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7 Pool Safety Tips for a Fun Filled Summer

Summer is the perfect time to spend time with family and friends and to enjoy your pool. Create beautiful memories but, most importantly, keep safety in mind. Follow these seven tips to ensure everyone has a safe and happy pool season.

Pool Safety Tips to keep your family safe.

1. Install a Fence

The fence should be at least four feet high. Make sure the fence has a self-locking gate and doesn’t have lawn furniture, shrubs or anything else that would provide a boost to a child trying to climb over the fence.

2. Supervise Your Kids at All Times

Make sure your kids are always within an arm’s reach. Designate an adult to keep an eye out on the kids all the time, ignore your phone and have someone else attend to the grill. Young or inexperienced swimmers should always wear arm floats or life jackets.

3. Teach Your Kids to Swim

Enroll your kids in swimming lessons or teach them to swim yourself. The best way to prevent accidents in the pool is to make sure you know the skill level of all swimmers.

4. Establish Pool Rules

Establish easy-to-remember pool safety rules. Post the rules where everyone can see them and encourage safe behavior. Keep things simple, write a few basics on a whiteboard, such as “no diving”, “swim with a buddy”, and “no running”. You can also purchase an inexpensive pool rules sign and install it near the pool gate.

5. Never Swim Alone

Even experienced swimmers can experience emergencies while in the water, like leg cramp or heart attack. If you choose to swim alone, make sure someone in the household knows where you are.

6. Don’t Skip Maintenance

Check your pool equipment regularly, repair non-slip surfaces when they wear out and make sure all ladders and railings are secure. Maintain proper chemicals levels – test the water regularly and make sure it is clear and there are no leaves or debris floating in the pool.

7. Know How to Respond in Case of Emergency

Keep a first aid kit and rescue equipment by the pool; learn CPR and take water safety classes and teach your kids what to do in case of emergency. Being prepared will help you, your family and your guests feel more relaxed.

Taking these steps for pool safety will ensure a fun-filled summer.  Do you have a pool? Give us a call to review the pool coverage on your homeowner’s policy.  Contact us at (800) 443-7007 and one of our team members will be happy to help.

boat insurance

Boating Safety Tips: Preparing for Spring Boating

Spring is upon us and it is time to prepare your boat for the first launch of the year. Reviewing boat safety is always a good idea before the first cruise of the season. This includes an inspection of your boat and the equipment you have onboard. You will also want to make sure all of your documents are up to date, as most marinas will require proof of boat insurance before issuing a slip. Here is a short list of tips to prepare for the upcoming boating season.

Preparing Your Boat

Complete legal requirements first and verify that your registration, boat insurance, license, and decal are all current. A boat insurance policy provides property damage and bodily injury liability, giving you added peace of mind when out for a day of sun, wind, and water.

Once you have all paperwork in order, it is time to inspect your boat.

  • Check the hull for any damage that may have occurred in the offseason.
  • Ensure that your engine and water pump are working properly.
  • Test navigation lights, GPS, radars and radios, and purchase replacement bulbs and batteries.
  • Check and repair, if needed, all onboard safety equipment.
  • Life jackets are crucial to safety on the water with one jacket per person required. Check that no holes are present and that they will still fit your friends and family.
  • In the event of engine failure, you will need paddles or a trolling motor to return safely to shore.
  • Do you have the correct type of flares?
  • Have you inspected your anchors, anchor lines, and dock lines?
  • Has your fire extinguisher expired?
  • If you are transporting your boat to launch, do not forget to assess the trailer. Examine all tires, hitches, wires, and bearings before transport.

Safe Boating Tips

Once your boat has passed its seasonal check up and the time has come for your first departure. There are precautions that should be taken to ensure a fun and safe time on the water.

  • Look up weather conditions before leaving the marina to avoid being caught in a storm.
  • Each person on the boat should wear their life jacket at all times.
  • Develop a float plan to alert someone on shore if you are gone longer than expected.
  • Do not rely on your cell phone as the only means of communication. Multiple devices such as radios, walkie-talkies or locator beacons with spare batteries are good choices.
  • A secondary captain should be capable of operating the boat should the need arise.
  • Avoid alcohol while on the water.

