It’s That Time of Year to Start Preparing Your Home for Winter

October 22, 2015 at 8:26 AM | Posted in Home, Insurance Claims, Insurance Policy, Personal Insurance, Personal Property, Reminders, Safety Tips, Seasonal | Leave a comment
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Beautiful New England foliage is at its peak and the leaves are falling, along with the temperature. Last winter was brutal – who knows what Mother Nature has in store for us this year?? We came up with a list of things for you to consider before winter sets in:

  • Tune Up Time – Snow blowers and generators should be tuned up; check to make sure they’re running correctly.
  • Shovels & Sand– Stock an adequate supply of both.
  • Tree Maintenance – Trim branches away from power lines, your roof and gutters.
  • Heating System & Chimneys – Have these items professionally cleaned before the heating season starts.
  • Clean the Gutters – If your gutters are full of debris, water can back up against the house and damage your roof, siding, and wood trim, and also lead to leaks and ice dams.
  • Inspect Your Roof & Attic– Look for damaged, loose or missing shingles that may cause leaks, especially if you had icicles hanging off your roof last winter, or even worse, suffered from ice dams. Make sure you take preventative measures to fix any air leaks and ensure you have adequate insulation in your attic. Making sure these things are taken care of will prevent any snow melting and leaking into your attic, causing potential water damage to the inside of your house.
  • Divert Water Spouts– add extensions onto your downspouts to divert water away from your foundation to prevent ground water seepage into your basement.
  • Shut-Off Exterior Water Faucets – Drain water from pipes and hoses to prevent them from freezing and bursting.
  • Space Heaters – Inspect all heating appliances thoroughly before using them. Make sure you’re up-to-date on Space Heater safety.
  • Emergency Supplies – Replace and restock before/after power outages. Include batteries, flashlights, non-perishable food supplies, and blankets.

Checking off this list and being prepared for the winter months will help ensure you have a worry free and claim free season. Please feel free to call us with any questions about your coverage and how to best keep yourself protected at 888.852.8500.

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Take Preventive Measures Against Ice Dams Before Winter

September 24, 2015 at 11:41 AM | Posted in Home, Insurance Claims, Insurance Policy, Personal Insurance, Personal Property, Reminders, Safety Tips, Seasonal | Leave a comment
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With the colder weather approaching, now is the time to start thinking about getting your home ready for the winter; particularly your roof. A roof catches all of the precipitation winter has to offer, and if unprepared, winter can break through its protective barrier and damage your home, using ice dams as its main weapon. Ice dams are a home owner’s nightmare, but taking preventative measures, and educating yourself on how they occur, can help keep your roof secure.

Cycles of warm and cold air closest to the roof are the primary cause of ice dams. Keeping warm air out of your attic, and cold air circulating in, is critical to minimize the warming of the underside of your roof. As a homeowner, there are steps that you can take ahead of time to avoid water damage from ice dams.

  • Insulate the attic floor and put weather stripping around pull-down stairs
  • Increase ventilation in attics by installing eave, soffit, ridge and gable vents
  • Install water and ice shield on the entire roof
  • Install heating coils on the roof

Water damage to the contents in your home resulting from ice dams is not covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy unless you purchase “All Risk on Contents” coverage. If you do not have this type of coverage, or are unsure if you do and would like to discuss more about insuring your home against ice dams, call us at 1 (800) 850-9400.

Preventative Steps to Avoid Pool Collapse

September 10, 2015 at 9:00 AM | Posted in Home, Personal Insurance, Personal Property, Reminders, Safety Tips, Seasonal | Leave a comment
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Even though the warmer temperature outside is breaking records, the leaves are slowly turning color, and you will begin to consider closing your pool. Follow these helpful tips to insure you have a seamless opening next season.

  • Treat the pool with proper winterizing chemicals and make sure you have the proper levels before you cover the pool. Chlorine should be especially high.
  • Disconnect the pump and all hoses from the pool and drain. Make sure there are no leaks if you use a cover plate with gaskets.
  • Keep about 1-3 inches of water on top of the winter cover to prevent damage caused by wind
  • During the fall, make sure to remove excess water from the top of your pool cover with a small electric pool cover pump.
  • Damage can occur if snow and ice is allowed to weigh on the pool cover. It becomes stretched, and as most pool covers are kept on by a cord that runs around the pool, the cord also becomes too taught. Try your best to keep snow weight to a minimum to avoid collapse.
  • Water displacement during the winter months is a huge concern. Keep an eye on the water level, especially before heavy snow events. Look under the cover and see where the water level rests. If it’s down more than when you closed the pool, then you will need to do some snow removal. DO NOT ADD WATER TO A FROZEN POOL. Getting the snow off the top is the best thing you can do to save your pool.
  • Never Touch a Frozen Pool! Do not walk atop the ice. Use a blunt tipped roof rake to pull the snow off the top. When springtime comes and your pool water thaws, you will be all set knowing you removed all that weight.

