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Owning an RV is a great way to live life on the road while still enjoying the comforts of home.

Time spent in your motorhome should be enjoyed, not worrying. Nevertheless, the possibility of something going wrong can be intimidating, especially for those who might be traveling in an RV for the first time.

We have put together a few RV safety tips so that you don’t have to worry so much. RV travel should be comfortable and convenient, and if you follow these ten safety tips, you will have that much less to worry about.

Tip 1: Maintenance Matters

As the saying goes, the best offense is a good defense.

The best emergency plan is not having an emergency in the first place. Many RV emergencies could be avoided if all owners were meticulous about following their maintenance schedule. Most people will want to let a professional handle maintaining the engine, but even the least mechanically savvy should go through a pre-trip checklist before heading out on a trip.

You should have the following items on your pre-trip checklist:

  • Visually inspect your tires and check their air pressure
  • Give your engine a quick look-over and check for any cracked belts or hoses
  • Ensure your fire extinguishers and smoke alarms are working
  • Check all lights including headlights, tail lights, brake lights, and turn signals
  • Make sure food and other loose items are safely secured
  • Check your cooking vent hood for grease and give it a clean if necessary
  • If you have a hitch or any towing equipment, give it a check before leaving
Tip 2: Have a Plan

Have a plan for if you do break down.

This includes a number to call and emergency equipment such as emergency food and water, flares, and basic repair equipment like a car jack. You should also have a travel plan. Check weather and traffic conditions before leaving, and avoid any dangerous situations if possible.

Tip 3: Be a Propane Pro

Propane tanks can be a serious safety hazard if mishandled.

A few simple steps can make sure they don’t cause you any problems: Install a propane gas detector, have your propane tank regularly checked, never travel with any burners lit, and never refuel with any propane appliances running or with the engine running.

Tip 4: Give Yourself an Extra 20 Percent

The 20 percent rule states that you should give yourself an extra 20 percent from what you might expect when you are driving a motorhome.

This means giving yourself an extra 20 percent cushion when stopping, an extra 20 percent room when merging into a new lane, and an extra 20 percent when judging if you have enough clearance.

Tip 5: Check Your Sleeping Conditions

Sleep conditions are an often overlooked aspect of RV travel safety.

Make sure you are aware of wildlife where you are staying and clean up any leftovers or trash before you go to sleep to make sure you don’t have any unexpected visitors in the night. Bears are less cute when they aren’t in a zoo. Additionally, make sure you have an RV bunk bed safety net. Accidentally rolling out of a high bed is more common than you might think.

Step 6: Don’t Forget About Your Pets

Pet safety is another often overlooked component of RV safety.

Make sure you have a contained area where your pet can stay during travel. You might also want to consider a temperature alarm so that you can ensure you don’t accidentally expose your pet to dangerously hot conditions while you’re away for a little bit.

Step 7: Look Ahead

You don’t want to put all this time and effort into safe travel while you’re on the road only to get to your destination and realize you are stranded because your reservation fell through or you arrived after hours. Call your campground reservations well in advance of arrival to ensure you have a place to stay.

Step 8: Weight Distribution

Weight distribution seems to be one of those things that no one thinks about until it comes back to bite them. The wrong weight distribution can create a dangerous imbalance and lead to unsafe driving conditions. If you have particularly heavy items, make sure they are safely stored in different parts of your RV from each other.

Step 9: Internet and Phone Access

Almost any emergency or situation can be safely navigated if you have the ability to reach an emergency operator.

Things get significantly more dangerous when you are out of contact with the outside world. Check ahead to make sure you will have internet or phone access, and if you will not, alert a friend or relative to how long you will be out of contact and what to do if they do not hear from you for too long.

Step 10: Buckle Up

This might seem like a basic one, but it’s important: Buckle up. RVs will often have seats without safety belts, but make sure all passengers have a seat belt on before departing. The last thing you do before you embark on your journey is one of the most important.

While planning for the unexpected is a big part of the RV lifestyle, these 10 steps will help ensure your travels are as stress-free and freewheeling as possible. Happy travels!

Interested in learning more about RV financing? Get in touch with us at Southeast Financial today.

The post RV Travel: Buckle Up & Hit the Road With These 10 RV Safety Tips appeared first on Southeast Financial.

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You’ve made the decision to take advantage of the RV travel experience. Congratulations! All the joys and adventures of the open road await.

So, what do I need to know before I embark on my RV adventure?

This article will walk you through some common emotional experiences that occur for new RVers and five effective tips to help you navigate your way through it.

Feel the Feelings (All of Them)

One of the benefits of travel with an RV is the extended vacation options.

However, after weeks on the road — away from everything familiar to you — you will probably have some difficulty adjusting.

On top of practical and physical adjustments you’ll be making (hello, thin mattress, fleeting wi-fi, and sump pump draining), you’ll also be making a lot of emotional transitions which can be just as, if not more, uncomfortable.

Experiencing the everyday rigors of balancing work schedules, performing maintenance tasks, dealing with crowding, and having homesickness are all normal. Accept that you’re going to be feeling some intense emotions and that everyone goes through this.

