News, Articles, and Videos
Tuesday, January 24, 2023 - Stay Safe in Extreme Cold!
The American Red Cross offers these reminders to help you to stay safe when the temperatures drop to dangerous levels:
1. Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing your body heat.
2. Don't forget your pets; bring them indoors. If they can't come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.
3. Protect your pipes; run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent your pipes from freezing. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.
4. Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Your heating bill may be a little higher, but you could avoid a more costly repair job if your pipes freeze and burst.
5. If you are using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away; things such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs.
6. Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.
7. Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
8. If you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
9. Use generators correctly; never operate a generator inside the home, including in the basement or garage.
10. Don't hook a generator up to the home's wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator
Tuesday, January 10, 2023 - Help Prevent Common Household Fires
1) Faulty wiring and outlets are one of the top causes of house fires. Check all electrical cords throughout your home for signs of fraying and replace all frayed wires. Do not pinch or cover electrical cords with items such as rugs.
2) Carelessness in the kitchen can also lead to house fires. Never leave pots and pans unattended on a heated stovetop. Keep a fire extinguisher at hand and be sure family members know how to use it.
3) Clothes dryers are another common source of house fires. Clean out the dryer vent regularly and clean out the lint filter after each load.
Thursday, December 15, 2022 - What to Do When You Have an Accident
*Save time; be ready to use your smartphone's camera in order to gather information.
*Call 911 and wait for the police to arrive.
*If you are able to do so, move the involved vehicles out of traffic.
*Exchange Insurance ID Cards (take photos with your smartphone); or gather:
-Driver's License Numbers
-Year, Make, Model of Vehicles
-Insurance Companies & Policy Numbers
-Description of Damage to Vehicles
-Note Any Drivers / Passengers Treated for Injury
*Obtain a copy of the Accident Information Form from the attending police officer.
*If your vehicle has to be towed, remember that it is your choice of which service / shop to use.
*Report the claim to us right away. If our office is closed, and there are damages or injuries too severe to wait, report it directly to your company right away and our agency will follow-up with you.
(Helpful Hint: print this out and keep it in your car.)
Saturday, November 12, 2022 - Are You Covered for Damage Caused by Potholes?
From the Insurance Information Institute:
Does your auto insurance cover damage caused by potholes? The good news is, yes, pothole damage is usually covered-providing you have collision coverage. Collision coverage, an optional portion of a standard auto insurance policy, covers damage to a car resulting from a collision with an object (e.g., a pothole, lamp post or guard rail), another car or as the result of flipping over. Collision coverage is generally sold with a deductible. Your collision coverage will reimburse you for the costs of repairing your car, minus the deductible.
Contact us to review your coverage.
Saturday, October 1, 2022 - Tips for Fall Home Maintenance
Prepare Your Home For Cooler Days Ahead!
-Clean air conditioners before storing them away.
-Have your furnace cleaned and inspected by a qualified technician.
-Replace your furnace filter.
-Insulate water pipes that may lie in areas that are exposed to cold temperatures.
-Clean gutters and downspouts to keep debris and leaves from accumulating. Remember to keep safety in mind when using ladders!
Friday, September 2, 2022 - Back to School!
It's that time of year again; 'back-to-school' means it's time for motorists to refresh themselves on sharing the road safely with school buses. More children are hurt outside the school bus than inside as passengers. Most of the children who lose their lives in school bus-related crashes are pedestrians, 4 - 7 years old, who are hit by the school bus or by motorists illegally passing a stopped school bus.
*It is illegal to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.
*It is a law that traffic in both directions stop on undivided roadways when students are entering or exiting a school bus.
*NEVER pass a school bus on the right. It is illegal and could have tragic consequences.
*Be ALERT. Children are unpredictable. They may take risks, ignore hazards or fail to look both ways before crossing the street.
(Information provided by: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration & National Safety Council)
Tuesday, August 30, 2022 - You have enough to deal with, leave your Insurance to us!
Friday, July 22, 2022 - Big Move? Plan for Your Furry Friend, Too!
Moving is stressful, for you, AND for your pet!
As much as you can, stick to a normal schedule.
Also do a practice run if you're moving within driving distance; take a ride with doggie or kitty in the car (secured in a carrier or crate).
