Palm Coast Auto and Motorcycle Insurance

With its scenic location along the A1A River and Sea Trail, Palm Coast has been a favorite halfway spot for the motorcycle enthusiasts traveling to Daytona Beach or St. Augustine. Palm Coast is also one of the nation’s fastest growing cities as more and more people choose to relocate here.  The statistics are impressive, Palm Coast’s population of 49,832 in the year 2000 grew to a 2012 population of 95,696. If you have relocated to the Palm Coast area, O’Quinn Insurance can assist you with your homeowners, auto, motorcycle, boat, and life insurance needs. The O’Quinn Insurance Agency has over 40 years experience in the Volusia and Flagler County insurance industry. Contact us today for a free quote.

Looking for some fun Palm Coast events? Click here for a calendar filled with fun things to do in the Palm Coast and Flagler County area.

Homeowners Insurance and Summer Safety at the Grill

Summer celebrations and outdoor cookouts go hand in hand. While you are kicking back and enjoying the festivities, it is important to remember to implement proper safety procedures while barbequing. Outside cooking grills cause more than 170 injuries each year and $35 million in property damage and loss, according to FEMA. Gas grills are at higher risk, having been involved in an average of 6,900 home fires from 2005 through 2009. Charcoal grills were involved in an annual average of 1,100 home fires during the same time period.

Here is a summary of some grilling safety tips. For a more extensive explanation of grilling safety, including helpful videos and a slideshow, we encourage you to visit the NFPA website.

Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors and placed well away from the home and deck railings. NEVER barbecue or grill in enclosed areas. Grills should not be placed under eaves or overhanging branches.

When using a propane grill, check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. You can do this by applying a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If this test indicates a leak, or if you smell gas and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, do not attempt to use the grill until you have it serviced by a professional. Call the fire department if the leak does not stop. If you ever smell gas while you are cooking, get away from the grill immediately and call the fire department. Do not attempt to move the grill.

It is important that you DO NOT overfill the propane tank.

Be mindful of what you wear while you are grilling. A heavy apron and full coverage grill mitts (up to the elbow) are recommended. NEVER wear loose clothing while cooking at a barbeque.

Exercise great care and caution when using and handling lighter fluid. If you use a starter fluid, be sure to use only charcoal starter fluid. NEVER add lighter fluid to an existing fire. This can cause an explosion.

Pay attention to any children that may be nearby. Make sure that children are supervised at all times around the outdoor barbeque or grilling area. Keep all lighters and matches away from and out of the reach of children. Never leave the grill unattended.

How you dispose of hot coals is extremely important. When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container. Douse the coals with plenty of water to make sure that the fire is out. NEVER place them in paper, plastic, or wooden containers.

As important as it is for you and your family to be safe this summer, it is also very important to make sure that your home is properly insured. Contact us and we will be happy to review your current Ormond Beach homeowners insurance policy, or give you a free quote on a new policy. We offer substantial discounts for retirees, multiple policy holders, and new home buyers.

Insurance – for when the unexpected happens

A highly viewed video making the rounds lately showed professional formula driver Ken Gushi having an extremely close call with a deer that runs directly into the road and Gushi’s path. Your Daytona Beach Insurance Agency knows the unexpected can happen at any time, and that’s why they’re here.

Mr. Gushi was test driving a soon-to-be-released Toyota Scion FR-S in a Northern California State Park when the unexpected happened and the director actually captured the entire incident in HD, including Gushi’s reaction. “On my very first run today, we were up in the canyons driving and I come across this turn over a crest and down onto a straight,” Gushi says. “I’m trying to mind my own business driving and trying to navigate these unknown roads when all of a sudden I see this black figure just prancing toward the road.  At that moment, I just knew … something’s wrong. I got on the brakes and I see this deer coming down the mountain…”

Thankfully, no one was hurt.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, deer are responsible for or involved in about a million collisions with automobiles each year, causing 200 deaths, more than 10,000 injuries, and $1 billion in vehicle damage. In East Central Florida, animal collisions are a constant danger for drivers and something which automobile, truck or motorcycle insurance is of the utmost importance.

While you are most likely to encounter a dog or a deer in Florida, even a bear, alligator, and smaller animals such as armadillo, opossum and raccoon can damage your vehicle or bike.

According to an affiliate of the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, an average of five per 1,000 accident claims each month involve animals. Insurance claims don’t report which animals are involved, but other data most often point to deer.