Often erratically, inexplicably, or insensibly, you will probably feel:

– Fear: Did we make the wrong choice? What will you do if you get in an accident? These questions (and many more) may keep you awake some nights.

– Overwhelmed: Everything will be new, from the sights, your vehicle, and your new work schedule. At times you’ll want to go back to familiar territory.

– Annoyed: At some point, living in a tiny space can seriously work your patience. From cooking on a tiny stovetop to using a cramped bathroom to always sitting right next to the same person, you’ll feel your fair share of irritation.

– Bored: Even though you’ll be seeing and experiencing a ton of new things, there will still be hours or days of driving and bad weather. Plus, you won’t always have wifi to fall back on.

– Fatigue: For sure, you’ll get tired of driving and living out of your RV for weeks at a time — and tired of not knowing what’s next.

5 Helpful Tips and Tidbits

When it comes to adjusting to these new experiences, it really is the small things that make the biggest difference.

Here are five tips that will help make your adjustment period feel natural and positive:

1) Create Personal Space: When you live 24/7 in tight quarters, the world tends to close in on you and claustrophobia can set in. Create a sense of space, even when there doesn’t seem to be any to spare. Utilize a “Do Not Disturb” sign, headphones, closed curtains, individual bedtimes, and solitary activities to accomplish this.

2) Personalize Your Space: It doesn’t matter if you bought a new or previously-owned RV, making it your own will go a long way in giving you the feeling of home. Bring along some familiar items like a loved pillow or blanket, hang pictures, bring along your standby coffee mug, etc. Give every member of the traveling family a cupboard or drawer to claim as their own for storing their personal items. Respect that space.

3) Use Good Communication Skills: This is definitely a learned skill and one that needs continual practice. Before you express yourself, stop and think first so you can use words that accurately describe how you are feeling. Also, don’t assume you know what the other person is thinking or how they are feeling. Ask, listen, and acknowledge. These few things alone can make a world of difference in solving differences effectively.

4) Become Involved in Your Temporary Communities: Even though you may not be staying in one spot for long, making friends and attending community events is a fantastic way to feel anchored while on the road. Invite camp neighbors over for dinner, watch a small town’s parade, attend church, find a service project. Any of these things will keep you from feeling lonely and isolated.

5) Keep Ties with Home: Email, text, and video messaging are the easiest, go-to way to stay in touch with others, but how fun would it be to send handwritten postcards and send little souvenirs from your travels? Also, be sure to make note of your loved one’s special dates and occasions so you can let your favorite people know that you are thinking of them on their big day.

Have Confidence In Your Ability to Adjust

Although it’s important to realize that experiencing all of these feelings is perfectly normal when adjusting to RV travel, it’s just as important to know that they will pass with a little patience.

In the end, the occasional discomfort will be well worth the exceptional experiences you are giving yourself.

The post RV Newbies: What No One Tells You About the Experience appeared first on Southeast Financial.

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The horse is a symbol of the American spirit and the western frontier.

As of 2012, approximately 1.75 million American households own an average of 2.7 horses. This adds up to millions of horses requiring safe transportation to shows, breeding facilities, tracks, parks, barns, sales, moves, and more.

As anyone who has spent even a small amount of time driving knows, accidents happen. Unfortunately, horse trailers are not immune to the dangers of the road. Every year, horses are injured and killed in traffic accidents. On top of the tragic loss of life, tens of thousands of dollars can be lost as well. Horse trailer insurance can offer protection for your trailer, equipment, and beloved horses.

What Does Horse Trailer Insurance Cover?

Exact coverage will depend on the company you use and the policy you select. When looking at plans, keep your needs in mind. Good insurance companies can usually work with you to find a plan that matches your situation.

Look for a plan that offers you the coverage you need to feel safe while transporting your four-legged-friends and your belongings. Here are a few core offerings of horse trailer insurance:

  • Damage to the Trailer

The price tag on a horse trailer can have quite the range. While you might feel fine paying for the damage or replacing the trailer if it’s relatively inexpensive, you may want the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re covered if you have a pricier model.

At the end of the day, it’s nice to not pull your hair out worrying about unexpected expenses, and this coverage is often fairly standard in different policies, though the amount of coverage, deductible, etc. will vary according to company and policy.

Your insurance can also often cover liability for damage you cause to other trailers as well.

  • Theft

A lot of people think about accidents when they think about insurance for horse trailers, but it can also protect you against theft. Horses are expensive, and they come with a lot of expensive gear, which can attract thieves.

Also, thieves are usually not overly gentle when robbing someone; theft usually comes with a price tag beyond the stolen value—the damage that’s left behind. Horse trailer insurance can cover you for theft as well.

  • Associated Expenses

If you get in an accident, the damage to the trailer and equipment isn’t all you have to consider. Your horse may be injured and require treatment, you might have to board your horse for a while and/or rent a trailer while yours is getting fixed, etc. Different insurance policies will often offer options to cover these additional expenses as well.

How Much Insurance Do I Need?

The amount of coverage you’ll need will depend on several factors. Just like auto insurance, factors such as the age, condition, and value of your trailer should be taken into consideration.