Be sure to pet proof your new home before settling in.
If you're moving far, plan well in advance to set up a new vet.
Wednesday, June 1, 2022 - Pool Safety is an Important Part of Summer Fun!
Summer means fun in the pool for many households. -Remember to always have a phone at hand by the pool. -Be sure to have a qualified, sober adult overseeing swim play at all times. -Keep pool toys and floats locked up when not under supervised use (avoid temptation for little ones).
Sunday, May 29, 2022 - College Bound
Do you have a College-Bound student? In all the transitions, preparations, orientations and travel plans, don't forget to check in with us to review your coverage and be sure that your insurance keeps pace with your family's changes! We can review your child's coverage while they're in a dorm or off-campus housing. Will they have a car at school? If they will be away at college without a car, there could be premium savings on your auto. Give us a call! And GOOD LUCK to your College student!
Sunday, May 1, 2022 - May is Motorcycle Safety Month
If you operate a motorcycle, or are thinking of getting a motorcycle, have you taken a Motorcycle Safety Course? Many of our insureds tell that the course helps them to be a better operator behind the wheel of their car, as well as on their bike. Visit the NYS Motorcycle Safety Program for more information.
Link: Click here to view entire article
Thursday, April 28, 2022 - Grilling Safety Tips
Many of us fire up the grill when the weather gets nice, especially during summer holidays and family gatherings. Some dangers can occur without taking proper precautions.
*Choose a safe location for your grill. Keep grills on a level surface, away from houses, garages, deck rails or other structures. Keep away from children, pets, and overhanging branches. Grills should not be used under a roof, awning or overhang.
*Grill outside only. Never use a grill in a garage, tent or other enclosed space.
*Use the right tools. When you grill, protect yourself. Use long handled tools and wear long oven mitts and a heavy apron.
Wednesday, April 20, 2022 - Are Wedding Bells in Your Future?
If you have received an Engagement Ring, get in touch with us so we can help determine how/where/by whom the ring should be insured.
Many Renters/Homeowners policies have limitations on jewelry; you will want to be sure that your valuable item is properly insured.
Tuesday, March 15, 2022 - Car Shopping?
If you're in the market for a new or 'new to you' car, whether you're shopping from a dealership or in a private sale, you will want to do a thorough test drive.
Test drive any vehicle that you're interested in, making sure that you put the car through the paces of various traffic patterns. Drive the car up and down hills, on highways, at higher speed limits, and in stop-and-go traffic.
Tuesday, March 1, 2022 - Planning a 'Get-Away'? Protect Your Home
When planning your getaway, there are many trip details to sort through and arrange. In all of your planning, don't forget to take steps to protect your home while you are away.
Before you leave:
-Tell a trusted neighbor when you are leaving and when you will return
-Leave your travel itinerary with a family member or a trusted friend
-Arrange for someone to pick up your mail and newspaper deliveries while you are away, or have your deliveries held until you return
-Set timers on a couple of lights so that it appears that someone is at home
-Unplug nonessential electrical appliances
-And, of course, LOCK doors and windows!
Thursday, January 13, 2022 - Gone But Not Forgotten
From jewelry to collectibles, you may have more valuables than you realize. And your home insurance policy may not provide the coverage you need.
Watch this short video to learn more:
Link: Click here to view entire article
Sunday, December 5, 2021 - Buying Your First Home? Know the Lingo!
While you probably know what 'down payment' means, you may not be aware of all that it can influence when it comes to buying your home.
The more that you can pay up front can actually give you a lower interest rate! And if you put down less than 20%, you would typically need to pay for PMI (private mortgage insurance).
So save those pennies and put yourself in a better position to purchase your new home.
Friday, October 1, 2021 - Are you a Renter? Make sure your 'Stuff' is covered!
Wednesday, September 1, 2021 - You're 'On the Move'! Make sure your coverage keeps up!
Wednesday, August 25, 2021 - Back to School Safety
Friday, November 6, 2020 - Are You a Renter? Are You in the Majority or Minority?
More than half of adults who rent their homes don't have renters insurance. This puts all of their belongings at risk. Just as a homeowner buys insurance to cover their belongings, renters should do the same thing. Renters insurance will cover their belongings (clothes, furniture, electronics, etc.) in case of theft, fire, bursting pipes or other unfortunate event. A renters policy can also pay for temporary housing in case of displacement.