Here is a great site you can refer to for more details: http://www.poolandspa.com/page107.htm

Pools fall under Coverage B – Other Structures under a Homeowner policy. Please call us at 888-850-9400 to discuss your coverage plan in case of a claim.

Back to School – Make Sure Your Kids Know Bus & Bus Stop Safety

August 20, 2015 at 10:11 AM | Posted in back to school, Reminders, Safety Tips, Seasonal | Leave a comment
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It’s time for sending the kids back to school again! If your child(ren) take the bus or walk to school, it is important you review some basic rules with them:

If Your Child Walks…

  • make sure to choose a safe route
  • Stay alert and watch for cars; you may see them, but they may not see you.
  • Wear bright-colored clothes or reflective gear.
  • Always look left, right, left and behind you and in front for any oncoming traffic before crossing the street
  • walk with an adult or develop a buddy system
  • stay away from the street, no pushing or shoving
  • Never talk to or hitch a ride from strangers

If Your Child Takes the Bus…

  • Behave while waiting for the bus stop
  • Wait until the bus fully stops and the door opens before proceeding towards the bus
  • Wait for the bus to fully stop before getting up from your seat
  • If you need to cross in front of the bus, make sure you are far enough from the bus that the driver can see you and signal you that it is OK to cross the street.

Keeping these tips in mind, and sharing them with your child(ren), can help to ensure you both have a safe and happy school year!

Empty Nesting

August 13, 2015 at 9:03 AM | Posted in Event Planning, Home, Insurance Policy, Reminders, Seasonal | Leave a comment
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This is the time of the year when kids of all ages go back to school. Whether the last child is going off to school, or just leaving the nest, new “empty-nesters” have big adjustments to make to their lifestyles once all of their children have left the home. If you’re an empty-nester, not only will you find yourself with more time on your hands, you will now have more time to focus on you. Here are some ways to stay busy if you are a new empty-nester:

  • Volunteer in your local community
  • Find a hobby
  • Get a job or start a business
  • See the world
  • Reacquaint yourself with your spouse

Before you send your child off to school, and for the sake of some piece-of-mind, be sure to call your agent and review your policies. You may need to adjust your auto policy, especially if your child is taking a vehicle away with them. Also, consider purchasing a renter policy for coverage of your child’s personal property while away at school.

Even though it seems like you have a lot of extra time on your hands now, it won’t be long before your days are filled to the brink again. Enjoy them!

Consider Making Every Day EARTH DAY!

April 22, 2015 at 11:39 AM | Posted in Reminders, Seasonal | Leave a comment
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There are so many small and easy choices we can all make to contribute in the preservation of our environment. Implementing good green habits at home may also save you money. Below is a list of ideas you can choose today:

  1. Wash your laundry using cold water instead of hot water
  2. Lower the temperature on your hot water heater
  3. Turn off the lights when you leave the room
  4. Shut down your computer completely at night
  5. Unplug chargers and appliances when not in use
  6. Fix leaky faucets
  7. Create less paper waste by paying your bills on-line
  8. Purchase reusable bags for all your shopping
  9. Collect rainwater and use it to water your garden
  10. Donate to and shop at thrift stores

Consider passing these habits on to the next generation and double the effort by teaching children green habits. Starting the habits today will become second nature with practice.

Make Every Day – Earth Day!

Daylight Savings Time!

March 4, 2015 at 9:00 AM | Posted in Home, Insurance Policy, Reminders, Safety Tips, Seasonal, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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This Sunday, March 8th at 2:00A.M., Daylight Savings Time will begin, so before you turn in – make sure that you “spring ahead” one hour on all of your clocks! Daylight Savings Time is a great opportunity to prepare for the coming of spring with a “seasonal safety check”. Besides adjusting your clocks, here is a suggested safety checklist of other items to check up on around the house at this time:

