February 5, 2016
The Super Bowl is this Sunday. Many of us are planning parties and inviting family and friends into our homes to enjoy the big event. Party hosts need to understand their responsibilities when inviting people into their homes and serving food and drinks. Before hosting a party for the big game, homeowners/renters may want to consult with their Finger Lakes independent agent to review their policy. You need to be aware that if someone drives drunk or becomes sick after consuming food at your party, you could be liable.
Ensure your home is safe for guests. That includes being responsible if providing alcohol to your guests, making sure there are no obvious hazards and generally taking the same precautions for your guests’ safety as you do for your own.
If you want to impress your guests by frying up your famous kickin’ buffalo wings using your kitchen, please use caution and common sense. To avoid grease fires, serious burns or injuries, never leave cooking food unattended!
Many of your guests will come into your home expecting or even bringing their own beer, wine or spirit of choice. Please remind your guests that while they enjoy their experience and have a good time, they need to drink responsibly. Calling a cab or having a designated driver is worth far more than any Super Bowl title.
January 8, 2016
Today everyone who uses social media like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram is most likely utilizing this technology in some form – whether they realize it or not. When the GPS is linked to a phone’s camera, and you take a photo, your phone will tell you exactly where you were and when you took the photo. You can even pull up the photo on a map—down to the exact street. But, while you are letting friends and families know where you are with your posts, you are also at risk from burglars. They can then watch your postings and activities to find out when you aren’t home and break in.
So what can you do to protect yourself from the dangers of geotagging?
- Don’t publish photos directly from your phone (use a camera without GPS module)
- If you plan to publish photos taken with your phone, convert them to PNG file format and publish them from your desktop computer.
- Watch what you post. Think twice, about anything you put on the Internet.
- Disable the function on your iPhone before taking the picture and uploading it to social media.
December 21, 2015
It doesn’t matter if you’re the one who bought the engagement ring or you’re the one wearing it, you’ll want that sparkler to be insured.
A homeowner’s or renter’s policies can be adjusted to include a personal property rider to cover the cost of replacing the ring. Talk to your independent agent for more information.
In the name of love—insure that precious ring! It’s easier than you think.
December 16, 2015
You might think that tossing your purchases in the trunk keeps them safe, but this may not be a good choice.
Technology is helping crooks with a tool called “scanner boxes” which can override key-less entry systems. Once the thief is inside your car, they can open the trunk, take your gifts and go.
Are you being watched? Criminals keep an eye out for shoppers who stash purchases in their cars. You can reduce your theft risk by putting your items in the trunk and then moving your car to a different parking spot. A thief who sees you leaving the space will start looking for a new potential victim.
Holiday shopping can be stressful enough. Don’t leave your car vulnerable and increase your stress.
December 11, 2015
With more than 1 billion records “out there,” it’s just a matter of time before you get ‘got’.
It may be a call from a debt collector, or the flashing lights of a police car as you are pulled over for missing a stop sign, only to find yourself handcuffed because someone stole your identity and used it in the commission of a crime.
What’s coming for 2016 is more of the same. The trend will continue. There’s unique and more sophisticated technological things we have to worry about.
It’s REAL & it’s EXPENSIVE!
For only $25 you can get Identity Fraud coverage added to your policy. Reach out to one of our Independent Agents for more information.
December 9, 2015
The holiday season is here! No matter if you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or all three, you should always make it a safe celebration.
Here’s a few tips while decorating your home and yard this season.
• If buying an artificial tree, look for the label “Fire Resistant.” Fire-resistant trees are less susceptible to catching fire.
• If purchasing a live tree, keep the stand filled with water by refilling daily.
• Place your tree at least 3 feet away from all heat sources, including fireplaces, radiators, and space heaters.
• Do not use “Indoor” lights outside.
• Check each set of lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections.
• Avoid artificial snow sprays as they can irritate lungs if inhaled.
• Poinsettias are poisonous when eaten, so keep them out of reach of kids and pets.
We wish everyone a Safe and Happy Holiday!
December 2, 2015
Holidays are the best time for scammers to tug on our heartstrings.
The most likely place you’ll encounter them is when they rattle a collection box in front of you, either as you do your shopping or at your front door.
They may use all kinds of props to fool you, wearing seasonal costumes, dress in familiar uniforms or wearing badges.
If you don’t have time to check out how genuine the collector is, simply don’t give. If you want to help, find the charity name and donate directly.
Also watch out for telephone solicitations. NEVER give your credit card number over the phone!
One of the easiest ways to detect a scam is to trust your instincts. We want you to have a great holiday season and not get taken by holiday scams. So, always be on your guard — and enjoy a Happy Holiday!
November 30, 2015
Online shoppers can find great deals on Cyber Monday, but it is also an opportunity for criminals to steal your money or identity.
Avoid fraudulent Sites. Always look for an “S” in the URL because a website with a URL that starts with “https” indicates a safe and secure site.
Never enter personal information as part of the buying process. (social security number, date of birth)
Read retailers reviews before ordering.
Avoid using your debit card for online purchases. Use a credit card, because charges can be disputed if you have been the victim of fraud or identity theft.
Finger Lakes offers enhancement endorsements to provide you with the best coverage for ID Theft. Contact your Agent for further details.
November 24, 2015
Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Holiday deals are right around the corner for consumers with a penchant for shopping online with an easy click or swipe. 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.
Finger Lakes offers enhancement endorsements to provide you with the best coverage for ID Theft. Contact your Agent for further details..
October 27, 2015
Love it or hate it, this weekend is when we steal an hour of daylight from the evenings and add it to the mornings.
When Turning Clocks Back After Daylight Saving Time, Replace Batteries in Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms.
A properly installed and maintained smoke alarm is the only thing in your home that can alert you and your family to a fire 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
A working smoke alarm significantly increases your chances of surviving a deadly home fire.
Smoke and CO alarms can save lives, but only if you have working alarms.
Remember, almost every day a smoke alarm saves somebody’s life!