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  NHL Energy Rankings Report Playing cards for all 31 Groups Version  
  by Cindy Parroné |  
 

Top quality coaches getting fired from current champions six months deep, the Sabres and Canadiens participating in excellent hockey, the Rangers grinding into playoff placement, the Penguins and Blues about the street to catastrophe, canines and cats dwelling collectively, ma s hysteria!It is our NHL Power Rankings: Quarterly Report Card Version, where we give each individual on the leagues 31 franchises a letter grade in the 20-game mark. As common, the golf equipment are ranked if you want of latest toughne s. The write-ups sum up the first quarter of this wildly unpredictable 2018-19 time. With six grams of scrumptious, crunchy, energy-giving protein, there is practically nothing you and almonds just cannot do. Pay a visit to Almonds.com for more methods to slay your working day.Study MORE1. Nashville Predators The Predators are on course for back-to-back Presidents trophies. They only defeat one particular of their closest opponents, the Lightning, within a thriller. Theyve cruised by way of a P.K. Subban injuries like it had been hardly a velocity bump, and smartly re-signed Vezina champ Pekka Rinne (NHL-leading .942 preserve percentage) into a sensible agreement extension well in advance of deadline. Lets pre-order yet another bulk shipment of regular-season banners, lets? Grade: A+2. Toronto Maple Leafs The top staff from the Jap Meeting couldnt perhaps be sucking more leverage absent from William Nylander. John Tavares and Mitch Marner are heading in the right direction for profe sion many years. Auston Matthews was gunning for your Rocket before his injury. Morgan Rielly and Frederik Andersen are amongst the most effective at their respective positions. Plus the street document is preposterous. Grade: A+3. Tampa Bay Lightning No crew has scored a lot more targets than the Lightning (seventy five), who remain the workforce to beat from the fascinating (and amazingly really competitive) Atlantic. Jon Cooper, the longest-tenured mentor while in the NHL, has retained his squad afloat irrespective of an damage to Andrei Vasilevskiy, and next-wave studs Brayden Point and Yanni Gourde are outscoring Steven Stamkos. Quality: A+4. Winnipeg Jets No team has become extra efficient on the energy participate in (32.one for every cent) or authorized much le s objectives as opposed to Jets (forty seven), whose superb commence feels even scarier once you comprehend that younger Patrik Laine is lastly warming up. Grade: A20-year-old @PatrikLaine29 scored his sixth career hat trick (174 GP).Just one player in NHL record scored more hat tricks in advance of his twenty first birthday: Wayne Gretzky experienced 12 (in 210 GP). #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/5T2g4VnLU0 NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) November twenty, 20185. Buffalo Sabres The trade for Jeff Skinner (14 aims) appears like a stickup. Jack Eichel is a beast. Jason Pominville has rediscovered his game on the 1,000 mark. Rasmus Dahlin should be around the Calder ballot. And Carter Hutton is proving (so far) that, of course, he could be a No. one goaltender. The Sabres are pertinent yet again, and it feels good. Grade: A+6. Calgary Flames Some growing pains ended up to generally be envisioned with numerous tweaks about the ice and behind the bench, but Calgary appears to be to have discovered its coronary heart (thanks to Matthew Tkachuk), some secondary scoring, along with a acceptable amount of goaltending even if the resource of people previous two qualities isnt what Brad Treliving anticipated. Grade: B seven. Minnesota WildOn paper, we predicted a fall-off in Minnesota, a franchise that looked also old initially look. Nonethele s the main of Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu, Mikael Granlund, Ryan Suter, Eric Staal, Matt Dumba and Devan Dubnyk have all been healthier and powerful. A single of quite a few pleasant surprises on the 20-game plateau. Quality: A-8 Wayne Gretzky Jersey . Columbus Blue JacketsThe Blue Jackets dropped the puck underneath a dark cloud of uncertainty: Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky are leaving, proper? But armed having a deal extension, John Tortorella has his bunch churning via the