You’ll also want to consider what you’ll carry in the trailer such as the number of horses you’ll transport and their collective value as well as any equipment you plan to tow.

If your area is prone to natural disasters, theft, etc., you may want to make sure to get a plan that covers those factors as well.

Other factors to take into account include:

  • How often you’ll tow the trailer.
  • How far you’ll travel with the trailer.
  • Who will be allowed to drive the trailer?
  • Where you’ll store the trailer.

The core question you must ask yourself is this: how much are you willing and able to pay if an unexpected accident arises? Your answer to that question will determine how much insurance coverage you’ll need.

Can’t I Just Use My Auto Insurance?

While some auto insurance policies may cover trailers, some policies only offer liability coverage. Liability insurance covers the damage that your trailer might cause to another vehicle in the event of an accident, but it won’t cover damage to your property. Many auto policies won’t extend enough coverage to the trailer’s contents, which can make an accident particularly devastating both monetarily and, potentially, emotionally, if you get in an accident with your horse in tow. Additionally, liability policies usually won’t cover damage from theft, storms, or other damage-causing situations.

Your home insurance may offer some coverage of items carried in a trailer in the event of theft or an accident. It’s important to talk with your home insurance provider so you know what exactly is, and isn’t, covered by your policy.

Horse trailer insurance can help you worry less when you travel with your horses in tow. Whether you are traveling for a competition, hike, festival, or just for a fun ride, it’s nice to put some stress aside and just enjoy your beautiful horses.

Looking to finance a horse trailer? Get in touch with Southeast Financial today to learn more.

The post Horse Trailer Insurance: Do You Really Need It? appeared first on Southeast Financial.

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The horse is a symbol of the American spirit and the western frontier.

As of 2012, approximately 1.75 million American households own an average of 2.7 horses. This adds up to millions of horses requiring safe transportation to shows, breeding facilities, tracks, parks, barns, sales, moves, and more.

As anyone who has spent even a small amount of time driving knows, accidents happen. Unfortunately, horse trailers are not immune to the dangers of the road. Every year, horses are injured and killed in traffic accidents. On top of the tragic loss of life, tens of thousands of dollars can be lost as well. Horse trailer insurance can offer protection for your trailer, equipment, and beloved horses.

What Does Horse Trailer Insurance Cover?

Exact coverage will depend on the company you use and the policy you select. When looking at plans, keep your needs in mind. Good insurance companies can usually work with you to find a plan that matches your situation.

Look for a plan that offers you the coverage you need to feel safe while transporting your four-legged-friends and your belongings. Here are a few core offerings of horse trailer insurance:

  • Damage to the Trailer

The price tag on a horse trailer can have quite the range. While you might feel fine paying for the damage or replacing the trailer if it’s relatively inexpensive, you may want the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re covered if you have a pricier model.

At the end of the day, it’s nice to not pull your hair out worrying about unexpected expenses, and this coverage is often fairly standard in different policies, though the amount of coverage, deductible, etc. will vary according to company and policy.

Your insurance can also often cover liability for damage you cause to other trailers as well.

  • Theft

A lot of people think about accidents when they think about insurance for horse trailers, but it can also protect you against theft. Horses are expensive, and they come with a lot of expensive gear, which can attract thieves.

Also, thieves are usually not overly gentle when robbing someone; theft usually comes with a price tag beyond the stolen value—the damage that’s left behind. Horse trailer insurance can cover you for theft as well.

  • Associated Expenses

If you get in an accident, the damage to the trailer and equipment isn’t all you have to consider. Your horse may be injured and require treatment, you might have to board your horse for a while and/or rent a trailer while yours is getting fixed, etc. Different insurance policies will often offer options to cover these additional expenses as well.

How Much Insurance Do I Need?

The amount of coverage you’ll need will depend on several factors. Just like auto insurance, factors such as the age, condition, and value of your trailer should be taken into consideration.

You’ll also want to consider what you’ll carry in the trailer such as the number of horses you’ll transport and their collective value as well as any equipment you plan to tow.

If your area is prone to natural disasters, theft, etc., you may want to make sure to get a plan that covers those factors as well.

Other factors to take into account include:

  • How often you’ll tow the trailer.
  • How far you’ll travel with the trailer.
  • Who will be allowed to drive the trailer?
  • Where you’ll store the trailer.

The core question you must ask yourself is this: how much are you willing and able to pay if an unexpected accident arises? Your answer to that question will determine how much insurance coverage you’ll need.

Can’t I Just Use My Auto Insurance?

While some auto insurance policies may cover trailers, some policies only offer liability coverage. Liability insurance covers the damage that your trailer might cause to another vehicle in the event of an accident, but it won’t cover damage to your property. Many auto policies won’t extend enough coverage to the trailer’s contents, which can make an accident particularly devastating both monetarily and, potentially, emotionally, if you get in an accident with your horse in tow. Additionally, liability policies usually won’t cover damage from theft, storms, or other damage-causing situations.

Your home insurance may offer some coverage of items carried in a trailer in the event of theft or an accident. It’s important to talk with your home insurance provider so you know what exactly is, and isn’t, covered by your policy.

