Happy National Insurance Awareness Day!

Did you know that Tuesday, June 28 is a holiday? That’s right, it’s National Insurance Awareness Day (no, we didn’t make that up either)! This day was created as a friendly reminder to take the time to review your insurance policies and update them as needed. After all, anything can happen!

Why should you have insurance? Well, there are several great reasons. First of all, you’ve worked so hard to build a solid financial foundation for you and your family. Secondly, no one really knows what tomorrow may bring. Maybe a storm will damage your home. Perhaps a careless driver will cause an accident and you will become involved. No one can predict tomorrow, so it’s always smart to have a safety net to protect you should something happen.

If you haven’t done so already this year, block out some time to review your existing insurance policies. If you have any questions or concerns, or if you would like to add on to your pre-existing insurance policies, a Madison Mutual insurance agent can help you! Just call us at 1-800-766-MMIC or learn more about how we can protect you and what matters most to you by visiting www.madisonmutual.com.

We hope you have a happy and productive National Insurance Awareness Day this year. We look forward to hearing from you!

15 Sneaky Ways to Protect Your Home and Car From Thieves This Summer

Summer is in full swing now! While you might be planning your next summertime vacation away with your family or friends, keep in mind that thieves never take vacations. In fact, according to the U. S. Department of Justice, summertime is the peak season for household property crimes. Additionally, while cars are stolen year-round, it would be particularly devastating if your car were stolen out from under your nose while you were miles and miles away from home. The scary thing is that a car can easily be stole in only one minute.

Protect your home and automobiles from thieves this summer with these 15 quick tips!

For the Home

*As tempting as it might be, resist the urge to share your travel plans on social media. Some burglars use social networking sites to pinpoint their next victims, so you never know who might be seeing your status update.

*Install deadbolt locks on all your outside doors. Burglars have a hard time breaking into those sorts of locks.

*Make sure you have adequate exterior lighting. Motion-sensing lights are best at keep thieves away from your home. Consider an alarm system as well.

*Look around your yard to see if any bushes, shrubs, and even trees need to be trimmed. This will make it hard for thieves to find places to hide.

*Don’t give burglars a way to get in to your home! Lock up your ladders and tools; thieves can easily use these items to break in.

*Garages are also a common point of entry for thieves. Keep your garage door closed and locked at all times.

*Get to know your neighbors. They can keep an extra close watch on your home while you’re out of town and can report any suspicious activity to the police.

For the Car

*Always lock your car, roll up your windows, and close your sunroof, even when you’re home. Even one inch of your window open can give a thief plenty of space to break into your car.

*Never leave your car running unattended, no matter where you are.

*Refrain from hiding a spare set of keys on or near the car. Criminals could be watching you hide your keys or can just guess the most common locations that keys could be hidden.

*If you don’t already have one, install an anti-theft system in your vehicle. This is a big deterrent for burglars because they know they’ll be caught sooner or later!

*Be aware of your surroundings, especially in garages, parking lots, and gas stations. Thieves can lurk anywhere. In addition, be especially careful about where you park your car at night. Park it in a well-lit area, if at all possible.

*Keep your valuables out of plain sight. Take them with you when you leave your car or store them in the trunk.

*On vacation? Be sure to hide your maps. Thieves will take note that you are an out-of-towner and can take advantage of it.

*Remember to take care of your old car, no matter how grungy and beat up it is. Burglars will consider stealing both old and new cars. Typically, the old ones are stolen for their parts, so take good care of your old clunkers, too!

Of course, remember to call your agent at Madison Mutual to make sure that your policies are up-to-date before you take off on your vacation. Call us today at 1-800-766-MMIC to get started!

8 Clever Ways to Baby-Proof Your Home

If you have a young child in your home, you know that they are often very curious and very quick on their feet. Whether you have children or are expecting your first child, baby-proofing your home is an important step you need to take to ensure you’re child’s safety at home. If you don’t know where to begin, check out this list of 8 steps you should take to making your home as safe as possible for your child:

Start With the Obvious – The best place to start is with the obvious offenders. Check for anything that immediately poses as a threat. Start by gating your staircase, covering up power outlets, and padding any sharp corners that may be in your home.