sound, participating in a major cycle sport, and pushing for that leading seed inside the Metro. Meanwhile, Panarin, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Cam Atkinson have fashioned the best line in hockey no one talks about. Grade: B+9. Boston BruinsThe ideal line we do speak about resides in Boston, and it just took a intense strike with information that hurt centre Patrice Bergeron are going to be out 4 weeks bare minimum. The Bruins have finished properly to maintain their head higher than h2o from the wake of constant accidents, the rise of some unforeseen divisional threats, and an uncharacteristically average Tuukka Rask. Quality: B-10. Montreal CanadiensMax Domi and Tomas Tatar serve as exhibits A and B within the situation that Marc Bergevin can gain trades. Jesperi Kotkaniemi was drafted NHL-ready. And, glimpse below, Carey Prices help you save share is back again inside the .900s. Claude Julien warrants complete marks for acquiring a lot more out this roster compared to the most optimistic between us considered. Captain Shea Weber is coming back quickly. Quality: A eleven. Colorado Avalanche The Avs ended up a trendy pick to drop back again on the pack after their unbelievable 2017-18 rebellion, even so the major two scorers league-wide Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen call Denver house, and a sist players like Carl Soderberg and Alex Kerfoot are quietly delivering unsung depth. Quality: B12. San Jose Sharks Acknowledge it: You kinda believed the Sharks would run absent with all the divisional crown and Erik Karl son and Brent Burns would have to take a chainsaw to your Norris Trophy. Positive, there happen to be some terrific performances in San Jose Timo Meier is breaking out, Logan Couture is wholesome (knock wood), Joe Pavelski is getting himself a good deal yr but there’s room for enhancement. Grade: B-13. The big apple Islanders The Islanders shed John Tavares, attained Leo Komarov and are firmly from the playoff hunt. As terrific a commence as anyone couldve hoped. Grade: B+14. Dallas Stars Accidents to John Klingberg and now Ben Bishop are about, and Valeri Nichushkin continues to be lower than a difference-maker. But younger D-man Miro Heiskanen is proving Jim Nill wise for not buying and selling him to Ottawa, and the Stars most handsomely paid stars Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, Alexander Radulov and Jason Spezza are their most effective gamers. Quality: C+ 15. Washington Capitals Who knew theyd mi s Tom Wilson this considerably? The champs huge boys are delivering the goods, conserve for Braden Holtby, who may have been just Alright (.906 save percentage). Once Holtby finds his groove and T.J. Oshie is healthful, wed anticipate these ho-hum Caps to go over a tiny operate and acquire again into kind. Grade: C+16. Ny RangersThe Blueshirts appeared like Lose for Hughes candidates, but no-nonsense coach David Quinn, whos already scratched Brady Skjei and Kevin Shattenkirk, is milking one of the most away from this roster. At 8-1-1, the Rangers hold the NHLs very best document more than their previous ten outings. Grade: B+17. Detroit Purple Wings Factors couldve been significantly worse while in the aftermath of Henrik Zetterbergs retirement, but Jimmy Howard has stored the Wings in the majority of games, Dylan Larkin has taken a different action towards face-of-the-franchise status, and Mike Green and Dennis Cholowski are contributing with the again conclude. Depth, even so, stays a significant i sue. Quality: C+18. Florida Panthers When Roberto Luongo Henrik Lundqvist Jersey went down in Activity 1, the Panthers proceeded to dig by themselves an incredible gap. Now, just as they are going to claw back again into the floor Mike Hoffman is going streaking! Vincent Trocheck suffers a sickening long-term personal injury. Snake little bit. Quality: C- 19. Arizona Coyotes The Coyotes are one of just 3 Pacific squads that has a beneficial intention differential, and with games in hand in exce s of all their divisional rivals, theres major potential for any playoff push. Quality: B-20. Carolina HurricanesThose gif-ready victory celebrations kinda obscure with the indisputable fact that Carolina has scored the fewest ambitions of any Jap Meeting staff (fifty three). Gentleman, the Hurricanes guaranteed could use Jeff Skinner. Or William Nylander. Decent