Can Your Roof Handle This Snow?

 March 5, 2015


Snow can get really heavy very quickly and can lead to roof damage or even collapse.

As a property owner, it is your duty to take all reasonable steps to protect your property to avoid damage. Using a roof rake with extensions allows you to remain on the ground and remove the heavy snow.

We do NOT recommend or encourage you to climb on a ladder or on your roof to remove the snow.  If you are unable to remove the snow safely, please hire a professional since they will have the proper safety gear and should be able to do the work without damaging the roof.


What Is An Ice Dam?

 February 6, 2015

An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of the roofline and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. Water then backs up behind the dam and works its way underneath the shingles. Ice dams can cause damage to ceilings, walls and insulation.

Steps You Can Take:

  • Remove snow from the roof after every storm.
  • Insulate the attic.
  • Clean downspouts.
  • Remove the ice dams.

If the icicles are confined to the gutters and there is no water trapped behind them, this does not indicate the presence of an ice dam.  However, large icicles can pose a danger to people when they fall off.  Try to safely knock the icicles off from the ground, making sure not to stand directly beneath them.

If you cannot reach them safely from the ground, consider hiring a professional to help.

Do I Need Renters Insurance?

 January 27, 2015

For Rent

The answer is absolutely!

For a small premium, renters insurance covers your personal property while at home or when you travel.  It also provides liability protection as well as reimbursement of living expenses should your apartment become uninhabitable after a fire or other disaster. When you consider that just a single liability lawsuit could easily ruin you financially, this valuable protection is well worth the small premium.  According to Insurance Information Institute, only 37% of tenants carry renters insurance.  The most common misconception is that this coverage is too pricey to bother with. But renters insurance is quite affordable.  If someone gets hurt in your apartment, don’t count on your landlord’s insurance to protect you.  Contact an Agent today for a quote.

January Is The Riskiest Month For Fires

 January 16, 2015

Exercise…  Lose a few pounds… Get out of debt…

As you’re making up this year’s batch of resolutions, keep in mind that winter, and especially January, is a risky time for fires.

January typically sees the highest percentage of heating related fires.  People that are looking to save money on heating bills will sometimes turn to space heaters.  Clothes, rugs, furniture placed too close to the heater can catch fire, particularly if the unit tips over.

Another potential hazard is improper disposal of fireplace or wood stove ash stored in a plastic bucket and then set out on a deck. Even if the ash feels relatively cool on top, deeper down it can be hot enough to burn through the plastic.  Ashes should be transported in a metal bucket and stored away from the home or other combustible materials until they are truly cold throughout.

        High Risk Facts

  • More house fires and fire fatalities occur in January than any other month.
  • Saturday and Sunday are the weekdays with the most house fires and fire fatalities.
  • Kitchens and cooking areas are the places in a house where the risk of fire is the greatest.
  • Three out of every five home fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms.

So for this year’s resolution, let’s just BE SAFE!

  • Get the chimney inspected
  • Get the furnace inspected/cleaned
  • Test smoke detectors/change batteries
  • Do not leave space heaters on when unattended.


Freezing / Bursting Pipes…

 January 6, 2015


Winter brings the threat of freezing temperatures and harsh conditions.   One of the most common causes of damage to a building during the colder months is freezing and bursting pipes.  The result can be thousands of dollars of damage to your building, furniture, electronics, and other property.


Do you have coverage?   The answer is “it depends.”  Your insurance will cover damage resulting from a frozen pipe provided you have purchased the coverage AND you can prove that you took measures to prevent the pipe from freezing.

If you are unfortunate to suffer from a freezing claim, the 2 main questions that you will be asked is…
1)  Did you shut off the water supply and drained your system, or?
2)  Maintained heat to your building?

To avoid a claim altogether and keep your deductible in your pocket, here’s a few other measures you can take to protect the pipes against winter’s worst…

  • Protect spigots with Styrofoam attachments.
  • Insulate pipes that pass through unheated areas, such as crawlspaces.
  • Drain all outside lines.

A frozen pipe can easily burst, exposing your property to water damage.  Protect your property and know where the shut off valve is.

For help in determining if your policy covers the winter damage you might experience, give your Independent Agent a call.

Ringing In The New Year!

 December 30, 2014

2015 Happy New Year greeting cardIf you are planning a New Year’s party, here’s a few safety tips to keep in mind.  Although they may seem obvious, statistics suggest far too many get ignored.

Serving Alcohol?

  • If drinkers have not prearranged a designated driver, provide one. Or call a cab.
  • Remind guests to monitor their alcohol intake.
  • Encourage drinkers to eat hearty to avoid drinking on an empty stomach.
  • Bring out coffee and a final dessert or snack to let guests wind down before heading home.
  • Provide plenty of alternative nonalcoholic beverages. Drinkers can slow down their intake.

Other precautionary measures…

  • Keep candles a safe distance from drapes, paper decorations and other flammables.
  • Prepare emergency plans for escaping fire.
  • Keep your home entrance well lit and paths clear to avoid falls.

Are the liability limits high enough to protect your family’s financial well-being and way of life if a claim is made against you?  Contact your local agent to review your coverages and options.

New Years Eve is one of the most dangerous holidays of the year due to the increase in drunk driving.  Put as much thoughtfulness into safety concerns as you do planning the party, and your holiday festivities are remembered for the pleasure, not the pain.  Be a responsible host!

 Finger Lakes would like to wish you and your family a Happy and Healthy 2015!

We look forward to serving you in the coming year. 

 December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas


Happy New Year!


Prevent Holiday Theft

 December 2, 2014

presentpadlockIn the midst of the festive and hectic holiday atmosphere, it is easy to forget to practice safety.  Here’s a few tips to keep in mind during the Holiday season so you don’t become a victim of theft.

At Home -

  • Beware of strangers at your door: criminals can pose as couriers delivering gifts or be soliciting donations for fake charitable causes.
  • Lock all doors and windows even when leaving the home for a short period of time.

While Out Shopping-

  • Use ATMs in well-populated, well-lighted locations. Do not throw ATM receipts away at the ATM location.
  • Use only one credit card – it’s easier to cancel one rather than several if your wallet is stolen.

Your Car -

  • Lock all doors and roll up all windows even when leaving the car for a short time.
  • Bring gifts inside with you overnight rather than leaving them in your car.

Tips For Black Friday Shopping…

 November 24, 2014



We all know that Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year – from those looking for the best deals to those simply eager to find the perfect gift and complete their lists.  Here’s a few tips for you to keep in mind.

  • Carry a small purse/bag closely against your body to avoid losing it or having anything stolen.
  • Lock packages in your trunk. Don’t leave packages visible through your car windows.
  • Consider alternate options to pay, such as onetime or multi use disposable credit cards.

… Or for some alternative ways to spend your Black Friday, you can give back by volunteering, eating turkey leftovers, and getting an early start on Christmas movies.  Most of the discounts will still be there when you’re ready to hit the stores.

Either way, shop local and have fun. If you’re not having fun, you’re not doing Black Friday right.