Is anyone else astonished by how quickly the year has flown? I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that it is already fall, Halloween is only a few days away and pretty soon we’ll be in full-on Thanksgiving and Christmas mode!

We all want our little ghosts and goblins to have fun on Halloween, but we also want them to be safe. Keep these things in mind as your little ones are out trick-or-treating this year.

  • Make sure costumes are the appropriate length/size. This helps prevent trips and falls.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather. We all know Iowa weather is unpredictable, make sure you can add layers under costumes in the case of cold weather.
  • Use face paint whenever possible and avoid masks. Masks can obstruct a child’s vision.
  • Walk on sidewalks whenever possible.
  • Put away electronic devices and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Watch for cars that are turning or backing up.
  • Never dart out into the street from between parked cars.

If you aren’t trick-or-treating this year but will be out and driving keep these tips in the back of your mind.

  • Drive slowly, especially in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited and aren’t always paying attention, make sure you are.
  • Take extra time to look for children in intersections, on medians and curbs.
  • Enter and exit driveways slowly and carefully.
  • You should never text and drive, but especially on Halloween eliminate the distractions.
  • Be alert especially during trick-or-treat times. (Check local papers so you are aware of trick-or-treat times).
  • Be patient. Remember how much fun this night was when you were a kid. A little inconvenience is a very small price to pay for the enjoyment and safety of the children.

Have a happy and safe Halloween from all of us here at Ludovissy and Associates!


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Are You Ready For Some Tailgating?

There are so many amazing things about fall, the crisp air, the changing leaves, pumpkin everything (if you are one that likes all things pumpkin) and of course….football! Football season is in full swing and whether you are an avid football fan or tag along just for the good food and company we want everyone to stay safe and have fun while cheering on their favorite team this season. Here are some safety tips that will make your tailgate a success.

    • Plan your meals. Planning is key to any successful party, you don’t want to be at your tailgate and suddenly realize you forgot buns for your burgers. Make a shopping list and pick up your groceries prior to the tailgate date, this will ensure you have everything you need and you will even have time to prep some of the food to make the tailgate more enjoyable for all.
    • Plan your grill time. Cook times vary with different varieties of meat. Also, make sure to cook meat to the recommended temperatures, nothing will end a tailgate faster than having your guests become sick from undercooked meat.
    • Have a designated driver. Have a driver designated before any of the festivities begin so that everyone is ensured a safe way home.
    • Have a meeting spot. It is so easy to get separated from the group at a large sporting event. Having a designated spot picked out to meet, text each other and make phone calls can make the process finding each other a lot easier and safer.
    • Drink water. Spending the day outside in the sun can make you dehydrated. Keep yourself hydrated and enjoying the party by alternating water with your alcoholic drinks
    • Check the weather. Make sure you are aware of the weather forecast and plan accordingly. Don’t forget the sunscreen
    • Clean up after yourselves. Leave your spot in better shape than it was when you got there. Pick up your trash and place it in the appropriate containers. Recycle what you can. Put hot coals in an appropriate container away from the trash, hot coals and trash don’t mix!

We wish you all a fun and safe football season!



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Back to School

It is hard to believe that Dubuque students are starting back to school today. It seems like summer just got into full swing and here we find ourselves already at the beginning of a new school year.

Whether your child is off to their first day of Kindergarten or about to begin their last year of college, a new school year brings many changes for both children and parents alike. If you are like those of us with school age children here at Ludovissy and Associates, a new school year also seems to brings about lots of germs! We all want to keep our kids healthy (and in school, not home sick) so here are some great tips to remember to keep your household healthy this school year!

  • Always cover coughs and sneezes. Teach kids to cough or sneeze into the crook of their arm if they don’t have a tissue. This way the germs aren’t on their hands and spread to surfaces and other children.
  • Don’t share water bottles or food. Anything that goes in your mouth should not be shared with your friends.
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer, especially before eating.
  • Play! Exercise is one of the best ways to keep both your body and mind healthy.
  • Eat healthy foods. With busy schedules sometimes this is hard to do, try to plan ahead as much as possible to avoid “junk” food.
  • Sleep. Nothing prepares a child more to succeed in school than getting a good night’s rest.

It is important not to forget about our children’s mental health, in talking about a new school year. We live in a world where bullying is running rampant. Increased usage of social media means bullying isn’t confined to the school playground.

  • Take bullying seriously
  • Teach your kids to treat others with respect and kindness
  • Learn about your child’s social life, get to know their friends
  • Set a good example
  • Have open and honest discussions with your children about bullying

Contrary to the old saying words CAN hurt.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use the change the world” – Nelson Mandela

Here is to a great and healthy school year!



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Summer isn’t over yet!

