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5 Things to Keep in Mind for Spring Cleaning Your Home

Cleaning a home deeply should be done once a year and spring is a great time to dig in and actually do it! Instead of focusing on a long list of things to accomplish, we’d thought we’d share five things to keep in mind when it comes to spring cleaning your home.

Keep it, Store It or Donate It

This is an easy reminder when it comes to cleaning out your house and it can apply to any room. For clothing items, ask yourself if you have worn it in the last year. If the answer is no, look to donate it. You can help others in need this way and that always feels great. Seek out charities that support your community.

Break It Up In Sections

Just the thought of spring cleaning can be exhausting for some people. Instead, focus on breaking up your cleaning by sections or rooms. For example, put all your cleaning attention into your kitchen for the first day. Wipe down your cabinets, organize the inside of your cupboards or drawers, or give your refrigerator a nice scrub. This feels much more doable versus looking at your long list of cleaning for your entire house and asking yourself, “Where do I start?!”

Create a List & Check It Twice

For many people, creating a to-do list feels productive and how good does it feel once you can officially check if off? Follow our suggestion by breaking up your cleaning into sections and making a list of what you want to accomplish in each room.

Make it Fun

Get your family or other household members involved, assign them specific tasks, turn on some good music then celebrate with a night out together. Don’t feel like you have to clean all day long to feel like you’ve been productive. Marking several items off your list can simply do the trick!

Looking for a Basic Spring Cleaning Checklist? Start here.

Top Areas to Clean in Each Room

  • Dust all furniture, picture frames, television, or hanging décor on walls.
  • Dust ledges or other areas you cannot see at eye (ceiling fans, top of cabinets)
  • Clean windows or mirrors
  • Dust or wipe down baseboards, blinds, window sills, vents.
  • Sweep & mop floors
  • Vacuum carpet and rugs
  • Change smoke detector batteries
  • Wash curtains
  • Vacuum furniture cushions
  • Disinfect items like your TV remote, door knobs, computer mouse or kitchen drawer handles.
  • Organize each room & donate/discard what you won’t use.
  • Disinfect your bathroom items like tub, shower and toilet. Wash shower curtains.

Your home is a valuable asset so keeping it clean will not only keep it in tip-top shape, but will clear the home of allergens, bacteria and mold that can build up over time. With a little elbow grease, you’ll be done in no time.

Heuer Insurance Agency in Sparks has worked with a variety of clients in the Reno area over the years and we are confident in our ability to meet your personal or business insurance needs. We understand how important an insurance policy can be and we take time to match each of our clients with the perfect insurance policy. Whether you are looking for auto insurancerenters insurancehomeowners insurance, or life insurance we can help you. Not only can we provide you with each of these personal insurance policies, but we can also help you find a general liability policy, workers compensation policy or commercial building insurance policy. Give us a call at 775-358-5554 or visit us.

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Understanding Why Renters Insurance Is Important

If you’re one of the millions of Americans that rents a home, condo or apartment, chances are you’ve either had renters insurance in the past, or currently do have a policy. If you don’t have a policy, you’ll want to really pay close attention to this post.

In its most basic form, renters insurance helps cover your personal belongings from fire, theft, vandalism and other losses as well as provides you with some basic liability coverage in the event you’re found liable for bodily injury or property damages. There are also different types of renters insurance policy. A replacement cost policy will help pay for replacement of your items as if they were new. A nice thing considering that depreciated jeans, furniture and computers won’t help you become whole again.

A recent article from the Insurance Information Institute states that less than one-third of all renters (31%) have a renter’s insurance policy. Why is that? Do people assume that since they pay rent, their items are covered by that rent cost? Do they assume their landlord has insurance and it would cover this loss? Do they think maybe their auto insurance covers some items? The answer to this is that none of these items will likely cover any of your items. Only a renter’s insurance policy will.

There are 2 basic types of renters insurance:

  1. Actual cost value: Pays to replace your damaged or stolen items up to your policy limits, less depreciation.
  2. Replacement cost: Pays to replace your damaged or stolen items up to your policy limits with new ones, no depreciation.

Some additional things to consider is if you have expensive jewelry, musical equipment or collectibles that you want to insure. This may require a “floater” to be added to your policy.