Horse trailer insurance can help you worry less when you travel with your horses in tow. Whether you are traveling for a competition, hike, festival, or just for a fun ride, it’s nice to put some stress aside and just enjoy your beautiful horses.

Looking to finance a horse trailer? Get in touch with Southeast Financial today to learn more.

The post Horse Trailer Insurance: Do You Really Need It? appeared first on Southeast Financial.

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The RV lifestyle offers freedom and the promise of exploring the country (or beyond) on your own terms.

There are endless opportunities for adventure and bonding with family and loved ones. Often, the best part of owning an RV is that you never quite know what to expect.

However, if you fail to perform regular maintenance on your RV, you might have to stall your travel plans or even cancel them…

Just as your home and car need to be well maintained to avoid bigger problems in the future, so does your RV. Fortunately, most of these tasks can easily be done by the average RV owner. Before you heed the call of the open road, make sure your RV is road-trip-ready.

Turn on the Generator When Not in Use

Many people don’t have the option to spend all their days traveling. The average RV owner probably has to store their RV for at least a few months at a time with little to no use.

Even if you can’t pack up and head out on a road trip, make sure to run the RV’s systems every month. This is especially important for the generator. If you don’t run your generator regularly, your carburetor can start to suffer from buildup, and you could end up having to replace it entirely. To avoid this, simply run your generator at a 50 percent load for around two hours monthly.

Take Out the Battery During Winter

If you aren’t using your RV during the winter months, make sure to take out the battery if you live in a colder climate. If your battery is not stored somewhere warm, it may freeze and break, which is often not covered by warranties.

Open Up the Vents

If you live in a hot climate, don’t forget to open up your RV’s vents while it’s not in use. It’s easy for a fully sealed, unused RV to get more than a little toasty over time.

Depending on your location, the temperature inside the RV can end up reaching over 130 degrees. This can cause different materials to warp and break down. Open vents allow air to flow through your RV and cool it down.

Don’t forget to cover exterior vents to prevent rainwater damage. It’s best if you can store your RV in a covered area when you aren’t taking it out on an adventure.

Check the Seals

Water damage can be both extensive and expensive, and most (if not all) RV owners would rather put their money toward a trip instead of a repair. Seals are the best line of defense against moisture. Regularly examine the seals throughout your RV.

Keep an Eye on the Tires

Before you go on a long journey, take a look at your tires. Check the tire pressure levels and examine the tires for any sign of wear. Make sure the lug nuts are properly tightened as well.

You should check the RV’s tires the same way you’d check your car’s tires before taking a trip. You don’t want to have to deal with a preventable flat or popped tire along the way.

Even if you haven’t taken your RV out in a while, go ahead and look at your tires. This is especially important if your tires are exposed to sunlight during storage.

Watch the Fluids and Filters

Fluids and filters tend to suffer from their out-of-sight-out-of-mind status. Unfortunately, neglecting to pay attention can end up costing you a lot in repairs.

While many manufacturers recommend changing your oil every 3,000 to 4,500 miles, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific RV. Take a look at your owner’s manual to determine how often you should change the oil.

Make sure to keep an eye on coolant and radiator fluid as well, and replenish them as needed. You wouldn’t want your RV to overheat in the middle of a family vacation. Check all of your filters according to manufacturer recommendations to keep your RV running efficiently.

Remember to top off your windshield wiper fluid, and replace your windshield wipers when needed, to maintain your visibility on the road.

Flush Holding Tanks

When you empty your holding tank, make sure to flush it as well if at all possible. Flushing the tank with clean water can help remove debris that has built up in the corners of the tank where it might not drain as easily.

Regularly flushing the tank can help prevent odors, and allow the tank level sensor to work more efficiently.

Maintain Your RV to Maintain Your Freewheeling Lifestyle

While conducting regular maintenance to your RV can be a pain, the rewards are that you’ll be able to enjoy your RV for many more years to come.

Interested in financing for your motorhome? Apply with Southeast Financial today to get started.

The post RV Maintenance: What You Need to Know appeared first on Southeast Financial.

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RV Living: How to Adjust to RV Life

Sometimes you choose the RV life—sometimes it chooses you.

If the open road is calling and you’re considering trading in your home for a house on wheels, then a host of adventures await. (And RV living isn’t only for retirees and empty-nesters anymore; there are newlyweds and even families choosing to live life on the road for the sake of living a simpler life.)

However, what many people new to RV living don’t realize is that there is often a sharp learning curve. Whether it’s expensive repairs, knowing where to park, or challenges with new cities and new climates, you have to learn to expect the unexpected.

Here are some tips and tricks to help set you up for success with your new life on the road.

Plan Finances

One of the perks of the RV life is that it can cut out a lot of your regular bills and housing costs. Then again, one of the drawbacks is that it can also be expensive in many ways if you’re not careful. Consider an RV loan calculator to see what options there are.

Many people plan for life on the road during retirement, and plan accordingly for years in advance. If that’s the case, then you probably have a good nest egg setup and your biggest challenge will be make it last as long as you can. That means drafting a weekly, monthly, and yearly budget, and sticking to it.

