Keep Safe on July 4th

July 4th is a time for celebrations – backyard cookouts, fireworks or a day at the beach. Following some basic tips will help you, your family and friends to keep safe on July 4th.

The American Red Cross recommends these safety tips:

Barbequing

Countless people are injured every year while grilling with charcoal or propane. Also, fires have been started by grills being too close to a house or deck. Here are some tips for safe grilling.

  • Never leave the grill unsupervised
  • Do not grill indoors – including campers, garages or tents
  • Keep everyone including pets away from the grill
  • Never add lighter fluid to hot coals
  • Keep grill away from the house, deck, tree branches and anything flammable
  • Use long-handled grilling tools
  • Follow the grill manufacturer’s instructions

Fireworks

The best and safest way to enjoy fireworks is going to a professional, public display. The Red Cross suggests staying at least 500 feet away from fireworks shows. Many states ban most types of fireworks for personal use. If you or someone is planning to set off fireworks, here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Never allow small children to handle fireworks
  • Keep water nearby
  • Wear eye protection when setting off fireworks
  • Light one at a time
  • Never try to relight a “dud”
  • Do not throw fireworks toward people, pets, structures, vehicles or anything flammable
  • Leave any area where amateurs are setting off fireworks

The Beach

Enjoy the sun and fun at the beach, but keep safe. It’s best to swim at a beach with lifeguards, especially inexperienced swimmers. Here are some beach safety suggestions:

  • Be vigilant for rip currents -They often exist near jetties and piers. If you’re caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore until free of the current. Float or tread water if you can’t swim
  • Always swim in designated areas
  • Keep an eye to sky and be alert for approaching thunderstorms or changing weather
  • Never swim alone or while drinking alcohol
  • Keep a constant eye on children
  • Watch out for aquatic life including plants
  • Never dive headfirst
  • Use sunscreen
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration

Keeps pets safe

Noise from fireworks can startle pets so it’s best to keep them away from any noisy celebrations, recommends the American Veterinary Medical Association. If you’re going to a fireworks show, leave your pets at home. For backyard celebrations, here are some pet safety tips:

  • Keep sparklers, fireworks, glow sticks, skewers away from pets
  • Do not feed them scraps from cookouts
  • Fried and fatty foods, onions, grapes and chocolate are among the no-noes to feed pets as they can be toxic to them
  • Do not leave pets in a hot vehicle or unattended
  • Make sure they have water available

Avoid Overheating

Hot, humid weather can cause heat exhaustion. Here are some suggestions to stay cool.

  • Wear light-colored clothing
  • Stay in shady areas as much as possible
  • Wear a hat
  • Take it slow
  • Drink plenty of water

Keep safe on July 4th!

 

Tips for Buying Boat Insurance

Before heading out on the open waters in your boat, make sure you have the proper insurance coverage. Just like auto insurance, there are various coverages and limitations. Check out these tips for buying boat insurance from Nerd Wallet.

Do You Need Boat Insurance?

It depends on the type of boat you own. If you have a yacht, a large sailboat, a jet boat, a personal watercraft such as a WaveRunner or a boat that goes faster than 25 mph, the answer is yes, it should be insured.

Canoes, small engine boats and any small, slow or inexpensive craft typically do not need to be insured. However, it never hurts to have liability insurance in the event your boat causes damage to someone else’s property or if someone on your boat gets hurt.

Homeowners’ policies typically will cover a boat, but will cap coverage at $1,000 or 10% of your home’s value. So, this would only apply to small, slow or inexpensive vessels. Liability coverage under a homeowner’s policy usually doesn’t cover boats.

What Boat Insurance Covers

  • Property Liability – This covers damages your boat causes to others property in amounts ranging from $15,000 to $300,000
  • Bodily Injury – Pays for someone who is injured on your boat
  • Damage or Destruction – Covers losses from a collision, fire, lightning, theft and vandalism and also damage to permanently attached equipment including anchors
  • Guest Passenger Liability – Covers legal expenses of someone driving your boat with permission
  • Medical Payments – Pays expenses for you and your passengers

You can purchase additional coverage for trailers, accessories, towing and damage caused by an uninsured boater.

