5/7/2013 4:55 AM

Alcohol and Prom Night

Prom is a rite of passage, signaling the end of a high school career and the beginning of a new way of life. Sadly, prom also represents one of the most dangerous nights on the road. Many young people endanger themselves and others because of drinking and driving. Teenage car accidents peak during prom season and underage drinking is one of the main causes. Peer pressure and a sense of camaraderie can overshadow any teen’s common sense. Nobody fully prepare a teen for the moment of choice when they have to decide between just saying no and getting in a car with a drunk driver.Parents can minimize the risks that go with prom night but talking to their children about alcohol and the consequences. Some schools offer after prom parties where teens participate in a designated area and are treated to activities other than drinking. Many students are hesitant to participate in these parties, perhaps they are not cool enough or they want to be with their friends somewhere else. Parents and educators can work ...

Read More

4/29/2013 12:40 AM

Financial Protection for Couples

Before getting married, there are a number of adjustments couples have to make. They may need financial protection and there are choices that to need to be made as to which spouse has the best existing insurance coverage. Auto: Single people tend to pay higher rates for auto insurance. When two people get married, they may qualify for a discount. It’s a good idea to review existing coverage and see which company offers the best combination of services. Home: When buying a home, the insured value of the house will be less than the market value. The insured value needs to be sufficient to repair or replace the home if there is a major disaster. Be sure that the coverage keeps pace with additions or major improvements that increase the value of your home. Set the deductable on the policy as high as you can. The higher the deductable, the less the coverage will cost..it can also mean fewer claims. Health: Most people get health insurance through their employer. If both spouses work, this can mean two hea ...

Read More

4/17/2013 12:17 AM

Boat Pre-Launch Maintenance

It’s spring time! For millions of boaters that means it’s time to take their boats out of storage and put them in the water. Annual preparations and cleaning are necessary to help ensure the boats safety and also to prevent problems that could keep them off the water. Before your launch, here are some main areas of maintenance: Fuel System: Inspect the fuel system for damage or leaks. Signs of damage to fuel hoses include softness, brittleness or cracking. Replace components when necessary and make sure all fittings are secure. Don’t forget to check if the engine, exhaust and ventilation systems are working properly. Electrical System: Inspect all electrical connections and make sure they are fit properly and clean since corrosion is a sign that the connection may not be safe. Charge you battery and have it tested to ensure that it can hold a charge. Propellers and Hulls: Inspect propellers for any dings, cracks or distortion. Make sure it is secured and replace bearings when needed. Dama ...

Read More

4/9/2013 11:49 PM

Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Despite the risks, many people still engage in accident causing driving behaviors that are otherwise preventable. Here are some sombering statistics as to why some may call distractive driving a national epidemic:


~Approximately 86% of drivers say they ate while driving

~37% of drivers have sent or received text messages while driving

~36% adult drivers said they have read maps while driving

~Younger drivers were more likely to be distracted drivers, while men were most likely to drive sleepy, drunk, or reading a map

~Most people are aware that distracted driving is dangerous, but do it anyway.

As part of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the National Safety Councis has issued a website where you can pledge to drive distraction free (from cell use) not only for the month of April but for the rest of the year. Pledge to be distraction free for your safety, the safety of your family and your community.

4/8/2013 4:55 AM

Why You Need an Agent

Many customers feel the only difference between one insurance company or agent and another is price.  While price is important, the experience and knowledge of an agent fighting for your rights can be the difference in getting a major claim paid or not.  Here is a story about one of our clients.  The names have been changed to protect the innocent. One of our clients had a devastating Super Storm Sandy claim.  The insured was a building owner located on the South Shore of Long Island.  In the building was a restaurant that opened for business the day before the storm.  The building suffered major damaged to the roof. In the beginning, we got him a $10,000 advance.  Then the process grinded to a halt.  The insurance company were dragging their feet and basically put up one obstacle after another.  This was an old roof and the insurance company was claiming that there was damage already there prior to the storm.  No amount of engineer reports or co ...