Plan for all of your living expenses, which will include:

  • Fuel and repair costs (changing the oil on an RV is a lot more expensive than on a regular car)
  • RV Parks & campsite rental fees (typically around $35 a night)
  • Food (you can save big by cooking your own meals right in your RV)
  • Phone/internet (if you want to stay connected, so you’ll want a good internet data plan)
  • Other bills like health insurance, life insurance, etc.
Will You Keep a Permanent Residence?

This is a personal decision. Are you planning to go back to your permanent home at some point, or are you going to live the rest of your life RV-style? Some people sell their home and use the equity to fund life on the road. Some choose to hold onto their property as an investment. Others keep their home-base to continue having all of their mail sent there. If you want to keep your home, you can always rent it out while you’re gone, generating income while you’re away.

Work

Of course, just because you’re living a nomadic lifestyle doesn’t mean you can’t hold down a steady job. There are plenty of opportunities to work remotely, as long as you have a laptop and reliable access to the internet. Telecommuting jobs and mobile banking make RV life accessible to more people than ever before.

You will need income to cover all of your regular costs with fuel, repairs, food, activities, etc. Most people choose to continue working at least part time for the purpose of income or to continue with professional development. Look into including a hotspot device through your wireless provider so you have access to a data signal when wifi isn’t available. And bring only the most necessary office supplies and equipment with you.

Downsizing and Simplifying

There’s no doubt that going from the square footage of a home to that of an RV will require substantial downsizing. But how do you know what you’ll need?

When living in your mobile mini-home, you’ll want only the barest of necessities. If you choose to keep your home, you can leave nearly everything there. Otherwise, it’s time for a yard sale! Plan to keep the rest of your belongings you want to keep but not bring with you in the RV, in a storage unit.

Seasoned RVers recommend taking a small RV trip in the beginning to narrow down exactly what you really need to pack for life on the road.

Which leads us to:

Start With a Mini-Trip

How do you know if living in an RV is going to be right for you if you don’t try it out first? Plan to go on a mini trip (2-4 weeks) before you commit fully to RV life. During this time you will learn the reality of how you will need to budget, pack, work, and how well your personal relationships can handle this new lifestyle. Some people find that all their downsizing wasn’t enough, and that all of the “must-haves” they packed were actually unnecessary.

If you’re looking to shorten that RV-life learning curve, then testing it out with a mini trip is your best bet.

Ease into the Transition

Some folks want to start living in an RV full time right when they retire. Other times, a major life change, such as a new telecommuting job, selling a home, or grown children moving away from home can push you into considering the RV lifestyle. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, of course.

Fact of the matter is that major life changes are a shock to the system, and it takes time to adjust after they occur. So be sure you have sufficient time to adjust to any life changes before going full-time, pedal-to-the-metal RV-dweller.

If living in an RV and traveling full time is a dream for you, take these tips to heart and plan for for the adjustment that it may be. It’s a fulfilling opportunity to see and experience so many new things with the people who are closest to you. Happy travels!

The post RV Living: How to Adjust to RV Life appeared first on Southeast Financial.

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Boat Insurance 101: What Does It Cover?

The water has something to offer everyone. You might love being on the open ocean where you can see the curve of the planet, or you enjoy kicking back in a small boat on a lake with a fishing line in the water. And then there are those who enjoy watersports–water skiing, jet skis, speed boats, etc. What’s not to love?

No matter how you get out on the water, it’s important to make sure you’re covered with the proper boat insurance. Otherwise, you could be on the line for some pretty big expenses in the event of an accident between property damage, injuries, and legal fees, the bills can add up quickly.

Thankfully, boat insurance gives you the peace of mind you need to take out your boat with confidence. Here are answers to some of the most common questions about boat insurance.

What is Boat Insurance?

Boat insurance covers most motorized watercraft ranging from fishing boats to speedboats to luxury yachts. Many smaller vessels, like kayaks and canoes, may fall under your homeowner’s insurance policy.

Think of boat insurance as a sort of mix between the concepts behind home and auto insurance. Your specific coverage will depend on your policy and whether you choose to purchase just liability or comprehensive insurance plans.

Boat insurance functions like home insurance since it covers you in the event that someone is hurt while on your boat. It also functions like car insurance since it covers you if property is damaged (either yours or another party’s) or a person is injured in an accident or collision.

In addition, liability insurance for your boat can also cover pollution (if you have an oil spill) and wreckage removal and clean-up.

How Much Boat Insurance is Necessary?

In short, it depends. However, many insurance professionals advise purchasing at least $1,000,000 in liability insurance. You’ll want to take several factors into account when deciding how much insurance to secure for your boat.

  • What type of boat is it?
  • How old is the boat?
  • How large is the boat?
  • What will be the primary purpose of the boat?
  • What is the engine size?
  • How much is the boat worth?

For example, if you buy a new speedboat meant for water sports, you’ll want a higher insurance policy than you’d get for an old fishing boat.

In addition, you can opt for insurance add-ons like fire and flood insurance, personal property insurance, vandalism insurance, etc. A trusted insurance agent can help you select the right policy for you and your boat.

Are Passengers Covered by Boat Insurance?

