenditure. Those premiums don’t seem too big once compared to future financial obligations.

Life insurance cannot wait. No one can predict an unexpected death, and the premiums are actually cheaper earlier in life.

As for life insurance being a waste of money, who wants to get their money out of a life insurance purchase? Take a traditional 10-year term policy for example. If the insured dies during the 10-year period, his or her beneficiaries will receive the death benefit. If the insured were to live longer than the 10-year period, he or she would have had financial protection for 10 years with the term insurance. This is hardly a waste of money.

Life insurance saved our family. Life insurance paid off our home. Life insurance was a gift from beyond. Life insurance …. Whatever follows this phrase has undoubtedly been uttered to a life insurance agent. Life insurance is designed for the unexpected and tragic moments in life. No one expects to die prematurely, but it happens every day.

People lose a loved one, and after the initial shock passes, the mind turns to the future. How will I move on? How will I pay for the funeral? How will I take care of my children? The ones left behind will have to pick up the pieces and continue on. This is where life insurance comes into play.

Often feelings about life insurance change after a death, ranging from being upset with the lack of protection, regretting the cancellation of the policy, wishing for more coverage, and the rush of relief knowing that financial burdens will be eased even with the loss of a loved one.

Talk to your agent to make sure your family’s financial future is protected.

For more information about life insurance products to protect your family, see your …read more

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Quiz: Test your pool safety knowledge

By Cincinnati Insurance

Quiz: Test your pool safety knowledge

Brush up on pool safety tips with our quiz.

A day at the pool with your family should be all about fun and sun! But, knowing how to enjoy the pool safely is key to everyone having a great time. Take our five-question quiz to test your knowledge of pool safety.

Time limit: 0


0 of 5 questions completed


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  6. …read more

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With proper care, paintings can hold beauty for years

By Doug Eisele

With proper care, paintings can hold beauty for years

Part 2 of 3 –

Paintings are perhaps the most common type of artwork. In addition to their obvious aesthetic value, many are culturally significant because of historical or sentimental value. No matter what the importance, caring for your paintings can preserve them for you to enjoy for years to come. And if a painting is damaged, all is not necessarily lost. Restoration and conservation treatment may be able to restore paintings to beauty.


Paintings are made up of several layers, from the support onto which the ground is applied to the paint that covers the ground and creates the image. The support can be made of nearly any material but is typically cotton canvas, linen, wood, masonite or plaster. The support is often, but not always, primed with either an acrylic gesso or rabbit skin glue and a solid layer of paint. The paint itself is often chemically complex, containing synthetic or earth pigments suspended in oil, acrylic, tempera, wax or other mediums. These elements are normally very stable, but exposure to environmental changes or improper storage conditions can result in cracking, blistering or discoloration.

One of the most common causes of discoloration on paintings is yellowing varnish. As a general rule, varnish is meant to protect the paint surface by covering it and catching any airborne grime. Discolored varnish can be professionally removed with gentle solvents without harming the paint layer. In certain situations, when varnish is applied before oil paints have dried, extra care must be taken to ensure that the paint is not removed along with the varnish. Structural damage such as cracking, flaking or fungi growth can also be treated by a painting restoration specialist.


Where a painting is stored or displayed, and even how it is hung on the wall, can greatly affect its longevity. Depending on the type of paint used, humidity may cause cracking or peeling. Ideally a painting should be stored in an environment that is comfortable for people, around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and with a relative humidity between 40 and 60 percent. Drastic changes should be avoided as well.


A simple backing board attached to the wooden stretchers helps to keep dust and debris off of the normally raw reverse side of the canvas and can protect the object during handling. This backing should be sealed with no space for air to enter. All paintings should be hung by picture …read more

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Remember insurance as college students head back

By Cincinnati Insurance

Remember insurance as college students head back

Computers, tablets, cars – these are just a few of the things that may need insurance coverage at college.

Back-to-school time is a good time to review your insurance if you have a student headed back to college. Remember to talk to your independent insurance agent for advice to make sure your student’s car, electronics and other belongings are covered. Some coverage may extend from your own personal insurance policies, but individual circumstances can vary. Your agent will know how to help.

Read our prior blog posts for tips on insuring your college student.

Insurance 101 for the college student

As the summer winds down, millions of college students will be heading back to dorms or apartments all across the country. If your child is among them, you probably have made sure that your student has the necessary bedding, shelving, futons and electronics for a successful year. But have you considered whether these items will be covered if lost or stolen?

