From the category archives: Insurance Protection Blog

Home Ownership

Yep, that was a Tornado.

post image Saturday evening Feb 25th, at approximately 5:30pm, a line of storms raged through Northern Pennsylvania and swept into the Hudson Valley. After an almost uncomfortably warm series of days, this cold front came though bringing with it hail, high winds and a tornado! A weather service team says the tornado in the Pittston Township area of Luzerne County, PA will be classified as an EF-2 with wind speeds of 120 mph. David Elmore, deputy coordinator of the Luzerne County Emergency Management Agency, said about 30 homes were damaged, six seriously, in Pittston. Most people who reside in the New York Tri-State area are always a bit shocked when they hear of a tornado touching down in their backyards. Many seem to believe that tornados are simply a problem of “The Plains” …  residing in the flat Mid-West or Southern States. According to data from NOAA's Storm Prediction Center, during January, there were 138 preliminary tornado reports. This is almost four times greater than ...
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Water Water Everywhere

post image In the last week, the weather has been delightful. 60 degree temperatures and sunshine over the holiday weekend have resulted in the snow melting and the ground becoming muddy and saturated.  Soon spring rains will come and add more water to the mix. The only unfortunate aspect of the spring thaw is that it is also Flood Season. The months of March, April and May are usually the months that the insurance industry receives the most claim filings for flooding. And per the National Flood Insurance Program, 25% of claims are filed by people who live outside of high risk areas. Between 2010 and 2015 the average flood claim in the United States was over $51,000. A few inches of water in your basement, garage, first level of your home can lead to thousands of dollars’ worth of damage and repair.   Below are the special risks that present themselves in spring.  Thaw -  April showers bring May flowers … But those showers can sometimes be heavy rain. There is at least ...
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“I can see you.” DYI Smart Alarms are the new Tech in Home Security and Intrusion Detection

post image Per the most recent statistics from the FBI, there were an estimated 7,993,631 property crimes, nationwide in 2015. 21% of those were home break-ins. The number fluctuates by year, but has steadily escalated over the last decade. Closer to home, certain neighborhoods in Warwick have seen a recent rash of thefts in January 2017, from snowboards stolen from the back of Jeeps in driveways; to break-ins of sheds and garages. Locally the area is experiencing an uptick in property crime and theft of consumer goods. Warwick Police have indicated that these types of crimes can often be drug related, reselling hot merchandise for quick cash. Beyond guard dogs, deadbolt locks, outside motion sensor lights or more expensive security such as the Slomin Shield and Honeywell, how can you protect yourself from having your home and property burglarized (without breaking the bank)? Historically, homeowners often invested in a central monitoring home security system such as ADT. The process involved:   ·& ...
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Now that Hurricane Hermine has blown out to sea …

post image Storm paths are unpredictable.  Insurance client’s reactions to storms are very predictable.  The good thing about a hurricane or other weather phenomenon approaching is that it causes people to re-examine and reconsider their current insurance policies and their possible needs.  Do I have the right insurance? Do I have enough insurance? What happens if I need to use my insurance? It’s good for people to be shaken up a bit, because it causes them to reevaluate. So I thought it would be an excellent time for a quick update on floods, hurricanes, and wind, (oh my!) Does Homeowners Insurance cover damage from a hurricane? There is no singular insurance policy that can cover all the possible scenarios of damage that a hurricane can cause to your property, your house and your belongings. Most damage that happens during a hurricane is related to wind damage or flood. Your individual Homeowners Insurance should cover lost shingles, trees that toppled onto buildings, total destruction, ...
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FIRE: It Takes Less Than Five Minutes To Consume Your Home

Most likely if you watch the evening news or log into any social media platform you have heard about the Sand fire outside of Los Angeles. Horrible, uncontrollable rage of flames spreading far and wide. As of my writing this, 18 structures have been destroyed, countless acres burned, property loss has been extensive, thank God there has been no loss of life. Last year our west coast offices in Washington were damaged by wildfires that were consuming towns in the Northwest. Luckily we were able to rebuild, but many residents lost their homes, their possessions, their treasures that are irreplaceable. Conditions this summer are ripe for wildfire, no matter where you live. In New York, you can smell the scent of pop-up brush fires that are occurring in local forests and farmer’s fields right outside the front door of your house. Since the National Weather Service is predicting that this drought could last until late October, I thought it might be an optimal time to give you some tips on how to prev ...
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It's All Fun & Games Until Someone Gets Hurt!

