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General Liability: What Does It Really Mean? 

When looking into insurance for your business, one coverage you will often see is general liability. Now, what makes it general liability is the vast amount of items it covers in the policy, which we will cover a bit later. To emphasize why general liability policies are recommended for businesses, both big and small, the average cost of a slip and fall claim is around $20,000! Not to mention the cost of a reputational harm lawsuit! That can cost you around $50,000 and without any general liability on your side, and that’s all cash out of pocket. Let’s review what exactly general liability covers, doesn’t cover, and who really needs it.  

 

Who Actually Needs General Liability? 

Every business owner – yes, really! As we briefly mentioned above, lawsuits and injury claims cause cost your business a pretty penny if they are served in your place of business. Now, many states don’t actually require that you carry general liability insurance, but it is always highly recommended that you have it because if you don’t, you expose your business to financial risks. If you are looking to collaborate with other businesses, they may reject the opportunity if you do not have the minimum coverage under your belt. Those who need general liability meet these criteria, among others: 

  • Have a store, office or building that’s open to the public, clients or vendors 
  • Handle or work near client property 
  • Advertise or create marketing materials for your business 
  • Use social media personally or professionally 

 

What Does It Cover? 

It’s commonplace to see liability claims during a business’ operations. As we talked about earlier, these claims can be a costly expense for your business, especially if you own a small business. Below we’ve compiled a list of coverages that are typically included in general liability.  

  • Bodily Injury (Employee or Customer) 
  • Property Damage 
  • Advertising Injury 
  • Copyright Infringement 
  • Reputational Harm (Slander) 

 

What Isn’t Covered 

There are a few scenarios in which your general liability will not cover you. In these instances, you will need to purchase additional liability insurance policies for more specific situations. There are multiple other policies that you may consider adding to your current coverage: 

  • Professional Liability 
  • Worker’s Compensation 
  • Product Liability 
  • Umbrella Insurance  
  • Errors and Omissions 

 

Are you in need of adding liability insurance to your list of coverages? If so, reach out to your local insurance agent to get started on protecting yourself from all the potential liabilities out there.  

Surprising Things You Might Not Know Your Home Insurance Covers 

Having the right home insurance policy will protect your home and belongings, and additionally, cover your liability exposure from owning a home. You are probably aware of the typical events that home insurance covers, such as vandalism, fires, fallen trees, wind damage, or even lightning strikes. However, not all natural events are covered by all home insurance policies – many policies do not cover losses in the event of an earthquake or flood, meaning the policyholder would need to seek additional insurance to be fully protected. While it is best to consult your insurance agent to see your coverage, here are five surprising things you might not know your home insurance covers. 

Identity Theft 

One surprising event that is covered by your home insurance policy is identity theft. Many home insurance policies allow reimbursement for the costs of identity theft, such as lost wages or legal fees. Please note that this type of coverage is not guaranteed in all policies, so check with your agent to see if you are covered. 

Property of College Kids 

If your children have grown up and moved off to college, their property may still be protected under your home insurance policy. Policies typically cover anyone living in your household, as well as children under the age of 24, meaning your college-aged child may still be protected. It is important to note that the liability limit for students’ property may be lower, and not all policies cover off-campus housing. If this is a major concern, consider adding renter’s insurance to guarantee total protection. 

Mandatory Home Upgrades 

If there is legislation passed that requires you to make changes or improvements to your home, the cost of those changes is typically covered by your home insurance policy. There are usually limits to this type of coverage, so check with your agent to see the specific coverage your policy offers. 

Harm Caused by Pets 

Another surprising thing that is frequently covered by home insurance is medical expenses incurred from something such as your dog biting someone. However, many policies have a limit of $300,000 for medical expenses, so talk to your agent to see if you need to supplement your policy with additional protection.  

Riots/Civil Unrest 

Many home insurance policies provide you with protection for your home and personal property in the event of civil unrest, frequently referred to in the insurance world as “civil commotion.” Events such as fire, vandalism, or even explosions are typically covered. If the damage is done during a time not officially declared as a state of emergency, it is important to obtain a police report to submit when you file your claim. 

While you might not have thought these five things would be covered by your home insurance policy, there are many other surprising events that your policy is likely to cover. To see exactly what your policy covers, or if you need supplemental insurance to fully protect yourself, contact your local insurance agent today. 

Sugar Rush: How Does Too Much Candy Affect Your Body?

