3 Types of Insurance You Need

Ben Johnson of Bob Johnson Insurance in TN

Insurance is necessary, as well as confusing and sometimes complicated. Understanding the types of insurance available and the coverage that best serves your needs can be difficult to decipher. In some instance specific types of insurance are mandatory. To help simplify things here are three types of insurance you need.

Homeowner’s Insurance

Homeowner’s insurance protects property and structures on the property from damage and complete lose. This type of insurance also provides coverage for liability against accidents that happen on the property. Essentially, if you have a house fire and the home and personal items are destroyed, or if a tree limb falls on the house and damages the roof homeowner’s insurance will cover all or some of the cost. Each homeowner’s policy is different and only disasters listed in the policy are covered. In some instances if a guest at your home is injured your homeowner’s policy may cover some or all of their medical expenses.

Many mortgage lenders require a homeowner to carry homeowner’s insurance. It is often necessary to have a policy in place before a closing.

Auto Insurance

Most states require drivers to have auto insurance. This coverage will cover all or part of the cost to repair your car if you cause an accident. An auto insurance policy will also foot the bill for damage to other vehicles damaged in an accident you caused. Many auto insurance policies also provide roadside assistance packages for an additional fee.

Medical Insurance

Medical insurance can save a lot of money in terms of routine care and especially emergency care. Coverage is available through most employers. When coverage is not offered you can obtain coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Failure to secure medical insurance or a policy that does not provide Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) will result in a penalty. The fee is calculated based on the total number of months you go without coverage and it paid when you file your federal income taxes.

Ensure You Have Adequate Coverage

Insurance protects your interests in the event of a problem. Lots of different types of insurance exist and there are different coverage options for each type that can make zeroing in on what you need a challenge. Ensuring you have homeowner’s, auto and medical insurance is the basic types of coverage you need. If you have questions about the type of insurance coverage you need or you are interested in setting up a policy call us at 865-922-3111 (local) or 800-624-3339 (toll free) or click here to contact us.


Series: What Kinds of Insurance Do You Need?

Part 1:  3 Types of Insurance You Need
Part 2:  3 Types of Insurance You Might Need
Part 3: 3 Types of Insurance You Probably Don’t Need

Healthy Alternatives to Halloween Candy

Healthy Alternatives to Halloween Candy

Halloween is almost here! It is a great time of year to see all those cute kids show up on your doorstep in their fun costumes. You might already be thinking how you can provide a healthier alternative treat to sugary candy. Here are some frightfully good ideas for your little monsters.

Non-Food Ideas

Many people have gone away from handing out food. This way, you completely avoid all that sugar, and dodge the food allergy issues. It’s great to hand out treats that aren’t food. Here are some ideas:

  • Small toys or games
  • Stickers or temporary tattoos (Kids love Halloween-themed ones like pumpkins, ghosts or spiders
  • Halloween crazy straw they can use later at home
  • Cute little water bottle they can use at school or for sports
  • All kids love bubbles
  • Coloring books and crayons, pencils and erasers
  • You’d be surprised to know how many parents are handing out small canisters of Playdough which kids really get excited about.
  • You can be really creepy and hand out plastic bugs like spiders and cockroaches. Ewwww!
  • Glow sticks are a favorite with kids. These can usually be purchased in bulk, are affordable, and most of all, kids have a ball running around with them in the dark!

    Food Ideas

    Some parents are making their own snacks like healthy trail mixes or Chex mixes or dark chocolate recipes. Just be careful about nut allergies. You can make home-baked cookies, too, and even adjust the recipe to make it healthier! Popcorn balls or individual bags of popcorn are great too; just watch the little goblins to make sure they don’t choke on the popcorn!

    How about handing out pre-packaged individual granola bars, pretzels or cheese sticks? Kids can eat them on the run from house to house for a quick energy boost!


If Halloween just won’t be the same unless you hand out candy, try candy with organic sugar or even a sugar-free candy or gum. There are more and more organic candies on the market, from jelly beans to gummy bears, and everything in between. What Halloween would be complete without chocolate? Instead of sugar-laden candy bars, try to hand out small individual squares of healthy dark chocolate.

Try these alternatives this year. You’re sure to have lots of pleased ghosts and goblins wanting to come to your house every Halloween!

5 Tips to Keep Your Home Safe this Halloween

Home Safety Tips for Halloween

Halloween kicks off the holiday season with festive and “spooky” decorations, fun costumes and treats galore. But with fun and festivities come increased risks around your home that can ruin what is meant to be an enjoyable holiday.

The good news is, you can avoid the risks with these simple Halloween home safety tips.

Keep your porch well-lit and clutter free

If you plan to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters on Halloween, be sure the walkway to your porch is free from cords, ropes, and other clutter that can could easily trip a young ghost or goblin.

Make sure that you keep your walkway and porch well-lit so visitors can see and avoid tripping on flower pots and any decorations or debris.  Turning on your porch light and adding additional lights, if needed, can help you avoid any accidents.

