Personal Property Inventory

November 19, 2015 at 3:06 PM | Posted in Event Planning, Home, Insurance Claims, Insurance Policy, Personal Insurance, Personal Property, Safety Tips, Specialty Policy | Leave a comment
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Why is taking inventory of your Personal Property so important?

If your home was destroyed, or a theft occurred, could you compile a complete list of your personal property from memory?  Most people couldn’t; WHY? Maybe because they’d be too devastated by the loss itself to be able to write down all that was destroyed. Or maybe because after a lot of years, it’s hard to keep track of what one owns! Compiling a complete list is something you’d be asked to do at the time of filing your claim.

We know that putting a dollar value on possessions you’ve accumulated over many years is difficult and that only you can decide the extent of your insurance needs. However, if the unthinkable happened, would you have enough coverage for everything?  Your Personal Property Inventory serves two important functions:

  • as a valuable record of your possessions
  • as a way for you to judge the adequacy of your present coverage – do you have enough?

The inventory list should be stored somewhere safe, preferably away from your home. Our suggestion would be to take a video of each room in your home and store that video off premises – a relative’s home, safety deposit box, etc. Then if the worst happened, it would be available at the time you report your loss.

 

Benefits of a Home Inventory

Obtaining a comprehensive home inventory:

  • Ensures you have the necessary amount of insurance coverage.
  • Identifies items—such as jewelry, coins, antiques, artwork, and silverware—that have limited coverage on a home or tenant policy and helps to determine if additional insurance is needed for those items.

The decision can then be made to purchase additional coverage (known as a “rider”) so the items will be insured for their full value. This then…

  • Allows an evaluation on whether to insure your property and contents at “replacement cost” or “actual cash value.” Replacement cost is the amount it takes to replace or repair your home and possessions with materials of similar quality. Actual cash value is a lower amount that consists of replacement cost less depreciation.
  • Verifies the condition of your assets before moving or placing them in storage in case of loss or damage.

So break out your camera and say action!cinematographer marker

Don’t be caught “underinsured” and/or unable to remember what you own. Call us today to discuss your homeowners or renters insurance policy, and find out what you need to ensure you’re protected in case of loss at our toll free number: 888-850-9400.

 

Road Hazards

October 8, 2015 at 12:30 PM | Posted in Auto, Insurance Claims, Insurance Policy, Personal Insurance, Safety Tips | Leave a comment
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In the auto insurance industry, a “road hazard” can be defined as anything on the road that poses a threat to a driver, placing drivers at risk of being in an accident. Some common examples can be road repair in anticipation of winter, potholes, uneven/unpaved roads, or a foreign object in the road, causing drivers to swerve and possibly lead to an accident.

The frequency of road hazard accidents is at a high, and it’s not just due to a higher population of pot holes; objects being transported on the road risk coming loose if they are not secured properly, in turn posing a risk to drivers and others around them. Now that autumn is upon us, leaves will soon be littering the ground and everyone will be doing fall lawn clean-up, driving to waste yards to dispose of leaves and branches. If yard debris is not tied down with ropes, tarps, or nets, a portion of the load can fall off the vehicle during transit, creating a risk for accidents as drivers may need to swerve to avoid the falling yard debris, or debris left behind in the road.

With the knowledge of road hazards in mind while traveling, please use caution out on the road. Practice road safety. Keep your speed within the speed limit and maintain a safe distance behind any vehicle to avoid upcoming potholes or debris in the road; there’s a chance the driver ahead of you will swerve to avoid such road hazards.

Be sure you know the specifics of what your auto policy covers in the event of an accident. Any damage to your tire or wheel as a result of a pothole is not covered by MA auto policy. In the event of a collision due to a pothole, or coming in contact with anything on the road, auto policies can provide coverage, but you may be subject to a deductible. If you have questions about your auto policy, or would like to discuss your policy coverage in the event of an accident caused by a road hazard, our client representatives are here to give detailed and helpful direction. Call us toll free at 888 – 850 – 9400.

Yard Sale and Online Buyer/Sellers Beware!