Yes. Passengers on your boat are covered by your insurance. However, not all boat insurance policies cover water skiers behind a boat in an accident. If you intend to use your boat for watersports like skiing, tubing, wakeboarding, etc., it’s a good idea to discuss your insurance needs with your agent.

Where Is My Boat Covered?

Your individual policy will address the specific coverage for your boat, but many policies cover inland waters in the US as well as coastal waters. Your coverage’s geographical limits should be outlined in the navigational warranty contained in your policy. If you need international coverage, be sure to discuss that with your insurance agent. Please note that some areas of the world may not be covered due to safety or political concerns; your agent can clarify any such restrictions and recommend extended boat warranties.

As a point of interest, your boat is often covered under different forms of insurance. For example, when you are towing your boat behind your car or truck, it falls under your auto insurance, not your boat insurance. You may also have limited coverage at home under homeowners insurance. You can find out more by looking through your home and auto insurance policies.

Does the Insurance Cover Other People Driving the Boat?

Yes. Members of the owner’s family and others with express permission to operate the boat are covered by boat insurance. However, this does not cover anyone who is being paid to operate the boat for the owner, like a captain or crew. If you choose to rent or lease your boat to other people, they will not be covered under your insurance.

If I Hit a Rock or Other Debris, Am I Covered?

This will depend on the type of insurance you take out on your boat. If you just have liability insurance, you might not be covered. However, if you chose comprehensive coverage and/or property damage coverage, your policy will likely cover any collision with rocks and other marine debris.

Does Boat Insurance Cover Storm Damage?

This will largely depend on your specific policy. If you live in an area that is often subject to typhoons, tornadoes, windstorms, hurricanes, tropical storms, etc., make sure to discuss available coverage options with your insurance agent.

If cold weather is a factor, make sure to discuss coverage options for ice and freeze damage. This can offer you greater protection in the event that your boat sustains damage because it is not properly winterized.

What About the Months When My Boat Isn’t Used?

Some policies allow discounted premiums for months when you don’t use your boat. To find out if your boat qualifies for such a discount,ask your agent about lay-up periods.

There you have it! Boat insurance is a common type of insurance that is pretty similar to the homeowners and car insurance policies we’ve become familiar with. As always, it’s a good idea to go over the details of your boat insurance policy with a knowledgeable insurance agent.

Now go and have some (safe & properly insured) fun out on the water!

The post Boat Insurance 101: What Does It Cover? appeared first on Southeast Financial.

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10 Important Things to Consider Before Buying a Recreational Vehicle

There’s nothing quite like the freedom to hop in your RV and go wherever the road might take you. But if you’re thinking about taking the leap to becoming an RV owner, here are a few considerations to help you pick the right one for you and your family.

1. The Purpose of Your RV

Are you hoping to road trip across the country, or do you plan on using your RV for weekend camping trips? How many people does the RV need to accommodate?

If you have a clear picture of how you’ll be using your RV, it will help you narrow down your options. And there are a lot of options out there. For example, an RV trailer that you haul behind a truck might be a better option for those weekend excursions. If you’re planning extended trips (or planning to live permanently in your RV), then you’ll want to look into amenities that will make your trips more comfortable

2. Motorhome vs. Trailer

Before you decide on make or model, you should consider whether a motorhome or trailer best fits your needs. Basically, a motorhome can be driven on its own, while a trailer requires a towing vehicle to transport it.

Motorhomes are obviously larger than a car, but they don’t require the driver to learn how to drive while towing something behind it. Motorhomes can often be a more expensive purchase, and they generally provide amenities well suited for extended trips.

One benefit of a motorhome which many people love is that you can tow your car or SUV behind it. This can give you the option of parking your RV at a campsite or RV park site, and then using your car to get around and explore.

Trailers, on the other hand, are great options for camping in style. It’s important to note, if you don’t already have a vehicle capable of towing, a trailer can end up being just as expensive as a motorhome once you factor in the cost of a new vehicle. If you don’t have experience driving while towing, you might consider renting a small trailer to get more comfortable before making a purchase.

3. Motorhome Options

Motorhomes typically fall under classes A, B, and C.

Class A motorhomes are the most expensive, but they have the amenities to show for it. They offer enough room to bring the whole family along on a long road trip. They often offer a full living room, kitchen appliances, and sometimes even a washer and dryer. They usually have at least 2 slide out rooms for more space.

Class B motorhomes can provide luxury amenities, but they’ll come in a much smaller form. Class B motorhomes are often the smallest with no slide outs; this often makes them the least expensive motorhome.

Class C motorhomes are sort of a compromise. They get better gas mileage than A, but not as good as B. They usually offer similar amenities to A and more sleeping room, but they don’t offer as much living space.

4. Trailer Options

There are three basic options for RV trailers: travel trailers, fifth-wheel trailers, and pop-up trailers.

Travel trailers are lightweight and sturdy, which means they can be towed by a greater variety of vehicles. The amenities will depend on how much you’re willing to spend. If you like to leave your trailer at the campsite and explore, this is a great option.

Fifth-wheel trailers attach on a special mount in the bed of a pickup truck, which makes it incredibly stable. If you plan on taking long road trips to a camping site or driving up the mountains, this is a great option.