We all know that sugar is not good for our bodies, but the scary repercussions do not seem to be fully realized when we look at American culture. Many of our holidays revolve around food, and, particularly and not coincidentally, processed and refined foods such as candy. Americans love candy and purchase around twenty-four pounds of candy per person, per year, ingesting the most around Halloween.

Americans, we have a problem.

Too much sugar is poisonous for our bodies. Sugar overworks the liver and pancreas and causes inflammation. It directly and indirectly leads to a wide array of health problems, from tooth decay and obesity to heart disease and diabetes. Removing sugar from your diet can even lower your chances of suffering from the worst symptoms and conditions from Covid-19.

In a study on the effects of sugar on heart health published in 2014, “people who got 17% to 21% of their calories from added sugar had a 38% higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease compared with those who consumed 8% of their calories as added sugar.”

So we know it is bad, but there are important questions that remain: How much is too much and how do we change?

How much is too much?

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that “on average, sugar makes up 17% of what children consume each day,” way more than what the Food Pyramid suggests. It isn’t feasible for us to track our sugar using a pyramid graph, but there are more reasonable ways we can monitor and evaluate our sugar consumption.

Nutrition labels have continuously improved over the years in containing a wealth of info that should not be ignored. The American Heart Association recommends you look to this label and keep your daily intake to under twenty-five grams (or six teaspoons) for women and under 36 grams (or nine teaspoons) for men.

What to do about it.

Of course, there’s an app for that, but we can’t expect ourselves to digitally track sugar intake for every member in our home. One of the easiest ways to monitor is to limit and even cut sugary foods in their entirety from the shopping list.

Who is in charge of the shopping and meal preparations? Start here. Limit or remove foods that contain refined sugars, such as high fructose corn syrup, listed on the labels. Replace sugary drinks, which is the main way children consume sugar, with healthier options such as milk and water. Begin this healthy overhaul before the food even enters your home.

Don’t be a total killjoy, especially around the holidays, but do be conscientious of what is going into your and your children’s bodies. Don’t leave candy lying in plain view – out of sight, out of mind, right? Impose limits on daily sugar intake that follow the guidelines for children (25 grams per day for children 2 and older) and for adults, especially if you have dietary restrictions for a health condition.

Other ways are to choose healthier options. Insider ranked almost two dozen fan-favorite candies from worst to best (Smarties are “best”). Whole fruits and low- to no-calorie sweeteners are another, healthier way to satisfy a sweet tooth.

Most importantly, be mindful of what goes into your body, and if you buy the groceries, pay mind to those who look to you for guidance on living a healthy lifestyle. There are many resources around you. Ask your doctor, dentist, and even your insurance agent about these resources to cut costs and improve your dental, health, and life insurance plans. Heeding advice now will have more rewards than a king-size candy bar can offer! Your health is invaluable – treat it that way.

6 Reasons to Insure Your All Terrain Vehicle (ATV)

Blazing trails on your ATV out in the fresh, clean, country air is an indescribable joy that can only be felt. Thinking about insurance against damages and injuries is no joy, but it is a hill that you and your agent need to charge over together so that you can continue doing what you love.

Here are six reasons you should get with your agent and discuss the proper coverage so that you can get back to your ride, worry-free:

1. LEGAL COMPLIANCE

Many states require proof of insurance when using your ATV on public land, and some states require it when in use anywhere not on your own land. You may also not be allowed by law to drive your ATV on paved roads in your state. To avoid a ticket and fines, it’s best to ask your agent about the minimum requirements for insuring your joy-ride in your home state.

2. TRAVEL

Riding dirty may not just be a challenge at home, but could also be an issue when leaving the homestead. A good tip is to check the states where you plan to ride. Many ATV enthusiasts travel to areas such as Moab, Utah, for their thrill-seeking adventures, but there are countless destinations for a fun-filled weekend with your ATV. One thing that could be a real killjoy on vacation is to find yourself noncompliant with minimum insurance requirements. Keep your travels safe and pleasant by talking to your insurance agent before crossing state lines.

3. DAMAGES

Taking the good with the bad, we know that incurring damages is a sure possibility in the rough and rugged terrain you enjoy. Averaging anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000, this “toy” is no small purchase. Protect yourself like you would with your car or truck with either liability, collision, or comprehensive coverage. Not only should you be worried about your vehicle, but other vehicles and property as well.