Summer has flown by in the blink of an eye! Here we are, at the end of July already with the first day of school right around the corner. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I sure didn’t accomplish everything I wanted to this summer. But, you’re in luck…there is still some time to squeeze in some summer fun before the chaos of the school year begins! We hope this list can help you out if you’re stumped on what to do before time runs out on summer.

  • The Dubuque County Fair is happening right NOW (July 26-July 31)
  • Drive in movie at 61 Drive-In
  • Have a picnic
  • Explore a new park
  • Go for a hike
  • Have a water balloon fight
  • Have a BBQ with friends and/or family
  • Have a bonfire and make s’mores
  • Attend an outdoor concert
  • Go camping (even if it is in your backyard or living room)

So much to do right here in our own backyard! We hope you make the most of your carefree summer days!



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Summer is HERE!

Summer is in full swing and we are loving every minute of it! With the Fourth of July right around the corner and lots of picnics/BBQs in your future, we thought we’d gather up some tips for having a safe and fun backyard party!

Grill Safety

  • Make sure your grill is on a level surface
  • Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your home and/or garage
  • Never grill in an enclosed space
  • Clear any fat and buildup from grills and grease tray
  • Use long handled tools and dry oven mitts
  • Gas Grill-make sure both grill and propane tank are off
  • Charcoal Grill-douse coals with water and store in metal contain for disposal

Food Safety

  •  Grill to minimum safe temperatures. Use this guide for reference
  • Prevent cross contamination when serving food
  • Cold foods should be stored at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below
  • Food should never sit out for more than 2 hours (1 hour if the outdoor temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit)

Party Safety

  • Make sure fire pits are away from your home/deck/trees with low hanging branches
  • Apply sunscreen 15 minutes before heading outdoors and reapply every 2 hours (sooner if you are sweating or swimming)
  • Make sure no one swims alone
  • Drink responsibly
  • Have a designated driver

Summer is a great time to kick back and enjoy making lasting memories with friends and family. Have fun and stay safe out there!



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Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility

shutterstock_101035744-200x300With the weather finally turning warmer, the number of motorcycles on the road has begun to climb. Those numbers will only continue to grow throughout the next few months; and since it is Motorcycle Safety Month, we decided to help you out with a few safety tips to keep everyone safe.

For the Motorcyclist:

  • Wear protective gear, including helmets. Helmets greatly reduce the risk of death in the event of an accident.
  • Use turn signals. Other drivers can’t read your mind, let them know where you’re going.
  • Ride sober.
  • Follow at a safe distance. Give yourself enough time to get slowed down/stopped in the event of sudden braking from the vehicles ahead of you.
  • Obey the speed limit.
  • Share the road.

For the Automobile Driver:

  • Watch for motorcycles. Be aware of your surroundings, look twice before changing lanes or turning, motorcycles are a bit harder to spot than another automobile.
  • Stay Focused. No distracted driving.
  • Use turn Signals. Let other drivers know your intentions with enough time so they can adjust accordingly.
  • Drive sober.
  • Follow at a safe distance. Ensure that you have enough time to slow down/get stopped.
  • Share the road.

Do you see how similar these lists are? Whether you drive a motorcycle or an automobile the end goal is the same, get where you’re going safely. We each need to do our part to keep our roads safe for all.

Get out and enjoy this beautiful weather and stay safe!


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Do You Really Need Rental Car Insurance?

This beautiful spring weather has us thinking about all things vacation. Where to go, what to do, whether or not to rent a vehicle. All of that discussion leads into a question our agents frequently get asked “Do I need to purchase additional insurance on a car I’m renting?” To help give you some more information before making your decisions here are a couple of things to think about in regards to rental vehicle insurance.

While your personal auto coverage carries over to the rental car, there are some items in the fine print of the rental contract that you should pay attention to. Most rental contracts have what is called “loss of use” this means that if the car becomes damaged and un-drivable while you are renting it the rental company can charge you for every day the car cannot be rented out. This can add up in a big way very quickly.

While you are on vacation you most likely have personal belongings in the vehicle; IPad, laptop, camera, etc. What happens if the car gets broken into and your belongings are stolen? If you have homeowners or renters insurance you can file a claim and have these things replaced; however, it will be subject to the deductible (likely at least $1,000). Not to mention, you’ll have a homeowner’s claim following you.

Ultimately the final decision is up to you, just be sure to educate yourself, ask questions, and weigh out the pros and cons of taking out the rental company’s insurance. The extra insurance may just be worth it for the peace of mind so that you can truly enjoy your vacation.

For additional information check out this article How to Know Which Insurance to Take on a Rental Car.

**Auto and homeowner insurance vary from person to person and you should check with your agent to discuss your own personal coverages.


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