po se sion metrics, neverthele s. Quality: D+21. Ottawa Senators Very well, apart in the P.R. tire fireplace to which a tanker of high quality unleaded comes weekly, the Sens have a lot to get enthusiastic about. Brady Tkachuk would be the genuine offer. Thomas Chabot is placing up EK65 numbers. Chris Tierney can be a much better participant than you imagined. Their far more aggre sive fashion of engage in has produced some actual on-ice leisure worth. And impending UFAs Mark Stone and Matt Duchene are entire price. Grade: CA critique by this newspaper located at least 20 contrived Twitter accounts, seemingly established to start a co-ordinated disinformation campaign also to attack media protection in the Sens whilst lauding the team and its operator Eugene Melnyk. https://t.co/3ckUbjdDxg pic.twitter.com/cZ5So9HDlu Ottawa Citizen (@OttawaCitizen) November seventeen, 201822. Philadelphia Flyers If the Flyers ever bought a gentle dose of sound, healthy netminding, wed be content to get them critically. As a substitute, they continue to be a single on the leagues streakiest teams, front-loaded with high-end talent but eternally a person damage away from coach-on-the-hot-seat rumours. Grittys awesome, although. Grade: C- pic.twitter.com/19JE2hO7qy Gritty (@GrittyNHL) November twenty, 201823. Chicago Blackhawks Joel Kevin Shattenkirk Jersey Quennevilles firing alerts the top of a amazing modern-day dynasty. But viewing Corey Crawford return healthy and playing does provide a glimmer of hope. We will drink to that. Quality: CLets examine in on Joel Quenneville pic.twitter.com/BxxlBPHwVD The Hockey Hangout (@HockeyHangout) November 19, 201824. Vancouver CanucksThe Canucks five-game dropping string would be the worst slump in the league. Certain, injuries are mounting, but this is the pull again to fact several are already expecting. We give Vancouver bonus points for, somehow, even now remaining in playoff position and for keeping the legal rights to Elias Petter son. Quality: C+ twenty five. Edmonton Oilers Todd McLellan takes the blame for not setting up a real group within the most gifted hockey participant in the earth or conserving a mean amount of pictures. The Ken Hitchcock experiment conjures up us to fireside up a batch of Jiffy Pop. Grade: D26. Vegas Golden KnightsThe team that would do no incorrect can no longer capture a split. The Knights offence has taken hit right after strike: Nate Schmidts (disputed) suspension, Paul Stastnys long-term injuries, Max Paciorettys underwhelming engage in, Erik Haulas month-to-month damage. Yet again, Vegas proves how quickly fate can convert. Quality: C-27. Anaheim DucksIn John Gibson, Anaheim dre ses a person from the biggest goaltenders which is continue to a minus-17 team ravaged with injuries and noticed with declining stars on significant contracts. Quality: D28. New Jersey Devils The magic of 2017-18 has actually been tough to recapture considering the fact that Ray Shero subtracted as opposed to additional more than the summertime. Kyle Palmieri, Taylor Hall, Travis Zajac, Keith Kinkaid and Damon Severson have each and every delivered. But depth is usually a ma sive worry listed here. Base line: When it is late November and Cory Schneider even now has not gained a match, youre in trouble. Grade: C- 29. Pittsburgh Penguins Were not prepared to jot down from the winners of two with the previous a few Cups by U.S. Thanksgiving, but this better be rock bottom. Jim Rutherford already manufactured one particular trade, but he seems like a poker player going to go on tilt. Sidney Crosby is sidelined, Matt Murray cant identify his mojo, as well as the Pens have gained only once within their earlier 10. Quality: D30. St. Louis Blues Regardle s of the excellence of new guy Ryan OReilly, the Blues are in a funk. St. Louis has mi sing too many close ones, failing to acquire that e sential preserve or major aim. The end result? Mike Yeo loses his work at midnight, and Craig Berube neverthele s has lots of runway (63 games) to show all around a group that ought to be far better than its 7-9-3 document. Grade: D31. L. a. Kings John Stevens is the drop dude for your rash of goaltending injuries plus the faulty perception the once-mighty Kings could compete with this more and more rapidly and significantly younger NHL. Tall task, Willie Desjardins. Godspeed. Grade: F

