It’s Pool Season!

 June 15, 2016

POOL AND SPA DRAIN SAFETY

An entrapment occurs when a person, or an object attached to a person, is sucked onto a pool or spa drain and becomes stuck by the drain’s force.

 pool

Be Aware:  5 Types of Entrapment

 

Hair Entrapment

  • Hair can become entangled in an improperly covered drain.

Limb Entrapment

  • Arms or legs can get lodged and may not be able to be pulled free from an improperly covered drain, even if the pumps are turned off.

Body Entrapment

  • Any part of the body that covers a drain can be held down by the suction.

Evisceration

  • Sitting on a drain with suction or a broken or missing cover can cause injuries or disembowelment.

Mechanical Entrapment

  • Fingers, toes, as well as jewelry or a bathing suit can become entangled.

If a drain cover becomes loose or falls off, shut down the pool or spa immediately.  No one should enter the pool or spa area until its repaired by a licensed maintenance professional. Install an emergency pump shutoff system and anti-entrapment drain covers on your pool systems.  Pool and spa safety drain covers are an important safety step and are required by law.


pool


Hurricane Season 06/01/16 – 11/30/2016

 June 8, 2016

windThe Atlantic hurricane season is now underway.  The season runs June 1, 2016 – November 30, 2016.  Severe weather events are not just limited to hurricanes along the East Coast; they can occur in every state.

Tropical storms rarely make landfall on New York, although it is common for remnants of these storms to produce heavy rainfall and flooding.  Even areas well away from the coastline can be threatened by dangerous flooding, destructive winds and tornadoes from these storms.   We’d like to remind you of the need to make sure that you are prepared in the case of natural disasters.

Preparing Your Property

  • Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall, so before the threat, trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.
  • Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.
  • Reduce property damage by inspecting the roof, windows and doors, including the garage doors to make sure they are secure and in need of no repairs.
  • Purchase a portable generator or install a generator for use during power outages.
  • Put together a disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate.
  • Call your insurance agent to make sure you have enough insurance to repair or even replace your home or business. Remember, standard homeowners/business owners insurance doesn’t cover flooding.  You’ll need a separate policy for it.


Hosting A Grad Party?…

 June 2, 2016

drink

It’s that time of year!  Are you hosting a party for your graduating teen?   If you are having the party at your home you might think there is nothing to worry about.  Well, that is not necessarily the case.

Here’s a scenario to think about. Your child is graduating from high school and you throw a nice backyard bash to celebrate the occasion.  You’ve warned your teen and the friends that there will be no underage drinking at this party.  Your young grad and friends have never given you any trouble, so you trust them.  Therefore, you are shocked to learn the next day that a few of the friends smuggled some beer into the garage and proceeded to get drunk right under your nose.  They then got in a car and wrapped themselves around a tree.  Shock turns to confusion when you are sued for negligence by the parents of the kids in the car.  You call a lawyer and self-righteously protest  “We’re not liable!  We told those kids they were not allowed to drink in our home!”  Guess again.  Your statement will probably matter little to a jury staring at a paraplegic victim.

  • Don’t serve alcoholic beverages to minors.
  • Pay attention and monitor your young guests.
  • Discuss rules and consequences before a problem occurs.

It is a good idea to have a talk with your child.  Let them know the implications of their choices and how it can affect you as well. You want everyone to enjoy the party and celebrate what really matters, your child and their great accomplishment!I

It’s also important to review your current liability coverages with your agent.

 

Finger Lakes Fire & Casualty Co. wishes all the graduates best wishes in their future to come!
Congratulations Class of 2016!

It’s Deck Season!

 May 9, 2016

deck

With the weather warming up, you feel like you’re ready to start entertaining guests on your deck.  The first thing you want to be sure of is that all your guests will be safe and secure.

  • Inspect Your Deck – Check for loose nails/screws, warped wood, splinters and rot.
  • Secure Your Deck – Check for loose railings/stairs.  Repair as soon as possible to prevent falls.
  • Clean Your Deck – Remove any mold or mildew to prevent slippery surfaces.
  • Seal Your Deck – Add a waterproof stain to protect your deck from elements like rain and UV rays.

Inspect your deck now and you’ll enjoy the outdoor season from beginning to end.


Protect Your Home While On Vacation

 April 18, 2016

After you have packed your bags and planned your itinerary, you still need to consider how to vacbest protect your home while on vacation.