Although Florida ranks low in the number of auto vs. animal collisions in the institute’s report, any one you are involved in is critical. Here are some tips for avoiding accidents with deer, wildlife and other animals that don’t look both ways before crossing:

When you see a ‘Deer (or other animal) Crossing’ sign, pay attention. Those signs are there for a reason.

Deer usually move in numbers and in single file, so if you see one, there’s a good chance there will be others.

Keep your headlights on bright when there is no oncoming traffic to better illuminate the animal and the road.

Deer are most active around dawn and from sunset to midnight, so keep your eyes peeled.

Step on your brakes when you see an animal, but don’t veer from your lane. Most animals you’ll encounter weigh less than another car, so any damage will be less if you hit the animal.

If you collide with an animal, pull off the road and turn on your emergency lights. If the animal is still in the road, report it to the police or highway patrol. Do not try to move it yourself.

Report any damage to your insurance agent. Your comprehensive coverage should take care of the accident.

Animal collisions are an unfortunate reality in East Central Florida and your Daytona Beach Insurance Agency hopes you remain vigilant and safe. If you have any questions about auto, truck or motorcycle insurance, or other insurance products, contact the O’Quinn Insurance Agency.

May is National Motorcycle Month

May is National Motorcycle Month and as the weather warms, bike riders everywhere are hitting – or thinking about hitting – the road. The Ormond Beach area is a bikers’ haven when we have our annual events and just a fantastic place to ride any time of the year.

Once again, we’d like to remind you that your Ormond Beach Insurance Agency offers some of the most comprehensive motorcycle insurance coverage available. We serve both Volusia and Flagler counties, which are home to one of highest concentrations of motorcycles in the country, so we know that one of the most important services we can provide to our residents is good insurance.

Quality motorcycle insurance protects more than your bike and the great things you’ve added to it. It protects you, others out there on the road, and just as important, peace of mind while you’re out there cruising.

This is what an Ormond Beach motorcycle insurance policy includes:

Collision: Just as the word implies, if you collide with another vehicle, a building or a tree, it covers the cost of repair or replacement of your bike.

First-Accident Waiver – Forgives the first accident after the policy has been in-force for two years.

Optional or Added Equipment – Provides coverage for custom parts and accessories.

Towing & Labor Costs – Reimburses you for the cost of towing and related labor.

Liability – Provides coverage if you or a covered driver are legally liable for property damage, personal injury or death.

Uninsured Motorist – Protects you if you are injured by an uninsured motorist.

Medical Payments – Provides additional coverage for medical costs or funeral expenses.

Lease/Loan Gap Coverage – Will usually pay the difference between your motorcycle and the balance of your loan or lease.

Rental Reimbursement – Helps cover the cost of a rental if your bike gets stolen or damaged in an accident.

Comprehensive – Provides coverage if your bike is damaged by falling objects, fire, vandalism, or theft.

So, before you join the thousands of bikers out there on the roads and highways, talk to one of our agents about an affordable package of coverage that’s just right for you.

The O’Quinn Insurance Agency can also provide insurance for your auto, truck, boat, home and life. Learn more about our various insurance products by contacting a friendly representative about your insurance needs. We think you’ll be glad you did.

Keep April Showers from Damaging Your Home

The first signs of water damage might seem innocent, but by the time you see those signs, the damage to your home has already begun.

Warnings such as a water stain on your ceiling or a leak from the washing machine or underneath a sink can mean a real problem – a weakened roof or rotting floorboards –  eventually. Water damage that happens spontaneously such as a burst pipe can damage  your furniture, carpets and other personal possessions, and here in Florida, any flooding  can very quickly lead to mold and all the problems it brings with it.

Why take a chance with perhaps your family’s biggest investment? Learn how to prevent water damage in the areas of your home that are most likely to suffer from it.  It’s a good idea to start with the rooms or areas where the most water is involved – the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, roof and pool.

Here are some easy ways to keep April showers (and other water sources) from wreaking havoc around your home.

Install rain gutters, keep them cleaned out and in good shape, and extend downspouts at strategic angles to control runoff and take rainwater far from the house.

Smart landscaping techniques can also help divert rainwater and prevent water damage. Try drainage swales, rain gardens, and other landscaping solutions that will keep your yard absorbing the water it should.

Dry out a wet basement, garage, Florida Room, enclosed porch or other ground level room with affordable steps and products to help deal with condensation, high groundwater, and poor drainage.

Use rain barrels to collect water during powerful downpours.

Give your roof a checkup occasionally, and look for spots where water may be getting in.

Take note of any especially wet areas near and around your pool that don’t seem to dry out, and an increased need to add water to the pool. These could be signs of a leak.

