How to Create a Great BBQ Party

Umbrella Insurance Policy in Eugene, ORSummertime is one of the most popular seasons to BBQ with friends and family. Whether it’s grilling at your local park or in your backyard, gathering with friends and family on a sunny day always is a memorable event. What makes a BBQ party great? We give simple suggestions of how to create a party you and your guests will remember!

Create a Signature Drink 

  • Whether a great cocktail for the adults or fresh squeezed lemonade for kids, creating a signature drink for your BBQ party adds fun to the environment. Making one signature cocktail is much less work than playing bartender throughout the entire day. Think: sangria, mimosas, margaritas or Moscow mules. Many times you can make big pitchers to lessen the work load.

Prep in Pieces 

  • Instead of trying to do it all in one day, strategically plan to prep in pieces. Have one day where you just go to the grocery store. The next day, chop and prep your produce or make a side dish that can sit in the refrigerator overnight. On the day of your BBQ, setup your table or decorations.

Simple Entertainment 

  • One of the most simple forms of entertainment at a party is good music. Pick out a playlist or stream Pandora through your outdoor or bluetooth speaker. If you want to provide more entertainment, create an outdoor game competition like ladder golf, bocci ball, volleyball or corn hole. Squirt guns, a football/soccer ball or arts & crafts are easy to keep kids busy for hours.

Pick a Theme 

  • Theme parties can be even more memorable! Plus, you can match your food to your theme. If you don’t want to cook all of the food yourself and prefer a potluck style, give suggestions to your guests so they know exactly what to bring to fit your theme.

Buy Plastic Containers 

  • Obviously BBQs with plastic silverware and plates work great for easy cleanup but what about providing plastic take away containers for your guests? Especially if you have a lot of food leftover, plastic containers are a great way to share your food for another day. This also saves space in your own refrigerator! Ask your guests, “what food can I send you home with?”

While throwing a great BBQ party can make for great memories for you and your guests, being properly insured for any unexpected liabilities is also important. The good news is that umbrella insurance policies are relatively inexpensive. Contact an agent at our office for your personalized umbrella insurance quote today.

LeDoux Insurance Agency is committed to improving the quality of our community by insuring your life’s hard work. Setting a standard of excellence, our professional staff will help you understand your current and future risk exposures by building a lifelong relationship. Our clients can be confident in the proven stability and years of insurance experience. LeDoux Insurance Agency is dedicated to continuous improvement through the use of technology in order to provide the most comprehensive and cost effective solutions for your insurance needs. Whether you’re looking for auto, home, renters or business insurance, LeDoux Insurance can help. Visit us online anytime.

What Every Motorcycle Rider Should Know

Safety Tips for Beginners to Experienced Riders

Motorcycle Safety Tips in Eugene, ORThe key to staying safe riding your motorcycle is to be prepared and understand how to avoid risks. Motorcyclists are at a higher risk being on the road compared to a vehicle. Keep these things in mind to dramatically lower your risk for injury.

Refine Your Skills

If you’re new to riding, look to take a riding course from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation in your area. This class can teach you the basics. Or, if you’re an experienced rider, you can learn more advanced techniques.

Practice Makes Progress

After taking a Motorcycle Safety riding course, be sure to get out there and ride! Racking up miles will help you become a better rider. Set a short term goal of riding 1,000 miles before a specific date.

Wear the Right Clothing & Footwear

Especially if you’re new to riding, you need to wear the proper attire in case you go down. Look to buy leather or textile protective gear (jacket, pants, gloves). It helps when your clothing is breathable when you’re riding in the hot summer days.

Shoes with good traction are essential to staying safe on the road. A non-slip bottom boot or shoe is ideal. They should also be over-the-ankle to give extra protection.

Ride More Defensive Than You Drive a Car

Many drivers don’t see motorcycles or simply make judgement errors because of your size. Be sure to pay more attention to your surroundings when you’re riding. Pay attention to everything including street corners and intersections, but also parking lots, alleys and anywhere where a vehicle is trying to enter into moving traffic. Also, look far ahead when you’re riding. For example, say a car is pulled over or construction is coming up. Sure, you may see it, but does the car next to you? Lastly, avoid the blind spot of all cars. Ride up ahead of them or far enough before in case they need to suddenly switch lanes.

