Tags: auto, Click It or Ticket, drivers, Memorial Day, protection, safety, Seat belt
Memorial Day is just around the corner, and many folks are heading out early to celebrate the long weekend. Be aware that National Click It or Ticket is in effect May 20 through June 2, and police officers everywhere will be cracking down on motorists who are not belted in. Play it safe and buckle up!
For more on the national Click It or Ticket mobilization, please visit http://www.nhtsa.gov/
Tags: auto, checklist, coverage limits, drivers, inspection sticker, insurance, insurance policy, motorcycle, registration, seasonal, student
The following checklist may help you avoid costly citations or out-of-pocket claims expenses:
Take a moment to check your insurance policies:
- College students returning home from school need to be properly listed on your auto policy before you hand over the car keys.
- When putting your motorcycles, boats, ATVs, or campers back into use, be certain the proper coverage is put in place. If you decreased your coverage in the fall, your policy limits will need to be increased.
- Renew seasonal registrations that have expired over the winter.
- Take a look at your state inspection stickers and make sure they are up to date.
Spring and summer will come and go before you know it. Don’t waste your time worrying whether or not your insurance is up to date. Call us and together we will review your seasonal insurance needs.
Tags: auto, Designated driver, drivers, protection, safety, Seat belt
The coming months will bring about all kinds of festive events, such as proms, graduations, birthdays, and weddings! There is so much to consider when setting out to any celebration – especially when new and young drivers are involved. Safety should be the most important priority:
- When hiring a limo service – obtain references to be certain the company is reputable.
- If using a personal vehicle, check for proper maintenance (full gas tank, appropriate tire pressure, working seat belts, tailgate and headlights, wipers, fluids, etc.).
- Limit the number of passengers in a vehicle to reduce distractions.
- Have the conversation to not drink and drive before handing over car keys.
- Assign a designated driver.
- Offer to drive your loved ones to and from parties.
- Double check that phones are charged, ring tones are audible, and speed dial numbers are programmed for emergencies.
- Establish check-in times before the celebrating begins.
Whatever the occasion, it is a special and exciting time for young adults. Encourage them to have fun and support them to do it safely.
Tags: Compost, Garden, home, Massachusetts, Mulch, Organic matter, Soil, Soil and Additives
As you start cleaning out your gardens and putting in a layer of mulch to prevent those weeds from growing, there are many types of mulch you could use. The most common is wood product mulch. It keeps the weeds away, your plants cool through the summer and warm through the spring and fall.
Unfortunately, wood product mulch is combustible. After a rash of fires in large buildings and millions of dollars in property damage, a new Massachusetts state regulation was put into place last fall. The regulation prohibits those who own a building from placing mulch less than 18 inches away from a structure’s wall. Residential buildings with less than six units are exempt.
Even when your property is exempt, it is still a good idea to follow the regulations to be sure you don’t put your home at risk. The following tips will help you safely mulch your property:
- Place mulch no less than 18 inches away from a building’s wall.
- Use stone or crushed rock for the first 18” as a barrier around your foundation.
- Space mulch piles 30 feet apart and keep them 25 feet away from a property line.
For more information on this regulation please visit: http://www.mass.gov/eopss/agencies/dfs/dfs2/osfm/pubed/fs-topics/fs-topics-a/mulch-fire-safety.html
Wednesday, April 24th is National Walk@Lunch Day!
Wear your comfortable shoes and join tens of thousands of walkers nationwide by going for a walk on your lunch break.
National Walk@Lunch Day was created to improve personal health and decrease the costs of healthcare for employers and employees and is designed to complement—not compete with—your busy lifestyle.
National Walk@Lunch Day is an extension of WalkingWorks®, a Blue Cross and Blue Shield program created to help consumers live healthier lives and reduce unnecessary medical costs due to physical inactivity.
Tags: drivers, motorcycle, protection, safety
- Invest in a quality helmet and riding gear.
- Don’t drive on the shoulder of the road. At this time of the year there is still an accumulation of sand from winter.
- Stand out so other drivers can see you – wearing bright clothing and always using your headlights will help make you more visible.
- Don’t tailgate or drive in the blind spots of other vehicles.
- Stick to the speed limit and use your signals.
- If you reduced your coverage while your bike was garaged for the winter, make sure it is increased for the season before you take your bike out. Pay particular attention to the medical payments coverage.
It is very easy not to see a motorcycle. When driving a vehicle other than a motorcycle, always look twice and save a life. Be extra careful at intersections – statistics show that most motorcycle accidents happen at intersections.
Motorcycles are Everywhere. Make sure you have the proper insurance coverage to be safe and have fun!
Tags: Barbecue, Barbecue grill, Cook, Fire extinguisher, Grill, grilling safety, Meat, open flame, safety
The weather isn’t the only thing warming up! People everywhere are getting ready to fire up their grills for the barbecue season. Whenever you have an open flame near crowds of people there is the potential for hazard. Here are six tips to help you grill safely:
- Make sure you keep a fire extinguisher close by.