One last item to ponder is how much liability you want to be covered for. You can get up to $500,000 in liability coverage. This will protect you from lawsuit. If you want even more coverage, you should consider a personal umbrella insurance policy. This goes above and beyond your renter’s limits to provide even more coverage.

Renters insurance is very inexpensive. It can come in around just 50 cents per day.

If you’d like to learn more about renters insurance in Nevada, call Heuer Insurance Agency.

Heuer Insurance Agency in Sparks has worked with a variety of clients in the Reno area over the years and we are confident in our ability to meet your personal or business insurance needs. We understand how important an insurance policy can be and we take time to match each of our clients with the perfect insurance policy. Whether you are looking for auto insurancerenters insurancehomeowners insurance, or life insurance we can help you. Not only can we provide you with each of these personal insurance policies, but we can also help you find a general liability policy, workers compensation policy or commercial building insurance policy. Give us a call at 775-358-5554 or visit us.

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Named Perils vs. Open Perils Policies for Your Home Insurance. What’s the Difference?

There are many coverage options to select from when shopping for your homeowner’s insurance. You need to decide on your level of coverage, whether you want a larger monthly payment and smaller deductible or vice versa. You also can decide to add flood or earthquake coverages if you live in an area prone to these events. Your standard homeowner policy is called an open perils policy and includes many types of events.  But did you know that you can choose to have a “named perils” policy also known as a Broad Form insurance policy?

So, how exactly is Named Perils and Open Perils different when related to your homeowner’s insurance policy in Nevada:

  • A peril is an event that results in the loss of property, structure or damage to the structure.
  • Named Perils refers to specific events that you would like covered until your policy. Named peril policies are your traditional home insurance policies. Recently, HO5 policies have come around and they are Open Peril meaning they cover more losses your standard home insurance policy may not cover.
  • A Named Perils policy may save you money, but that is because you’re carrying more risk. Not every situation regarding a loss will be covered. Personal effects are covered under a named perils policy for the type of loss you’re getting coverage for such as wind and hail; however you may still need to have additional coverage scheduled for pieces like heirlooms, art, jewelry and other losses that may occur.
  • Both types of policies may elect to cover events like wildfires or tornado damage, but earthquake and flood insurance will need to be purchased separately.
  • Open Perils policies will clearly list what is excluded, while a Named Perils will clearly list what is included.
  • Open Perils will typically include most of the Name Perils options.

To give an example of how these two differing policies work, let’s use the following example. Sarah came home from work to notice that her necklace had broken and fallen off of her and was now lost. Because her loss was not related to a specific loss of wind, fire or damage to the house, this loss would not be covered under a named perils policy. If Sarah had an Open Perils policy that included the loss of valuable items, her loss would be covered (up to the policy limits for jewelry in the case). It is always important to note the policy limits of an Open Perils policy for jewelry, furs, art or other high-value items.

Homeowner’s insurance can be confusing, but your local, independent agents at Heuer Insurance Agency are here to help.

Heuer Insurance Agency in Sparks has worked with a variety of clients in the Reno area over the years and we are confident in our ability to meet your personal or business insurance needs. We understand how important an insurance policy can be and we take time to match each of our clients with the perfect insurance policy. Whether you are looking for auto insurancerenters insurancehomeowners insurance, or life insurance we can help you. Not only can we provide you with each of these personal insurance policies, but we can also help you find a general liability policy, workers compensation policy or commercial building insurance policy. Give us a call at 775-358-5554 or visit us.

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Using Your Personal Vehicle for Business Use? Read this first.

Do you use your personal vehicle to deliver papers, pizzas, sandwiches, flowers or other deliverables in exchange for money? Do you, from time to time, help your son or daughter with delivering their newspaper route? If you answered yes to this question, you may need a commercial auto insurance policy for your vehicle.

We all use our vehicles to get us from point A to point B; usually on personal errands, road trips or commuting to work. If you happen to use your vehicle for business use, like a paper route or pizza delivery or sandwich delivery, your personal auto insurance policy may not protect you in an accident.

