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Coastal Winter Storm: What to Prepare

By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

Coastal areas generally have more moderate temperatures than other areas during winter. Ocean currents may warm or cool coastal land, depending on the nature of the current that flows by that land.

Winter tourists who would rather skip the snow and enjoy the beach instead have the option to visit the Gulf Coast in Alabama, with its almost perfect weather that stays all year-round. The sun actually shines every day, so they have a wider range of activities to choose from if they do not like the idea of staying indoors.

Whether you are a golfer who needs green to get going or someone who likes the blue ambiance the beach offers, coastal areas may be the ideal spot to spend your winter vacation.

Image source: UCS USA

If you are living along the coast however, there is always the need to prepare for the unexpected, one of which is a coastal winter storm. Stella, a late-season Northeast storm, was reported to have killed five people in March 2017. While the snowfall is not of a concern along coastal areas, Stella has caused ocean water to flood into streets in some parts of New Jersey and New York. The extreme weather has even forced several states to issue travel bans, resulting to almost 9,000 flight cancellations.

What to do in case of a winter storm warning? Follow these simple tips and you are on your way of having a good winter:

  • Protect pipes from freezing by draining water from your pool or from outdoor hoses and adding insulation to attics and basements. For exposed pipes, allow them to drip so they do not freeze.
  • For added insulation, install storm windows or just cover windows with plastic.
  • If you can, consider purchasing an emergency heating equipment in case of power outage.
  • Store sufficient heating fuel; and firewood or coal for your fireplace.
  • Some homeowners prefer to buy their own generators.
  • Talk to your insurer and consider adding flood insurance cover to your policy.

Keep in mind these reminders and live a stress-free winter. Who would not want to wear a good pair of boots, a waterproof jacket, and trousers to enjoy a walk along the enticing shores?

 

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Motor Vehicle Reports (MVR) and Insurance Premiums

By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

There are many factors impacting vehicle insurance premiums, including the value of the vehicle, mileage, where you live (urban areas cost higher rates due to higher risk of theft, vandalism and crashes), and your credit history and financial capability. Sometimes to encourage safe driving, insurers also consider drivers who have taken additional safety courses.

 

For boat insurance, a key factor will be the years no claims bonus. The less number of claims you make for a certain number of years, the less your final insurance cost will be. Other optional factors may include breakdown and contents cover, among many others.

And that is not all. If you ever wondered why you have to supply your motor vehicle reports (MVR) during the application process, MVR will actually also affect the insurance premiums that you have to pay.

Aside from your personal details, the driving history will contain the following information:

  • Past and present license suspensions, revocations and cancellations
  • Driver’s license class
  • Special driver’s license endorsements
  • Any license restrictions
  • Traffic violations such as traffic citations, vehicular crimes, accidental reports, and DUI convictions

Since you probably are not looking forward to seeing your MRV pages filled to capacity, the best way to avoid this scenario is to drive safely. While this is an obvious solution, some drivers will not be able to avoid incurring these records. Ask your insurer about enrolling in a defensive driving course to lower your insurance rates and remove points from your driving record, which for example in Alabama, can go back to as far as three years.

Insurance is a common consideration in getting your MVR. However, there is a possibility of errors occurring on your driving record; thus, to avoid an increase in your insurance premium or driver’s license suspension, check your record now and avoid future inconvenience.