Tornado Safety

It’s never a good thing when my Mom calls and says she is heading for the basement. With the recent warm weather being slammed by a cold front blast, conditions have been ripe for tornado activity in parts of Kentucky. Such was the case last night.

Having worked for the University of Kentucky Weather Center during my collegiate days, I am abit addicted to storms. I even built our new house so I could watch the storms roar up our mountain river valley. When everybody else is headed for cover, I am out on the porch with binoculars revelling in the turmoil. Probably not too smart….but I’ve been a storm junkie since I was a little kid.

What’s the difference between a tornado watch and tornado warning?

So for my prudent readers, who wisely do not take unnecessary risks during storms, here’s the skinny. A tornado watch means all the weather geeks are hovering around their Doppler’s WATCHING for tornadoes. Conditions are right for tornadoes; but none have been spotted. A tornado WARNING means the weather gurus have seen a tornado and you had best get under cover. Move it!

What to do in case of a Tornado?

Here’s what the government says to do in case of tornado:   Tornado Safety.  

NOAA has great instructions for all kinds of situations you may find yourself in.

What the page doesn’t cover is having flashlights handy, a couple of blankets, and a battery or solar powered radio on hand. Electric is sure to go out. Blankets can be thrown over your body to help protect yourself from flying debris. And of course a radio can let you know when danger has passed.

Charlie Pinson Insurance is a Kentucky insurance agency serving all of Kentucky. With over a decade of experience, Charlie Pinson Insurance, offers a variety of Kentucky insurance products.

Kentucky Motorcycle Insurance Tips

Rev it Up! Get ready for bike season in five simple steps

There’s nothing like cruising down the open road on your motorcycle – the wind in your hair and a few bugs in your teeth.

Before you hit the highways and byways this season, make sure your insurance policy is up to speed so that you and your bike are protected.
Here are a few tips from the experts at Progressive and  Charlie Pinson Insurance:

  1. Make sure your insurance policy is still in force. Some companies have a winter layaway period when some coverages are restricted. Check with your insurance company to see if you have any type of limited coverage.
  2. Update your policy. Let your insurance company know about any changes like additional riders, a new address or customized parts. A quick call to your independent agent can secure coverage that meets your needs.
  3. Cover customized parts. Parts such as chrome plating, a new paint job, saddlebags or special rims usually increase the value of your bike. If you’ve added custom parts or equipment, make sure they’re protected.
  4. If you don’t need it, drop it. If you own an older bike, check its value. Don’t pay for coverage that you don’t need. Consider dropping collision coverage if the premium equals 10 percent of the bike’s market value. Understand, however, that you won’t be covered if your bike overturns or collides with another object.
  5. Shop around. Prices can vary from company to company, so shop around. Another tip: If you purchase comprehensive and collision coverage, consider raising your deductibles. This can lower the cost of your physical damage coverage.

For Kentucky Motorcyle insurance check out Kentucky independent insurance agent  Charlie Pinson Insurance.

Driving on Icy Kentucky Roads

No Slip-Sliding Away: How To Stay On The Road

(NAPS)—One thing is easy to foretell: Unpredictable weather can cause reduced visibility and hazardous driving conditions that make it challenging for even the most experienced drivers. Fortunately, there are ways to protect yourself, your passengers and your car.

The following tips can help you stay safe when faced with treacherous roads:

  • Assemble a winter emergency kit. At a minimum, it should contain a blanket, boots, shovel, nonperishable food and a flashlight.
  • Plan ahead for stopping and turning. “Feather” the brakes when approaching a stop, especially if the road is slick. If turning, accelerate very gently through the turn.
  • Don’t make any sudden moves. Keep it slow and steady to maintain control.
  • Be cautious when braking in icy conditions. Coast over ice. Brake after reaching bare pavement. And never slam on the brakes. Brake gently in a pulsing fashion.
  • Steer into a skid. Remember: Locked wheels lead. If your rear tires are in a skid and “locked,” the rear of your car will start sliding to lead the car down the road. If this happens, steer into the skid, not away, and remember, don’t brake during a skid.

If you follow these tips but still find yourself in a crash, just remember that what you do after an accident can make a big difference in keeping everyone safe and in helping you and your insurance company work through a claim.

Remember to follow these tips from the experts at  Charlie Pinson Insurance  and The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies if you get into an accident:

  • Stay calm. Stay at the scene but move off the roadway. Warn oncoming traffic by activating your hazard warning lights and/or setting flares.
  • Call the police.
  • Contact your insurance company to file a claim. The earlier your insurance company knows about the accident, the earlier it can get to work to resolve it.
  • Do not admit fault. Only discuss the accident with the police and your claims representative.
  • Exchange information with the other driver(s). And remember to get contact information for any witnesses.

Charlie Pinson Insurance  is a Kentucky independent insurance agency serving all of the Bluegrass State including Louisville, Lexington, and Pikeville.