Read More

2/19/2013 10:18 PM

The Hidden Threat of Mold

Four months after Superstorm Sandy, mold is hidden in flooded buildings, underneath floors, under foundations, and door and window frames.  Sometimes it forms in plain sight and it can make homeowners sick. Mold can grow in homes that never completely dried out.  The owners may have waited to make repairs or couldn’t occupy the home because of safety concerns and vacant homes remain unheated. Even after saturated belongings are thrown out and walls are scrubbed with cleaners and bleach, mold can still be found.   Mold can cause respiratory problems in people who are allergic or have asthma, and infections in those with chronic lung conditions.  If mold is treated safely, there should be minimal health complications.  Doing it yourself, however, could make things worse.  Chemicals used to clean mold can also cause respiratory issues. Remember you should always read your policy and ask if there is coverage for mold claims. It’s important to know that some insuran ...

Read More

2/5/2013 11:25 PM

Winter Activities and Insurance

Millions of people participate in winter activities every year.  It’s a good idea to review all of your health, accident, and life insurance you have in place. Winter Sports  Before taking a run down a slope, be sure to check out your homeowners policy and health insurance so you know what to do in case of an accident.  Ski equipment should be covered up to a specific limit by a homeowner or renters policy.  If you are an avid snowmobiler and are worried about personal or property liability, you will need a separate snowmobile insurance policy since this isn’t covered through homeowners or auto. Travel If you are planning a family or group trip, you may be able to get a policy that includes coverage for children under 18 if they are traveling with a parent.  Most policies provide coverage when you are traveling within your region but some limit the extent of coverage outside your home area or for high-risk activities.  Group travel rates are sometimes available ...

Read More

1/29/2013 11:41 PM

How to Avoid Buying a Flooded Vehicle

Flood-damaged vehicles have been one of the issues for used car buyers to avoid.  These damaged vehicles may be cleaned, dried out, and offered for sale in another area. Buyers must know what to avoid when it comes to flood-damaged vehicles.  Flood -damaged vehicles are not ideal for purchase for several reasons.  The engine, fuel, transmission, brakes, and other vital control systems may be damaged.  Although the interior of the vehicle may be dry on the surface, moisture deep down in the seats can cause rotting. Potential damaged to flooded vehicles can show up in: ~The vehicle’s electronics, including engine controls and brake signals. ~Dashboards. ~Airbags and sensors. ~Interior carpet, upholstery and roof. ~Components that are rusted and corroded, including breaks and suspension systems. A car or truck doesn’t need to be obviously affected by water damage to have problems.  Flooding can take months or years to have an effect, leaving buyers with a hefty price ...

Read More

1/20/2013 10:54 PM

Creating a Home Inventory

Would you be able to remember all of your possessions if they were destroyed?  Having a home inventory will help you get you insurance claims settled faster, verify your losses, and help you purchase the correct amount of insurance.  Start by making a list of your possessions, describing each item and where you bought it.  Attach to your list sales receipts, purchase contracts, and appraisals. Don’t get discouraged. If you have been living in the same house for many years, the task can be daunting.  Start with recent purchases and remember what you can about old possessions. If you are just setting up a household, starting an inventory list can be easier.     Items like jewelry, art, and collectibles may need to be insured separately and it’s important your agent knows about these items before a loss. Take pictures of rooms and individual items to have a visual record.  Note on the back of the photos what the item is and where you bought it.  If y ...

Read More

1/14/2013 3:41 AM

Winter-Proofing Your Home

Winter related disasters cause over one billion dollars in damage annually. Many losses can be prevented if you take a few steps to protect your home. Melting snow can cause serious damage to property and winter storms are the third largest cause of catastrophic losses. Water damage and freezing account for the most frequent claims, followed by wind and hail. An important part of planning for winter is to review your insurance coverage.  Make sure you have enough to rebuild home and replace lost or damaged items.  If you don’t have flood insurance, please contact us about how you can obtain this important protection. Here are some tips on how to prepare your home: Outside Your Home ~Clean out gutters.  This can prevent drainage problems caused by ice that can cause water to seep into the house and drip from the ceiling and walls.  Installing gutter guards can also help prevent debris from entering the gutter and interfering with water flow. ~Trim trees and remove dead branches, w ...

Read More