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  Kings hearth John Stevens name Willie Desjardins interim head coach  
  by Cindy Parroné |  
 

Los angeles The struggling La Kings fired head coach John Stevens on Sunday just thirteen game titles into his second season in demand. Willie Desjardins would be the Kings interim head mentor with the rest of your standard season, standard supervisor Rob Blake mentioned. L. a. also fired a sistant mentor Don Nachbaur and employed Travis Sanheim Jersey former Kings forward Marco Sturm to interchange him on Desjardins employees. L. a. is past while in the over-all NHL standings after a 4-8-1 start off and previous from the league with 2.fifteen ambitions for each recreation. The Kings have been outscored 45-28, however they had gained two of their earlier a few game titles following a six-game losing streak. “Im on the lookout to have the compete and the pa sion back again,” Blake explained following a serting his 2nd coaching modify in 19 months. “We need our players emotionally included. Its tough to win when youre not. We a sume Willie to carry that zeal which excitement to this crew.” The Kings defeat Columbus 4-1 on Saturday in Stevens ultimate recreation in charge. Desjardins, the previous Vancouver head mentor, will lead apply Monday and can debut at the rear of the bench if the Kings host rival Anaheim on Tuesday night. The Kings continue to have a very wealth of top-end NHL talent together with Hart Trophy finalist Anze Kopitar, Norris Trophy-winning defenceman Drew Doughty and high-scoring ahead Jeff Carter along with newcomer Ilya Kovalchuk. But with goalie Jonathan Fast mi sing all but 4 games as a consequence of injuries, L. a. has stumbled from the past 3 1/2 months with its top-heavy roster of well-paid veterans, inconsistent depth players as well as a patchy defence. “You examine teaching camp therefore you look at the regular period to in which we are now, the expectations haven’t been fulfilled,” Blake stated. “We have really superior gamers. We have now players that may make performs. We count on them to help make performs, and we count on them to engage in with that degree of contend, and it has not been.” Stevens took around in 2017 after 7 many years as an a sistant in Shayne Gostisbehere Jersey L. a. under Terry Murray and Darryl Sutter. The previous Philadelphia Flyers head coach was an a sistant about the Kings Stanley Cup-winning teams in 2012 and 2014. Stevens marketing was an try to create a whole new mentality with the Kings while preserving some continuity to Sutter, whose grinding sort of hockey received the sole two Stanley Cup titles in franchise history. Sutters coaching and previous general supervisor Dean Lombardis intelligent moves received two championships, but in addition still left the Kings having a fairly gradual, veteran-laden roster that struggled to compete continually inside the speed-based NHL just after 2014. The Kings went 45-29-8 in Stevens debut final time, finishing fourth while in the Pacific Division and having swept by Vegas in the very first round from the playoffs. Stevens went 51-39-9 in general in La, which includes four game titles because the Kings interim head coach inside the 2011-12 time in between the tenures of Murray and Sutter. All the things went incorrect promptly for Stevens, even though Blake stated he saw problems from coaching camp onward. Just after including Kovalchuk as being a no cost agent very last summertime, La acquired off to its awful get started this drop though enjoying mainly without the need of Speedy and forward Dustin Brown, who have been the two out with injuries for very long stretches. Brief is presently out for numerous months right Michal Neuvirth Jersey after going through knee operation, leaving inexperienced Jack Campbell as Los Angeles prime goalie. The la farm systems lack of ability to supply above-average players lately has drastically thinned the big-league clubs depth and competitivene s, even so the Kings top-end expertise is not manufacturing its share po sibly, in keeping with Blake. “We have some genuine good players,” Blake said. “We have to have them participating in at a greater level. Its been a concern this year that we have not experienced everyone going the ideal direction. (Thats) partly the reason for this modification.” Blake said he has no long-standing connections with Desjardins, the Canucks head mentor from 2014-17. Soon after Vancouver skipped the playoffs in his closing two seasons, Desjardins coached the Canadian mens countrywide group to bronze medals in the Pyeongchang Olympics past February. The Kings clearly also imagine hugely of Sturm, whose 14-year NHL playing occupation involved 17 video games along with the Kings. He has become the top coach on the German nationwide staff due to the fact 2015, foremost his nation to some silver medal in Pyeongchang. The 40-year-old Sturm will commit one more 7 days coaching Germany inside the Deutschland Cup ahead of reporting to Los angeles. Blake stated the Kings chose Sturm on account of his “new generational coaching style” and his abilities in “player relations.”

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  Erik Karlsson silent in Sharks regular-season debut  
  by Cindy Parroné |  
 