Following the rules of the water will ensure a safe and happy boating season!

Before your next trip on the water, be sure you have the coverage you need for your boat insurance. Our team is happy to assist in helping answer your questions and making sure you are fully covered. Call us at (800) 443-7007.

spring safety tips

Spring Safety Tips

The weather is getting warmer,  trees and plants are beginning to bud and bloom, and soon enough spring will have sprung once again. Along with better weather and beauty, spring also brings with it potential safety hazards in and around your home. It’s a good idea to observe the following safety tips and prepare your home and property accordingly for the additional risks of springtime.

Safety Tips for the Great Outdoors

  • Get a battery or crank-operated weather radio for severe spring weather like tornadoes and thunderstorms. The NOAA is still the best source for real-time weather and emergency services updates during natural disasters and storms that are prevalent in the spring.
  • Head inside when you hear thunder or see lightning. Try counting to thirty between the flash of the lightning and the sound of thunder. If you don’t make it to thirty, get to shelter quickly and remain there until at least thirty minutes after the last thunderclap.
  • Never attempt to cross flooded roads or streets on foot or in your vehicle. Even six inches of fast-moving water can knock you off your feet and sweep you away. If you are in your vehicle and water is rising around you, immediately get out and seek higher ground. Even large cars and trucks can be swept away by as little as two feet of rapidly moving water.
  • Keep a stock of emergency supplies like water, canned and dried food, a can opener, and other necessities handy throughout the spring in case severe storms or flooding knock out power and utilities in your area.

Safety Tips for Inside Your Home

  • Check the batteries in your smoke detectors, and remember to change them out every time Daylight Savings Time changes.
  • Sign up for a PO box at your local Post Office, and send and receive mail there to protect yourself against identity theft.
  • Ensure all your door locks are in good working order, and you should have a deadbolt on all doors with exterior access.
  • Keep shrubs, hedges, and trees trimmed and well maintained to protect sightlines on your property and eliminate places an individual could easily hide when breaking into your home.
  • Don’t leave your garage door open while working in the yard unless you can keep it in your line of sight the entire time.

Safety Tips for Vacation

  • Don’t post plans about departure and return publicly on social media before you leave, and do not post photos while you are traveling. Disable GPS features on social media apps to prevent your mobile device from advertising the fact that you are away from home, too.
  • Ask a trusted friend or neighbor to check out your home while you are away. Tell them to feel free to park in your driveway, and request that they pick up any flyers or papers that accumulate in your driveway in your absence.
  • Asking the post office to hold your mail deliveries until you return is highly recommended.
  • Turn off your garage door opener.
  • Use timers to mimic a typical lighting pattern for your daily activities inside the house.
  • Make sure your answering machine message on your landline phone does not imply that you are away for any significant amount of time.

Final Thoughts

Following these safety tips is a great way to keep you, your loved ones, and your home safe and secure during the warmer, more active months of spring. Remember to review your homeowners, car, and personal insurance annually to ensure your coverage is sufficient, and consider contacting Northeast Insurance should you require additional insurance. Let us help you protect your home and family during the spring and throughout the rest of the year.

dealing with identity theft

9 Tips For Dealing With Identity Theft

Identity theft is the term for what happens when a third party obtains your personal data and information that allows them to pose as you online. Typically, identity thieves apply for lines of credit or access your financial accounts and other sensitive information to steal as much of your money or open as many lines of credit as they can and leave you on the hook for their fraudulent activity.

Your personal data can be compromised if a financial institution is breached by hackers seeking to obtain usable identity information, and by the time breaches are discovered it may already be too late to save your credit. The good news is there are steps you can take to prevent yourself from being victimized by identity thieves. Here are 9 quick tips to protect yourself from identity theft.

1. Beware Shoulder Surfers in Public Places

At the ATM, on your phone, or even at your computer, people are on the lookout to steal personal information like passwords or PIN numbers by watching you enter them on a keypad or mobile device. Use biometric (fingerprint, facial recognition) security on your smartphone or mobile device to authorize apps that access your personal or financial data. Identity thieves often start looking for vulnerable or inattentive people in public places when choosing likely targets, so protect your information and keep your screen and keypad private.