August 27, 2015 at 9:14 AM | Posted in Event Planning, Home, Personal Property, Safety Tips | Leave a comment
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Tips to keep you, and your items, safe while bargaining…

Online selling

  • Get to know your seller/buyer by talking on the phone to get an impression of the person.
  • Be careful meeting in person.
    • Pick a place to meet;
    • Ask for the best approximate area where they live/work;
    • Never have someone come to your house.
    • Ask questions about the area so you feel comfortable dealing with the seller/buyer.
  • Keep an eye out for red flags of deals that are too good to be true.
    • A seller may not disclose the condition of the sale item.
    • Things may appear different in pictures than in true life.
    • Try to avoid out of state sales
    • If the buyer offers your asking price right of the bat.
    • If the buyer and shipping address are different and you have to jump through hoops to ship the item.
  • Make sure you don’t make a payment before you have the item in hand. Use a secure payment portal rather than wiring money to someone and to ensure there is no repercussion to get a refund if need be. Best way to accept payment is cashier’s check or using a service such as PayPal
  • Don’t give out personal contact information. Craigslist makes this easier since your identity is anonymous and they can forward to your personal email, so if anyone is really interested they can email you. DO NOT give out your phone number or address.
  • Ensure that the item gets to the buyer. Deliveries may be falsely accepted and items undelivered to the recipient. The best way is to track the shipment, requiring a signature at time of delivery. If the item is of high value, it may be worth it to purchase shipping insurance.

Yard sales

  • Recalls on products – confirm on Consumer Product Safety Commission website cpsc.gov
  • Keep in mind that some people may be professional dealers that will buy with the intent to resell to make a profit. This buyer may be aggressive and they normally show up early and pitch hard bargains.
  • Be careful accepting large bills since they may be counterfeit. You may want to consider getting a counterfeit detecting pen. A buyer will attempt to buy a cheap item to get change for the fake money. You can also avoid this situation by simply stating “Sorry, I don’t have that much change.”

With summer coming to an end, people will be cleaning out homes and garages, so sales will be on the rise and you might be able to get a deal!  Keeping these tips in mind will help you stay safe and make you a smart buyer/seller!

Bicycle Safety First!

August 5, 2015 at 3:06 PM | Posted in Laws, Safety Tips | Leave a comment
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Riding a bicycle recreationally can be fun; however, being safe should be the priority when you’re out and about on the road.

Here are some safety tips to follow when riding:

  • Always ride with the direction of traffic. It’s Safer. It’s Courteous. It’s the Law.
  • Wear a helmet – It’s the only thing that can protect your head in case of an accident
  • Avoid busy streets –Pick a route that has less traffic and slower traveling vehicles
  • Lights – See and Be Seen. Make sure your bicycle is equipped with reflectors and easily stands out at night-time with lights (head light/rear-lights)
  • Signal your turns – Indicate which direction you intend to go so others around you know you’re about to turn.
  • Avoid using music players or mobile phones – Make sure you stay alert and know what’s happening around you; any distractions will increase your risk.
  • When appropriate, use the whole lane of traffic- Sometimes in certain situations it’s safer to use the whole lane than to travel on the side. Cars that are in intersections can see you better up ahead than on the side where they might overlook you.
  • Wear bright, reflective clothing – Get your bright reflective clothing on so people can see you

Now get out and enjoy the outdoors! Just keep these safety tips in mind and stay safe.

Here is a helpful link for more information:

http://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/?1dmy&urile=wcm:path:/dmv_content_en/dmv/pubs/brochures/fast_facts/ffdl37

 

Enjoy Your Vacation, and Prevent Burglaries While Away

July 15, 2015 at 11:24 AM | Posted in Event Planning, Home, Personal Property, Safety Tips, Seasonal | Leave a comment
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To help ensure the safety of your home while away on vacation, experts recommend the following:

  1. Give the impression that someone is always home.
    • Ask that mail and newspapers be held and/or forwarded temporarily.
    • Set timers for lamps in various parts of the house.
    • Leave shades, curtains, and blinds in their usual position.

 

  1. Have a trusted person watch the home.
    • Notify a trusted neighbor, friend or family member about an upcoming vacation, and ask that person to stop in from time to time.

 

  1. Make the home burglar resistant.
    • Remove spare keys hidden outside.
    • Lock windows and doors.
    • Secure sliding doors with wooden blocks in the tracks.

 

  1. Be careful what you share on social media about your upcoming vacation, or while away on vacation.

 

Now enjoy your time off knowing your home is secure!

