March 25, 2015
Passwords provide the first line of defense against unauthorized access to your accounts. The stronger your password, the more protected you will be from hackers and malicious software. But, with all the passwords needed, it’s difficult to remember them.
Try using passwords that consist of a few words. Examples are “rainisfalling” or “littlebobeep”. They are easy to remember, and when you’re prompted to change the password, you can just swap out one part of it. Example would be to change “rainisfalling” to “skyisfalling”. If you feel you must write down your password in order to remember it, make sure you don’t label it as your password, and keep it in a safe place.
Finger Lakes offers enhancement endorsements to provide you with the best coverage for ID Theft. Contact your Agent for further details.
March 20, 2015
After a long, bitter cold winter, spring’s bright sun and warm winds are, well, a breath of fresh air.
Here’s a maintenance checklist for your property:
- Check for loose or leaky gutters
- Examine roof shingles to see if any were lost or damaged.
- Examine the exterior of the chimney for signs of damage.
- Remove firewood stored near the home.
- Check outside hose faucets for freeze damage.
- Clean and service the outside unit of the air conditioning system.
- Inspect concrete slabs for signs of cracks or movement.
If you have the knowledge and expertise to repair these items yourself that’s great. However, if you don’t, please don’t hesitate to hire a professional.
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.
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.
January 27, 2015
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 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.
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.
December 30, 2014
If 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.
- 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.