2. Require Photo ID Verification

Don’t sign your credit cards. Write “CID” or “Ask for ID” on the signature line. It’s a small measure, but it can make all the difference in identity theft prevention if you don’t know your credit card has been stolen and someone is attempting to use it.

3. Wipe Out Old Data Storage

Selling or trading your old laptop, smartphone, or tablet? Wipe your data storage clean with an app like ShredXP to ensure that all sectors on the drive are set to 1 or 0, rendering any personal data whatsoever illegible. Identity thieves will often connect old hard drives taken from used computers to search for recoverable personal or financial information that has not been “digitally shredded”. 

Additionally, if you keep financial data on physical media like CDs, DVDs or magnetic tape backups, make sure you destroy them completely. There are specialized shredders that are designed to destroy optical storage media like CDs and DVDs as well.

4. Monitor Bank and Credit Card Statements Regularly

Check those charges and debits on your accounts. Someone may have access to your account and you may never know it until the charges start showing up. You have a limited time to dispute charges as fraudulent, so checking monthly is vital to preventing identity theft and maintaining your credit.

5. Shred Everything

Put anything with financial data on it in a crosscut paper shredder and don’t bag it up separately from regular trash. More identity thieves than you’d think go “dumpster diving” to find critical financial and personal information.

6. Encrypt Your Email and Messaging

Using end to end encryption ensures all messages you send or receive via email are invisible to any third party, up to and including government agency efforts to read your email and messaging. Hackers can’t access the contents of your email unless they somehow manage to get ahold of your private encryption key. It is an extremely effective means of preventing identity theft, and it takes minutes to configure.

7. Check Your Credit Annually

Everyone gets a free credit report once a year from the Big Three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion). Go over your credit report and verify that what’s on the report matches your records and accounts. If some unknown lines of credit or creditors show up, you may already be a victim of identity theft.

8. Always Use 2-Factor Authentication

This is a critical security measure to prevent identity theft via financial and social media sites and apps. 2-factor authentication sends a text or email to an account or number you have entered on the site every time you login from an unfamiliar location, device, or computer. If you are actually logging in, you can approve that login from your device. If not, you are now aware that your account is under attack and can shut that attacker out.

9. Keep Your Social Security Number Secure

As the defacto national ID number for millions of Americans, access to this number should be protected at all costs. Do not carry your Social Security card on your person, but keep it in a safe place where it isn’t susceptible to damage or decay. Any identity thief with your full name, home address, and even the last 4 digits of your SSN can assume your identity online and wreak havoc on your financial life.

Never use your SSN as part of a username or password either, and never give the full number via telephone or in reply to an email. If you must enter your social security number online (for example, when filing taxes or applying for financing), check to make sure the connection and site are secure by the lock symbol in the browser bar and “https://” at the beginning of the web address.

In summary, do what you can to protect yourself from identity theft, and be smart about how you protect and preserve your personal data. Use these tips to keep yourself from becoming “low-hanging fruit” for identity thieves, and remember to always protect your personal data when online and in the real world.

Have you been affected by Identity Fraud? How did you handle it? Comment below, we would love to hear your thoughts and any tips that helped you get through what can be a stressful time.

Space Heater Safety

Space Heater Safety: 7 Tips To Keep Your Home Safe

During colder months utility bills can be tough to handle, so many people have started turning to space heaters to cut down on energy costs. Space heaters save money by, allowing people to only heat the room or space they occupy rather than having a central heating system that expends energy to fill an entire structure.

Other reasons for using space heaters are for areas that aren’t served well by other heating systems, temporary heating when it will only be necessary for a short time, or targeted use for an individual that isn’t comfortable, while others in the room are.

With so many people using space heaters for so many different reasons it’s important to know they need to be used safely. Space heaters carry risks that aren’t associated with other heating systems, and with over 43 percent of home heating fires caused by space heaters every year, following these recommended tips for use is critical.

