updated kitchen

5 Easy and Inexpensive Remodeling Ideas You Should Consider Before Selling Your House

Are you thinking about putting your house on the market? Before you contact your realtor, take a close look at your home and your yard. Is there anything that could use some improvement? If so, how much money should you spend on renovations before putting your home on the market?

While it’s best to skip any extensive remodels, which could delay getting your home on the market, you can focus on smaller renovations to help improve your home’s look without destroying your budget. Here are # remodeling ideas to consider before you put your house on the market:

Make Small Kitchen Improvements – You don’t need to totally revamp your kitchen, but you can make some small improvements. Swap out old and outdated hardware, faucets, and lights. Replace any old or broken tiles. Spruce up the cabinets with a fresh coat of paints. These little changes will make a big difference and will draw the eye of a potential homebuyer.

Update Your Bathroom – An outdated bathroom can really turnoff a potential homebuyer, but the good news is that you don’t have to spend a ton of money to make it look irresistible. Give the walls a fresh coat of paint, update the light fixtures, and install a new sink. If your toilet is older, you can also replace it as well.

Replace Old Flooring – You don’t need to tear out all of your flooring for this update! See if there is any worn down flooring in your home that could be replaced. Look in high-traffic areas like your kitchen, hallways, and living room. This includes replacing broken tiles or hardwood floors that have a lot of scratches.

Fix Damaged Siding – First impressions are incredibly important when it comes to selling your home. You don’t want to be known as the house with the dingy siding. Grab a power washer and give the exterior a good scrub-down to make it look just like new. If there are any holes or cracks, fill them in. You can do most of these tasks yourself or a professional can help you!

Up Your Curb Appeal – Your yard and curb appeal matter! Always keep your lawn trimmed and tidy, and trim your trees and shrubs. Lay out fresh mulch and plant eye-catching, low-maintenance flowers to draw potential homebuyers in.

Renovating your house before putting it on the market doesn’t have to blow up your budget. Protecting your house or your future home from the unexpected doesn’t have to be expensive either. Call your agent at Madison Mutual at 1-800-766-MMIC today to learn more!

boating safety tips

Stay Safe on the Water With These 9 Boating Safety Tips!

Summer is the perfect time to get your swimsuit and your beach towel and head out to the lake for some quality boating time with your friends. No matter how much experience you might have boating, it’s always a good idea to review some safety rules before enjoying your day at the lake. That’s why we’ve come up with a list of 9 handy boating safety tips to keep you and your friends and family safe this summer. Check them out below:

Be Aware of the Weather – Before you head out, make sure to check weather conditions by tuning in to the radio or the TV for a local forecast. If you’re out on the lake already and happen to notice darkening clouds, quick and violent wind changes, or a sudden drop in temperature, turn around and get off the water, just to be safe.

Follow a Pre-Departure Checklist – As we all know at Madison Mutual, anything can happen. That’s why it’s always smart to follow your pre-departure checklist to make sure that you remember all of the boating rules and have taken precautions against any possibilities that may happen on the water.

Designate a (Boat) Driver – In case of injury or any sort of incapacitation, you’ll want to ensure that you have a backup driver to help get you and the rest of your crew to shore safely. Be sure that he or she is familiar with all aspects of your boat’s handling, operations, and, of course, general boating safety.

Don’t Forget Lifejackets – The majority of drowning victims are sadly the result of boaters failing to wear their lifejackets. No matter what, be sure that you and your family and friends are safe and wear your lifejackets at all times. Just like a seatbelt, it could save your life.

Create a Float Plan – If you aren’t familiar with what a float plan is, it is a plan that includes where you’re going and how long you’ll be gone. It should also include your name, address, and phone number (if you are the captain), the names and phone numbers of all the passengers, your boat type and registration information, your trip itinerary, and the types of communication and signal equipment that you have onboard. Be sure to tell your family or the staff at the marina about your float plan in the event that an accident occurs.

Use Your Head – One of the best things you can do on the open water is just to use your common sense. Operate at a safe speed at all times, especially in crowded areas. Stay alert, and steer clear of large vessels, which can restrict your ability to turn around or stop. Additionally, be aware of buoys and other navigational aids on the water. They’re there for a reason – your safety and the safety of others!

Take a Boating Course – Both beginners and experts can always use a course on the safety rules of operating a boat. While boater education varies by state, some do require validated completion of at least one boating safety course. Besides, it’s always important to brush up on the basics to keep yourself and your crew safe on the open water.

Learn How to Swim – Aside from learning the rules of boating safety, you should also know how to swim. You can get swimming lessons from the local pool or you can also sign up for classes through the American Red Cross. Find out which classes are offered in your town!

Say No to Alcohol – Alcohol and boating don’t mix – period. In fact, the probability of being involved in a boating accident doubles when alcohol is involved. If you must drink, save the alcohol for when you and your crew are off the water, and drink responsibly.

