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RECENT ARTICLES
Poisoning Prevention
January 31, 2017


How Does a Little Flame Become so Dangerous?...
December 28, 2016


What Is Identity Theft?...
December 22, 2016


Tis the Season...
December 12, 2016


Smoke Alarm Placement
December 5, 2016


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FINGER LAKES FIRE & CASUALTY
6905 Route 227
P.O. Box 550
Trumansburg, New York 14886


607.387.6800
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Articles: Enhanced Coverages

UNDERGROUND UTILITY LINE COVERAGE

April 7, 2017

LOSS EXAMPLE:

An underground power line providing electrical service to the home significantly deteriorated over time and resulted in arcing.  The underground power line had to be excavated and replaced due to extensive damage discovered during the repair work.

Property Damage:  $7,800 - YIKES!

       

This type of loss is excluded on a typical Homeowner’s policy.  BUT – with the Utility Line Coverage, the Homeowner has protection.  

Other Covered Perils with this form are:

• Wear and tear • Rust • Corrosion • Decay • Deterioration • Hidden or latent defects • Freeze • Collapse (except sinkhole collapse) • Electrical breakdown • Mechanical breakdown • Pressure system breakdown.

Contact your Agent today for more information.


Categories: Enhanced Coverages, Products,

What Is Identity Theft?...

December 22, 2016

You've heard the term "Identity Theft" about a thousand times, but do you really know what getting your identity stolen entails?  It's like Catch Me If You Can!  

Identity theft is when criminals steal your personal information, such as your full name or Social Security Number, to commit fraud, including applying for credit, getting medical services, or filing taxes. There are several different types of identity theft, ranging from stealing your health insurance information to creating phony social media accounts using photos and other personal info. But the most common form of identity theft today is tax ID theft.

Finger Lakes offers enhancement endorsements to provide you with the best coverage for ID Theft. Contact your Agent for further details.


Categories: Enhanced Coverages, ID Theft, Scams,

Black Friday Shopping Tips...

November 21, 2016

During Black Friday, consumers will be hitting stores and online retailers to get a head start on buying gifts. Shoppers are naturally on the hunt for deals. However, it's also a great time for scammers and cybercriminals.

Here are five tips to protect your card and prevent fraud this Black Friday:

1. Avoid Deals Too Good to Be True                                                                                                     Although you may be shopping for deals, there are some discounts or promotions that might be a scam in disguise. If you get an email from an unknown sender advertising cheap or free electronics, travel tickets or other merchandise, be on the lookout for signs of a scam.  Schemers may ask you for your personal information or credit card details to get the deal, but avoid clicking on any links that request this information.

2. Use a Credit Card Instead of Debit                                                                                                         While you could choose cash to avoid having your information processed at POS systems, your next best bet is a credit card.  Credit card companies often will not hold you liable for fraudulent purchases.  In the event someone does get a hold of a card without permission, consumers are also liable for less money with a credit card than a debit card.

3. Block Your PIN from View                                                                                                                   Whether you're checking out at a store or withdrawing cash from an ATM, be sure to cover your PIN from view. This is to prevent people from looking over your shoulder or using a hidden camera to record your PIN.

4. Use Only Secured Sites                                                                                                                         Black Friday and its online equivalent Cyber Monday means more shoppers making purchases on the Internet. When shopping, only visit secured sites and look for the little icon of a padlock next to the webpage's URL to indicate that the site is safe to use.

5. Monitor Your Credit Card and Bank Statements                                                                               Cybercriminals might take advantage of the fact that you may be too busy with shopping and visiting family this Black Friday to actively monitor your financial accounts.  While you may be occupied, continue to look at your statements for any suspicious activity.

Finger Lakes offers enhancement endorsements to provide you with the best coverage for ID Theft. For only $25 you can get Identity Fraud coverage added to your policy.  Reach out to one of our Independent Agents for more information.

Let's Not Forget About Thanksgiving Season. Spend the time between now and Thanksgiving focused on gratitude for all we’ve been given.  Our national day of gratitude should be more than just a kickoff to Black Friday Shopping.


Categories: Enhanced Coverages, ID Theft, Scams,

4 Easy Identity Protection Tips

September 12, 2016

1. Don’t give out personal information by phone or email. Financial institutions and government agencies, like the IRS, won’t ask for personal data by phone or email.

2. Use strong passwords. Make them at least eight characters, using at least one number, one letter, one symbol and one uppercase letter.

3. Secure paper documents. Never leave bills with checks inside a mailbox overnight.

4. Add Identity Fraud Endorsement to your policy.  Contact your agent for more details.


Categories: Enhanced Coverages, ID Theft,

Sending Your Kid Off To College?

July 20, 2016

It’s July, and many parents all over the country are faced with the fact that, soon, their child will be heading off to college.