  1. Place space heaters on hard, flat, non-flammable surfaces. They are designed to be placed on floors, and because of how hot they get, they should never be placed on something that can catch fire.
  2. Turn the heater off when it is being left unattended. While it may be nice to come back to the room and have it nice and toasty, leaving a space heater on without someone being alert in case of malfunction means you could return to a devastating fire.
  3. Spaces that hold flammable chemicals, such as garages or shops, are off-limits to space heaters. The types of fumes that come from combustible materials can fill areas where they are stored and may be ignited by space heaters.
  4. Always plug directly into the wall outlet, and unplug when not in use. Extension cords, surge protectors, and other outlet expansion products are not built to handle the electrical load of a space heater. Many electrical fires occur when people fail to plug space heaters directly into the wall.
  5. Establish a three-foot safe zone around the heater. By keeping the heater at least three feet from fabrics, curtains and other flammable items will help ensure they don’t catch fire. Also be sure that small children and pets aren’t able to get within that three-foot zone as they can be injured or cause the heater to malfunction by tipping it.
  6. Plug only the heater into the outlet, having a second device or cord plugged into the other port in the outlet can cause too much of an energy load on the outlet, which can cause the outlet to overheat.
  7. Keep working smoke and heat detectors operational throughout the home or office to alert anyone of possible danger.

When using space heaters, safety first. To stay up to date and learn more tips, area happenings and more stop by our Facebook page and follow us.

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Is it Time To Review Your Insurance Coverage?

We’ve all heard the stories of loss after natural disasters or catastrophic events, such as fires or burglaries. Homeowners and renters insurance policies will cover your home and valuables in a lot of instances but there are some very important exclusions. Getting to know your policy, what is covered and what is not, can save a lot of trouble down the line. It also affords you the opportunity to acquire additional coverage to make sure you can replace all those items that reside in your home with you.

What May Not Be Covered?

Aside from the normal exclusions for war or natural disasters, there are usually exclusions or minimal coverages (sublimits) provided for expensive or specialty property you might own. Some of these items might include, but are not limited to:

  • Firearms
  • Art
  • Furs
  • Watches and Jewelry
  • Silverware
  • Precious metals and coins
  • Specialty electronic equipment
  • Memorabilia (sports, historical collections, etc)

For example, sublimits for jewelry are typically $1,500 or up to $10,000 if you have a high-value homeowners policy. If you have expensive watches and jewelry, it won’t take long to exceed those values. Thankfully additional coverage and endorsements are available to cover these types of items. But how much should you ensure them for? What is their real value and how do you document it for the insurance company to make sure it is adequately covered and replaced?

Documentation and Appraisal

The first thing you need to do is keep your receipts and records for valuable items. Collectors tend to keep accurate records of memorabilia and its value, but do you have an idea of the current value of your other valuables? You can collect this information and keep it safe with a summary list. Most insurers don’t require appraisals unless, for instance, a single item of jewelry is over $50,000 in value or a piece of art is over $250,000. In any case, if you do have an appraisal having these records will give the appraiser a good place to start.

 

When you do have high-value items or if you lack records to support the value, due to gift or inheritance, it is a good idea to have the items appraised. The valuation from the appraisal will allow you to set a value, acquire appropriate insurance coverages and provide you with an itemized third-party inventory of what you have. Alternately, you can get blanket coverage for your valuable items. This type of coverage generally increases the sublimits on items and is a good way to insure numerous small items.

There is an additional cost to having appraisals and buying additional coverage, of course. The key is to find out the appropriate value so you get the most appropriate coverage for the lowest price. Acquiring your property and collections takes your time, money, and resources. Your insurance policy should be crafted to make sure your investments are protected.

Do you have a question about your appraisal? Feel free to call one of our team members at  (800) 443-7007.

Safety first, message on the road. Concept of safe driving and preventing traffic accident.

Five Conditions Affecting Driving During Fall Months

Fall is a favorite time of the year for many of us. If you’re fortunate to live in a climate that is conducive to the beauty of the changing color of leaves, it can also be a time of increased vehicular traffic on your streets. In fact, there are a number of conditions that transpire during Fall that can affect safety on the roads. Here are five that deserve your attention in regards to being safe when driving no matter what your age.

The Return of School Days

Fall means that children, adolescents, and young adults are back in school. This tends to have an impact on traffic conditions as school buses and an increase in vehicles will be apparent on roadways, especially near neighboring schools. Not only that but pedestrian traffic increases due to children walking to school or to and from their school buses.