  • Hire a House – or Pet- Sitter.
  • Stop mail/newspaper delivery.
  • Lock ALL of your doors and windows.
  • Invest in timers that turn on the interior lights for a few hours every evening.
  • Put a bar on your sliding glass door.
  • Install a home security system or even just exterior lights that run on timers.
  • Don’t post your vacation plans for the whole world to see.

Solar Panels… How Do They Affect Your Insurance?

 March 29, 2016

SolarAs more and more homes are being contacted by solar energy firms offering ways to cut utility expenses, one has to wonder:  How will this affect my homeowners insurance?

Whether you add solar panels to the roof of your home or freestanding in your yard…make sure they are covered.

If you permanently install the panels on your home, they become part of the dwelling and you should increase your insurance coverage to reflect the additional value of your home.

If the panels are freestanding in your yard, you should increase your insurance coverage under “Coverage B” (Related Private Structures).

If you lease the solar panels, the solar company owns the panels and it’s their obligation to insure them.  You do not have to increase your insurance to accommodate the value of the panels.

Installing solar panels isn’t as simple as slapping cells on a rooftop.   So this is one that’s best left for the pros.  Make sure they are licensed and bonded, and no major complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau.

There’s also Tax incentives: The federal solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is a 30 percent tax credit for residential and commercial properties that convert to solar energy by the end of 2016.

Contact your Local Agent for more information.


Are You Prepared For Emergencies?

 March 23, 2016

PrepareSpring is the time of year when temperatures can swing back and forth between balmy and frigid.  Sunny days may be followed by a week of stormy weather.  Things are unsettled.

Increase your preparedness through action.

  • Sign up for local alerts and warnings, download apps or check access for wireless emergency alerts.
  • Create emergency communication plans for your household.
  • Assemble or update emergency supplies.
  • Conduct a drill to practice emergency response actions.
  • Collect and safeguard critical documents. (Legal documents, medical information, insurance policies, etc..)
  • Document property and obtain appropriate insurance.
  • Make property improvements to reduce potential injuries and property damage.
  • Plan with neighbors to help each other and share resources.

BE READY!  PLAN.  PREPARE.  PROTECT.


Low- Risk Land Lording…

 March 21, 2016

aptLearn how to protect your rental property from common mishaps and risky situations. Reduce likelihood of lawsuits, harm to tenants and guests, damage to your property, and financial distress.

Get the Right Insurance for Your Property – Review and discuss your current policy with your Agent.

Provide a Safe Environment – Keep your property safe so that people don’t get hurt.  Regularly inspect the property for hazards.

Maintain the Property – Install hard-wired smoke detectors, child-safe windows and have well-lit hallways and walkways.

Require all Tenants to Have Renters’ Insurance Coverage – Include a clause right in the lease that requires all tenants to provide proof of renters’ insurance coverage prior to occupying the premises.

Create an Emergency Procedure – Provide your tenant(s) with a manual that has an evacuation plan that’s tailored to your property.

Operate your rental unit in an Honest, Ethical, Professional manner.

Reach out to one of our Independent Agents today to see if you are getting the best price and coverage for your landlord’s insurance.


Spring Cleaning…

 March 16, 2016

SPring CleanupSpring is just around the corner and good planning and maintenance in spring will create less work and more enjoyment in summer.  The outside of your home has been exposed to the elements all winter season. Inspect the following:

Foundation- Look for cracks that may have developed during the winter.

Siding- Clean the siding with a pressure-washer to remove/prevent mold growth.

Landscape– Trim back shrubs, and cut down tree limbs that could cause damage.

Gutters– Clean out debris.  A clogged gutter sends a cascade of water down the side of your house, saturating your foundation.

Deck– Repair any loose or warped boards.  Apply a wood preserver.

Roof-  Have your roof inspected to ensure you won’t experience leaks during those April showers.

And if you’re looking to do a little spring cleaning of your insurance policy, contact one of our Independent Agents near you.


Can You Be Sued For A Million Dollars?…

 March 3, 2016

umb_page_001You do not have to be a millionaire to be sued for a million dollars.  

  • If you operate a vehicle and get distracted while driving, you are at risk.
  • If you own a swimming pool and it causes injury to someone while on your property, you are at risk.
  • If you own a boat and injure a water skier while boating, you are at risk.
  • If you host a party with alcohol, you are at risk.

Personal umbrella insurance is additional liability insurance.  Coverage starts with limits of $1 million and offers coverage where your homeowners or auto policy coverage ends.  It’s designed to pay out above your existing insurance policies.  It can be added to your existing policy with just one phone call to your local agent.   It’s inexpensive and easy to buy.  It’s a good value for the peace of mind it gives.