If your business provides a vehicle for you, most likely that vehicle is covered under their policy, but be sure to ask your fleet department about what and how much is covered. If it is required that you use your personal vehicle, your personal auto insurance policy may not be sufficient. Your personal auto insurance policy only covers your vehicle for personal use. If you use your vehicle to deliver goods in exchange for money, a commercial auto insurance policy in Reno, NV may be necessary.

Commercial auto insurance in Nevada:

  • Who needs it: Any vehicle that is used for commercial or business purposes may be required to have a business use policy. If your vehicle is used for both personal and commercial purposes, you may be able to get away with a business use endorsement on a personal vehicle policy. Talk to your agent about this option.
  • Why do you need another policy: You can get higher limits from your policy, giving yourself and the business extra protection from accidents.
  • What is covered: A commercial auto insurance policy covers many of the same claims that arise as a personal auto insurance policy, however limits and coverage options may vary between carriers.
  • But who is really going to know? You’d be surprised. Insurance companies are keen on claims and while their job is to pay claims, they could deny your claim if they find out you were driving it while using it for business. Play it safe and talk to an agent about your options.

So whether you are a traveling sales rep or out delivering packages, flowers, papers, or sandwiches talk your agent about your personal and commercial auto insurance needs. Their years of experience can save you bundle.

Heuer Insurance Agency in Sparks has worked with a variety of clients in the Reno area over the years and we are confident in our ability to meet your personal or business insurance needs. We understand how important an insurance policy can be and we take time to match each of our clients with the perfect insurance policy. Whether you are looking for auto insurancerenters insurancehomeowners insurance, or life insurance we can help you. Not only can we provide you with each of these personal insurance policies, but we can also help you find a general liability policy, workers compensation policy or commercial building insurance policy. Give us a call at 775-358-5554 or visit us.

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What To Do If You’re Involved in a Hit and Run Accident

Being in a hit and run accident can be a very frightening event. Being prepared to know how to handle the situation when it occurs will help you deal with the shock of it, as well as ensure you are covered for the loss when it does happen. While hit and run accidents will happen to almost every driver, whether their car is parked and unattended, or while they’re driving, knowing these things will help you deal with the unfortunate situation.

Safely park your vehicle: If you happen to be driving when the accident occurs, safely pull the vehicle over to the side of the road. If possible, carefully write down the license plate and description of the vehicle that struck you. This will aid police in locating the driver. Often time, your vehicle will be struck in a parking lot while unattended. In the event this happens, look for any signs of the other vehicle. Is their paint transfer that would indicate the color of the vehicle? Is there a note on your windshield? Are their security cameras such as at the gas station?

Assess any Injuries: If someone is injured, take care of their immediate needs and quickly call 911. It is typical to be jittery after such an event so catch your breath too.

Call police: Once you’re safely parked, you’ll need to get a police report. Many police stations will not respond if there are no injuries, so you’ll want to still turn in a police report for the incident. Many insurance companies will require this documentation in order to use your UMPD (uninsured motorist property damage) insurance coverage.

Gather any witness information: If anyone is standing there and offers you their statement, jot down their phone number and name. Your insurance company will want to talk with any witness to the accident.

Call insurance company: Sometimes even though vehicles collide, the damages may be limited, so you’ll want to take a close look and determine if you want to pursue a claim. While hit and run accidents may be a scary encounter, they may not require body work to your vehicle. Also keep in mind that if you don’t carry the correct coverages for hit and run (often times referred to as uninsured motorist property damage) your claim will be handled under a collision loss. Deductibles will likely apply in both cases.

While we hope you never have to experience a hit and run accident, being prepared will help you tackle the unfortunate situation.

Heuer Insurance Agency in Sparks has worked with a variety of clients in the Reno area over the years and we are confident in our ability to meet your personal or business insurance needs. We understand how important an insurance policy can be and we take time to match each of our clients with the perfect insurance policy. Whether you are looking for auto insurancerenters insurancehomeowners insurance, or life insurance we can help you. Not only can we provide you with each of these personal insurance policies, but we can also help you find a general liability policy, workers compensation policy or commercial building insurance policy. Give us a call at 775-358-5554 or visit us.

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8 Scenarios That Would Warrant an Umbrella Insurance Policy

There are many scenarios that would warrant the need for an umbrella insurance policy. We outline a few of them here.

