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February 2013
Why Life Insurance Matters
parent holding child's hand

Why Life Insurance Matters

These suggestions can help you realize your dreams.

You've probably already made plans for 2013, whether they're New Year's resolutions or long-term goals. But when it comes to life insurance, it's never too late to assess your needs, plan ahead and take action.

Here are just a few good reasons why now is a good time to get life insurance or update your current policy.

People count on you: When you imagine your loved ones without you, it's easy to see the value of your life. Life insurance can make a big difference in helping to ensure they're financially protected in the years ahead, should the unthinkable ever happen to you.

Get lower premiums: Your life insurance premium is based in part on your age and health. Waiting could result in higher premiums. If you're healthy today, you could have less to pay!

Act now, protect your insurability: Somewhere down the road, failing health could prevent you from qualifying for life insurance. The time to buy life insurance is while you're in good health.

Cover living expenses, pay off debt: Life insurance proceeds can be used to help make mortgage or rent payments, cover child care, pay off outstanding credit card or loan debt, provide care for an elderly or disabled relative, pay funeral expenses and more.

Here are the different options from American Family Life Insurance Company that can give your family a financial foothold in the event of your death.

How much life insurance is enough?

This calculator will help you estimate the right amount of coverage. Consider taking a closer look at how American Family life insurance products help protect what matters most – the people and things that make up your dreams.

Coming next: Life Insurance for Different Life Stages


All That Glitters Is Not Just Gold
Heart shaped ring box

All That Glitters Is Not Just Gold

Got jewelry? Make sure it's protected.

You just inherited aunt Sadie's glittering ruby earrings. Or, that special someone gave you a gold necklace on Valentine's Day. No matter what it is, jewelry has a deep personal value and quickly becomes a treasured memento.

Jewelry can be watches, necklaces, bracelets, precious stones and more. Whenever you acquire a piece of jewelry — new or old — make sure you insure it against theft, loss or damage. Here are a few tips for protecting your jewelry.

Appraisal

If you don't have a recent appraisal already, your first step should be to visit a local, reputable jeweler who can appraise your jewelry. The appraisal should give you a detailed description of the piece including all gemstones, the type and purity of all metals used, style, design, maker (if applicable), verification of any historical significance, and finally, the estimated value of your jewelry. Although not always required, you may want to have a photograph of the piece as well.

Now what?

Most homeowners, renters and condo owner's insurance policies have a base level of coverage for jewelry. Depending on the appraised value and level of coverage you desire, you may need additional coverage. Don't worry though, additional coverage for jewelry is surprisingly affordable.

Get the right coverage

No matter what kind of jewelry you own (or plan on getting), talk to your American Family insurance agent to make sure it's properly protected.

Your agent will thoroughly review your policy with you to explain your coverage and the different options available. Your agent will also explain how the claim process works and what — if any — additional coverage may be needed.

If you're not sure your jewelry is properly protected, call your American Family agent. A phone call today could save a heartache tomorrow.

We're Helping Give Totaled Cars New Life
Family getting a new car

We're Helping Give Totaled Cars New Life

American Family recycles wreckage to help those in need.



It used to be when a car was totaled, an insurance company sold the wreckage to a salvage yard, which stripped off any re-usable parts, melted down the metal and sent the rest to a landfill.

But this process left some of a vehicle's remaining potential unmet. If the damage wasn't too severe, a car might have had many safe, reliable miles left.

To get more life out of a totaled car, and to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills, American Family is partnering with Recycled Rides, a nationwide community service project through which participating shops repair totaled cars using volunteer labor and donated parts. These vehicles are then given to needy families or service organizations.

American Family donated five totaled but repairable cars to the program in 2011 and another nine in 2012, putting safe, reliable transportation in the hands of those who need it most but can afford it the least.

Training for First Responders

If a car is too severely damaged to be repaired, it can still have a second life as a training vehicle for emergency crews, which need to practice using extraction equipment to safely remove accident victims. To train properly, they need real cars.