Renters insurance also includes liability coverage; so if someone is injured and the renters policyholder is liable, the costs are covered under the renters policy.
Renters should not be fooled into thinking that their landlord's insurance protects them. A landlord would have a policy that covers the building, but this does nothing to protect a renters furnishings or valuables.
Renters coverage can be surprisingly affordable, and can offer discounts on an auto policies.
Tuesday, September 1, 2020 - Umbrellas Are For More Than Water!
Do you have an Umbrella (Personal Liability) Policy? Think you don't need one? Think again! Check this out from our partners at Trusted Choice.
Link: Click here to view entire article
Sunday, November 10, 2019 - Your Home
Saturday, July 20, 2019 - Collector Car Insurance, Are You Eligible?
1) Vintage or Antique Cars
-must be at least 20-25 years old
-must be as close to original condition as possible
2) Classic Cars
-must be at least 15-20 years old
-must be as close to original condition as possible
3) Modified Cars
-classic cars that have been altered from original condition
4) Exotic Cars
-less than 15 years old
-appreciate in value
Note that USAGE is also a major factor in the eligibility of your vehicle for a Collector Car policy.
(courtesy Trusted Choice)
Sunday, May 5, 2019 - Do You Have A Teen Driver?
What can you do as a parent? To increase your teen's safety:
There are several steps you can take to increase your teen's safety:
•Choose vehicles for safety, not image. Ensure that the car has airbags and antilock brakes.
•Provide new drivers with plenty of supervised driving practice, even after they have obtained a license.
•Mandate safety belt usage.
•Even if your state's graduated licensing law doesn't already mandate it, restrict the number of passengers allowed to ride with your teen driver. Crash rates increase sharply when a teen driver has passengers, particularly other teenagers.
•Enforce "no drinking and driving" rules.
•Emphasize that safe driving requires your teen's full attention. Distractions such as cell phone use and text messaging will greatly increase their risk of motor vehicle related injury.
•Place restrictions on nighttime driving and enforce the curfews set by the local towns.
•Enroll new drivers in a driving school to educate them about cars, driving conditions and driving techniques. This will prepare teenagers for the road, and it could reduce accidents.
•Discuss and reinforce responsible driving behavior with teenagers. Because teenagers are new drivers, they simply don't have the behind-the-wheel experience necessary to understand the dynamics associated with driving a motor vehicle. There's a vast difference between riding in the passenger seat and being the one behind the wheel. By teaching teenagers responsible driving behavior, you can help prevent accidents. We encourage you to discuss safe driving with your teenager, it could be one of the most important conversations you have.
(courtesy Travelers Insurance)
Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - Auto Liability Limits 101
Did you know...if you're found legally responsible for bills that are more than your insurance covers, you will have to pay the difference out of your own pocket?
Auto Liability Insurance pays for amounts the insured person owes as damages for bodily injuries and property damage caused to someone else due to an auto accident as well as the cost of hiring an attorney to provide legal defense.
Most states, including New York, require a minimal amount of liability coverage. It is tempting to purchase these lower limits to save premium dollars but it may not provide the protection you need.
Consider New York's minimums:
-1 accident of at least $25,000 to one person
-$50,000 for injuries to multiple people
-$10,000 for damage to other people's property
A limit of $25,000 per person can be spent pretty quickly if an injured person needs emergency surgery, an extended hospital stay or lengthy physical therapy.
A limit of $10,000 for damage to another person's property won't be enough to replace most cars on the road today.
Auto liability limits are typically available up to $500,000 for a relatively small increase in premium.
(courtesy Trusted Choice)
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - NYS DMV Suspends Licenses Due to Back Taxes
Nearly 9,000 New Yorkers have had their drivers licenses suspended for failing to pay their New York State taxes. Recent legislation has made way for these suspensions, affecting people who owe more than $10,000 in back taxes to New York State. Drivers have 60 days from the day that they receive the notice to make payment arrangements. If you are in this situation, be sure to follow up in order to avoid suspension. A suspended license can lead to higher premiums or cancellation of your insurance.