Barrett Insurance Newsletter

April 2019 Edition

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Be Inspired

"Spring is nature's way of saying let's party." - Robin Williams

"Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn."

- Lewis Grizzard 

"Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush."

- Doug Larson

Laugh a Little

Spring Break Home Safety

For many, the winter months are a welcome time to escape the short days and chilly temperatures by heading on vacation to Florida or somewhere else warm. Is there a better way to celebrate the end of winter than to take a spring break?

Whether you’re going to visit family or family friends far away, or bask on a sunny, white-sand beach in the Caribbean or hit the slopes for some skiing or snowboarding, you have to take precautions to ensure your home stays safe while you’re away. After all, what could be worse than returning from a relaxing break or an active adventure to find a disaster has occurred, such as a break-in, or water or fire damage?

To ensure your vacation doesn’t end in tragedy, follow these tips before you go.

Check for any leaks and fix them. For example, ensure your refrigerator ice maker is not leaking!

Set your heater at approximately 50 degrees to ensure pipes and appliances don’t freeze. But if you have pets and they are going to be in the house, set it closer to 72 degrees.

If you have pets, make arrangements for their comfort and safety: either board them or have a friend come over daily to care for them.

Turn furnace and hot water heaters down.

Unplug all appliances, such as coffee makers, toasters and exercise equipment.

Leave a light or two on so the house doesn’t appear deserted at night.

Lower blinds and close curtains so that passers-by can’t view your valuables.

Leave a key with a trusted friend or neighbor so they can enter the home in case of emergency.

Have a friend or neighbor bring in newspapers and mail or cancel delivery for both during the time when you’ll be away.

Don't post to social media about your vacation while you're on vacation and away from home.

If you have the opportunity to get away {this winter or for spring break}, we wish you happy trails, and hope you come home to a safe and welcoming home!

Contact Us!

At Barrett Insurance, we can work with you to make sure you've got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at (517) 849-1000 or send us a note at We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what's important to you is protected!

Teen Driving Tips to Keep Prom and Graduation Safe

High school is full of defining moments for Hillsdale county teens and two of the highlights are prom and graduation.

However, this time of year often sees other, more tragic defining moments - serious car accidents involving teens who are distracted or even under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

At Barrett Insurance, we want to help make this season one to celebrate for you and your teen. So, with the help of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, here are some tips that can keep your teen safe.

First, encourage your teen to follow these general safe-driving rules:

Absolutely no alcohol 

- Always use seat belts

- No cell phone use (including texting) while driving

Special circumstances

Of course, special events such as prom and graduation often present special circumstances. There may be dinner with dates before the dance, and parties before or after either event. It’s a good idea to discuss your expectations well before each event, putting some guidelines into place before your teen heads out for the night.

Here are some ideas: 

Make sure you know the itinerary of the evening, as well as who else will be with your teen. You should have contact information for everyone. 

Have a way to contact your teen at all times. You may want to require them to check in with you once or twice over the course of the evening.

Set a curfew, whether they are coming back to your home or staying with a friend. If they are staying elsewhere, make sure the curfew will be enforced by a responsible adult.

Discuss with your teen how to handle difficult situations, such as facing pressure to drink, or accepting a ride with someone who shouldn’t be driving. It’s a good idea to provide your child with money for a taxi just in case.

Offer a “no-questions-asked” ride home, should they need one during the evening.

If you’re worried about your teen driving, consider alternate transportation. A car service or limousine will provide a responsible, experienced adult driver. You also will be able to limit changes to the itinerary and contact the driver.

Proms and graduations in Michigan are special times in a teen’s life. And just a little common sense will go a long way toward making sure your young adult is around to enjoy the other milestones that are sure to come. 

Sidebar: Teen Rewards 

Several of our partners can provide you with a collection of tools, benefits and discounts to help your teen become a safer driver — as well as manage the cost of adding them to your policy. There are several discounts that are often available, including the Good Student Discount, Driver Training Discount and more. Call us at (517) 849-1000 for more information!

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