Besides being aware of your surroundings, it’s important to look for pot holes or bumps in the road. While a car can handle these without a problem, being on a motorcycle is a different story. If you can’t avoid them, slow down as much as you can.

Do a Quick Inspection

Before hopping on your bike, be sure to check a few areas. Check the chain, belt, and brakes. Inspect your tires for proper pressure. Also check to make sure your lights and directional signals are working properly.

While we’d love to sit in your sidecar to help you ride safely, we have work to do saving great people like you money on their motorcycle insurance. As an independent agent, we have access to some of the top insurance carriers in the country.

LeDoux Insurance Agency is committed to improving the quality of our community by insuring your life’s hard work. Setting a standard of excellence, our professional staff will help you understand your current and future risk exposures by building a lifelong relationship. Our clients can be confident in the proven stability and years of insurance experience. LeDoux Insurance Agency is dedicated to continuous improvement through the use of technology in order to provide the most comprehensive and cost effective solutions for your insurance needs. Whether you’re looking for auto, home, renters or business insurance, LeDoux Insurance can help. Visit us online anytime.

5 Ways to Increase the Longevity of Your Car

Do-It-Yourself Tips

How to Maintain Your Car in Eugene, ORPurchasing a car is a big investment. Some people keep cars for 10+ years, while others trade them in only after a few years of driving. Either way, taking pride in your vehicle and keeping it properly maintained is crucial for increasing the longevity of your car. Here are five key tips to keeping it maintained properly.

Wash Your Car Often

Some people are great at keeping their car clean, while others may let it go until someone writes “Wash Me!” on the window. Keeping your car clean is crucial for resale/trade in value because contaminants like dust, pollen, tree sap, bugs, bird droppings, salt and more damage your paint and finish.

Heat, rain and air pollution can also affect the longevity of your paint and finish.

When should you wash your car immediately? If newly splattered bugs, bird droppings, and tree sap appear on your car. If you have a long commute to work each week, consider washing it weekly since dirt, pollen, gravel or air pollutants can have an impact on your car’s paint.

When to wash your car 1-2x a month

If you have mild weather, if you don’t drive your car much where it wouldn’t be exposed to tree sap, bugs, and bird droppings or if your car stays in a closed garage most of the time.

Fill The Gas Tank Before It Gets Too Low

Gasoline can act as a coolant for your electric fuel-pump motor. When your gasoline level is very low, the pump sucks in air, which can create heat and cause the fuel pump to work harder. There is a chance the fuel-pump motor could wear prematurely or fail if you always drive your car when it’s near empty.

Don’t rely on your car telling you how many miles are empty. When your tank is ¼ full, fill it up.

Check The Air Filter

Look to replace your air filter once a year or every 20,000 miles. It’s fairly inexpensive and can actually benefit you by increasing your fuel efficiency, reduce emissions and prolong your engine life.

Check the Fluids

Fluids play an important role in your engine and car health. While most of us leave it to the professionals to check the different fluid levels, there are some you can do yourself on a monthly basis.

Check your windshield wiper fluid. Your windshield wiper fluid reservoir is typically a large, white plastic container with a windshield wiper image on it. You can always check your owner’s manual to make sure it’s correct. If the fluid level is less than the line shown or less than three quarters full, fill it up.

Check your oil. Once you’ve found your dipstick, pull it all the way out and wipe the end. Then, reinsert the dipstick. When you pull it out again, see where the oil level lines up on the line. It should be near the full line. If it’s not, add more oil.

Replace the Fuel Filter

Your fuel filter catches particles, debris and impurities in your gas tank before the fuel reaches the pump. This makes sure only clean gasoline reaches your engine. You want to avoid any debris clog up over time. Replacing your fuel filter may be different depending on the on the car and what the manufacturer recommends.  Check your owner’s manual to find out the timeline for your vehicle and leave this one to an expert unless you’re especially handy.

While we can’t help you maintain your vehicle, we can find you great rates on your home and auto insurance.

LeDoux Insurance Agency is committed to improving the quality of our community by insuring your life’s hard work. Setting a standard of excellence, our professional staff will help you understand your current and future risk exposures by building a lifelong relationship. Our clients can be confident in the proven stability and years of insurance experience. LeDoux Insurance Agency is dedicated to continuous improvement through the use of technology in order to provide the most comprehensive and cost effective solutions for your insurance needs. Whether you’re looking for auto, home, renters or business insurance, LeDoux Insurance can help. Visit us online anytime.

