Central Insurance

Dry Drowning Symptoms & Causes

Dry drowning symptoms

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of death among children, with an average of 22 drownings and 11 drowning deaths per day in 2021 alone.

Although this data is certainly alarming and might make parents question the safety of water-based activities, there are ways to ensure that you and your children remain safe.

In this article, we explore what the three main types of drowning look like, and dive most deeply into the phenomenon of dry drowning—a non-medical term for when someone exhibits the symptoms of drowning but without any actual water present in their lungs.

Read on to uncover the main symptoms of dry drowning, and the steps you can take to protect yourself and your family this season.

Read More

Umbrella Coverage: What It Is and Why You Need It

Do I really need an umbrella policy?

You might find yourself wondering, “Do I really need an umbrella policy?” The short answer is: yes.

While many consider umbrella coverage a supplemental policy compared to home, auto, and even life insurance, for many, the safety net provided by this unique type of policy is anything but optional.

In this article, we will review everything you need to know about umbrella insurance— from who it’s for to how much it costs—and explore some of the unique features that set Central Insurance’s umbrella policies apart. 

What Is Umbrella Coverage?

A personal umbrella policy is designed to provide an additional amount of liability insurance protection and a broader range of coverage than typical homeowner, auto, and other types of personal insurance policies.

“It’s important to remember that an umbrella policy is for liability to others,” says Stephanie Olsen, Senior Personal Lines Product Development Specialist at Central Insurance. “It will not cover your own injuries or personal damage…[nor] will it cover business liability-type exposures.”

Read More

5 Electrical Safety Tips Every Homeowner Should Know

electrical safety

While electricity is a necessary and useful tool in our daily lives, it can also be extremely dangerous. In fact, data shows that about 400 people are electrocuted in their homes every year, with about half of those electrocutions resulting in death.

Although leading causes of electrocutions vary, The National Center for Biotechnology Information reports that the most common occur due to negligence or simply underestimating the potential danger of this everyday power source. For example, interference with outlets and cords by children or pets, exposure of electric tools to water, failure to turn off a circuit breaker during electrical work, and even failure to read and follow an appliance’s instructions are all marked among the most common causes of electrical accidents in the home.

For this reason, “electrical safety precautions should not be taken for granted,” says Cory Eickholt, a Loss Control Manager for Central Insurance.

Below, we review the five electrical safety tips that every homeowner should know and follow to ensure your safety and that of your family and home.

Watch This: Electrical Safety: How to Keep Yourself and Others Safe

Read More

Contractor Fraud: What It Is and How to Avoid It

Contractor Fraud at a Glance:

  • What Is Contractor Fraud? A scam in which a real or completely fake contractor tries to engage you for work. Often they exaggerate or completely fabricate the problem to increase costs.
  • How Can I Avoid Contractor Fraud? Know the signs, never accept unsolicited help, ask for identification, and always check with your insurance agent for a contractor’s legitimacy.
  • How Can Central Help Me With Contractor Fraud? Central’s Special Investigative Unit is trained to spot and handle contractor fraud, and has procedures in place to help those who have fallen victim to these scams.
  • Where Can I Learn More? Read the full article below for details on how to identify and avoid contractor fraud, then in touch with your independent Central agent today to learn more.

From online scams to identify theft, fraudulent behavior has become something of an unwelcome norm in today’s society. In 2021 alone, the Federal Trade Commission discovered that consumers reported $5.8 billion in losses due to fraud—a 70 percent increase in fraud-related losses compared to 2020.

As a result of this unfortunate trend, many of us are taught to keep a watchful eye on our online information. We ignore potentially virus-inflicted emails, change our passwords every few months, check our credit card bills for inconsistencies, and adopt dozens of other tedious practices to try and keep ourselves secure. 

But what happens when the threat of fraud isn’t coming in the form of a suspicious email or link? What if, instead, it comes in the form of a contractor knocking on your front door and claiming to have noticed damage to your home that needs to be addressed immediately? How are you supposed to know who to trust and who might be trying to scam you?