Staying safe doesn’t need to end once you exit your boat. It also extends on the road and at home. Make sure that you, your family, and the things you value the most are protected with Madison Mutual! Call your agent today at 1-800-766-MMIC to update your policy!

tornado on the road

Got a Tornado in Your Rearview Mirror? Here’s How to Stay Safe

It’s one of the worst-case scenarios for drivers: you’re heading to your destination when suddenly, a storm kicks up, you hear sirens going off, and the radio tells you that you’re in a tornado warning or that a funnel cloud has been spotted near you. With the ominous clouds looming around you, you’re not terribly sure which steps you should take next. What do you do?

If a tornado ever touches down while you’re on the road, you need to do all that you can to stay safe. Here’s how you can do just that:

Know the Warnings Signs – It’s always a smart idea to familiarize yourself with the signs that a tornado could be nearby. This includes the following:

*Large hail and heavy rain, followed by a calm period and a sudden shift in the wind

*Low, dark clouds that appear to be rotating

*A deep rumbling that sounds as if a freight train is approaching

*Swirling debris on the ground

Whenever you see these signs, try to make your way to safe place before the tornado even has a chance to touch down. If you have no choice but to be in your car, there are other steps you can take.

Seek Shelter Immediately – If a tornado is far off in the distance, try driving away from it, moving at 90-degree angles from its path. While you’re doing that, try to find a sturdy building for shelter (never under a highway overpass!). Banks and restaurants tend to be strong structures.

Never Outrun a Close Tornado – If a tornado winds up touching down very close to you, do not outrun it! Instead, pull over, duck down below the windows in your vehicle, keep your seatbelt fastened, and cover your head with your hands or a blanket to protect yourself from glass and flying debris.

Stay Low to the Ground – You can also pull over, get out of your vehicle, and take cover in a low-lying ditch on the side of the road, if at all possible. Make sure to cover your head with your hands or a blanket. You should only consider doing this if you can do so safely.

Take Care After the Tornado Passes – As soon as the tornado passes, remember to be extra careful and avoid dangerous debris, including broken glass, nails, and other sharp objects. Stay far away from downed power lines, and don’t enter buildings that have sustained heavy damage.

Whether you’re driving to work on a sunny day or find yourself caught in a storm, it’s always a good idea to stay protected with a solid auto insurance policy from Madison Mutual. Call your agent at Madison Mutual at 1-800-766-MMIC to update your policy today!

4th of July safety tips

Celebrate a Safe July 4th With These Tips!

Independence Day is the perfect time to celebrate our freedom with our friends and family. As you make plans to celebrate the holiday, we at Madison Mutual want you to have a fun, memorable, and safe day. You can make it happen by following our hand July 4th safety tips here!

Fireworks Safety – No 4th of July celebration is complete without fireworks! Unfortunately, many accidents can occur when fireworks are in the picture. As you sit back and enjoy watching fireworks with your family and friends or set them off yourself, keep these important rules in mind:

*Never allow children to ignite or play with fireworks.

*An adult should be supervising firework activity at all times.
*Don’t pick up or re-ignite a firework that did not ignite properly or fully.

*As fun as it might seem, refrain from lighting multiple fireworks at once. Light them one at a time instead. Once it is lit, you should move away from the firework immediately.

*Always keep a garden hose or a bucket of water nearby in case of a malfunction or fire.

Child Safety – Whether you’re attending a July 4th celebration or enjoying fireworks with your children, it’s essential to remember these child safety tips:

*Families should consider wearing unique, identifiable colors. Other options are to hold hands at all times or to buddy up with other family members.

*Determine a time and place for your family to meet if you should get separated from one another.

*Remind your child to find a police officer if they get lost in the crowd.

Water Safety – Many people head out to a lake or the beach to celebrate the 4th of July. If you plan on heading out to a nearby lake, remember to keep a few of these important rules in mind to keep yourself, your family, your friends, and others around you safe:

*Make sure that everyone always wears a life jacket when in the water or on a motorized water vehicle such as a boat or jet ski.

*Never let your children swim alone. An adult should always be present and paying attention.

*Never dive into shallow water. Always step in feet first.

*Always keep a phone handy in case of emergency.

Sun Safety – Nothing beats soaking up the summer sun on July 4th. Before you head out, make sure you protect yourself from sunburns with these tips:

*Limit your sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. as much as possible.

*Wear sunscreen with 15 SPF or higher, and reapply it often.

*Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

By following these handy tips, you’re sure to have an enjoyable and memorable Independence Day that you will remember for years to come. Liberate your worries about the things that matter the most to you by trusting Madison Mutual Insurance Company! Call us at 1-800-766-MMIC to find out more about us or to update your insurance policies.