Opening evening is usually enjoyable, but there was an extra excitement in the SAP Heart Wednesday night.Neverthele s itll however consider some obtaining accustomed to former Ottawa Senators captain and two-time Norris Trophy winner Erik Karl son was in Justin Braun Jersey San Jose teal and in the starting lineup because the Sharks took around the Anaheim Ducks. The 1st beginning lineup on the year. #ANAvsSJS pic.twitter.com/VCBuyTVRcB San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) October 4, 2018Before the sport begun, the 28-year-old obtained a huge ovation from your Sharks devoted as he was released.Teal satisfies you, @ErikKarl son65! pic.twitter.com/RMSeDNjijQ NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) Oct 4, 2018The Shark Tank is swimming in cheers for @ErikKarl son65s initial Kevin Labanc Jersey game. #NHLFaceoff pic.twitter.com/8Mk2ERPiU6 NHL (@NHL) October 4, 2018 During the sport alone, Karl son experienced a largely quiet night, recording just one shot on intention and ending with a minus-1 score within a game-high 26:02 of ice time because the Sharks lost 3-2.Right after the game, head mentor Peter Deboer stated he was happy with Karl sons efficiency despite the lo s.I imagined he was very good, DeBoer advised reporters immediately after the game. I imagined guys arrived in and attempted to execute the sport approach. We did a lot of fine items.DeBoer also spoke about splitting Karl son and Brent Burns up on to separate energy perform units for just a part of your time opener.Youre likely to discover both equally, he mentioned when questioned if hed prefer to use Karl son and Burns jointly or aside. I think thats likely for being a thing that youre going to view a great deal of fluidity to that. Both equally those people fellas are exceptional about the power engage in, this means you want them on the market. So, if Tim Heed Jersey they are fresh, theyre heading to be to choose from.



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  A Boatload of Trouble  
  by Cindy Parroné |  
 

Whether for pleasure or fishing, boating is fun! The many lakes and rivers of Southern Illinois are enjoyed by residents and tourists alike. As a matter of fact, you can spot a boat or watercraft being towed down the road for hunting or fishing at any time of the year. Summertime, however, is the peak time of boat usage since so many people enjoy water skiing, tubing, fishing or just joy-riding. On one hand, the State of Illinois requires a license and insurance to drive an auto while on the other hand there is no such requirement to drive a boat.

With this in mind, one can imagine the number of uninsured boats and watercraft on the water. The risk is high for something to go wrong and that the involved parties have no coverage. In addition, your own boat and/or watercraft may represent a significant financial expenditure. The risk of loss in the form of bodily injury or damage to your or another’s boat or watercraft is also substantial.

It is strongly recommended that you purchase boat insurance before you even think about putting your boat or personal watercraft into the water. Without liability, medical and uninsured boater coverage, you could be in a boatload of trouble! Note that simply adding your boat or watercraft to your homeowners insurance does not provide all of these protections.

In order to view boating accidents in a big-picture national frame of reference, the United States Coast Guard published the Recreational Boating Statistics 2016 as follows:

 

Top Ten Known Primary Contributing Factors of Accidents

Accident Rank

Contributing Factor

Number of Accidents

Number of Deaths

Number of Injuries

1

Operator inattention

597

45

373

2

Operator inexperience

480

62

301

3

Improper lookout

475

20

380

4

Excessive speed

360

39

275

5

Machinery Failure

323

9

117

6

Alcohol use

282

87

264

7

Weather

214

41

103

8

Navigation rules violation

213

10

157

9

Hazardous waters

205

80

97

10

Force of wave/wake

160

7

137

 

For a more narrowly focused view, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) collected data that shows the following: 3,569 injuries; 1,300 fatalities; and 5,792 accidents reported on Illinois waterways 1964-2015. In fiscal year 2015, the most recent year for which data is available, there were 49 injuries, 14 deaths and 74 accidents. Six of the 14 fatalities were tied to the use of alcohol and drugs. During this same time-period, the IDNR issued 1,415 citations, 4,518 warnings and 179 operating under the influence tickets. When you take into account the fact that there are 252,094 boats registered in this state, the sheer magnitude of the numbers causes us to think about the potential for accidents. Now, knowing the number of incidences happening on the water, you have a strong reason to obtain boat insurance to protect yourself and anyone on or around your watercraft.

As an explanation, when discussing boat insurance, many people will say they have a cheap jon boat that is not worth insuring. If that is the case, then don’t obtain full coverage for that boat. However, you still need injury protection! Bodily Injury Liability insurance will provide coverage for injuries caused by someone on your boat or trailer to someone that is not in or on the insured boat or trailer. To illustrate, a boat on boat collision where occupants of the other boat are injured serves as an example of a bodily injury liability claim. Having this type of coverage will protect you and prevent a possible significant out-of-pocket and unexpected expense.