Firework Safety

Firework Safety in Eugene, ORMany of us celebrate Independence Day by getting together with family and friends or barbecuing hot dogs and hamburgers. Others like to celebrate with fireworks. While fireworks can be exciting and provide great entertainment, they also come with the risk of injuries.

Six Simple Safety Tips

  • If a firework didn’t ignite fully, don’t try to re-light it or pick it up. Leave it alone for 20 minutes then spray it with water and toss it.
  • Do not buy any fireworks that are packaged in brown paper. Most likely, they were made for professional displays and could be dangerous to the consumer.
  • Never leave kids unattended with fireworks, even the sparklers. Young children can get injured from the sparklers due to their extremely hot temperatures. Some are as hot as blow torches!
  • Check to make sure fireworks are legal in your area before you even buy them. If you are lighting them off in a restricted area, you will be liable for any injuries or damages.
  • Before throwing away used fireworks, spray them with plenty of water to ensure they won’t start a trash fire.
  • Stay clear of dry brush or tall grasses. These can ignite and spread fire quickly.

We all love to celebrate the 4th of July, but be sure to do so with care.

LeDoux Insurance Agency is committed to improving the quality of our community by insuring your life’s hard work. Setting a standard of excellence, our professional staff will help you understand your current and future risk exposures by building a lifelong relationship. Our clients can be confident in the proven stability and years of insurance experience. LeDoux Insurance Agency is dedicated to continuous improvement through the use of technology in order to provide the most comprehensive and cost effective solutions for your insurance needs. Whether you’re looking for auto, home, renters or business insurance, LeDoux Insurance can help. Visit us online anytime.

Seven Areas to Look Before Buying a Used Camper

Simple Tips to Prevent an Unwanted Repair

Tips Before Buying a Used Camper in Eugene, ORSpring is a great season to start looking for good used campers. Whether you’re looking at a dealership or from a person off of Craigslist, it’s important to know how to look for possible damage or wear.

Look for these trouble areas to save yourself on repairs:

  1. Delamination

RV’s are typically made of a laminated plywood and adhered with an adhesive. This adhesive over time can become deteriorated and cause the side of the RV to delaminate. This delamination can become worse over time and unfortunately, there is not an inexpensive fix. Reasons for delamination can be moisture, heat or simply age. To look for delamination, look down the side of the RV. You’re looking for a change in the plane – it looks almost like a large bubble. Take your hand and press on it. Does it flex or feel like there is air between the exterior fiberglass shell and the interior plywood?

  1. Tires

Tires are easy to inspect. What you’re looking for is small cracks in between the tread. As RVs sit, they develop flat spots and weather cracks. These cracks while largely cosmetic in nature, can over time deteriorate the tire. If the tires are worn or cracked, consider this into the cost of purchasing the RV.

  1. Rodent Damage

Rodents get into everything. Your RV or trailer is no different. In fact, they make ideal homes for rodents because most of the year, they’re sitting undisturbed. When looking for signs of rodents, pull up some seat cushions and look in storage spaces. You’re looking for rodent droppings. Mice and rats leave droppings everywhere. This can both be a health hazard and also damage your RVs interior as they nest.

  1. Water Damage

RV’s are incredibly susceptible to water damage. Truth is many manufacturers in the US don’t build the RVs with as much quality as they could. Water damage is usually pretty easy to spot or smell. If the RV smells musty or feels damp, this is a big indicator. Look for mineral stains or water stains on wood, around skylights and air conditioners on the roof. Also, go around the RV or trailer and push in on all of the sides all the way around. If water got into the walls, it can quickly rot the structural portions of the RV. Pushing on the sides will identify any areas that may be compromised. An RV should be stiff and hard, if it flexes, it is possible there is water damage. Check closely around windows and on the roof.

  1. Appliances

RV appliances are incredibly expensive to replace because of their compact size. If you’re considering a used RV, have the owner or dealer fire up the refrigerator prior to you getting there so you can feel it cool. RV refrigerators can run on electricity, battery or propane. They take about 2 hours to cool down, so before your arrival, ask them to turn it on. Also, while there, test any water heaters and/or other systems that may be important to you.