Pop up trailers are the most economical choice for someone looking for a low-investment entry into the RV world. These trailers are light, simple, and perfect for weekend trips with the family. Most models should be able to be towed by a minivan.

5. New vs. Used RVs

New vehicles will come with a larger price tag, but you may make up some of the difference with a lack of repairs and the protection of a warranty. If you are looking for heavy customization or low maintenance needs, new might be right for you.

If you are confident in your ability to inspect an RV and identify potential maintenance issues, you can save a lot of money buying a used RV.

6. Parking and Storage

If you don’t have the space to store your motorhome at your house, you could rack up significant storage fees. Research local storage options in your area. Don’t assume you can just park on the street–look up city ordinances before purchasing.

7. Maintenance Costs

Just like any other vehicle, RVs come with regular maintenance costs. Just like a car, you’ll need to change oil and filters regularly, but you’ll also have to service your generator, inspect the roof seals, maintain the wastewater system, and more.

Also, since it’s basically a home on wheels, all the cabinets, couches, and fixtures will be bumping along the road with you. That translates to a lot of wear-and-tear, so expect to do plenty of handy-man-type repairs and quick-fixes to the RV’s interior.

8. Insurance Coverage

Don’t forget to factor in insurance costs when purchasing an RV. If you buy a trailer, your auto insurance may cover a trailer you own depending on your policy. Talk to your agent for the details of the policy.

You’ll likely have to purchase a separate insurance policy for a motorhome. Your premium will largely depend on the value, size, and age of the RV.

9. Other Expenses

Besides the costs associated with the RV itself, there are other miscellaneous expenses to consider:

  • Gas: Motorhomes have significantly lower gas mileage than cars, and trailers will decrease the gas mileage of the towing vehicle.
  • Parking/camping fees: Your nights of paying for a place to stay aren’t over. Most RV sites come with a daily fee.
  • Internet connection: If you aren’t ready to give up Wi-fi, make sure your RV can be outfitted with your desired internet connections.
10. Financing Options

When purchasing an RV, you’ll more than likely need to consider RV financing options in order to make the purchase. It’s important to know that some companies have higher minimum loan values than others, and not all companies will finance older units.

Choose a company that offers competitive rates and terms along with a reliable and secure application process. Discover how Southeast Financial can help you finance your RV.

Even after all these considerations, I think you’ll find that the RV lifestyle is well worth it! With the proper planning and an open mind, you can truly experience the freedom of the open road.

The post 10 Important Things to Consider Before Buying a Recreational Vehicle appeared first on Southeast Financial.

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When many of us think of reasons why someone would get a motorcycle, dreamy thoughts of freedom and rebelliousness often spring to mind.

While there’s no discounting that type of motivation, I think you’ll agree with me when I say that motorcycle ownership has so much more to it. In fact, there are many practical reasons for getting a motorcycle, from their incredible fuel efficiency and affordability to easier parking and commuting.

When it comes to the practicality of motorcycles, though, safety takes first priority. Do you know what the number one reason people are told not to ride a motorcycle?

You guessed it…it involves safety–or danger, to be more precise.

The truth is, though, all vehicles involve an element of danger. The important part is taking control of your safety when you ride.

Let me walk you through 10 steps to minimize the risk of riding that beautiful bike so you can experience all the benefits that you were interested in when you bought it.

1. Get the right bike for you.

The first thing you want to be sure of is that you have the right motorcycle for you.

Now, this is important…

It involves a few things, and we’re not just talking price range. When buying a motorcycle, you need to be honest with yourself. How skilled are you as a rider? Can you handle a larger or more powerful bike? That might be a hard truth to face as a newer rider, but you can always upgrade as you gain experience.

The second part of this question is how you intend to use your motorcycle. Are you planning on short commutes, long road trips, or something in between? This will affect what type of motorcycle you want. Having the right bike for you will help make you a safer rider.

2.Practice.

No matter how skilled you are as a rider, there’s always room to get better.

Riding a motorcycle is like so many other things. It is a skill, and skills can be improved. To be safe on your bike, you should take riding courses when you are new.

Then you should practice — and when you are finished, you should practice some more. You can always get better. You can also learn different tips and techniques from different instructors, so taking multiple riding courses and keeping at it over time will really help keep you safe.

3. Keep Your Head

This might be a controversial topic in some circles, but the fact is, helmets save lives.

States like Michigan that repealed helmet laws have later seen significant increases in motorcycle-related fatalities. Though the thought of having the air flow through your hair as you ride might sound romantic, staying alive is much more appealing.

And on top of that, there’s the additional bonus of keeping the bugs out of your teeth if you wear a helmet with a face guard.

4. Protect the Essentials

In addition to a helmet, wearing the right protective gear is a must for staying safe on your bike.

If you have seen someone riding in flip flops, shorts and a t-shirt, you know what we mean.

Imagine if that rider had to bail and skid across the blacktop. Protecting yourself with heavy clothing and gear that covers your skin is like wearing a coat of armor. As another plus, you instantly make it easier for your friends and family to shop for you.