 

Caught Outdoors in a Lightning Storm? Travelers Shares Some Safety Tips

June 24, 2015 at 11:28 AM | Posted in Safety Tips, Seasonal | Leave a comment
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Travelers Insurance shared some advice about lightning safety we thought was important to share as well, especially with this month being the peak of “thunderstorm season”!

Thunderstorms often strike with little warning, particularly during the warmer months when they are most likely to occur—and when we are most likely to be enjoying outdoor activities.

Know where to run to – the 3 safer spots in a lightning storm
When you hear thunder, you should immediately seek:

  1. Indoor shelter
    Get inside the nearest available vehicle or building— keeping all windows shut—and stay there for at least 30 minutes after the storm passes before returning outside. Avoid picnic tents, pavilions or other open, outdoor structures.
  2. Low ground
    Avoid hilltops and open areas. Lightning always seeks the highest ground, so if indoor shelter is not available, crouching down in the nearest, lowest, unexposed point is a better bet.
  3. Distance yourself from tall objects
    Never stand near pointy, towering structures — particularly metal ones — which can act as lightning rods. Avoid lone trees, flagpoles, telephone poles, fences and antennas.

Being outside during a thunderstorm is never safe. Lightning strikes accompanying these storms pose a serious threat to people and property. Always listen to weather reports when you have an outdoor activity planned, and reschedule if thunderstorms are in the forecast.

Despite your best efforts, you may still find yourself caught outside as an unexpected thunderstorm approaches. In cases when a safe, indoor shelter is absolutely not available, here are some scenario-specific tips that may help lessen your chance of being struck by lightning.

Person on the golf courseON THE GOLF COURSE
If you are nowhere near the clubhouse, move away from hilltops, open areas and water. Stay as far away from tall trees and metal conductors (like wires and fences) as possible. Move away from your golf cart and clubs. Try to maintain at least 20 feet of distance between you and other golfers on the course.

Man crouching

Boat on the waterON A BOAT
Most lightning-related injuries and deaths on boats occur on vessels without a cabin. Larger boats with cabins are relatively safe, particularly when a lightning protection system is properly installed. If you cannot return to shore before the storm hits, drop anchor and get as low as possible or retreat to a cabin if your boat has one. Remember to stay off the radio unless there is an emergency, too. It is also a good idea to keep away from metallic surfaces, which may conduct electricity.

Person walking on a trailON THE TRAIL
Always avoid lone trees and other tall objects. Stay away from rocky outcrops, ledges, water and wet items like ropes and towels, too. If you are deep in the forest, retreat underneath a group of small trees, preferably surrounded by taller ones. In more open areas, retreat to and crouch down in the closest dry, low area.

Man crouching

BeachAT THE BEACH
If you are swimming, get out of the water immediately. If your car is parked within walking distance, return to it immediately. Do NOT stand under picnic or other open-sided shelters. Never stand under the lifeguard chair or near metal objects (fences, poles).

Car

Do not be lulled into a false sense of security if the storm is several miles away. In general, a significant lightning threat extends outward from the base of a thunderstorm cloud about 6 to 10 miles.

Summer Safety Tips

May 27, 2015 at 2:08 PM | Posted in Safety Tips, Seasonal | Leave a comment
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We’d like to share John Tessier’s, Central Insurance Companies blog on summer safety tips.

Marsh & McLennan Agency
hopes everyone enjoys a very happy
SUMMERTIME!

With the reminder to always place SAFETY at the top of your activities list.

PROM AND GRADUATION SAFETY TIPS

May 13, 2015 at 4:53 PM | Posted in Safety Tips, Seasonal | Leave a comment
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It’s that time of year when we start to see very excited teenagers wearing prom dresses, tuxes, caps and gowns. Proms and Graduations are always a great reason for parents and their children to celebrate. Many will celebrate by attending or throwing parties which, more often than not, lead to the consumption of alcohol. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the number of traffic accidents and deaths for teens is higher than any other time of the year. Here are some tips to help keep you and your children safe during this exciting time.