Be careful with open flames

Festive decorations can be one of the most enjoyable things about Halloween, but can also pose risks.  Candles with an open flame can be a fire hazard in your home. Keep paper decorations far away from candles. If you put candles in your carved pumpkins, do not leave them unattended.

Keep pets away from trick-or-treaters

Your furry friends may want to join in the fun of greeting trick-or-treaters at the door, but it’s best to confine them away from young strangers in costumes.  While your pet may be very friendly, the excitement of having the doorbell ring frequently and having youngsters reaching out for candy, could stress your pet and cause them to jump or even bite.  Avoid this situation by keeping Fido away from the front door.

Keep your Decorations and Gags Safe

If you plan to dress up your yard with Halloween decorations, make sure they are not sharp, dangerous in any way, or meant to alarm anyone who visits your home.  Decorations are meant to be fun, so make sure they are just that!

Keep Halloween a fun and festive night for you and your neighbors!

By following a few, simple Halloween home safety tips, you can enjoy the spirit of the season while avoiding unnecessary risks and expense. Keep your home safe for your family and your trick-or-treaters!


4 Driving Tips for Halloween

Halloween Driving Safety

Halloween is always a festive day for both children and adults. Costumes, candy, trick-or-treaters; there’s plenty to enjoy when this “spooky” day arrives every October.

With so much celebration and kids on foot on Halloween, especially after dark, it’s important to be extra careful when you get behind the wheel.

Below are 5 Halloween driving safety tips to help you make sure Halloween is safe for you, your passengers, and the trick-or-treaters roaming the streets.

1. Don’t drive with a mask.

Masks can be a fun part of any costume. If you are dressing up and your costume requires a mask, make sure to keep it off until you arrive at your destination. Masks can obscure vision and cause unnecessary risk to you and others!

2. Use caution in neighborhoods

While you never want to speed through a residential neighborhood, you’ll want to be especially careful on Halloween.

Families with youngsters are out trick-or-treating, crossing streets and walking in driveways. Drive slower than normal to make sure you are keeping the little ghosts and goblins in your neighborhood safe.

3. Avoid using your phone while driving

Cell phones are a driving distraction that always should be avoided.  (See Part 2 of “10 Dangerous Practices to Avoid While Driving.”)  On Halloween, it’s even more important! With children out on the streets and more traffic, you’ll want to make sure you keep eyes on the road.

Put your cell phone in your glovebox while you drive to avoid the temptation to check it while driving.  To help with sounds coming from your glovebox that might make you curious, turn off your phone or if you have an iPhone with iOS11, put your phone in “driving mode” before putting it in the glovebox.

4. Use your turn signals

You should always use your turn signals, but be extra vigilant about using them on Halloween. With the increased foot traffic, it’s important to signal when turning to avoid an accident with other cars and pedestrians.

Keep Halloween a fun and festive night for you and your neighbors!

By following a few, simple Halloween driving safety tips, you can enjoy the spirit of the season while keeping yourself, and others, safe.

Halloween Safety

Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween can be an exciting time for children and adults. It can also potentially be dangerous. Following simple safety tips can keep you and your loved ones safe. Check out these tips to play it safe on Halloween, so you can enjoy the festivities and have a good time.

Plan Your Trick-or-Treating Route in Advance

Know where you plan to go before you leave your house. Planning your route out ahead of time will prevent you and your little ones from walking to far and realizing too late that you are a long way from home.

Increase Visibility

Add reflective tape to costumes or treat bags. Drivers expect to see trick-or-treaters out on Halloween, but make sure you and your children are visible. Carry a flashlight to light your way and make it easier for motorists to spot you.

Find the Right Costume

Choose a costume that is easy to move around in. If your child plans to wear their costume to school it should fit comfortably and in no way interfere with any normal daily activities. Costumes that limit mobility can make for a long and difficult evening of trick-or-treating. Make sure no part of the costume drags on the ground. This can make it easy for the child wearing the costume to trip, but it could also trip up people walking as part of the same group. Make sure shoes are comfortable and suitable for walking around your neighborhood. Masks can be fun to wear, but try to avoid masks altogether as they may make it difficult to see or even breath.

Be Mindful of Props

Some costumes require a prop to pull the entire look together. Make sure the prop is safe and easy to carry and there are no sharp edges. It needs to be light enough that your child can easily carry the prop along with their treat bag while out and about. If your child plans to wear their costume to school make sure they can carry their costume prop on the bus and during class.

Inspect Candy

When you return home from trick-or-treating inspect all of your child’s candy before they are allowed to eat anything. Any items that appear to not be in their original packaging, or if the wrapper is unsecure should be thrown away.

Have a Happy and Safe Halloween

Halloween can fun and exciting. Putting these Halloween tips to use can help keep you and your children safe and reduce the risk or harm or injury. Safe decisions around how you celebrate Halloween allow you to enjoy time spent with loved ones.