  1. Canvas

If your trailer or RV has any canvas, look it over closely for mold and staining. Also, if any windows are plastic on your RV, check all zippers and windows for cracks. New canvas tops for a pop-up camper can cost upwards of $3,000.

  1. Floor

The floor of an RV is one of the most common places an RV, camper or trailer is damaged. The floor is typically made up of simple plywood and in older RVs was not protected by anything. Additionally, floors that were protected underneath often time trapped water that entered from above causing the floors to rot. When inspecting a trailer for a rotted floor, get on your hands and knees and push all over the floor looking for flex. If the floor flexes or feels mushy, it is likely rotten and may require replacement. You can also take a small screwdriver or pick and lightly push from underneath (for exposed wood floors only) and see if the material is rotted.

Taking these steps can save you a lot on costly RV repair. We hope you enjoy your camping season. Many memories can be made while camping so we hope we’ve been successful in helping you be an expert when shopping for a used RV.

LeDoux Insurance Agency is committed to improving the quality of our community by insuring your life’s hard work. Setting a standard of excellence, our professional staff will help you understand your current and future risk exposures by building a lifelong relationship. Our clients can be confident in the proven stability and years of insurance experience. LeDoux Insurance Agency is dedicated to continuous improvement through the use of technology in order to provide the most comprehensive and cost effective solutions for your insurance needs. Whether you’re looking for auto, home, renters or business insurance, LeDoux Insurance can help. Visit us online anytime.

How to Inspect Your Roof for Damage

Six Ways to Prevent a Costly Repair

How to inspect your roof for damage in Eugene, ORWe all know that owning a home is an expensive investment. Unfortunately, you can’t just move in and let it set. Homes require constant maintenance to ensure you don’t get costly damage. We suggest doing a yearly home inspection.

Most people will never venture up onto their roof to see what is going on up there.  A homes roof takes a beating. In the summer, it bakes and the sealant can shrink and expand hundreds of times each year. Making sure your roofing is up to par will save you from costly damage such as mold, water damage, sagging rooflines, pests and much more.

During winter, rainwater can find its way through tiny cracks causing moisture in your attic or between the layers of roofing. Identifying these issues early on can save you thousands of dollars in repairs to the roof itself, drywall, mold or go into your walls creating all sorts of havoc.  It is critically important to understand that your home insurance does NOT cover water intrusion damages caused by deferred maintenance.

Things to look for on your roof inspection:

  1. Missing or damaged shingles
    1. Shingles can become damaged by wind and hail or even just years of use. When inspecting your shingles, make sure the granules are covering the shingle. Ensuring that your shingles are in proper working order will ensure water stays out of your home.
    2. Look for curling shingles, or if wood, cracked or decayed shingles.
  2. Flashing
    1. Your flashing is the metal pieces that go around skylights, butt up against walls and down the valleys on your roof.
    2. Make sure these pieces are whole and without damage such as being twisted upwards, or having holes in them from rust or other damages.
  3. Flat Roofs: Look for obvious patches, cracks, tears, or blisters.
  4. Gutters: Make sure your gutters are clear from debris, are not leaking and are butted up tight against the structure.
  5. Chimneys: Ensure your chimney cap is on tight and if it is brick, inspect for cracks.
  6. Ventilation: Make sure your ventilation caps are clear of obstruction.

Inspecting your roof is a quick and easy job. Take your time and be careful while up there as there are many trip hazards and climbing on and off of the roof onto a ladder can be tricky. But, if done safely, a roof inspection can identify problems that would normally not be covered by your homeowners insurance. LeDoux Insurance Agency is committed to improving the quality of our community by insuring your life’s hard work. Setting a standard of excellence, our professional staff will help you understand your current and future risk exposures by building a lifelong relationship. Our clients can be confident in the proven stability and years of insurance experience. LeDoux Insurance Agency is dedicated to continuous improvement through the use of technology in order to provide the most comprehensive and cost effective solutions for your insurance needs. Whether you’re looking for auto, home, renters or business insurance, LeDoux Insurance can help. Visit us online anytime.