ATTENDING PARTIES

For Youth:

  • Share all of your plans with your parents – give them locations and phone numbers
  • Make sure that your cell phone is fully charged
  • If you don’t have a cell phone, keep extra money on you in case you need to call for a cab
  • Always stay with a group of friends and watch out for each other
  • Don’t leave any of your food or beverages unattended
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or using drugs – if you do consume either, do not drive
  • Call your parents, a trusted friend or a cab for a ride – do not get in a vehicle that will be operated by someone who has been drinking or using drugs

For Parents:

  • Make sure that you know you child’s plans – get locations and phone numbers
  • Contact the adult hosting the party to verify that they will be home and that there will be no alcohol or drugs permitted
  • Arrange for transportation beforehand and let your child know that you are available to pick them up if they feel unsafe regardless of the reason or the time
  • Discuss the consequences of violating the school’s rules and your rules pertaining to prom and graduation
  • Agree on the time that your child should be home and let him/her know that you will be awake until they arrive

HOSTING A PARTY

  • Set clear rules in advance and discuss the consequences of breaking them
  • Parents should be present during the entire party – greet guests at the door to make sure they were invited and you know them
  • Watch for bags large enough for alcohol or drugs to be smuggled in – have guests leave their belongings in a room that you can monitor
  • Have snacks and non-alcoholic beverages in the area where the teens are congregated
  • Randomly wander through the area where the teens are congregated to say hello – be visible
  • Do not allow any teen who leaves the party to return

We hope that parents and youth work together to make Prom and Graduation one of the happiest, most memorable times in their lives by keeping everyone as safe as possible.

AVOIDING ROAD RAGE

May 6, 2015 at 10:05 AM | Posted in Safety Tips | Leave a comment
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There are days it seems that our society is on edge more than ever. One of the symptoms of many people’s anxiety & frustration is aggressive driving. Aggressive drivers endanger others by doing things like tailgating, switching lanes and making turns without using a turn signal, cutting people off when switching lanes, and keeping their high beams on when there is oncoming traffic.

Every time you get behind the wheel, defensive driving and eliminating distractions should come into play. By being alert and watching what others are doing, you help protect yourself and your passengers from harm should you encounter an aggressive driver.

If you do encounter an aggressive driver, it is strongly recommended that you never confront them. Fueling their aggression can turn into road rage which, in the past, has resulted in bodily injuries and deaths.

Here are a few suggestions on the best way to handle aggressive drivers:

  • Keep calm and do your best to get out of their way.
  • Avoid eye contact, blowing your horn at them, or responding rudely in return.
  • Do not challenge them by speeding up, blocking them, or tailgating them.

Allowing an aggressive driver’s anger to not affect you can be difficult and allowing a situation to escalate into road rage is never worth it in the end.

Help keep safety a priority at all times: “Stay alert, you won’t get hurt.” – and – “A little courtesy won’t kill you.” are great safety slogans to recall whenever you are behind the wheel.

SNOW REMOVAL SAFETY TIPS

January 28, 2015 at 11:16 AM | Posted in Safety Tips | Leave a comment
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Removing snow and ice from your property is an important winter safety activity. How you remove the snow and ice is also very important. The following tips may help you properly maintain your home while preventing injuries to yourself and others:

  1. To prevent injuring yourself, warm up by doing ten minutes of stretches or light exercises. Dress in layers so that you can remove clothing if you become too hot. Wear waterproof boots with slip-resistant soles. Take a bottle of water with you and drink regularly so that you don’t become dehydrated. To avoid back strain while lifting shovels of snow, keep your back straight while bending your knees and squatting down with your legs apart. Carry the shovels of snow to where you want to place the snow instead of throwing it over your shoulder or to the side. Keep your arms close to your body rather than outstretched when carrying the snow.
  2. To prevent injuries to others, keep your driveway and walkways clear. Once the snow has been removed apply salt/sand to provide traction and help melt away any ice. Remove any hanging icicles from roof edges and gutters so that they don’t fall on anyone.
  3. To avoid traffic fines, be sure to remove snow and ice completely from your vehicle – including the roof – you’ll be protecting not only yourself but other motorists driving near you.
  4. To prevent home leaks and ice dams remove snow from your roof. The safest way to do this is from ground level using a rake. Don’t stand directly below the area that you are working on to avoid pulling the snow down on top of yourself. If you must go onto the roof to deal with the snow, get someone to act as a spotter. Wear boots with good traction or add boot chains and use a harness or rope for extra security.
  5. To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, clear snow away from the vents around your home.

As always, it’s best to play it safe and hire a professional to remove snow around your home. However, if you have to do this task yourself, these tips may help keep you, your home, and others safe.

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