Another type of insurance is Medical Payments and this will provide coverage to anyone aboard the insured boat or trailer who might be injured in the course of legal boating. Some carriers require the purchase of water sports liability if you want to tow a skier or tuber. One of the worst types of boat accidents are propeller strikes. Can you imagine if one of the neighbor kids (or your own child) falls overboard and gets struck with the propeller? For your own peace of mind, please don’t put your watercraft in the water without this coverage.

Yet another type of insurance is Uninsured Boater which will provide coverage for the care of someone on your insured boat or trailer that is injured by the actions of an uninsured boater. This may be the most valuable part of the policy. Boat insurance is not required, therefore, there are many boaters operating their watercraft without insurance. You might ponder whether boat operators who aren’t responsible enough to carry insurance protection are responsible enough to operate a boat safely.

The last type of insurance to be mentioned in this article is Property Damage Liability. This protection will cover damage to the property of others caused by someone on your boat or trailer.

To close, here are some common sense tips to make your boating experience a pleasant adventure rather than a boatload of trouble:

  • The boat engine should be off when passengers are boarding or disembarking.
  • Don’t start the boat with the engine in gear.
  • All passengers should be seated properly before taking off.
  • Recognize markers denoting swimming and diving areas and avoid those places.
  • When approaching docks or congested areas, slow down.
  • Wear a properly fitted and Coast Guard approved personal flotation device. 13/14 of the watercraft fatalities in Illinois last year could have been prevented if the victims had been wearing a life jacket.
  • Don’t drink alcohol or take drugs while boating.

A final thought: Enjoy the exhilaration of boating, practice boating safety and know what you’re doing!

For information about Boating Insurance Contact:

Cindy Parroné, Marine Specialist Agent

Diederich Insurance Agency, LLC

Local Phone 618.457.6721

Toll-Free 800.457.7790

Email cparrone@diederichgroup.com





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  Look Out For That Tree  
  by Cindy Parroné |  
 

It’s the time of year that many hunters enter the woods seeking that trophy buck. Deer camp plans have been underway for months. The tree stands have been strategically placed. For deer hunters in Illinois, archery season has already begun, and firearm season is starting soon.

As a hunter, are you really prepared for your annual pilgrimage? How are you planning to get from deer camp to your tree stand? If your answer is an ATV or UTV, do you have insurance? As an insurance agent from a hunting family, I would like examine the issue of whether or not you have appropriate insurance coverage.

Many ATV/UTV owners insure their vehicles because they are expensive, and they may still be making loan payments on them. In this case, insurance is required by the lender.

Does the policy cover a four-wheeler if it is driven on someone else’s property? Not always. What about the items you are transporting on the ATV? Are your gun, bow, sunglasses, etc. covered? Not usually. Did you haul your all-terrain vehicle to your campsite? Is the trailer covered? There are policies available that provide this coverage for a reasonable price, but you need to know to ask your insurance agent about it.

ATV accidents make the evening news more frequently because so many of them result in fatalities. Obstacles hidden beneath the leaves, unexpected drop-offs, carelessness and impaired driving can all be contributors to ATV incidents.

When collisions occur during hunting season, the situation can escalate exponentially. First, riders typically aren’t wearing helmets. Second, since you are driving off-road in a remote location, it can be much harder for emergency responders to reach you even if someone is able to report the accident. When you purchase ATV/UTV insurance, you should consider investing in medical coverage for yourself and any passengers.

The thrill of the hunt is something to be enjoyed. To give you additional peace of mind, contact us at Diederich Insurance to review or find coverage for your ATV or UTV. Best of luck harvesting a trophy deer, but watch out for that tree!



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  Dogs and Homeowner’s Insurance  
  by Cindy Parroné |  
 

Dogs have been family members for centuries, but recent trends in homeowner’s liability claims are changing the way homeowner’s insurance is sold. If you recently shopped for property insurance of any type, you were asked, “Do you have any animals?” If you answered yes, the agent probably wanted to know what type. If you mentioned a dog, they wanted to know what breed. “Why does that matter?” you may ask.

One-third of homeowner’s insurance claims are related to dog liability, according to the Insurance Information Institute. While most of these losses are dog bites, harm also comes to people who are knocked down by a dog. The Center for Disease Control indicates that 4.7 million people are bitten each year by dogs, and half of those are children. About 800,000 victims need medical attention, while an average of 16 cases annually result in a fatality. Illinois has the distinction of ranking #2 in the U.S.A. in terms of annual dog bite numbers. When you realize that the cost of the average dog bite claim increased by 67% between 2003 and 2014 to $32,072, it becomes obvious why insurance companies want to limit their exposure to dog liability claims.