With laptops and printers being shipped off to school, it is more important than ever that students and their parents purchase the appropriate insurance protection.

The type of insurance you’ll need depends on whether your child will live in a dorm, or in off-campus housing, such as an apartment. 

  • For kids living in a dorm, personal belongings will be covered under their parents current homeowners or renters policy. 
  • Kids who live off-campus need a stand-alone renters policy independent of their parents, as will each roommate.

Check with your Independent Agent to make sure the personal property limit on your homeowner’s policy is adequate. You might need additional coverage to insure expensive items like jewelry, musical instruments, or certain sports equipment.


Categories: Enhanced Coverages,

Solar Panels... How Do They Affect Your Insurance?

March 29, 2016

As 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.


Categories: Enhanced Coverages, Products,

Can You Be Sued For A Million Dollars?

March 3, 2016

YOU 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.


Categories: Enhanced Coverages, Liability, Products,

Commercial Package Policies

February 8, 2016

What is a Commercial Package Policy?  It’s a type of package policy that bundles coverages together for several things including liability, property, boiler & machinery and other optional coverages.   The options available create flexibility that allow a Package to be customized for most kinds of business.

When it comes to your business, no matter how careful you are, someone can sue you for matters related to your company’s operations and you could be found legally liable for negligence.  Your business being properly insured is critical to protecting your financial security and success.

Do you have questions about Commercial Package Policy?  Contact one of our Independent Agents today to answer any questions about Commercial Package Policies.


Categories: Enhanced Coverages, Liability,

Ringing In The New Year!

December 30, 2015

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.

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. 


Categories: Enhanced Coverages, Liability,

Getting Engaged? Thinking Of A Christmas Proposal?

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.   


Categories: Enhanced Coverages, Products,

Cyber Monday

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.


Categories: Enhanced Coverages, ID Theft, Scams,

Black Friday Shopping Tips...

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..

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!  


Categories: Enhanced Coverages, ID Theft, Scams,

You’re Not Covered For Building Up To Code…

August 3, 2015

If a disaster covered by home insurance destroys your house, one big expense might catch you by unpleasant surprise — the cost of meeting new building codes.

Most standard home insurance policies don’t cover the expense of bringing the house up to current codes if the structure didn’t meet the latest regulations before disaster struck.

Finger Lakes offers coverage for Ordinance & Law.  When added to your Homeowner’s policy, we will adjust covered losses to the covered building in accordance with any ordinance or law which governs repair, restoration or demolition of the building. This means that the increased cost resulting from enforcement of codes, ordinance or law would be covered.  Do you have the proper coverage?  Contact your agent for more information.


Categories: Enhanced Coverages, Products,

Protect Your Small Business…

April 22, 2015

Business insurance is a necessity for even the smallest company in order to protect and maintain its financial health.  You seek to control losses and prevent bodily injury and property damage.  But accidents happen.

Know your coverage for your business.  Know what types of losses apply.  Know what’s not covered.  A Business Owners Policy (BOP) offers a range of coverages that small and medium sized businesses need such as these few examples:

  • Property Insurance – For your building, equipment and inventory.
  • Business Interruption Insurance – To cover losses when business is suspended.
  • Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability – In the event you or your employees cause harm to others or to their property.
  • Medical Payments – For medical expenses resulting from injury to others on your premises.
  • Equipment Breakdown Coverage – Protects your equipment in the event of damage from a power surge, mechanical breakdown or burnout.

Discuss your concerns with your agent and keep in touch with them as your business insurance needs will undoubtedly change as the nature of your company evolves.


Categories: Enhanced Coverages, Liability, Products,

5 Ways To Spring Clean Your Identity…

April 9, 2015

Just like your home, your identifying information and accounts can always benefit from a thorough once-over Spring cleaning.

  1. Documents – Now is a good time to destroy or secure old paperwork, especially if your taxes already have been filed. File or shred receipts, bank statements, medical or health insurance statements.  Invest in a quality shredder.
  2. Passwords – Change passwords on your online accounts.  It’s a good idea to do this from time to time to stay one step ahead of hackers and identity thieves.
  3. Technology – Clean all computing devices, including tablets and smartphones, and make sure that any software protections are functioning and up-to-date.  That means installing and updating antivirus and antimalware software and renewing security subscriptions.  Log out of mobile apps for online banking after each use.
  4. Credit –  Order a free copy of your credit report.  And beware of some companies that require a subscription or credit card to do what you’re entitled to do for free.
  5. Protection – Add Identity Fraud protection to your policy and get a FREE RFID blocking wallet!  Contact your Agent for details.

With a little effort now, you can stay on top of your information and safeguard it, letting you spend the rest of your time worrying about how you’re going to relax once warm weather finally arrives.


Categories: Enhanced Coverages, ID Theft,
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