Example #1: Your teenage daughter is babysitting the neighbor kids and leaves the house for a moment to run to the store. When she returns, one of the children is badly injured and requires surgery. The child’s medical bills exceed $300,000. The parents of the children sue you to cover the medical bills.

Example #2: Your son dislikes his gym class as well as the teacher. He goes on social media and writes some very reproachful comments about the teacher that leave him in a bad light. The teacher sues and is awarded $500,000.

Example #3: Your 17 year old child decides to pick up some friends and go “cruising” in your car. He loses control of the vehicle while showing off how fast the minivan is. Each child is critically injured. Your umbrella policy helps cover the medical bills.

Example #4: You invite friends over to your home to celebrate the 4th of July. You provide all the entertainment, food and refreshments, including alcohol. One friend who is known for drinking too much, does just that, gets in his car and drives home getting in a terrible car accident that kills one person. The family sues you and you’re found to be liable for serving the friend too much alcohol.

Example #5: Your rental property’s deck is rotted and your tenant falls through it badly injuring their leg and requiring reconstructive surgery. A jury awards the tenant $750,000 for damages.

Example #6: You host a wedding on your property and rent a bouncy house. The house is not staked down and blows away in the wind with children inside of it. The kids are fine, but you’re sued for negligence. The families of the children are awarded $100,000 each for mental and post-traumatic stress.

Example #7: Your dog gets out viciously attacks the neighbors show dog. The dog can no longer show because it has scars and a limp. You’re sued for loss of income and a jury awards the dog owner $450,000.

Example #8: You’re the “cool mom” and agree to buy your kids and their friends alcohol if they promise to stay at the house. One of the friends leaves the house and is killed in an accident. He is found to be intoxicated. The parents of the child sue you for providing them with alcohol. A jury awards $2 million.

There are countless situations that can occur and exhaust your current liability limits on your home or auto insurance policy. The good news is that umbrella insurance policies are relatively inexpensive. Contact an agent at our office for your personalized umbrella insurance quote today.

Heuer Insurance Agency in Sparks has worked with a variety of clients in the Reno area over the years and we are confident in our ability to meet your personal or business insurance needs. We understand how important an insurance policy can be and we take time to match each of our clients with the perfect insurance policy. Whether you are looking for auto insurancerenters insurancehomeowners insurance, or life insurance we can help you. Not only can we provide you with each of these personal insurance policies, but we can also help you find a general liability policy, workers compensation policy or commercial building insurance policy. Give us a call at 775-358-5554 or visit us.

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A Negative Online Review Can Leave You Vulnerable to Liability

Everyone today is connected in some way to social media.  It can be by Facebook, Yelp, email or other internet outlets.  When you write something you leave your fingerprint for everyone to see.  If you go to a restaurant, dentist, daycare or other business and have a bad experience, you might think of writing a bad review on the company’s Facebook page or Yelp, for example.  If you decide to do this, it is important to exercise caution about how you word your experience as recent cases have shown you can be sued for libel – even if you think the review was justified.  This can be a very frightening situation and how on earth can you afford to pay attorney fees?  What do you do?

If you have the right coverage on your homeowners insurance, you likely have protection for these personal offenses such as libel, slander or defamation of character.  If you receive a lawsuit, you need to contact your homeowners insurance claim’s department right away.  The claims department will defend you and pay for damages up to certain limits on your policy.  If you want to be extra cautious, you can get an umbrella insurance policy that would give you coverage above and beyond your homeowners policy for attorney fees and any damages awarded. It is important to understand your home or renters insurance. I you have questions about one of these policies, feel free to contact a one of our licensed agents to discuss.

Heuer Insurance Agency in Sparks has worked with a variety of clients in the Reno area over the years and we are confident in our ability to meet your personal or business insurance needs. We understand how important an insurance policy can be and we take time to match each of our clients with the perfect insurance policy. Whether you are looking for auto insurancerenters insurancehomeowners insurance, or life insurance we can help you. Not only can we provide you with each of these personal insurance policies, but we can also help you find a general liability policy, workers compensation policy or commercial building insurance policy. Give us a call at 775-358-5554 or visit us.