In this article, we’ll address the intricacies of contractor fraud, explore how these individuals operate, uncover the steps you can take to prevent this type of behavior, and discover Central Insurance’s commitment to protecting its policyholders from this and all kinds of potential fraud.

Read More

Dwelling Coverage vs Market Value: What’s the Difference?

dwelling coverage vs market value

With home values significantly rising across the country over the past few years, it’s important to understand the difference between dwelling coverage vs. market value when it comes to home insurance. When buying or selling a home, much of the conversation and considerations focus on market value, which is the amount a home can be bought or sold for in the current market. In contrast, insurance companies prioritize dwelling value, which is the estimated replacement cost of a structure. 

How Much Dwelling Coverage Do I Need?

An insurance company is never going to sell your home, but they will replace it should you suffer a catastrophe like a tornado or house fire. For this reason, it’s vital that your home is insured for the proper amount needed to rebuild rather than what the real estate market might dictate the home’s worth to be based on the current housing market. 

Several years ago, when it was considered a “buyer’s market,” many homeowners were confused about why they were required to insure their home at a value higher than what they were likely to receive if they sold. Due to the lack of demand and ample homes on the market, market values had been driven below cost to rebuild. In 2022, however, we find ourselves navigating a very different landscape. Rising inflation, pandemic impact, and the current “seller’s market” have driven both market and dwelling values up, leaving homeowners with an entirely different set of choices to make.

Read on to learn more about how COVID and inflation are impacting dwelling and market values, as well as ways Central can help you determine whether your home is insured for the proper amount.    

Read More

Distracted Driving: Why We Do It & How To Stop

We all know we shouldn’t give into distractions when driving, so why is it so tempting to reach for the phone the moment you hear that little ding? Just a quick glance can’t hurt, right? Wrong. 

Data from a 2020 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study shows that 1.6 million crashes, more than 3,100 deaths, and 400,000 injuries were caused by some form of distractions when driving in the year 2019 alone. In addition, more than one in four of all accidents—including 87 percent of rear-end collisions—are the result of some form of distracted driving. 

What feels like a quick check of your phone, flip of the radio dial, or reset of the GPS can easily result in injury or tragedy. 

Read More

Evolving Through Expertise: Central’s 2021 Annual Report

Last year was a big one for Central. Our agents expressed a clear desire to go even deeper with us. Aligning with their wants and needs fueled our strategy, setting us up for a year of growth while remaining committed to our core values.

Our team rose to the occasion, leaning into a spirit of excellence at every opportunity. Throughout 2021, we leveraged the specialized expertise of our vertical teams to drive innovation in step with the evolving needs of our commercial agents and policyholders. Our claims department fulfilled our promise to serve, bringing heart, humanity and hospitality to every interaction. The outcome of our cross-team collaboration is something to be proud of.

From enhanced vertical expertise to exciting new product development and exceptional customer service scores, we’re excited to share the full story of 2021 in our Annual Report. View it here.

Meet Central’s Job Rotational Program

At Central, we believe that one of the best investments we can make is actively developing our employees. The insurance industry is constantly evolving, and true success is based on not only meeting the needs of today, but tomorrow as well.

As a part of our commitment to excellence, we strive to foster a culture of possibility and opportunity by providing a path to growth for our people. Established in 2021, Central’s Job Rotational Program gives participants a chance to experience placements in different departments, roles and areas of interest. The program is designed to support employee development while also fostering cross-department relationships, mentorship and collaboration. 

Read More

The Impact of Inflation on Commercial Property Insurance

From supply chain shortages to COVID-related shutdowns to worker shortages, 2021 brought the highest U.S. inflation rates of the past 40 years. Inflation is affecting everything from the price of that (former) “dollar pizza” to the value of used cars to raw building materials, making these trends particularly relevant to commercial insureds with building and business income coverages. 

Read More

Ring in 2022 With a Policy Checkup for your Business

The arrival of January finds many small business owners coming off the busiest season of their year. In the midst of the hustle and bustle, it can be easy to overlook important changes that may have occurred with your business that need to be accounted for on your insurance policy. Prioritizing your annual policy renewal is a great opportunity to consult with your independent agent and review any changes to your business to ensure you are properly protected for the year ahead. 

Read More