post image How many videos have you seen on YouTube or on Spike TV, that show passionate and delighted revelers gathered on the street or in their driveways, lighting fuses for a gathering crowd, a look of anticipation on their faces? The fuse begins to spark and shine and suddenly before everyone can back away, an explosion. The firework detonates prematurely. Sometimes it is harmless fun; sometimes a trip in an ambulance occurs; sometimes a fire sparks and property gets severely damaged. In 2015, New York State has legally approved the use of "Novelty" fireworks for consumer use for two limited time periods in July and December in select areas/counties. Fireworks are still illegal in New York City, New Jersey and Connecticut).   Although I do not know any statistics of anyone being harmed by the use of fireworks in the state, I thought with the upcoming July 4th three-day weekend on the horizon, it would be a good time to brush up on your safety skills when it comes to novelty explosives. One of the statisti ...
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Burgers, Hot Dogs and Steaks, Time to Spark Up the Grill

post image As there is now a month for everything, May has been designated “National Barbeque Month” (bet you didn’t know that!?!), and although that might sound slightly nonsensical, fire safety around grills is serious business. Here is a scary statistic: Almost 9,000 homes each year experience a fire that is directly related to outdoor grills. Sometimes it is simply the grill that catches fire, sometimes the entire house is a loss. With Memorial Day weekend and the kickoff to summer two weeks away, I thought it might be a good time to give you some quick safety tips before you throw on the first hot dogs and steaks. Before I begin, a few facts: ·      According to the National Fire Protection Association over $118 million dollars in direct property damage are attributed to grills, hibachis or barbecues. ·      83% of grill fires were attributed to units fueled by gas, the remaining were charcoal or other solid fuel. ·  ...
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Time to consider Earthquake Insurance. Yes, you read that correctly.

post image I know that you read the headline to my blog and thought, “who is he kidding? He’s just another insurance agent trying to get me to purchase something that I absolutely do not need.  Next he will try to sell me space travel insurance.”  But before you snicker, here are some truly alarming, very recent facts that support the statement above: According to U.S. Geological Survey data, January and February 2016 recorded SEVEN low magnitude earthquakes in TWO months. In 2015 we had FIVE total for the entire 12-month period. From the year 2000 through the year 2015, the New York Tri-State area experienced over 40 earthquakes that registered 2.0 or below in a 15-year time span. From the year 1900 to 1999, the New York area experienced a total of 35 minor tremors in a 100-year time-frame. According to geologist Alexander Gates of Rutgers University, the seismic activity in this region has been increasing steadily over the decades and he has predicted that the trend ...
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Five Futuristic and Fantastic Insurance Apps That Will Save You Time

post image In the insurance industry, as well as in the Boy Scouts of America organization, the motto is  "Be Prepared". And honestly when talking about insurance, the following statements are true: The time to prepare for a possible insurance claim is long before the accident occurs. The time to get ready for impending storm is before the first flake or drop falls. The time to inventory your luxury items, jewelry and collectibles is before someone breaks into your home. But most of us are so over extended time-wise: That finding a moment to file sales receipts and appraisals, take photographs and record everything in a notebook or on computer can be daunting. That preparing  for an upcoming storm or natural disaster is done on the fly with the minutes counting down. That planning for a "possible" issue with your car, is almost impossible and handled as you are standing on the side of the highway searching for help. Step in "Modern Technology".  The insurance ...
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Beginning a Home-Based Business? Here is something you need to know.

post image Recently an article in the local newspaper featured a story about a senior citizen that teaches piano lessons out of her home. She has been doing so for over 50 years, and hundreds of students have sat at her piano, learning pieces from “Chopsticks” to Ravel’s “Gaspard de la Nuit.” After reading the piece, I decided that “Home-Based Businesses” are a good topic for my blog.  In the current economy, many single parents, senior citizens and stay at home moms are choosing to become entrepreneurs. Home-based – child care, tutors, piano teachers, pet sitters, bakers, dance instructors and hair studios are popping up all around my town. I think it is fantastic, as many great enterprises from Apple Computer to Harley-Davidson began in garages and basements. The downside, is that there is often a misconception that everything that happens under your roof is covered by Homeowners Insurance. Liability, equipment and theft are generally all covered under your H ...
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