Fire Prevention Week, October 5-11

 October 2, 2014

smoke-alarmsDid you know that many people don’t test their smoke alarms as often as they should?

When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast.  You need working smoke alarms to give you time to get out.  Test yours every month!

Five minutes. That’s all it takes and isn’t it worth it if it could save your life or the lives of those you love?

♦ Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives:  Test Yours Every Month! ♦


Time To Winterize!

 September 25, 2014

As the first leaves hit the ground and those fall breezes turn from cool to cold, it’s time to prepare for whatever Old Man Winter has in store.

  • Prepare an emergency kit.  Include first aid supplies, flashlights, extra batteries, nonperishable food, and bottled water.
  • Caulk cracks and replace dried-out or missing weather-stripping and seals.
  • Service your snow blower.  Have snow shovels and bags of sand/ice melt handy.
  • Trim dead tree limbs or branches that are hanging close to the house or electrical wires that could cause damage when weighted by ice.
  • Inspect and clean gutters and downspouts.
  • Inspect the roof.  Repair or replace flashing, roof shingles or tiles.
  • Reverse ceiling fans so the direction of air flow forces the warm air at ceiling height back down along the walls.
  • Insulate exposed pipes, and drain and close off A/C pipes or exterior hose spigots.
  • Service your furnace, clean the ducts, stock up on filters, and inspect or replace the thermostat.  Fireplace – chop firewood and inspect the damper and chimney.
  • Stock up on hot chocolate!  :) 

….and most important, don’t forget that this is a great time to review your coverage with your agent.  Pull out your policy and give them a call to make sure you are adequately covered.       

                         rof Gutters1                               Caulking window


Hiring A Contractor?

 September 15, 2014

Cont Liab

Anytime you hire a contractor to work on your home or property, please take time to verify that they and any subcontractors are insured, as well as licensed and bonded.

While it’s a good idea to ask for a contractor’s certificates of insurance, go one step further and contact the insurance company directly, as some certificates can be fake or altered.  It is also recommended that contractors carry at least $1 million in coverage.

After your remodel, don’t forget to contact your local agent to ensure that your policy is updated to include the new improvements.

 

 

 


You Get What You Pay For…

 September 5, 2014

Ins Shopping

Although it’s one of the key factors, price should not be the only factor when searching for insurance.  There are other things you should consider.

Coverage – Whether personal or business, is the policy tailored to you?  Do you need coverage for that engagement ring?  Are your contractor’s tool insured to value?  Is your farm equipment covered?

Claim Service – If you suffered a claim, how was it handled?  Did you receive prompt contact from the claims department?  Was the adjuster fair and understanding?

Your Agent – Does your agent know YOU and what you need?  Is the Agent’s support staff experienced and knowledgeable?

Company Stability – What is the company’s AM Best rating?  A good rating proves sound financial decisions so claims can be paid out.

Sometimes the security knowing that you are fully protected, as well as receiving superior customer service, may be worth an additional cost.  Finger Lakes has knowledgeable Independent Agents to make sure you have the coverage you need.

Our Claims Department is always ready to assist in a timely and expeditious manner.  No discount in the world will make up for slow claims processing.

Finger Lakes A.M. Best Rating is “A”.   – Definition = “Excellent”

Locate an Agent in your own community for a quote!


Is Your College Student Ready?

 August 27, 2014

collegeThe time has come for students to move away for college.  This is a transition that the parents and students both need to adjust to.

As a parent your job is to make sure your child and their possessions are protected while they are away.

Your full time student is an insured even when away from home. Although your homeowner’s provides coverage for your student’s property, as well as give them liability coverage, there are limitations on certain property such as theft of jewelry, cash, etc…  Finger Lakes offers enhancement endorsements that will increase some of the limitations.  If you want more coverage for your student’s belongings, contact your local agent and review your current homeowner’s policy.