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5 Things You Should Know About Getting Sued

Lawyer's fine suit coat

If you’ve recently heard the words “you’ve been served,” you more than likely have a lot of questions about what to do next. Here are 5 things you should know about getting sued, to help you prepare for the worst should a lawsuit be filed against you or your company.

  1. Don’t Admit You’re at Fault

Admitting you are at will fault will only make for a stronger case against you. While you might feel like it’s the right thing to do, you may only be partially at fault— if at all. Regardless of if you are at fault or not, admitting it to the plaintiff makes a big difference in the courtroom.

  1. Act Quickly, Make Deadlines, and Gather Documentation

One of the worst things you can do is pretend you weren’t ever served. You must act quickly as every lawsuit has strict deadlines, some of which need responses in a matter of days. If you fail to respond or file appropriate documentation before a deadline passes, the consequences can be severe.

Once you’ve addressed all the deadlines, start gathering the appropriate documentation that will be relevant to your case. Any letters, emails, photographs, contracts, invoices, or bills that can be used as evidence should be saved and photocopied.

  1. Meet with an Attorney

While you need to act quickly and address deadlines, meeting with a reputable lawyer who can guide you will definitely ease some of your stress. Ask family and friends or trusted business associates for good recommendations and do your research. If your case falls under the general liability category, you may not want to hire a divorce lawyer to represent you. And if you don’t have the funds to hire a lawyer outright, discuss possible payment options with several attorneys as they will often work with your situation.

  1. Explore Settlement, Mediation, and Countersuit Options

Some items that should be up for discussion with your attorney include settlement, formal mediation, or even filing a countersuit (though this option will likely increase tension). Keep in mind that most cases can be settled outside of the courtroom, but it is always wise to explore every option available to you.

  1. Protect Yourself with General Liability Insurance Beforehand

General liability insurance is a specific insurance that protects you or your business against liability claims for bodily injury and/or property damage. If you are sued and have this type of insurance in place, it will pay for any damages, awards, and often a portion, if not all of, the expenses. General liability insurance limits your risks and typically covers damage to properties, bodily injuries, injury related to advertising, and slander/libel or personal injury cases.

Heuer Insurance specializes in general liability in Reno, Nevada. Give us a call today to consult with an insurance specialist.

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February Newsletter

Well it sure feels like Springtime in our area to say the least!  El Nino has taken back a lot of what she brought, so come on back El Nino….we LOVE you!  Speaking of Spring, most of us that live in the Northern part of the State know that these 70 degree days can be fleeting, and therefore you need to take caution and NOT turn those sprinklers back on yet!  It sounds like a great way to welcome Spring, and the Dove nesting outside my window thinks it is, but this thought process can be costly for you.  Turning on a sprinkler system too early is kind of like dancing with fire….you never know when you’re gonna get burnt!  You can always hand water but, as the Native’s say,  best not to turn on that automatic sprinkler system until the snow is off Peavine …

Did you all get your recent hard copy newsletter the agency mailed you a few weeks ago??  It was another attempt on our part to reach out to as many of our loyal clients as we can, and this time, we asked for some feedback, whether you like it paper form or not.  We even tried to make it fun by asking you for your candid feedback, and if you replied, we would enter you into a drawing for a $25 VISA card just for taking your time to respond.   Here’s an interesting fact, we sent out over 1200 newsletters, and we only heard from 8 of you! This is a fun way of advising you that our experiment with killing a tree or two and sending paper newsletters is over!  HIA cares about the environment and from now on, all of our marketing attempts will be on-line. THANK YOU to the folks that did respond and congratulations goes out to Andrea O, who was the winner of our drawing.

Speaking of drawings, we are a couple months behind announcing our monthly referral winners. Congratulations to Lena M and Brian P!