Key Things to Consider to Lower Your Energy Bill

Small Changes Can Add Up to Big Savings

How to Lower Your Energy Bill in Eugene, OREveryone loves to save money especially if it’s done with a few easy steps. Electricity bills can add up quickly in your home, but by making a few small changes can lower those bills and save money for other things in your monthly budget.

Easy To Do Steps to Lower Your Electricity Bill

Home Heating

Heating your home uses the most energy, but can offer up the best ways to save money.

Keep your heating system tuned up and inspected. A poorly maintained heating system adds up overtime. Get your heating system inspected by a professional to ensure you’re not wasting energy and money.

Check the furnace filter. When a filter is dirty, they use more energy. Replace the filter when needed and follow the instructions in your furnace manual. Usually every couple of months.

Don’t block heat registers or return ducts.

Home Cooling

Invest in an air conditioner that has a high energy efficient rating (EER). A unit with an EER of 10 will save you twice as much as an EER of 5 would to operate.

Keep the filter clean. Again, the dirtier the filter, the harder it has to work.

Keep your temperature consistent. Instead of constantly changing your thermostat up and down, pick a temperature and stick to it.

Appliances

Insulate your water heater. Your water heater and refrigerator can be prime energy suckers. By insulating your water heater, you could have a great return on savings.

Hang dry more of your clothes. This can save on energy, plus keep your clothes in better condition.

Not using an appliance? Unplug it. Keeping an appliance plugged in uses energy, so if you’re not using an appliance or even a phone charger, unplug it.

Always do a full load. This goes for the dish washer and washing machine. Focus on doing full loads vs. partial loads.

Clean the drain weekly. Unclog the drain of food particles and clean it weekly to keep your dish washer running efficiently.

Keep the thermostat at a specific temperature. The refrigerator is best at 38 to 42 degrees, while the freezer is best at 0 to 5 degrees.

Other Tips

Turn off the lights. This is a simple one! If you’re not in a room, turn the lights off.

Change your light bulbs. More and more people are doing this, but energy efficient light bulbs will help you save money on your energy bill. Plus, they last much longer! Dimmer light switches can be a great addition to your home and use less energy while you enjoy your preference of lighting in a room.

Utilize power strips. Many computers, televisions and other electronics use power when they are off. Plug these devices into a power strip and when you’re not using them, simply hit the power switch button to turn them off.

While we can’t lower your energy bill for you, we can help you find ways to lower your insurance. LeDoux Insurance Agency is committed to improving the quality of our community by insuring your life’s hard work. Setting a standard of excellence, our professional staff will help you understand your current and future risk exposures by building a lifelong relationship. Our clients can be confident in the proven stability and years of insurance experience. LeDoux Insurance Agency is dedicated to continuous improvement through the use of technology in order to provide the most comprehensive and cost effective solutions for your insurance needs. Whether you’re looking for auto, home, renters or business insurance, LeDoux Insurance can help. Visit us online anytime.

Six Tips to Prepare and Maintain Your Vegetable Garden

Home Garden Checklist

How to prepare and maintain a home garden in Eugene, ORSpring season can bring so much joy to garden lovers. Growing your own garden saves money on groceries each week, plus can give you the personal satisfaction of growing your own food. It’s fun when you can involve your kids and teach them a few of your favorite tricks! Many people feel like their garden vegetables taste better. Whether you’re a seasoned pro at gardening or you’re just a beginner, use the tips below to ensure success.

Pick Your Favorite Things

First, decide what you want to plant. If you are new to gardening, start small. You can grow herbs and vegetables in pots.

Find a Location

If you want to plant a vegetable garden, find a location that gets at least six hours of sunlight each day. Also, keep the size of the mature plants in mind. The taller plants should be placed on the north or west side of the garden so they do not shade the other plants. As for watering your garden, it helps to keep it close to your water spigot so you aren’t stuck dragging it across your yard.

Crops need enough spacing between each other. When placing your vegetables in rows, allow at least 18 inches between them.

Give the Soil a Boost

First, test your soil. Soak it with a hose then wait a day to see what it looks like. The next day, grab a handful and see how the soil holds up. If water streams out, add two to three inches of organic matter (manure, compost, decayed leaves, dry grass clippings). When you pick up a handful and the soil does not form a ball, it’s too dry. Add organic matter. You know the soil is ideal when you grab it and it forms a ball and then slightly breaks apart when you drop it.