Check for Choking Hazards – Choking hazards are a real problem and can put a child in danger in no time. To see if an item is a choking hazard, take the item and see if you can pass it through a toilet paper tube. If the item can fit or be pushed through the tube, then you have a choking hazard on your hands, meaning that it is small enough to fit into the mouth, ears, or nose of a child.

Lock Cabinets Simply – You don’t need to grab fancy cabinet locks to get the job done. Try securing side-by-side kitchen or bathroom cabinet doors with rubber-coated wire gear ties. You can find these at your local hardware store. In a pinch, elastic hair bands work wonders as well.

Get on the Level – If you’re not sure which objects would get your crawler’s or walker’s attention, spend a few minutes at their eye level and investigate your surroundings. Take note of anything that could be within arm’s reach. If there are any items that are breakable or dangerous, relocate them to a higher location far away from a child’s curious grasp.

Keep One Cabinet Drawer Kid-Friendly – Consider keeping one of your bottom level drawers in the kitchen open for your child. You can keep pots, pans, wooden spoons, and plastic measuring cups that you don’t mind getting clanged or dirty in that cabinet. This will make cooking dinner a simpler task since you can watch your child and he or she will be less distracted with fun “toys” to play with!

Consider Furniture Layout – Look at how you have your furniture positioned in your living room, family room, or other room where you and your family spend time in. Are the couches and chairs away from windows or are up against walls? Small kids can be prone to climbing, which can pose as a threat if the furniture isn’t placed properly.

Turn It Off and Keep It Away – You’ll definitely want to keep cleaning supplies and other household products away from your little ones. Make sure to keep these items away from the reach of children in a safe, secure location that only you can reach. Additionally, if these products have an “off” button on their nozzles, remember to always switch the nozzle to “off” whenever you aren’t using them.

Educate Them About Potential Hazards – Whenever your children are old enough to understand, teach them about the possible hazards that could be lurking at home. You can show them how to handle a certain scenario or object safely. This can make the transition from baby-proofing your home in the future much easier as you teach them boundaries and rules.

Now that your home is safe for your kids to run around and have fun in, make sure that your home is protected by calling your friendly agent at Madison Mutual Insurance Company! Call us today at 1-800-766-MMIC to talk about home insurance policies or to get your policies up-to-date.

6 Awesome Yard Games to Play at Your Next Backyard Barbecue

Summer is finally here! Whether you want to get together with your friends and family for a good time or are planning the best block party your neighborhood will have ever seen, summer is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather.

Between the grilling and the dancing, why not try some fun yard games for your family, friends, and neighbors to enjoy? Try out these 6 fun yard games this summer!

Giant Inflatable Bowling Set – Love bowling but don’t want to rent any funny shoes? Get your own set for your backyard and bowl with your own shoes (or barefoot)! Instead of using your hands, try kicking the huge bowling ball for a strike. Find yours at Amazon!

Jazzminton Paddle Game – Badminton is definitely fun. Putting up the net? Not so much. Skip the tedious part and enjoy badminton with a twist and without the net! This variation is perfect for those who want to enjoy a spontaneous game in between rounds of grilling or swimming. You can purchase yours on Amazon.

Jumbo Jenga – Are you a fan of Jenga? Bring the game out into the yard with a large version of the game! You can either purchase a set from various stores or online stores like Amazon or Etsy, or you can make your own super-staked version by using 2×4 pieces.

Poof Lawn Darts – Lawn darts are always fun to play, and this version is definitely kid- and pet-friendly! The darts are soft and foamy, and you can enjoy throwing them at targets without worrying about being injured. Find these darts at Amazon!

Water Balloon Dodge Ball – If you can dodge a dodge ball, you can dodge a water balloon, right? Find out with your very own water balloon dodge ball game! All you need is water balloons and plenty of water for all-out summertime fun. Just don’t aim for the face!

Yard Yahtzee – If you’re into classic games, the Yard Yahtzee is for you! Roll the giant dice onto the lawn to see if you can score the ever-elusive Yahtzee. These dice will also work great for other games including Farkle, craps, and more!

Before sending out the invitations to your summertime party, pick up the phone and call your agent at Madison Mutual. He or she will help ensure that your insurance policies are up-to-date! Call us today at 1-800-766-MMIC or visit us online at www.madisonmutual.com!