How the insurance companies are dealing with this situation may limit your homeowner’s insurance options. Many carriers have started to deny or limit coverage if you own a certain breed or your dog is a mix of a certain breed. These breeds vary from company to company, but they are based on dog bite fatality statistics. DogsBite.org lists the following analysis of dog bite fatalities between the years 2005 and 2012:

  • Pit bull: 60%
  • Rottweiler: 13%
  • Husky: 4%
  • Mixed Breed: 4%
  • American Bulldog: 3.6%
  • German Shepherd: 3.6%
  • Mastiff/Bullmastiff: 3%
  • Boxer: 2%
  • Malamute: 1.6%
  • Labrador: 1.6%

Don’t dismiss these figures because they must all be up in Chicago. The Williamson County Animal Control sees about 80 dog bite cases per year. Some companies have decided that they will not insure the home at all if a certain dog breed is a household resident. Other carriers may require you to sign an exclusion for dog bite liability if you own a particular type of dog. Others may not offer any type of liability on the homeowner policy if a suspect breed is owned. The insurance company may be willing to give you liability coverage, but they are going to surcharge for the exposure, costing you more money.

So now that you know that dog ownership is an underwriting issue, and you are concerned that your dog might be on the prohibited list, you still need to be honest with your insurance agent. If you intentionally fail to disclose that you own a dog, that is considered misrepresentation and will result in a claim being denied if it does happen. Your policy will also be cancelled or not renewed, and you have become uninsurable (sometimes even if you get rid of the dog). Agents are being asked to “interview the dog,” and property inspectors look for signs that a dog is owned when they conduct their inspections. Are you feeling that your dog is being wrongly discriminated against? I feel your pain. I own a German Shepherd, who is my best friend, but I have learned some ways to reduce the dog bite risk.

Precautions you need to take if you are a dog owner:

  1. Educate yourself about dog breeds that would be suitable for your family and neighborhood.
  2. Spend time with the animal before you buy or adopt the dog and bring it home.
  3. Do NOT leave a baby or young child alone with a dog.
  4. Socialize your dog, so it becomes comfortable under more circumstances.
  5. Use caution when exposing your dog to a new situation.
  6. Teach your children how to behave around dogs.
  • Don’t bother an animal when it is eating or sleeping.
  • Don’t tease animals.
  • Don’t approach a chained dog.
  • Don’t run and scream if you are approached by a loose dog.
  • Avoid making eye contact with a strange dog if it looks threatening.
  • Don’t approach a mother dog with puppies.


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  Auto Insurance News – Distracted Driving Dangers  
  by Cindy Parroné |  
 

Recently, local news ran a story about a high school basketball team traveling to a playoff game in a school bus. The bus was sideswiped by another vehicle, left the roadway and rolled over onto its roof. Thankfully, there were no fatalities, but there were numerous injuries. The cause of the accident was distracted driving. The operator of the car that hit the bus had spilled a drink in their lap.

April has been designated by the National Safety Council as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. This initiative is designed to educate people about the dangers of distracted driving and how to reduce your risk. With 3,179 people killed and another 431,000 injured due to driving distractions in 2014 alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finds these statistics to be alarming. More than 80% of drivers responding to the AAA Foundation Traffic Safety Culture Index feel threatened by the distracted driving of others. To bring the perspective to a more regional level, a study published earlier this year by Erie Insurance noted that Illinois ranks #6 nationwide for the number of items posted by drivers.

When we discuss distracted driving, we are talking about drivers engaged in another activity at the same time they are behind the wheel. There are three basic types of distractions: visual, manual and cognitive. Anything that would cause you to take your eyes off the road would be considered a visual distraction while something that makes you take your hands off the steering wheel would be classified as a manual distraction. Cognitive distractions involve thinking about something other than driving. Using a cell phone, eating, drinking, talking, grooming, reading, using a navigational system, watching a video, using in-vehicle technologies, and dealing with children or pets are all examples of activities that take away from the primary focus of driving. Texting is the worst offense because it involves all three types of distractions. Do you realize that taking your eyes off the road for five seconds traveling at 55 mph is the same as driving blindfolded the length of a football field? Several studies indicate that it takes an additional 27 seconds after finishing the secondary activity for the vehicle operator to refocus on driving. During daylight hours across our nation 660,000 drivers are fumbling with electronic devices or using a cell phone.