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Heuer Insurance really cares about our community and we honestly try to do the right thing, and give back.  Rotary has long been a favorite organization for Heuer Insurance due to the wide and varied ways the organization helps the underprivileged.  I wrote about this last year, when Adam Heuer was the Reno South Rotary President, and this year, we are expanding that help to Rotary and have pledged to expend another $500 and become a Silver Sponsor of the Achievement Beyond Obstacles Program (formerly known as the Most Improved Student Program)!  We envision this being an annual donation and we can only make this contribution because of loyal clients like all of you!  If any of you would like more information about the program or would like to get involved, reach out to Adam Heuer or visit their website: http://achievementbeyondobstacles.com/

And finally, I love the idea of highlighting one of our staff each month, and this month I would like to introduce a real rock star in our Personal Lines Department.  Cheryl Ulma has been with Heuer Insurance Agency for 18 years!!  I know her clients already know and love her, but for the rest of you,  just a little about her:  Cheryl is married to an awesome guy named Todd and they have 2 schnauzers that love to walk with Mom and Dad around Redhawk Golf Course.  If you see her around, roll the window down and give her a “HI CHERYL, I JUST READ ABOUT YOU!”  It’s bound to make her day.

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Thanks once again and always for all the years of loyalty you and your family have shown this family run business.

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Tire Talk: The Difference Between All-Wheel And Winter Tires

Car driving through snow

Let’s face it – driving in winter-weather conditions can be unnerving. And when the tires on your car aren’t up-to-par, driving in the winter can be downright dangerous. However, when it comes to choosing which type of tire is best for your car, things can get a bit confusing. Should you purchase a set of snow tires? Would all-weather tires be better for your particular situation? Should you splurge for a set of both, just to be safe?

Pros Of Winter Tires

 

  • Snow tires have better grip. Do you frequently drive on roads that are covered in snow or a sheet of ice? If so, snow tires trump all-weather tires largely because they have superior grip. Not only are these tires designed with a soft, adhesive rubber, but they also have very deep treads that allow for ultimate traction even in the most hazardous conditions. In fact, studies show that winter tires deliver 25 to 50 percent more traction than all-season tires.

 

  • Winter tires are best for breaking in bad weather. You’ve probably been there: that moment when you’re driving in snowy, icy conditions and the moment you attempt to break, your wheels lock up and you slide uncontrollably to a frantic hault. With a set of winter tires, the chances of this happening are greatly reduced. Thanks to the exceptional gripping abilities of winter-tire tread, you can break where you need to, when you need to.

 

Cons of Winter Tires

 

  • Winter tires wear quickly. Though the soft, grippy rubber is ideal when it comes to providing ultimate traction, the material tends to wear down quicker than all-season or summer tires. Sure, winter tires are great in winter conditions, but dry roads or non-wintery conditions can quickly deteriorate the tread quality of the tire.

 

  • Snow tires can affect the handling of your car. Snow tires are known for less-precise handling than all-weather tires simply because of the way they are designed. The soft rubber of winter tires has more give and mobility, and the durable rubber of all-season tires offers better handling in dry conditions.

 

Pros of All-Weather Tires

 

  • You don’t have to change all-weather tires as the seasons change. One of the greatest benefits of all-weather tires is that you don’t have to worry about changing them the second the seasons change. All-weather tires can stay on your car year-round and are also designed with winter-driving conditions in mind. The tread pattern on all-weather tires was created with high-tech compounds that can handle snow, slush and ice, just as they can handle warm, dry conditions. 

 

  • All-weather tires are ideal for unpredictable climates. Do you live in a place where it could be a blizzard one day and spring-like conditions the next? If so, all-weather tires are the best solution for you. They work better on winter roads than summer tires and better on summer roads than winter tires. In places where the weather can be unpredictable, all-weather tires are the best solution.

 

Cons of All-Weather Tires

 

  • All-weather tires could lose grip as the temperature drops. Though all-weather tires undoubtedly have better grip in winter conditions than summer tires, their quality does deteriorate as the temperature drops. Once the temperature reaches about 44 degrees Fahrenheit, the rubber compound reaction within the tire begins to lose its softness, meaning you could be losing a noticeable amount of traction in any type of wet-weather condition.

 

  • All-weather tires wear quickly in warm conditions. Most all-weather tires should have a symbol on the side that indicates they are certified for driving in harsh winter conditions. However, in hot summer weather, the temperature within the tire could become too soft for its own good, meaning that spring and summer driving causes significant wear and tear on your all-weather tires and will ultimately require you to change these tires more frequently.

 


At Heuer Insurance Agency, we deeply value the importance of winter car safety. Use these pros-and-cons to help you determine which type of tire will keep you safe and sound in even the most harsh winter conditions.