Follow these safety suggestions to avoid dangers to yourself and others:

  • Be extra cautious when driving because children just back to school after summer break might not be as aware of vehicular traffic as they should be.

 

  • Do not under any circumstances pass a school bus that has stopped to pick up or drop off children. Look for flashing lights and extended “Stop” arms on the bus. Even if they’re not present, it’s better to be safe and stop until the bus resumes driving.
  • Teen drivers, statistically speaking, can be a danger to themselves and others, so be on your guard as you encounter them driving to and from school.

Changing Weather Conditions

In many climates, Fall means weather conditions can change dramatically and rapidly. Best to be aware of how it might impact driving conditions and prepare accordingly.

  • When Fall rains combine with cooler temperatures and then mix with leaves that might be present on the roadways, you need to be extra cautious when driving as the damp leaves might cause your vehicle to skid.
  • It’s not unusual to see an increase in fog during Fall, especially during early morning hours. Be aware and drive accordingly, leaving a little more space between vehicles than usual. Do not use your high beams as this only adds to conditions of glare that affect visibility.
  • With the drop of temperature during Fall, it is not uncommon for ice and frost to become more prevalent. Extreme caution regarding these conditions should be followed, especially on bridges and freeway overpasses. Be aware that visibility is often reduced during conditions of ice and frost.

Glare on Roads

Fall is known to increase glare on roadways due to the sun moving closer to the horizon. This is especially prevalent when the sun is setting behind the driver. It is also advisable to be aware that sun glare can affect the visibility of traffic lights. Keep your vehicle’s windows clean and free from debris and grime, both inside and out, because a dirty window combined with excessive sun glare can increase the likelihood of hazardous driving conditions.

Changes in Light

Fall is the time of year when our clocks typically fall back to standard time. This means that evenings grow darker sooner, and this can have a big impact of the safety of the roadways. The end of daylight savings time combined with early sunsets can greatly reduce visibility when you’re driving.

Beware of Animals

If you live in an area where deer are prevalent you can expect to see an increase in activity from them during Fall, often on and near roadways. Because deer mate during the month of November, more of them are hit by vehicles as they dart onto roadways in order to cross to different terrain than at any other time of the year. If you see deer crossing signs posted, slow down and be extra careful so as to avoid hitting one.

Fall is a great time of year, however, it does come with some valid safety concerns when you drive a motor vehicle. Being aware of the factors that might affect your safety will go a long way in preventing accidents.

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Preparing your property for a hurricane

Getting Your Property Ready for a Hurricane

There are many measures you can take that can help your home fare better in various hurricane conditions. But, as we learned from Hurricane Irma, it is important to take timely actions for hurricane preparedness in and around your home. Roofs, doors, windows, and garage doors, and multiple other points around your home are the most vulnerable to breaches by hurricane winds, water surges, and flooding. And, there are likely to be various conditions existing in and around your home that increase your home’s risk of hurricane damage. Here are some tips for getting your home ready for a hurricane.

  1. Secure your windows.

Experts suggest that merely taping across windows is a futile effort that may give homeowners a false sense of security during a hurricane. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) advises providing more realistic protection for your home, its contents, and especially for occupants, by securing your all windows with properly hinged storm shutters.

Purchase commercial quality shutters at your local home improvement store, or have a professional contractor install storm quality shutters on your home. Ideally, this should be completed before a hurricane is moving toward your area.

The alternative emergency measure of recessing plywood sheets into window cavities is recommended to help protect against an approaching hurricane. This approach is known to work better than just nailing boards across the windows. See The National Hurricane Center website for detailed instructions for installing temporary recessed plywood shutters.

Although shatter-resistant glass or window films may be helpful, according to the NHC, these are not comparable to shutters in the degrees of protection they provide. Hurricane experts agree with typical building codes, which do not accept window film as adequate window treatment for protection of homes against hurricane.

  1. Secure your doors.

Adding commercial storm doors is recommended, especially over any door consisting mostly of large panels of glass, such as French doors or sliding glass patio doors, per the NHC. For all home doors, experts suggest additionally installing barrel bolt latches with bolts extending into the door header and into the floor.