4. INJURY

There are about 650 deaths and over 100,000 injuries involving ATVs each and every year. Concussion, broken bones, spinal trauma, and cuts & bruises are the four most common ATV injuries. Wearing the proper gear, such as a helmet and padding, prevents many, but not all, injuries. Ask your doctor or agent about more precautions to take to avoid getting hurt, but know that the risk of injury on ATVs is fairly high, especially for children under 16 which account for about 26% of all ATV-related accidents in 2018.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) says you may want to ask your agent the following questions: Are there age restrictions on who may operate my ATV? Does my policy cover other people who may operate my ATV? These are great springboard questions into protecting more than just your ATV, but your little riders as well.

5. THEFT

Due to their high value and ease of loading in a truck bed or a trailer, your ATV is an ideal item for would-be thieves. Protect it from theft as best you can by following tips from your agent, such as removing keys, using the steering lock, and blocking it in with another vehicle if you can’t keep it inside.

6. LOW COST

Consider the insurance part of the sticker price of your ATV, because without it, you’re probably just borrowing time until the inevitable happens. Insurance is there for those instances, the unexpected. The average cost of your monthly premium is only about $100 for a standard policy, but it can vary wildly depending on your age, area, amount of use, and model of ATV. The only way to know for sure is to make an appointment with your agent and get a quote.

Your time on your ATV should be worry-free and fun. Let your agent help with that in the best way they know how to protect you.

Important Tips for Your Roof Inspection

Your roof is your home’s first line of defense from natural elements such as rain, hail, snow, and debris. Even a small crack can cause extensive damage, so it is a good idea to conduct routine roof checks. This helps keep your home and family safe, while also ensuring you have documentation of professional maintenance to provide your insurance policy. Here are tips to keep in mind when it comes time for your roof check. 

 

Inspect Regularly 

Plan to inspect your roof at least once a year. This allows you to stay ahead of repairs as you note possible damage. Conduct additional checks after extreme weather such as hail, snow, or thunderstorms. Depending on the weather in your climate, your roof may be subject to more possible damage from natural elements. Your home insurance policy does not cover “wear and tear” repairs or those caused by age, so it is vital to complete this maintenance as part of your homeownership.
 

Do a Visual Check First 

The first step in your inspection is to do a visual check from the ground. Walk around your home to check for any signs of possible damage. Here are a few things to look for: 

  • Missing or broken shingles 
  • Warped, blistered, or curled shingles 
  • Asphalt shingle grit in gutters 
  • Cracked caulk 
  • Rust spots 
  • Moss or lichen on rooftop 
  • Sagging spots 
  • Darkened ceilings or interior water damage 

If you spot these signs, it is time to get the problem addressed immediately. If left unrepaired, these concerns can cause major structural damage to your home. Because they were part of the wear and tear that homeowners are expected to maintain, the cost will come out of your pocket and not your insurance policy.
 

Hire a Professional 

It can be tempting to perform a “DIY” home repair and save a few dollars, but this is not worth the risk. Hire a roofing professional with experience fixing roofs and working on a ladder. They can address the concerns you identified, along with inspecting the full roof to determine if more work is needed. Confirm that the roofing repair company also has their own insurance updated, and ask what warranty they offer on their work. 

 

Understand Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy 

If your roofing professional determines that your roof is in need of a total replacement, you may be facing an extremely high cost. In the case of damage due to age or normal wear and tear, the repairs will most likely not be covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy. However, if a tree branch has fallen onto your roof and caused a leak, this may be covered. 

 

Annual roof inspections are vital to keeping your home and family safe. Keep all your records of any updates and maintenance completed by licensed and insured professionals. For questions about your homeowner’s policy or additional roof insurance coverage, speak with your local agent today. 

Buying a Fixer-Upper? Here’s What You Need to Know About Insuring It.  

If you are looking into buying a home, you may be experiencing a bit of a hard time due to the current circumstances of the housing market. Buying a fixer-upper can sometimes provide a shortcut to homeownership, whether you are a first-time homeowner or buying your next home. With the low inventory but high demand for homes, the difficulty of obtaining a home has increased, especially on a budget. This is why we are seeing a rise in people buying fixer-upper homes. But what insurance do you need if you are buying a fixer-upper instead of a traditional home? We’ve compiled a list of insurance policies that can help protect you and your new property. 