As a student, your job is to document.  Before leaving for school, take pictures and write down model & serial numbers of the more valuable property that you will be taking to school.   List dates and places of purchase as well as the purchase price.  Keep the list and pictures at home.  This will help you in the event of a property loss.

Mark all the property in a way to discourage anyone from taking it and to help identify you as the owner if stolen property is recovered.

Take measures to protect your property and make sure you have the insurance protection you need to get things back to normal as quickly as possible if you do suffer a loss.


Independent Agent Vs. ‘direct-writer’ Insurance Co.

 August 8, 2014

There are an acomparisonbundance of ‘direct writer’ insurance companies these days. These companies ‘cut out the middle-man’ by selling direct to the consumer, rather than through an agent.  The consumer thinks they are saving money by going direct, but the consumer takes on a level of risk that they may not realize.

Independent Agents Can Do Important Things For YOU!

  • They are your legal representative – YOUR agent.
  • They are YOUR advocate.
  • They are licensed by the state and it’s their responsibility to put YOUR interests first – over and beyond their own.
  • Agents understand insurance and can communicate it to you so YOU understand.
  • THEY WORK FOR YOU!

If you go ‘direct’, you are taking full responsibility for your coverage decisions.  Independent Agents offer certain services and protections that you will not get with a “direct-writer” insurance company.  Finger Lakes has over 140 Independent Agents that are right in YOUR community.  Contact an Agent today for a Finger Lakes quote!


Pool Safety

 July 18, 2014

pool-safety

According to media reports and data compiled from USA Swimming, since Memorial Day this year, 72 children younger than 15 have tragically drowned in a swimming pool or spa.

Simple Steps that families can take to prevent accidents around a pool or spa:

  • Fix broken pool gates and fences.
  • Use self-closing and self-latching gates;
  • Designate adults as “Water Watchers”
  • Sign kids up for swim lessons with a Certified Swimming Instructor.

If you are a pool owner, schedule an appointment with your Finger Lakes agent to review your Homeowners coverage.  Be certain your current liability coverage is adequate to protect you from allegations of negligence from anyone claiming injury from being in or around your pool and pool-related activities.


God Bless America And The Farmers That Feed Us!

 July 8, 2014

farmowners

Finger Lakes offers a great Farmowner’s insurance policy. From the hobby farm to the 500 acre dairy farm, we can cover it! Have you called your agent today to inquire?


Independence Day!

 June 30, 2014

fireworks1The American traditions of parades, cookouts, and fireworks help us celebrate the summer season, especially our nation’s birthday on the Fourth of July.

However, fireworks can turn a joyful celebration into a painful memory when children and adults are injured or killed while using fireworks.

  • Fireworks cause 20,000 fires each year.
  • Fireworks cause 4 US deaths annually.
  • 400 Americans lose sight in one or both eyes due to fireworks.
  • Did you know that Sparklers burn as hot as 1,000 degrees?

 

Fireworks

Fireworks are explosives devices and are dangerous and can be unpredictable.  The few seconds of pleasure that firework displays bring are not worth the risk of permanent scarring, loss of vision and hearing, dismemberment or even death.

All consumer fireworks are banned in New York State.  Let the professionals handle them.

 


First Day Of Summer Is June 21st.

 June 20, 2014

Summsunflowerer is truly party time in America, but property owners should be aware of the risks associated with these get-togethers.

 

Common risks for which a homeowner might need insurance coverage:

  • Damages to a guest’s vehicle from a stray baseball or a young driver releasing the parking brake and rolls into another car.
  • A guest tumbles down the steps of an outdoor patio.  Keep sidewalks and pathways clear of debris and well lit.
  • A child gets burned from an outdoor grill.  Don’t leave a grill unattended.
  • A guest becomes impaired after consuming alcohol and then causes a car accident.  Use designated drivers.

Failing to take steps that might have prevented an incident are reasons that the property owner can be found liable.

When you have a gathering, consider safety precautions.  Keep your family and guests safe this summer!

summer