  1. Secure your garage doors.

Garage doors that are not hurricane rated should be shuttered with storm quality shutters. Or, as an emergency preparation, cover the expansive door with recessed plywood and add exterior bracing to better secure the door. Obtain advice from your local home improvement store representative about commercial retrofit hurricane protection systems for your garage door.

Explore alternatives such as commercial or home-made braces that can help protect the door against buckling in. However, neither braces nor retrofit storm kits can protect against impact by projectiles. Consider installing metal or wooden girds, and other precautions you can take to make your garage door more secure during a hurricane.

  1. Protect against water entry in small openings.

Install sealed plates or utility inlet shutters at all necessary points throughout your home and around its exterior. This includes any insufficiently sealed areas around vents or HVAC ductwork, plumbing pipe and electrical conduit entry points into your home. Secure roof ridge, gable, and soffit vents.

  1. Clean up all potential projectiles from your yard.

Trim tree branches, and remove dead or damaged trees, to prevent them from uprooting and becoming  projectiles in hurricane winds. Remove all lawn furniture, dog houses, yard decor, potted plants, trash cans, recycling bins, and toys, if possible. Disassemble barbecue and fire pits, swing sets, and trampolines and temporarily store these in the garage.

  1. Fortify your roof.

Repair any roof defects that render your roof more susceptible and further fortify the roof, if possible. Consider hurricane straps, if appropriate for your roof. Use duct tape to seal gaps, where appropriate. Especially if your roof is aged, consult with your local roofing expert about roof replacement with one of the several roof types recommended as most effective in protecting homes against hurricane damage, and consider replacing your roof with one of these types.

  1. Move your car away from your driveway.

Protect your car and your home, by preventing your car from potentially becoming a projectile during the strongest hurricanes. If possible, relocate your car into a more secure location, in your garage, a neighbor’s spare garage space, or even in a parking garage or other area away from the vicinity of your home. (This also may help ensure your car is not destroyed by flood water, protecting your means of transportation after the hurricane.)

  1. Protect your valuables.

Place important documents, including deeds, titles, and other proof of ownership documents, passports, birth certificates, medical insurance certificates and policy documents, and all others in a waterproof container. And, move the container to a higher and safer location in your home.

Make digital and paper copies of all documents as part of your advance preparations, and place those in a waterproof transportable covering to keep in your evacuation bag. And, make a list of valuable items such as family heirlooms and electronics that need to be temporarily waterproofed and moved to higher locations in your home during emergency preparations for impending flood.

  1. Promptly undertake capital improvements as well as maintenance basics .

Invest in home improvements such as installing high-wind-resistant windows, doors, and garage doors, with storm-grade shutters over all of these, along with an ideal roof type, if possible, for optimum hurricane preparedness.

And, performing essential maintenance, like using high-grade caulking around all door seals, window frames, vents, and utility cable and pipe entry points into your home, may help protect against water entry during flooding.

Above all, work in advance to protect your entire home from as much damage as possible, in order to ensure that you experience the least property destruction and the least amount of inconvenience from being forced out of your home during lengthy repairs.

  1. Review your homeowner insurance policy.

Review your homeowner policy to understand which items are covered and which are not.

After you are confident that you are clear on which of your belongings that you can and cannot reasonably expect to insure, prepare accordingly. Move these items to higher levels in your house or to a safe temporary storage elsewhere, if necessary, or take other actions in advance to protect uninsured or underinsured valuables.

We are here to help. We want to make sure you understand and know your policy coverage. Please call with questions to 800) 443-7007.

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Why Should Consider Renters Insurance?

What is renters insurance?

A renter’s insurance policy insures your personal property, provides you with liability coverage, and offers you additional living expenses if you need to live in temporary housing if your apartment or home is damaged or destroyed.

Most of the time, your landlord will only cover the apartment itself that you live in, but it won’t help protect you from any damages done to your personal items inside of it. Sometimes your landlord may require you to purchase it. You may think you do not need renters insurance, but let’s take a look at why you should.

Why should you purchase renters insurance?

It won’t break your bank.