  1. Safety experts recommend replacing smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries twice a year; DST is a great way to remember to do this bi-annual update, as well as change any battery operated clocks. As you go around the house adjusting times, change out batteries as well!
  1. Fire extinguishers can become useless over time. Use DST as an opportunity to test your extinguisher and replace if needed. If you don’t own a fire extinguisher in your home, it’s recommended that you purchase one.
  1. Check your first-aid kit and replace any missing supplies.
  1. Check under sinks, toilets, in the basement, behind your washer, shower/tub, and other household plumbing to make sure you don’t have even a small leak.
  1. Review your family’s emergency plan, or create one for the first time. Set a plan in place for yourself or you and your family in case of emergency. Update phone numbers, addresses and contact information, and post an emergency information page near the phone. You can find information that you may need to know in case of disaster or emergency by visiting redcross.org, www.FEMA.org, and www.ready.gov.
  1. Review your homeowner’s insurance policy to ensure you have all the coverage you need to protect you, your family, and your belongings. To begin, it is important to know what your policies do and don’t cover. For a review of your homeowner’s insurance policy, call us at 888.850.9400

The Marsh & McLennan Agency wishes everyone a safe and happy transition into SPRING 2015!

Daylight Saving Time Reminder!

October 29, 2014 at 8:55 AM | Posted in Reminders, Seasonal | Leave a comment
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This Sunday, November 2nd at 2:00AM, Daylight Saving Time will end. Before you fall back into bed turn your clocks back one hour!  In addition to changing the clocks, be sure to adjust any timers on your lights and appliances.  With the advances in technology, many (but not all) new electronics may adjust the time automatically, but it’s always good to double-check.

This is also a good time to test and / or replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are working properly.

Enjoy the extra hour!

Preparing Your Home & Auto for the Changing Seasons

September 17, 2014 at 9:22 AM | Posted in Auto, Home, Reminders, Seasonal | Leave a comment
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The change of season brings in colder weather ~ like it or not. As warm summer days give way to the cooler air, we know the winter months aren’t far behind. While enjoying autumn’s changing weather, take a moment to pay full attention to the following items before the cold winter temperatures take hold:

Vehicles

  • Car Batteries – Cold weather drains a battery quickly make sure yours is charging at full capacity
  • Antifreeze – Make sure you have the levels required to handle low temperatures
  • Wipers and Windshield Washer Fluid – Check for proper working order and appropriate levels
  • Oil – Replace with winter grade oil
  • Tires – Make sure you have the adequate tread to handle the snow and ice
  • Ice Scrapers & Snow Brush – Stock your car with these essential snow and ice removal tools
  • Emergency Kit – Be sure to includes a shovel, blankets, flashlights, matches, food, and water

Home

  • Tune Up Time – Snow blowers and generators should be running correctly and currently tuned up
  • Shovels and Sand – Stock an adequate supply of both
  • Tree Maintenance – Trim branches away from power lines and your roof and gutters
  • Furnace & Chimneys – Have these items professionally cleaned before the heating season starts
  • Space Heaters – Inspect all heating appliances thoroughly before using them
  • Emergency Supplies – Replace and Restock before power outages. Include batteries, flashlights, non-perishable food supplies, and blankets
  • Medication – Always keep an emergency supply accessible to cover a few extra days in case you become stranded

Being prepared provides you the reassurance and comfort that will enable you to enjoy the changing seasons and the unexpected weather that is inevitable!

Back to School – Driving Safety Tips

August 20, 2014 at 9:54 AM | Posted in Reminders, Safety Tips | Leave a comment
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In the coming weeks children will be back in school and the school buses will be back on the roads, making the motorist’s commute seem longer. It is very important to follow proper procedures for sharing the road with school buses and when driving near school zones:

  • Be alert! Children may take more risks, without thinking, failing to look both ways when crossing a street.
  • It is illegal to pass a school bus with red flashing lights signaling when children are getting on or off the bus – and traffic must stop in both directions until this signal has been turned off.
  • Stop your car at least ten feet away from a school bus to allow sufficient space for children to enter and exit the bus.
  • Make sure you do not stop your vehicle blocking a cross walk. Be sure to leave plenty of room for pedestrians to safely access the cross walk without having to walk around your vehicle.
  • When warning flashers are blinking in a school zone, you must stop to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian in a cross walk or at an intersection with no marked cross walk.
  • Always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard if directed to do so.

The most frequent victims of auto vs. pedestrian collisions are the young, elderly, disabled, and intoxicated pedestrians. Children are often times the hardest pedestrians to see whether they are getting off a bus or crossing the road to go to school. Whenever you are behind the wheel — and especially when you are near a school bus or driving through a school zone — use extra care and attention, keeping yourself and everyone around you SAFE.

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