It is always a good idea to check with your Daytona Beach insurance agent to know exactly what your homeowners insurance covers and what it doesn’t, and we are happy to answer any questions.

The O’Quinn Insurance Agency, which serves the East Central Florida area, can also provide you with insurance for your automobiles, boat, motorcycle and your life.

Keeping Your Car Clean & Valuable

Overall, your car may look like it is handling the salt air, sand and harsh temperatures of this area pretty well, but remember that your car’s paint is exposed to Florida’s damaging forces all year long.

In addition to the loss of your car’s original luster, according to AOL Autos, a car with faded paint and a worn look sells for 10-20% less than an otherwise identical vehicle that just looks nicer.

Here are some helpful tips from your Daytona Beach Insurance Agency to keep your automobile looking good and retaining its value.

Start with a good coat of wax. When parking under a tree, although the shade provides coolness and helps protect your dash and seats, a good coat of wax is your best defense against the sap and little twigs or branches that occasionally fall on your car. If you find tree sap on your paint, clean it off immediately.

Bird droppings and high speed collisions with bugs take their toll on your car’s paint, and you can believe they will wreak havoc. Both are very acidic. When a bird dropping or smashed bug makes contact with your vehicle’s paint, the best thing you can do is remove it quickly. Just a wet cloth works well, but remember to wipe with a lifting motion so that you’re not grinding it into the paint. When it’s ‘Love Bug’ season, just wash your entire car frequently, and use bug and tar remover on the stubborn spots as soon as possible!

While filling up at the pump, spilled gasoline isn’t just a safety hazard, it can cause long-term harm to your paint, so clean up any accidental drips immediately.

Giving your car the ‘once over’ on a regular basis is a good way to catch anything that can damage your car’s paint, and getting your car washed frequently to eliminate abrasive dirt, sand and the effects of salt air and water from your car’s surface helps keep it looking its best. Any light scratches can sometimes be removed with polish or scratch remover after the car is clean.

Remember, when choosing an automatic car wash, look for one that advertises a “touchless” wash that uses high pressure water jets to clean your car.

Happy driving!

Buying a Home and Bundling with your Ormond Beach Insurance Agency

The spring and summer seasons always see an increase in home buying, and with the median price of area houses, loan interest rates and inventory level remaining low, this year could be a good time to buy a great home that’s more affordable than you ever dreamed.

Making an appointment to speak with one of our insurance agents about the best homeowner’s insurance coverage could also surprise you when it comes time to do the monthly expenses math.

According to a recent report, the Central Florida real estate median home price for January 2012 is a bit higher than last January, but that’s still good news for home buyers, because it means the inventory levels have dropped and the quality of remaining homes on the market has most likely improved. Remember, just five years ago the median price was around $250,000. It is now closer to $110,000. Such a deal!

In addition, rates on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage loans are still hovering around 4%.

Your Ormond Beach insurance agency does want to remind you that your new home’s price is just a portion of your final costs. You’ll also have your homeowner’s insurance and annual taxes.

We can at least help you control your insurance costs, especially if you ‘bundle’ them, meaning you’ll receive a better rate if you not only insure your home, but also your automobiles, boat or motorcycle, with the same company.

The time to talk to your local insurance agent is before you really start house hunting, because estimating the cost of your new home, taxes and insurance into your budget is easier when you get all the costs together at once. You may also be happily surprised to learn that insurance costs can vary on different age and style houses that cost about the same.

In addition to “location, location, location,” remember the other 3 keys to buying real estate – “preparation, patience and perseverance.” With record low prices, interest rates and inventory, it is a great time to buy a home, and your Ormond Beach insurance agency is here to help you during the process.

The O’Quinn Insurance agency can also insure your automobiles, boat, motorcycle and life.

Bike Week, Daytona Beach Motorcycle Insurance All Year

As Bike Week 2012 rolls into town, we’d like to remind you that your Daytona Beach Insurance Agency offers some of the most comprehensive motorcycle insurance coverage available.

We serve both Volusia and Flagler counties, which are home to one of highest concentrations of motorcycles in the U.S. year-round, so we know that one of the most important services we can provide to our residents is good insurance.

Quality motorcycle insurance protects more than your bike and the great things you’ve added to it. It protects you, others out there on the road, and just as important, your peace of mind.

Here’s a rundown of what a Daytona Beach Motorcycle Insurance policy includes:

Collision: Just as the word implies, if you collide with another vehicle, a building or a tree, it covers the cost of repair or replacement of your bike.