Last year, through a program called FREE (First Responder Emergency Extraction), American Family donated four cars for first responders to use in training.

Whether for recycling or training, the totaled cars American Family donates are aiding those who need it the most. By keeping these cars out of landfills, we're helping the environment too.

Ride Safely This Snowmobile Season
snowmobile

Ride Safely This Snowmobile Season

These safety tips will help you to enjoy winter’s beauty.

When the snow flies, it’s time for winter sports. When it comes to snowmobiling, here are a few tips to help ensure you have a fun — and safe — ride.

Don’t drink and ride - Alcohol is a leading cause of snowmobile accidents. Be alcohol-free until your ride is over and you’re safely home.

Slow down - Speed is a contributing factor in nearly all fatal snowmobiling accidents. Drive at moderate speeds, and drive defensively — especially after sunset.

Watch for obstacles – Deep snow can hide obstacles such as tree stumps, downed branches, machinery and stretched wire. Always stay on marked trails or, where allowed, the right shoulder of the road. If you must be off the trail, go slowly and use caution.

Carry a first-aid kit - Be prepared. Your first-aid kit should include a flashlight, knife, compass, map and waterproof matches. A cell phone is nice but may not be in range of a cell tower.

Wear protective clothing - Always wear a helmet with goggles. Also wear layers of water-repellent clothing. Make sure you have no loose clothing that might catch in the machine or branches.

Be careful on ice - Avoid traveling across frozen lakes or rivers if you aren’t sure how thick the ice is. Drowning is one of the leading causes of snowmobile deaths.

Wear sunglasses – Direct and reflected sunlight can be too bright for the eyes. Wear good quality, UV-protected sunglasses, goggles or a visor to prevent vision damage.

Share the experience - Never travel alone. The most dangerous situations occur when a person is alone. If you must travel by yourself, tell someone where you’re going, your route and when you expect to return.

Lastly, protect yourself and your snowmobile by making sure you have complete insurance coverage. To make sure you and your snowmobile are properly protected, call your American Family agent today.

Ignite Your Dream At 2013 Dream Camp
carbon monoxide detector

Protect Your Family from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Especially during the winter, keep safe from this silent killer.

Every year in the United States, carbon monoxide poisoning kills hundreds of Americans and sends thousands to emergency rooms. Here’s a closer look at this silent killer, and how you can prevent it from harming you and your loved ones, especially during the winter heating season.

What are the sources of carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, and is created when fossil fuels such as wood, kerosene, natural gas, propane, coal, gasoline, charcoal, liquid petroleum and oil burn incompletely.

Especially during the winter months when using different types of heating sources to keep your home toasty, be aware of the potential factors that could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, sources of carbon monoxide include:

  • Unvented kerosene and gas space heaters
  • Leaking chimneys and furnaces
  • Back-drafting from furnaces, gas water heaters, wood stoves and fireplaces
  • Gas stoves
  • Generators and other gasoline-powered equipment

Vehicle exhaust from attached garages, nearby roads or parking areas can also be sources.

Tips to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

  • Install a carbon monoxide detector, and test it regularly.
  • Have a professional inspect, clean and tune up your home’s central heating system.
  • Open flues when using fireplaces.
  • Use properly sized wood stoves meeting EPA emission standards, and make sure the stove’s door fits tightly.
  • Use the proper fuel in kerosene space heaters.
  • Never use generators, charcoal grills, camp stoves or other gasoline or charcoal-burning devices inside your home, basement or garage.

Carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, mental confusion, loss of coordination, fainting and vomiting. Get fresh air and see a doctor right away if you think you’ve experienced carbon monoxide poisoning.

Sources: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Update Your Coverage
Family outside their home

Update Your Coverage

It’s still early in the year – the perfect time to get your affairs in order and make sure your insurance coverage is up-to-date. Consider scheduling a personal insurance review today!