 

Insurance Options for a Fixer Upper Home 

Conventional Home Insurance 

Eligibility for conventional insurance comes down to the ability to complete any outstanding repairs within before or within 30 days of closing. What if the home has more difficult to complete repairs? What if you aren’t planning on moving in for a few months? The conventional insurance policy may be out of reach. Did you know that empty and under-construction homes are considered a high risk for insurance companies? The traditional insurance company will, more than likely, recommend that you get a different insurance policy that is specifically formulated for higher-risk situations like these. Some may even write the policy themselves while other insurance companies will refer you to a third-party insurer that specializes in these high-risk policies. 

 

Builder’s Risk 

The most common form of insurance for homeowners with a new construction or newly renovated home is builder’s risk insurance. Typically, this policy starts with lower costs and as the home gets into better conditions, the cost will rise because the home value has now increased. This policy is easier to get if there is a solid, timed plan to finish the construction or new build.  

  

Vacant Dwelling 

Will your new home be sitting vacant while repairs and work are being done on the property? Vacant dwelling insurance may be a possibility. This policy will cover most physical losses, if there are any, but it will usually not cover any form of theft from the premise. Pay attention to the location of the property and decide if theft is a huge or minor issue. This can be a real problem anywhere if the home contains valuable appliances, tools or copper wiring and piping.  

  

Need to know more about policies to protect your new fixer-upper home? Reach out to your local agent for more information on the best insurance policies that fit your situation.  

Small Business Owners: What Kind of Insurance Should You Offer to Employees? 

Understanding what types of insurance to offer your small business’s employees can feel like a challenge. However, this is a great problem to have! It means you as the owner have done a wonderful job growing the company and adding new staff members to your dedicated team. Health insurance benefits are a major way to attract top talent to your company.  

The Affordable Care Act changed the landscape for small businesses and now requires companies with 50 or more employees to offer an “affordable” health plan. For an employee-only policy, they cannot spend more than 9.5% of their household income for coverage. Even if your business has fewer than 50 employees, there are still major incentives such as tax credits, employee satisfaction and retention, recruiting talent, and reduced sick time. Here, we are breaking down the basics of the types of insurance coverage to keep your small business’s employees happy and healthy. 

Medical Insurance 

The first step in providing insurance benefits is to offer medical coverage. This includes preventative care like annual checkups, along with emergency support. You as the business owner have options for the types of plans and the amount of subsidizing you want to offer. A Preferred Provider Organization plan is the most common and allows employees to go to a doctor or hospital that is within a “preferred” group. This includes preventative and emergency care. Employees will pay for their monthly premium and any costs up to their deductible. To determine what amount you would like for employees to pay and what you as the business can afford to cover, speak with your local insurance agent who can help you find the best plan and pricing. 

Dental Insurance 

Unlike medical insurance, dental insurance is not required under the Affordable Care Act. However, offering this vital preventative service is typically a low-cost commitment for you as the business owner and a valuable form of care for your employees. Individual employee-sponsored dental plans can cost your small business about $14 to $30 per month per person, with family coverage being higher. Most dental issues are preventative, but they can lead to many more serious health concerns if they are left untreated. Therefore, it is important to offer your small business’s employees the opportunity to enroll in a group plan, even if you cannot subsidize a portion of the cost. A group plan that is negotiated by your insurance agent will be more cost-effective for your employees than a private plan. 

Vision Insurance 

Similar to dental insurance, you are not required to provide your small business employees with vision insurance. However, with three out of four Americans wearing corrective lenses, the cost of eye exams, glasses, and contacts are important to a majority of your employees. If you plan to cover some of the cost for your employees, this is often one of the most inexpensive types of insurance to budget for. Your expense may range from $5 to $10 per month for basic preventative care and corrective lenses. More comprehensive plans, such as those that offer a discount on LASIK surgery or other more intensive procedures, could cost you $15 to $20 per month per employee. Showing your staff that you value all aspects of their health and wellness, especially something that is often out of their control, will go a long way in creating a positive environment for your team. 

Short-Term Disability Insurance 

One final type of insurance that you may want to make available to your employees is short-term disability. While policies can range from three months to a year, each one serves to provide your employee with a portion of their income or salary if they are out of work for a short time. Reasons can include a medical illness or surgery recovery, pregnancy, or injury, but the specific list of covered disabilities will depend on the policy you select. The primary benefit is to your employee, who can hopefully avoid financial hardship while they are unable to work. However, offering this also benefits you as a small business owner. You most likely spend a lot of time and resources selecting and training your staff. By offering this benefit, you can help them maintain their lifestyle, recover safely, and return back to work at the appropriate time.  