First-Accident Waiver – Forgives the first accident after the policy has been in-force for two years.

Optional or Added Equipment – Provides coverage for custom parts and accessories.

Towing & Labor Costs – Reimburses you for the cost of towing and related labor.

Liability – Provides coverage if you or a covered driver are legally liable for property damage, personal injury or death.

Uninsured Motorist – Protects you if you are injured by an uninsured motorist.

Medical Payments – Provides additional coverage for medical costs or funeral expenses.

Lease/Loan Gap Coverage – Will usually pay the difference between your motorcycle and the balance of your loan or lease.

Rental Reimbursement – Helps cover the cost of a rental if your bike gets stolen or damaged in an accident.

Comprehensive – Provides coverage if your bike is damaged by falling objects, fire, vandalism, or theft.

So, before you join the thousands of bikers out there on the roads and highways, talk to a Daytona Beach Insurance Agent about building an affordable package of coverage that’s just right for you.

The O’Quinn Insurance Agency can also provide insurance for your auto, boat, home and life. Learn more about our various insurance products by contacting a friendly O’Quinn representative about your insurance needs!

Peace of Mind in Golden Years

In an ideal world, financial planning begins early in our career and includes the creation of a lifetime income source. But, we can’t all claim to live there.

The good news is there are some new regulations out there, trying to make it easier for retirees to create a lifetime source of income through the transfer of money from a 401K to an annuity.

Recently the U.S. Treasury and Labor Departments proposed two rules designed to help America’s workers and retirees manage the risk of outliving their money, a possibilty for the country’s many aging Boomers. For example, a 65-year-old male now has a 50/50 chance of living to age 85, and a 65-year-old female has a similar chance of living even longer.

In fact, according to the Society of Actuaries, there is a 63 percent chance that at least one member of a 65-year-old couple will live to 90 or older. That could equate to 25-to-35 years of retirement living that will need to be financed.

It might sound wonderful to live that long, until you start thinking about your quality of life all those years and how you’ll pay for it.

Whether you are hoping to invest your savings, take advantage of retirement tax breaks, maximize your social security, diversify, re-think your lifestyle and/or adjust your monthly household budget, or take other steps to ensure some type of sufficient income for the extent of your life and that of your loved one, you will need your money to last, and statistics show many of today’s retirees are falling short.

Annuities have pros and cons which vary based on the type of product, but they do act as longevity insurance, providing a steady income for life. A traditional pension may provide annuity payments that last through your lifetime, but even if you are without a pension, you can create your own by working with your insurance company.

Your Ormond Beach Insurance Agency knows it can be confusing, even frustrating, to try and figure out all the financial information and available options by yourself, and we are here to guide you through the retirement planning process. Many people say our retirement years are “Golden Years” and should be some of the best of our lives. Let us help you reach that goal.

The O’Quinn Insurance Agency also helps provide insurance for autos, boats, homes and motorcycles throughout East Central Florida.

Heart Health Month

February is National Heart Health Month. So it seems ironic that another February icon, Valentine’s Day, is often celebrated with overindulgence – candy, sweets, alcohol, and ultra-rich dinners followed by equally artery-clogging desserts.

But it’s time to get serious about heart health, and not just this month — all year long. Because heart disease is now the leading cause of death in the United States. Your Palm Coast Insurance agent knows there are many reasons to take care of your heart, including better life insurance rates.

You may have read recently about a couple who decided to diet and exercise together, for themselves and for each other, and lost a combined 285 pounds. Weight loss and getting healthy may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of romance, but there’s really no better way to let someone know you love them than to resolve to be healthy, live longer and have more energy for that person (or persons) who are close to your heart.

Several studies have shown that it is easier for couples to lose weight and stay healthy when working on it together.

February is dedicated to raising heart health awareness. The Mayo Clinic lists risk factors that contribute to heart disease as family history, age, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, smoking, inactivity, poor diet, diabetes and obesity. The good news is these risk factors can be lowered significantly by taking a few simple steps.

Here are 10 steps to a healthier heart: Stop smoking. Reduce the amount of sugar you eat. Reduce your salt intake. Limit alcohol consumption. Exercise more. Take a class or plan a workout. Increase daily activity. Reduce stress. Stick to a healthy diet by planning healthy meals that you can cook together. Eat “good” fats and other heart healthy foods, like blueberries.

Your Ormond Beach Insurance Agency can help you choose a life insurance plan that rewards a healthy lifestyle with lower rates. Call us today for a free quote.