Kerosene Heat Precautions

Beware of the Dangers from Kerosene Heater Use

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 6, 2009) – The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) is advising Kentuckians of the possible dangers from kerosene heater use as residents seek alternative heat sources to stay warm following last week’s devastating winter ice storm.

“The improper use of kerosene heaters can become deadly if homeowners do not follow manufacturer’s instructions for this alternative heat source,” said William Hacker, M.D., DPH commissioner. “It is important to take precautionary safety measures such as allowing adequate ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and avoid fire hazards.”

Officials from DPH advise residents to follow precautionary guidelines from the National Center for Environmental Health for safe kerosene heater use:

  • Be sure to properly follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully for your specific heater model, making sure that the wick is set at the proper level as instructed by the manufacturer and is clean.
  • Ensure your kerosene heater is only operated in a well-vented area. Leave a door open to the rest of the house or keep an outside window open to ensure an adequate flow of fresh air.
  • Kerosene heaters require 1-K grade kerosene fuel. When colored or cloudy kerosene is burned, it will give off an odor, smoke and cause increased indoor pollution levels because of the fuel’s higher sulfur content. Non-1-K grade kerosene can also gum up the wick.
  • Always store kerosene in a container intended for kerosene only, not in a gasoline can or a container that has contained gasoline. This helps to avoid using contaminated fuel or the wrong fuel by mistake. Kerosene containers are usually blue and gasoline containers are red.
  • Never refuel the heater inside the home. Fill the tank outdoors, away from combustible materials and only after the heater has been turned off and allowed to cool. Do not fill the fuel tank above the “full” mark. This area is used to allow the fuel to expand without causing leakage when the heater is operated. Never attempt to move a lighted kerosene heater. Even a carrying handle could cause burns.
  • To avoid the risk of fire, even in normal operation you should place kerosene heaters several feet away from all furniture, curtains, paper, clothes, bedding and other combustible materials.
  • Infants, small children and pets should be kept away from heaters to avoid serious burns.

Seek immediate medical attention if you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning and are experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Early symptoms include headache, nausea, vomiting and fatigue. Carbon monoxide poisoning is treatable.

If you are experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, contact the Poison Control hotline at (800) 222-1222.

Charlie Pinson Insurance is a Kentucky independent insurance agency offering Kentucky Auto Insurance Quotes online.  Kentucky Car insurance is just one of the many Kentucky insurance products offered through Charlie Pinson Insurance KY.

NAIFA features Kentucky Insurance Agent Charlie Pinson

“We just do what we do,” laughs Charlie Pinson when asked about a recent national magazine article his quotes appeared in.

NAIFA, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, “Advisor Today” features the Kentucky insurance agent’s philosophy in the January 2009 edition. The copyrighted article titled, “Marketing Secrets from Top Producers” reflects Pinson’s penchant for local marketing strategies.

“We market Charlie Pinson Insurance across Kentucky, but our home-base is Pikeville. In our hometown, people know we know insurance. But, what we want them to know is we are part of their community.”

 To read the NAIFA article click here.

The January article focuses on creative ways to capture business. Pinson recounts experiences he has had by doing a ballroom dance demonstration, as well as his television sportscasting pursuits.

“Do what you like, and be enthusiastic about it. I love to dance, and I love Kentucky sports. If I can combine that with my love of the insurance business, why not?”

“Too many insurance agents take themselves way too seriously,” Pinson opines. “It’s not all about a suit and tie.

The insurance business is about people connecting. Knowledge is power, but being genuinely interested in people, their challenges, and their community is what really makes a insurance career worthwhile. To make an appointment with Charlie Pinson, feel free to call the Pikeville KY office at 606.433.0031. The coffee is on. No suit required.

Pinson a Finalist in Entrepreneurship Awards

Congratulations to Charlie Pinson, Insurance Agent

The annual 2008 Excellence in Entrepereneurship Awards Luncheon for Southeastern Kentucky was recently held at the Center for Rural Development in Somerset, Ky. A joint program of Eastern Kentucky College of Business and Technology, the Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation, and The Center for Rural Development the program honors a variety of business entities and budding entrepreureurs. The competition Awards include Not for Profit, Start-up business, For Profit Small Business with less than 25 employees, and For Profit Small Business with more than 25 employess.

Pikeville Business man, Charlie Pinson, was recognized as a top finalists in the Not for Profit less than 25 employee category. Other Pike Countians recognized included Stephanie Richards with Artists Collaborative Theatre for a Non-Profit entity, and Shannon Wright with Wright Concrete and Construction in For-Profit business with over 25 employees. Emily Coleman, a high school student from Elkorn City, was on the first place team for the 2008 Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute.

Pinson comments,”Pike County is a great place to do business. Like most small businesses, we have had our challenges, but we keep plugging along. I cannot imagine anywhere else I would want to be.”

Charlie Pinson is a  Kentucky Independent Insurance agent,  licensed throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Charlie is partner in three insurance agencies, and is known as “The Voice of Pikeville College Bears.” 