Regardless of the size of your small business, offering a variety of insurance plans is becoming more and more important. Jobs and salaries are more competitive than ever, and employees are looking for a company that values both the work they contribute and their personal wellness. Speak with your insurance agent today to determine which group insurance plans are right for your organization.  

What Insurance Do I Need for a Vacation?

Vacations are wonderful opportunities to relax, explore new places, and enjoy time spent with family and friends. But as you prepare for time away from home, it is important to have the proper insurance policies set up in advance. While you hope to never need them, these types of insurance can help you rest easy on your next trip.  

Rental Car Insurance 

If you are flying to your destination, you may also be picking up a rental car once you land at the airport. Purchasing insurance for your rental car is optional, and your own car insurance policy does affect most cases when you rent a vehicle. However, suppose you did not purchase collision or comprehensive auto insurance for your own vehicle. In that case, this means you will be responsible for the cost of any collision damage done to the rental as well. It is always ideal to have personal collision insurance, as well as purchase a “loss damage waiver” from the rental car company. This means your credit card will not be immediately charged for the cost of any damages. 

Homeowner’s or Renter’s Insurance 

You are probably aware of how your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy covers any possible loss, damage, or theft to your property and belongings. But did you know that in many cases, your property is also protected even as you travel? If you are bringing high-value equipment on your vacation such as scuba gear, skis, or professional cameras, these items could be covered if they are damaged unexpectedly or stolen. Keep in mind that most homeowner’s policies do have a cap on the value of covered possessions. If you are bringing equipment that exceeds that amount, it is a good idea to speak with your agent about obtaining a separate insurance policy for that specific item.  

Health Insurance 

When you are on vacation outside of the U.S., the last thing you want to experience is a serious medical emergency. However, it is best to prepare ahead and avoid a stressful situation, should you become injured. First, you will need to contact your health insurance provider and determine what (if any) coverage is provided in the country you are visiting. Your policy may offer some support for emergency room visits, but this is often where coverage ends. If you need to be medically evacuated back to the U.S., this can be extremely expensive. Speak with your insurance agent about a short-term medical trip insurance policy, especially if you travel abroad and engage in high-risk activities such as scuba diving, hang gliding, or skiing.  

Travel Insurance 

While this may seem like the most obvious policy to review and purchase before going on vacation, it can often be overlooked. Perhaps the last thing on your mind when planning your trip is the potential need to cancel or postpone the vacation. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon to experience. Travel insurance can provide partial reimbursement for your expenses if you need to cancel a trip due to personal injury, illness, or an unforeseen circumstance outlined in your policy. If you begin your vacation and need to return home early, your travel insurance may cover some of these expenses as well. Travel insurance can even provide reimbursement for clothing and toiletries if your luggage is lost or stolen during your trip.  

Whether you are planning an extended international adventure or a four-day weekend on the coast, there are a number of ways that new and existing insurance policies can protect you, your belongings, and the investment you’ve made in your trip. To discuss the options that are best for you, contact your local insurance agent today. 

 

Proper Pool Safety While Enjoying the Summer Season

Cooling off in the pool is one of the most fun ways to beat the summer heat. But before you jump in, there are a few safety tips to keep in mind. Many of these suggestions are geared towards your children or young family members, but it is up to you to enforce them and keep everyone safe. Here are six pool safety measures to take that protect both you and your loved ones this summer.  

Secure Your Pool 

A vital first step in pool safety is building a barrier around the perimeter. A four-sided isolation fence reduces the risk of a child drowning by 83% compared to three-sided property-line fencing. Use fencing that is durable, tall, and self-latching with a latch that is out of reach for young children. For above-ground pools, remove the steps or ladder when an adult is not present.  

Designated Water Watcher 

When children are swimming, there should always be a designated adult within arm’s reach to assist if needed. If this adult is not in the water, they should be fully prepared to dive in at any time. Watching the water should also be their only task, especially if they are sitting poolside. That means no texting, reading, or playing games on their phone. A cell phone should still be within arm’s reach to call for help, but not kept in a clothing pocket to prevent water damage. 

Swimming Lessons 

If you plan to bring your infant into the pool, it is not necessary to have completed infant swim lessons (although classes are available). Be sure your baby has on safety-certified flotation attire, and hold them the entire time they are in the water. For older children who are going to swim or play in the pool without an adult holding onto them, it is a good idea to invest time in basic swim lessons. Teaching your children how to paddle with their head above water, float on their back, and safely exit the pool is imperative. As they become more confident, they can remove water wings and floats while learning different swimming techniques. 