Renters insurance happens to be really affordable option to protect your valuables. If you do a bundle with car and renters insurance combined, you may be able to save even more money.

It protects you and your valuables when you need it.

If someone happens to get hurt in your home and you don’t have renters insurance, they could sue you for damages. With renters insurance, this can help you in any sort of situation that could impact you and your things. If the apartment floods, renters insurance lets you know that your belongings are insured, meaning you can get most everything replaced in case of damages.

The coverage goes with you wherever you go.

Let’s say you go on a vacation and your luggage gets lost. Renters insurance can help with that. Renters insurance covers everything you personally own, so if anything happens to your belongings, whether it’s in your home or in a different country, you still get insured for all you own.

When it comes to having renters insurance, you can never be too safe when it comes to personal property. You are protected wherever you and your belongings go and can help you down the line. Check with your landlord to see if you are covered under any renters insurance by them, but if not, consider applying. You never know what life is going to bring your way.

Our team is happy to assist in helping answer your questions and making sure you are fully covered. Call us at (800) 443-7007 or learn more by clicking here

43790634 - fireworks

Safety Tips: Have a Happy and Safe Summer

For many of us, the 4th of July is an opportunity to celebrate our country’s independence in the company of our closest friends and family. And usually, these celebrations are not lackluster affairs!

Still, it only takes one careless move to turn a wild celebration into a dangerous situation. This Independence Day, keep our tips for your safety in mind.

Fireworks

In the state of Massachusetts, please remember that private use of fireworks is illegal, with potential fines ranging from $10 to $1,000. If you’re out of state, know your local laws and regulations, and use them responsibly.

  • Your fireworks should come with instructions for use. Follow them.
  • Don’t endanger yourself or another by misusing or combining different fireworks at the same time.
  • Never light a firework unless it is facing away from you and your crowd.
  • If you’re stuck in inclement weather, save the fireworks for another day.
  • Have a fire extinguisher on standby, and be sure that it is designed to extinguish flames caused by your fireworks’ specific chemicals.
  • Keep items like sparklers away from the skin, clothing, and flammable objects.
  • Contact local authorities if you witness reckless behavior involving fireworks.
  • For fire emergencies, contact your fire department immediately.

Boating

Temperature-wise, one of the coolest ways to spend the Fourth is on the water, but unless you’re careful, it can also be one of the most dangerous.

  • Make sure anyone who is operating a boat or jetski is properly licensed.
  • Wear a lifejacket in the water at all times.
  • If you are operating motorized marine equipment, watch out for other boats and swimmers.
  • Never operate a boat or jetski under the influence of alcohol.
  • Do not enter the water to retrieve a struggling swimmer if you do not have your own life preserver.
  • Have a first aid kit ready for emergencies.
  • Contact local authorities if you witness reckless behavior on the water.

Children

For children, the 4th of July is one of the most exciting times of the year; it’s not hard to blame them for getting a little carried away. That said, it’s in everyone’s best interest to keep them safe.

  • Make sure the kids don’t wander off to unsafe areas alone.
  • If it is established that they may go elsewhere, make sure they let an adult know where they are going, when they will be back, and how they can be reached in an emergency.
  • Be sure the toys they are playing with are age-appropriate.
  • Remind children to keep sparklers away from their faces, clothes, and hair, as well as other flammable objects.

Pets

For obvious reasons, many of our pets are frightened by loud noises and bright lights. Feeling threatened, some may respond to this fear with aggression. Others still might be prone to running away, where the animal could be harmed by someone or something else.

  • Know your animal. Will your pet likely have a severe reaction to fireworks, or will it not mind at all? If you’re unsure, talk to your vet about options.
  • If your dog is okay with being outside, keep your dog tied to a secure post to avoid unexpected mishaps.
  • If your pet is especially frightened, prepare a quiet space indoors where your pet can remain as calm as possible, given the situation.
  • If it can be arranged, consider taking your pet(s) to the quieter home of a friend or relative for the holiday.

Make some memories.

With these tips in mind, have a fun and safe 4th of July! Make sure it’s one you won’t forget.

Northeast Insurance Agency wishes you a safe and happy summer! We would love to hear from you! What favorite summertime activities do you and your family do? Share in the comments below.