5. Gear Up Your Bike

Your motorcycle needs the right gear, too.

More specifically, anti-lock brakes will go a long way toward making your riding experience safer. The stopping power is vital in a world in which people don’t always see motorcycles. Having that extra protection makes a big difference for so many riders.

6. Expect the Worst

Let me elaborate.  While we are on the topic of other drivers, it is best to always be in a defensive mindset.

Drivers make mistakes. They can also get nervous or absent-minded around motorcycles. If you remain on guard and anticipate the ways in which other drivers can put you at risk, you will be more likely to avoid dangerous scenarios. You can also be pleasantly surprised when they don’t try to run you over.

7. Mind Your Mother

Mother nature, that is…

Before you head out for a ride, check the weather conditions. If bad weather is on the horizon, it would be best to wait it out and find other means of transportation.


8. The Pre-Ride Check

It is always a good idea to inspect your motorcycle before going for a ride. Take a quick look at the tires to see if there are any cracks, bulges, or signs of excessive wear. Take a look at the headlight and taillight. These are key to keeping you safe. Inspect your bike for any signs of oil or gas leaks. When you get on, check the mirrors, test the brakes, and honk the horn. These simple checks will only take a couple minutes, and they can help you avoid serious problems on the road.

9. Eyes on the Road

Speaking of the road, make sure you are always mindful of what’s up ahead. Watch the road for unsafe conditions like cracking surfaces or blind curves. Approach potential obstacles carefully. This type of mindset is especially important on long rides in the country.  Rural roads might be less well maintained. Plus, we can get lulled into a less attentive mindset on longer rides.

10. Wake Up

This tip should go without saying, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be said.

Never ride your bike after drinking or when excessively tired. Doing so would put you and those around you in danger.

Riding a motorcycle unleashes a rush of positive forces inside us. From the feeling of freedom that comes from soaring across the landscape to really feeling the road beneath, riding a motorcycle is therapy on wheels. A bike will also save you money on gas and show your mother earth that you care. Take care of yourself while you are at it and enjoy many more rides to come.

We treat every customer with the care and attention they deserve. Contact Southeast Financial today to find out how we can help you get one step closer to the road.

The post Motorcycle Safety: 10 Must Knows When Riding Your Bike appeared first on Southeast Financial.

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Southeast Financial by Southeast Financial - 5M ago

Owning a new boat is fun, but it’s also a big responsibility. Boat owners who don’t know what they’re doing are a danger to themselves and others. The following advice will help you and your friends and family enjoy the new boat safely whether you are a first-time owner or have had a few under your belt but should refresh your knowledge.

1) Learn About The Specific Model
Read the owner’s manual if there is one. There are many types of boats, and they come in a range of sizes. While some safety rules, like always wearing a life jacket, apply to all boats, others may apply only to specific types of boats. A motorboat is going to have different requirements than a yacht, for example. If you can’t find a physical owner’s manual, look up information about the boat on the manufacturer’s website.

2) Keep Up With Maintenance
If you plan to leave your boat in the water for over a week at a time, the bottom will need to be covered with a protective paint coat. The type of paint needed will depend on what the boat is made of. For example, someone who has an aluminum boat they use in salt water will need to use a copper-free paint. Salt water is an electrolyte, and when an aluminum hull with copper-based paint is exposed to it, the resultant reaction causes the hull to corrode. Some aspects of boat maintenance should be left to professionals. An outboard motor should be examined and serviced by a certified mechanic. Taking the time to understand the needs of your boat as well as the suggested regular maintenance will prevent issues down the line and keep the boat in great shape for years to come.

3) Take A Boat Safety Class
Many states require new boat owners to take boat safety classes. The US Power Squadron, US Coast Guard Auxiliary, and many other organizations all provide classes, and their certificates are recognized in most states. Different states have different requirements, so a boat owner who wants to go boating outside their own state should check the rules.

People who have already taken such courses may want to take a refresher course, especially if they haven’t piloted a boat for a few years. Their knowledge might be rusty, and the rules and regulations could have been changed since their last outing. While online boating classes do exist, it is generally better to take them in person in order to get some actual real-world experience with a boat.

4) Pay Attention To The Weather
Storms can develop with surprising speed. The prudent mariner will therefore check the weather reports before heading out and keep an eye out for small craft advisory flags. These are triangular red pennants, and a single such flag indicates that conditions are expected to become hazardous for small boats within the next 12 hours. Two flags, with one placed above the other, indicate that a gale is on the way. Boats with radios should be tuned to the National Weather Service, for it also issues warnings.

5) Let Someone On Shore Know Your Plans
Make certain a reliable person knows that you’ve gone boating. This person should also know when you will be back. Ideally, you should be able to call this person if you’re going to be late or if issues come up. Having someone know to expect you is a good way to make sure you’re not lost, hurt, or stranded without help coming your way. The US Coast Guard Auxiliary recommends completing a “Float Plan” that contains information about the boat, the people aboard it, the planned itinerary, and the expected return time. If a boater is late and their friend decided to contact the authorities, they will have the needed information at their fingertips.

Making sure you are smart about safety as a boat owner will keep your nautical adventures fun and stress free.

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