- Place your grill in a location that is away from any structures that could ignite.
- Inspect your grill regularly for obstructions in the gas lines or for any leaks.
- When using a charcoal grill don’t add lighter fluid to coals that are already hot.
- To reduce the risk of bacteria, keep perishable foods cold until it is time to cook on the grill (Use your meat thermometer… Meats typically require 165 degrees to kill any bacteria.) Keeping your grill clean will avoid food contamination or grease buildup from flaring up and causing a fire.
- Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your grill.
Most importantly: Plan ahead and enjoy the meal! Protector Group wants everyone to have a safe and delicious grilling season.
Tags: April, Controlled burn, Flammability, home, personal property, protection, safety, Weather
Spring is here and everywhere you look folks are starting their yard work, cleaning up what remains in winter’s wake. That means piles of dead grass, leaves, and branches are ready for disposal. Burning is a good way to get rid of last year’s debris and open burning permits are being issued throughout the month of April.
If you plan to burn this year, here are some things to keep in mind:
- An open burning permit is required and can be obtained from your local fire department.
- You will need to call on a daily basis for each permit to determine if weather conditions allow for burning that day.
- All fires must be contained at a minimum of 75 feet away from buildings.
- Keep burning piles away from power lines.
- The hours to burn are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Keep fire extinguishment materials on hand; i.e., water, sand, shovels, and rakes.
- Watch the wind, it can change at any time. You should be prepared to extinguish your fire at a moment’s notice.
- Never use gasoline or other flammable liquids to start a fire.
- An adult must attend the fire at all times until it is completely extinguished.
- The month of April holds the highest risk for brush fires, once the snow melts and April’s strong winds expose the prior year’s debris.
- Open Burning season ends on May 1st.
Let the Spring cleaning begin! Click on the following link for a great article with additional information on open burning: www.mass.gov/dep/air/compliance/burning.
Remember: An ounce of prevention can protect you and your family from injury and property damage.
Tags: auto, Department of Motor Vehicles, Massachusetts, new car, out-of-state, Purchasing, Registry of Motor Vehicles, Sales tax, Tax, temporary plates, Vehicle
If you live in Massachusetts and you purchase a vehicle out-of-state, there are things you should be aware of before you sign on the dotted line. Knowing the following facts will help you put you behind the wheel with fewer delays:
Massachusetts does not recognize temporary plates.
- This means if you are getting new plates, you will need to get the vehicle registered in Massachusetts before driving it off the dealer’s lot from another state.
- When transferring plates from an old vehicle you are using as a trade, you can attach your current plate to the new vehicle. You’ll have 7 days to get the paperwork processed at the Massachusetts registry from the date you sign the title on the new car.
- In most cases, the paperwork can be sent overnight to your agency, and once the new vehicle is registered in Massachusetts, arrangements can be made for the plates to be delivered to you promptly.
Most states require the dealer to collect the sales tax.
- In Massachusetts, the Registry of Motor Vehicles collects the sales tax at the time you register the vehicle. This may require you to pay sales tax in the state you purchase the vehicle and again in Massachusetts, then you may apply for a rebate from the state you purchased the vehicle in.
- Before you buy, check with the dealer in the state you are purchasing to see if they require the sales tax payment be made to them.
You will be required to get a Safety Inspection within 7 days of registering a vehicle in Massachusetts.
For the most part, the paperwork required to complete a sales transaction outside Massachusetts is the same paperwork that would be required if you purchased a vehicle here. Out-of-state vehicle purchases usually take a little longer than in-state purchases simply due to the mailing turn-around time. Depending on your particular situation, the transaction could take up to one week or more before you are able to legally drive your new car.
If you are thinking about purchasing a vehicle outside of Massachusetts, call Protector Group at 888-850-9400 and we can work out the details ahead of time.
Tags: contents, endorsement, home, homeowner, protection, snow melting, sump pump, water, water damage, water seepage
March 20th is officially the first day of spring, bringing warmer temperatures, melting snow, and spring showers. All that melting snow and rain has to go somewhere, and there are steps you can take to make sure it is not in your basement.
- Check your sump pump to make sure it is working properly and the hoses do not have leaks in them
- Make sure your battery backup or generator is ready to support your sump pump in the event of a power outage.
- Clear any snow mounds away from your foundations especially around your basement windows or entrance.
- Make sure your gutters are clear and downspouts are pointed away from your home.
Remember, seepage of groundwater is excluded under the homeowner policy. If you have a sump pump, we suggest that you add the sump pump overflow endorsement, which would give you limited coverage should your sump pump suddenly malfunction and cause the basement to flood. Most companies now require that you have battery or generator backup for the sump pump in order for the coverage to apply.
If you have any questions about your homeowner coverage call Protector Group Insurance at 888-850-9400.