College students, it’s time to take stock of your stuff

If you are among the millions of young adults packing up to head off to college, now is a great time to take stock of all of your electronics, sports equipment, musical instruments and other items that you would need to replace in the event of fire, theft or other hardship.

Preparing your car for college

Having a car at college can give a student the freedom to come and go from work or to explore surrounding areas without depending on others. But having a car can also mean greater responsibility. Here are some common driving situations that you and your college student should discuss before your – or the student’s own – car heads to college.

Protect your college student’s possessions

Do you have a young adult heading off to college in the fall? College can be a fun time for the student but a stressful one for the parent. Reduce some of the stress by planning ahead to make sure your college student has appropriate insurance protection while away at school.

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Renting a home while on vacation? Check your policy

By Maria Sinnard

Renting a home while on vacation? Check your policy

Know your coverages before you rent a vacation home, then be at ease.

Many families enjoy the convenience of renting a beach home or mountain cabin for a vacation getaway. But the last thing you want to think about while on vacation is being liable for damage to that rental home or to worry about your personal belongings.

Most homeowner policies provide two important coverages to consider when on vacation: personal property coverage and liability coverage. Before you rent a vacation home, check to see how your policy would respond in the event of a loss. In some cases, you may need to purchase additional coverage.


A homeowner, tenant or condominium policy protects against losses to your personal belongings, up to the limit provided by the policy. This coverage generally applies if your belongings are damaged while at your own home, in your car or while on vacation.


Most homeowner policies also include coverage for liability from bodily injury, property damage and personal injury (for example, false arrest, malicious prosecution, libel, slander, invasion of privacy or wrongful eviction)

Accidents happen, and you don’t want to be caught off guard if you or a family member were to break a window or damage property belonging to the owner of the vacation home. Knowing how your policy will respond ahead of time will help you better plan for the unexpected.

Most homeowner policies exclude coverage to property rented to an insured unless it was caused by water, fire, smoke or explosion. Policies generally offer coverage up to $1,000 per occurrence for damage to property of others. This limitation applies to the personal property usually kept in the vacation home that the insured does not own, for example, the furniture, appliances, linens and dishware that are available for use while renting that home.

But even if your homeowner policy excludes these coverages, there are options to secure comprehensive coverage for property damage to the rental vacation home. Many companies that manage vacation rental homes allow the customer to purchase insurance coverage with the rental contract.

Remember to review coverage options available when deciding what home to rent for vacation, and know what you are responsible for in the event of a loss.

Also, if you have a personal umbrella policy, most personal umbrella policies will provide property damage liability coverage for a loss, without a deductible. The coverage on the personal umbrella policy is not limited to water, …read more

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Don’t let your charitable deeds go undocumented

By Chris Beckman

Don't let your charitable deeds go undocumented

Keep a record of work you do as a charitable deed.

You want to make a difference in your community, and many businesses give back through charitable deeds. Charitable deeds strengthen your presence in the community and can generate positive publicity and goodwill.

While many businesses give money to individuals who need help or causes they support, charitable deeds may also come in the form of goods and services. Not all charitable deeds are tax deductible contributions. For information regarding whether or not your charitable contributions are tax deductible, consult with an accountant or tax attorney. And even with contributions that are not tax-deductible, be cognizant of the potential for bodily injury and property damage for the recipient as well as innocent third parties.


Before making your gift, consider these suggestions:

  • Treat charitable and noncharitable deeds the same. Maintain proper records of goods and services you have provided. While there may be no monetary gain, an injured party may seek recompense if they are injured as the result of a faulty good or service.
  • Make recommendations for repair. Even if the product you provide operates as intended, or the service you provide has been completed as promised, your company could be held liable if you identify safety issues and do not disclose them.
  • Take photos of the work you provided. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. If a claim is filed citing faulty work, a photo can provide additional verification of your written documentation of the service provided.
  • Make sure items are in good working condition before releasing them. If you would not be comfortable having a friend or family member use the item, do not let others use it.
  • Have the recipient sign off on all the work provided. A signature will confirm that information has been relayed regarding the product, and a receipt of services provided will act as a checklist of items discussed.
  • Have the recipient sign a hold harmless and indemnification agreement. This agreement should be reviewed by an attorney prior to being incorporated and may offer an additional layer of protection.

For example, an auto service shop could have benefited from additional documentation. The owner offered to replace the two front tires of a private passenger vehicle free of charge. . After the repair, this automobile was being driven and a rear tire blew, resulting in a rollover and injuring a passenger. The injured party sought compensation …read more

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