Drain Awareness 

Children who are able to swim on their own should be educated on what to do when they approach the pool drain. If the drain is easily accessible, show your child how the drain uses strong suction to pull water from the pool. Teach children that if they get too close to the drain, their hair, swimsuit, jewelry, or limbs can become pulled down by the suction as well. While the drain is not something to be afraid of, children should not play with the drain or go near it in order to allow the pool to filter water properly. 

CPR and Emergency Plan  

It is always best to prepare for an emergency that may never happen, rather than to be unprepared if the unexpected occurs. Your family should have a plan for what to do if someone needs help or is drowning. Familiarize yourself with how to perform CPR on both infants, children, and adults. Courses and certifications are often available in your community. Recruit teens or older children to call 911, and make sure younger children know to clear the pool and wait for instructions. Practice your plan so each person knows their responsibility. 

Pool Insurance 

Your general homeowners insurance may offer some liability coverage, should a guest injure themselves while in your pool. Pool owners are also liable for injuries, whether the guest has permission to use the pool or not. Additionally, most homeowners policies only cover a certain percentage of the cost of non-residential structures on the property. If your pool becomes damaged by a guest or natural accident such as a tree falling on it, you would only receive a percentage of the cost to replace it. Keep your family and guests safe by maintaining the proper liability and damage coverage. Your local insurance agent can help determine what coverage is right for you.  

When you set the proper ground rules for pool safety, everyone is able to enjoy a fun and worry-free experience. Use these tips and maintain the appropriate insurance coverage so you can feel secure and safe this summer. 

 

Seasonal Sun Safety 

As the days grow longer and warmer, you may find yourself soaking in the sunshine for a few more hours each day. This has many health benefits from improving your mood to increasing your vitamin D absorption, but there is a key caveat – you must protect your skin against sun damage. Here are four ways you can stay safe while enjoying the outdoors this summer. 

Apply Sunscreen (Even on Cloudy Days!)

While this may seem like the most obvious way to protect yourself from sun damage and skin cancer, you should ensure that you are using the appropriate SPF level and reapplying at the correct intervals. Sunscreen protects your skin from UV rays which cause burns and potentially skin cancer. Because UV rays are reflected off water particles, they can actually be even more harmful on cloudy or overcast days. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or more for your face and body, and reapply often on days when you are outdoors. Make sure the sunscreen is not expired or more than three years old, as it will no longer be effective.  

A recent FDA study also revealed that many of the common ingredients in chemical-based sunscreens (which absorb UV rays rather than repel them) are also absorbed into the bloodstream at levels above what the FDA deems “safe.” Look for products that use minerals such as zinc instead. These minerals sit atop the skin and reflect UV rays like a mirror on your body, but they are not absorbed into your body.  

Wear Protective Clothing

On days that you plan to be in the sun for a few hours or more, choose your attire carefully to ensure you are protected from UV rays. If your job requires you to be outside, try to wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants or skirts. For those days at the beach or pool, bring a t-shirt or cover-up to wear when you are not in the water. Dark clothing provides more protection from UV rays, and many manufacturers are now creating clothing with an SPF 30 rating or more.  

Cover Your Head

It is easy to overlook caring for our scalp on days spent outside, but your head actually needs to be covered as well! Look for a wide-brimmed hat in a woven fabric without holes. Straw hats are often popular in the summer due to their breathability, but a wide weave will still let UV rays through. Wide-brimmed hats are a great choice because you benefit from your entire head and shoulders being shaded. A baseball cap is another good option, but be sure to apply a mineral-based broad spectrum sunscreen to your neck and ears.  

Don’t Forget Sunglasses

Sunglasses do more than simply prevent you from squinting on a bright day – they also help protect your eyes from UV rays and reduce the chance of developing cataracts. Any pair purchased in the U.S., regardless of the price point, will most likely include UV-blocking lenses. Pairs with larger lenses, wrap-around sides, or wider arms will also block rays that can creep in from other angles. Similar to sunscreen, you should wear sunglasses even on overcast days.  

 While each of these practices is good to implement on its own, it is ideal to combine sunscreen, protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses for full-coverage UV protection. As you make plans to spend days outdoors, be sure you are caring for your skin. If needed, don’t be afraid to look for shade or bring a portable shade tent for extra protection. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, but it is also one of the most easily prevented if proper sun safety measures are followed. Reduce your risk today by following these steps this summer!