Kentucky Teenagers and Safe Cars

If your teenager has just gotten a driver’s license, it may be hard to imagine handing over the keys to your brand new car, but that may be the smartest vehicle to choose.

The first years teenagers spend as drivers are very risky. In fact, teen drivers have the highest death rates of any age group. In 1997 alone, more than 5,700 teenagers died in motor vehicle crashes, and many more were left severely and permanently injured by crashes.

While getting a driver’s license is an exciting rite-of-passage for teens, it can be enough to make a parent frantic. However, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) say there is something worried parents can do to protect their teens—choose a safe vehicle.

Avoid vehicles that encourage reckless driving. Teen drivers not only lack experience, but may also lack maturity. As a result, speeding and reckless driving are common.

Sports cars and other vehicles with high performance features, such as turbocharging, are likely to encourage speeding. Choosing a vehicle with a more sedate image will reduce the chances your teen will be in a speed-related crash.

Don’t let your teen drive an unstable vehicle. Sport utility vehicles, especially the smaller ones, are inherently less stable than cars because of their higher centers of gravity. Abrupt steering maneuvers—the kind that can occur when teens are fooling around or over-correcting a driver error—can cause rollovers where a more stable car would, at worst, skid or spin out.

Pick a vehicle that offers good crash protection. Teenagers should drive vehicles that offer state-of-the-art protection in case they do crash.

Don’t let your teen drive a small vehicle.Small vehicles offer much less protection in crashes than larger ones. However, this doesn’t mean you should put your child in the largest vehicle you can find. Many mid- and full-size cars offer more than adequate crash protection. Check out the safety ratings for mid-size and larger cars.

Avoid older vehicles. Most of today’s cars are better designed for crash protection than cars of six to ten years ago. For example, a newer, mid-size car with airbags would be a better choice than an older, larger car without airbags. Before you make a final choice on the car your teenager will drive, consult the U.S. Department of Transportation ( or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (

© Insurance Information Institute, Inc. – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED -

A Kentucky Insurance agency,  Charlie Pinson Insurance,  offers Kentucky insurance from a number of carriers including Progressive Insurance, AIG, Hartford, Travelers, Farmers, and Safeco Insurance.  Get Kentucky Auto Insurance Quotes

Understanding Your Auto Policy

What is covered by a basic auto policy?

Your auto policy may include six coverages. Each coverage is priced separately.

  1. Bodily Injury Liability: This coverage applies to injuries that you, the designated driver or policyholder, cause to someone else. You and family members listed on the policy are also covered when driving someone else’s car with their permission. It’s very important to have enough liability insurance, because if you are involved in a serious accident, you may be sued for a large sum of money. Definitely consider buying more than the state-required minimum to protect assets such as your home and savings.
  2. Medical Payments or Personal Injury Protection (PIP): This coverage pays for the treatment of injuries to the driver and passengers of the policyholder’s car. At its broadest, PIP can cover medical payments, lost wages and the cost of replacing services normally performed by someone injured in an auto accident. It may also cover funeral costs.
  3. Property Damage Liability: This coverage pays for damage you (or someone driving the car with your permission) may cause to someone else’s property. Usually, this means damage to someone else’s car, but it also includes damage to lamp posts, telephone poles, fences, buildings or other structures your car hit.
  4. Collision: This coverage pays for damage to your car resulting from a collision with another car, object or as a result of flipping over. It also covers damage caused by potholes. Collision coverage is generally sold with a deductible of $250 to $1,000—the higher your deductible, the lower your premium. Even if you are at fault for the accident, your collision coverage will reimburse you for the costs of repairing your car, minus the deductible. If you’re not at fault, your insurance company may try to recover the amount they paid you from the other driver’s insurance company. If they are successful, you’ll also be reimbursed for the deductible.
  5. Comprehensive: This coverage reimburses you for loss due to theft or damage caused by something other than a collision with another car or object, such as fire, falling objects, missiles, explosion, earthquake, windstorm, hail, flood, vandalism, riot, or contact with animals such as birds or deer.
    • Comprehensive insurance is usually sold with a $100 to $300 deductible, though you may want to opt for a higher deductible as a way of lowering your premium.
    • Comprehensive insurance will also reimburse you if your windshield is cracked or shattered. Some companies offer glass coverage with or without a deductible.
    • States do not require that you purchase collision or comprehensive coverage, but if you have a car loan, your lender may insist you carry it until your loan is paid off.
  6. Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage: This coverage will reimburse you, a member of your family, or a designated driver if one of you is hit by an uninsured or hit-and-run driver.

Underinsured motorist coverage comes into play when an at-fault driver has insufficient insurance to pay for your total loss. This coverage will also protect you if you are hit as a pedestrian.

© Insurance Information Institute, Inc. – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED -

A Kentucky Independent Insurance Agent, Charlie Pinson offers Kentucky Car Insurance and Kentucky Auto Insurance throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky including Lexington Car Insurance, Louisville Car Insurance, and  Pikeville Car Insurance.