Spring Cleaning

SPRING CLEANING

Spring is here, albeit in Chicago where it is still near freezing. The Cubs and Sox are both in first place as I write this, the Blackhawks are the best team in the entire NHL, and the Final Four is upcoming.

Is that too many sports references? Just be thankful there were no references to Cycling's Spring Classic Season! Sorry, the "crocuses are blooming" references just don't work for me. I never remember what a crocus looks like anyway! (But can you believe the way Fabian Cancellara powered away from Peter Sagan on the Patenberg at the Tour of Flanders?)

The arrival of the various Spring holidays and accompanying weather changes remind us of the renewal and rebirth inherent in this time of year. They also serve as a handy tap on the shoulder to begin Spring Cleaning. Clean out the closets, clean out the garage, put away the Winter clothing and unpack Spring (or, if you are like many males I know, scratch your head and wonder what the difference is between Spring and Winter clothing), and get ready to tackle lawn mowing, garden planting, and other outdoor activities.

It is also a fantastic time, right after putting the finishing touches on your tax returns, to clean out and refresh your cars, your insurance coverage, and your peace of mind.

Spring Car Maintenance

Make it a priority to:

  • Have your fluid levels in your car checked and topped off.
  • Check the inflation level on your car tires.
  • Wash your car and clean off the road and salt grit accumulated from the Winter--your car will last longer.
  • If you park on the street, move your car regularly to avoid damage to tires.
  • Get an oil change if you are due for one and/or switch to an oil that is more appropriate for warmer weather.

Spring Insurance Maintenance

Review your insurance coverage:

  • Read your entire automobile insurance policy--increase your liability limits to the highest amount you can afford with the best-rated company. While the state minimum is $20,000.00 per occurrence per person and $40,000.00 per occurrence, you should have much more than that--injury claims often exceed this amount by many multiples.
  • Your liability limits will coincide with your Underinsured (UIM) and Uninsured (UM) coverage unless specifically declined. Yet another reason to maintain the highest limit possible.
  • Make certain you have medical payments coverage to pay your medical bills (and those of your passengers) in the event of an accident.
  • Review your homeowner's or renter's coverage. What are the liability limits? What personal property is covered?
  • If you own a home, have substantial assets, and can afford it, an umbrella policy is a great thing to have. This steps in after your liability limits of your auto or homeowner's policy are exhausted. An excellent additional layer of protection.

Why It Matters

  • More and more cars are being driven by people without any insurance or with very minimal insurance. If you or your loved ones suffer personal injury due to their negligence, you will want the most coverage possible on your end to help restore you to health.
  • One example is if you get hit by someone with a $20,000.00 policy and require back surgery and miss 3 months from work, this claim will easily exceed that policy liability limit. Your coverage for UIM becomes key in that it allows you to recover up to the difference between your limit and the at-fault driver's limit.
  • Many minimal policies are underwritten by companies that fight every single claim. Your insurance may have to pay to fix your car or for your medical bills or you could be waiting years.

Enjoy the Spring Weather

Take care of yourself now and get some fresh air. Walk your dog, throw a ball with your kids, hit some golf balls, and bask in the renewal of life all around you, hopefully with a more secure feeling.

Categories: General