Although Illinois has passed legislation that makes it illegal to use a hand-held phone while driving, the hands-free devices still involve distracted driving. It also makes sense that the worst impact of distracted driving can be linked to young drivers with the least amount of behind the wheel experience. Sixteen percent of distracted driving accidents involve motorists less than 20 years of age.

So what can you take away from this information? Be aware of driving distractions, and do your best to minimize them when you are behind the wheel. If you are a passenger in a vehicle, help the driver maintain focus. Instruct your children to turn off their cell phone before they put the key in the ignition. Use your best defensive driving skills so you can react quickly if you encounter a distracted driver. Distracted driving is a danger to you, your passengers, other vehicles and pedestrians.



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  Thanksgiving  
  by Cindy Parroné |  
 



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  Home Insurance News  
  by Cindy Parroné |  
 

Homeowner’s insurance was designed to protect the property owner’s investment from the damage Mother Nature can bring such as lightning, wind, hail, freezing pipes and the weight of ice and snow among other things. The volatile weather in Illinois exposes homeowners to many perils throughout the year. Much publicity has been given to the need for crisis planning for individuals and families, also it is a good idea to include your animal family members in your crisis plan. If it isn’t a safe situation for you, it is not a safe situation for your pets.

In your disaster planning, you should have a safe place within the home as well as a safe place away from home, and you should keep your pets with you if at all possible. That may entail bringing outdoor pets inside to your basement or interior room without windows. If you need to leave your home to seek safety, you should have carriers ready for small animals and leashes for larger pets. All pets should have collars with current identification tags in case of separation. An additional safeguard could include an animal card and document. The animal card is something you would create to carry in your wallet. The card should include the type of animal, pet’s name, home address, any special care instructions and an emergency contact person’s details (for someone other than you that could access the animal in an emergency).  A photo of you with the pet would enhance proof of ownership. The animal document would have the same information as the card, but it would be stored with your estate planning information.

Just as you should have an emergency supply kit for yourself and your family, you need a kit for your pets too. Three days worth of water and dry food in an airtight,  waterproof container along with any daily medications ought to be packed and ready to go. Litter, pee pads, paper towels, plastic bags and bleach would be helpful in tending to your pets’ sanitary needs. An animal first aid kit would also be beneficial. Some experts suggest packing some familiar toys for the animals to reduce their stress.

In a worst case scenario, if something happens to you such that you are no longer able to care for your animals, an estate plan that includes your pets is a great idea. Just as you would appoint a guardian for your dependent children, you need to provide one for your animals along with some funds for their care. The ASPCA found that between five and seven million animals in the U.S. per year end up in a shelter because the pet’s primary caregiver either died or suffered a disability that would not allow them to continue to care for their animals. Of these, between three to four million pets are euthanized because a good home can’t be found for them. Include your pets in your will. You can go online to a do-it-yourself legal site to set up a trust for your pet for a fee of about $25.

One of the lessons we should have learned from Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina is that insurance can fix property, but only you can protect yourself and your pets!



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  Auto Insurance News  
  by Cindy Parroné |  
 

The State of Illinois raised the minimum liability limits for auto insurance effective January 1st. This will not impact most Diederich customers because we did not write policies at the old minimum liability limits; they were simply insufficient if there was an accident. Minimum liability limits now provide $25,000 worth of bodily injury liability per person, not to exceed $50,000 total for the accident. That coverage is for those in the other vehicle or pedestrians. In this day and age, it is easy for injuries to exceed $25,000 for one person or $50,000 for the incident. You would be personally responsible for any costs exceeding your insurance limits, so in order to protect your personal assets, you may want to talk to us about increasing your coverage. In some instances, higher limits can be cheaper than minimum limits, however it costs you nothing to ask.

The other aspect of the minimum insurance limit increased by the state is for property damage. The minimum is now $20,000 to repair damage to the other person’s vehicle or property. At Diederich Insurance, our minimum has been $25,000 because, once again, the base level is insufficient if you are involved in a fender bender. You could take your chances that if you were to cause an accident you would only hit a junker, but if you hit a luxury vehicle, several vehicles or a new car, you would once again be on the hook for damages exceeding your policy limits. Moving up to the next level of property damage liability would take you to $50,000, and there would be a small increase in premium. We would be more than happy to discuss the options with you!



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