Water

For most vegetable plants, one inch of water per week is enough. It’s best to water in the morning to retain moisture. When you water, deliver water slowly so the roots absorb the moisture the soil stays hydrated.

Add Mulch

Mulch insulates your soil. It also helps retain moisture, decrease the amount of weeds and protects plants from diseases. Place about two to three inches on organic mulch around your plants.

Use Just Enough Fertilizer

By using organic compost (about 20% of the total makeup of the soil), you will keep it fertile enough so it thrives naturally. Using too much fertilizer can hinder results by decreasing the amount of harvest.

While we can’t tend to your vegetables, we can tend to all of your insurance needs. LeDoux Insurance Agency is committed to improving the quality of our community by insuring your life’s hard work. Setting a standard of excellence, our professional staff will help you understand your current and future risk exposures by building a lifelong relationship. Our clients can be confident in the proven stability and years of insurance experience. LeDoux Insurance Agency is dedicated to continuous improvement through the use of technology in order to provide the most comprehensive and cost effective solutions for your insurance needs. Whether you’re looking for auto, home, renters or business insurance, LeDoux Insurance can help. Visit us online anytime.

Ever wonder what celebrities insure? You might be surprised.

Unique Insurance Policies

Unique Insurance Policies in Eugene, ORWhen it comes to the insurance world, you can pretty much insure anything. There are companies that insure things for the obvious insurance reasons of liability, but also some that take risks on things like how much snow will fall in the mountains for a ski resort.

But, when it comes to making a living for celebrities, they are known for their talents! Celebrities have been known to insure their bodies for huge figures up to one billion dollars!

Some items insured by celebrities or other entities include:

  • Voice: Singers are known to insure their voice. After all, it is their voice that creates their income so insuring it ensures they will be able to make a living in the event something happens to their voice.
  • Body parts: Models insure everything from their legs and hands to their teeth and hair! Remember, insurance is about insuring your financial future.
  • Rewards: Insurance policies have been taken out by everyone from car dealerships to cover promotions gone wrong to rewards for providing proof that the Loch Ness monster exists!
  • Abduction – by aliens! You read correctly, people have taken out insurance policies in the event they’re abducted by aliens!
  • Whiskers: Some people have amazing beards! And, as slow as they grow, it would be wise of them to insure their impeccable whiskers.
  • Insuring against a lottery: Some employers take out insurance policies in the even that more than one of their employees wins the lottery and quit, they can cover their business until they find replacements.

We know, insurance is complicated! If you’re in the market for something more ordinary, call the insurance agents at Ledoux Insurance Agency. LeDoux Insurance Agency is committed to improving the quality of our community by insuring your life’s hard work. Setting a standard of excellence, our professional staff will help you understand your current and future risk exposures by building a lifelong relationship. Our clients can be confident in the proven stability and years of insurance experience. LeDoux Insurance Agency is dedicated to continuous improvement through the use of technology in order to provide the most comprehensive and cost effective solutions for your insurance needs. Whether you’re looking for auto, home, renters or business insurance, LeDoux Insurance can help. Visit us online anytime.

Bags of Love

Have you known a child in need because they are in transition from foster care, domestic violence, sexual abuse, or arrest of a parent? Bags of Love is a nonprofit organization, located at Pearl Buck Center, that help children in crisis, ages 0-12. All bags are handmade and come with a handmade quilt and filled with necessities for the age of the child.

Bags of Love started in 2008 and give around 65 bags a year to children in need. They hope to donate 85 bags this coming year. Many local organizations like, Women Space and Kids First, will call and put in requests for a Bag of Love. The bags are gender specific to give the appropriate items out to each child.

This last weekend a team from LeDoux Insurance Agency donated time and contents from a bag. The greatest need for Bags of Love is toiletries and items to put in the bags. During that time we made 24 Bags of Love and 10 more toiletry bags for future Bags of Love. We wiped their stock room out in two hours there; just a weekend can use up a majority of dispensable items.  These items were: soap/baby wash, lotion, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, combs, brushes, baby wipes, diaper cream, and hand sanitizer. While making these bags you know that a child will receive a bag filled with love.

Please visit Bags of Love to see how you can volunteer or donate.