Boat Insurance Does Not Cover

  • Normal wear and tear
  • Defective machinery or damage to machinery
  • Damage from mold, sharks and insects
  • Underage operators

Types of Coverage

There are two types of boat insurance coverage: actual cash value and agreed amount value.

Actual cash value pays the value of your boat at the time of the damage claim. If the boat is destroyed, the insurance company will determine the market value.

The agreed amount value coverage pays an amount agreed upon prior to the boat being destroyed. If the boat can be repaired, the insurer replaces old items for new ones without deducting for depreciation.

Discounts

Just like auto insurance, you can choose a deductible for theft, property damage and medical payments that will lower your premium. Some insurers will credit you if the boat is taken out of the water for the winter. You can also receive a discount if you have auto and homeowners insurance with the same company and if you took a boating safety course.

Additional Coverage

You can purchase additional coverage for mechanical breakdowns and salvage and to cover unattached equipment such as fishing gear that might get lost while out on the water or stolen. If you have a yacht or other large boat, your insurer may limit where you can venture. You can expand the area of navigation at an additional cost.

Contact Lois Drukman at Walter May Insurance at 781-740-5421 for more information about boat insurance.

 

 

So What About The Law [Radio Broadcast April 2017]

“So what about that law?” Radio Show

Sunday 10:30 AM WATD 95.9 FM

Lois Drukman, my insurance broker, and the show’s Health, Auto and Home Insurance expert co hosted. We discussed the law as it relates to insurance.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

 

If you are in need of an insurance agent or are looking to find out what your insurance options are for your home, auto, health or business please contact me.

Lois Drukman
Independent Insurance Broker
Walter J. May Insurance Agency Inc., Hingham, MA
Direct: 781-740-5421 Cell: 617-827-6848
Email: ldrukman@waltermayinsurance.com

Dangers of Texting While Driving

11 teenage drivers are killed each day as result of texting and driving.

There are more than 1.5 million vehicle crashes each year caused by distracted drivers using their cellphones that result in about 6,000 deaths and 500,000 injuries. Texting while driving accounts for about 25% of all vehicle crashes in this country and is the leading cause of death among teens – 11 teenage drivers are killed each day as result of texting and driving.

Many states, including Massachusetts, have laws banning texting while driving. Some states have outlawed the use of handheld cellphones while driving altogether. Despite the crackdown, using cellphones while driving – particularly texting or answering emails – is still a major problem.

Why is Texting and Driving Dangerous?

  • Texting while operating a vehicle increases the chance of a crash by 23 times
  • Instead of watching the road, the driver’s eyes are looking at messages
  • The driver’s mind is focused on reading or sending a message, not on driving
  • If you’re driving 55 mph while texting, your vehicle will travel the length of a football field without looking at the road
  • A study shows that while sending a text, the driver’s eyes are looking away from road for 5 seconds

Texting vs. Drunk Driving

An experiment by Car and Driver magazine in 2010 showed that texting and driving may actually be worse than driving while intoxicated.

In the experiment, drivers were required to stop at 70 mph and the stopping distance was measured. A legally drunk driver’s stopping distance increased by four feet over a sober driver. While reading an email, it took another driver an additional 36 feet to stop. Texting while driving added 70 feet to the stopping distance.

Why Do Drivers Text?

According to a survey, 23% of drivers said they text because they feel they may miss something important and 43% said they wanted to stay connected with friends and family.

There’s an App for That

There are several apps that allow the driver to keep both hands on the wheel and eyes on the road while still being able to receive a text.

DriveMode – From AT&T automatically kicks in when the vehicle is traveling at more than 25 mph and responds to all emails and texts by sending a message to the sender that the recipient is driving and will respond later.

DriveOff – For Android phones that disables apps and blocks incoming texts and calls when the vehicle is moving more than 10 mph.

DriveScribe – Blocks texts and calls when the vehicle is in motion. This app will also alert your teen driver if they are going too fast.

Although these apps greatly help cut down on distracted driving, the best thing to do is shut off the phone or put it in the trunk while driving. If you must text, respond to an email or make a call, pull into a parking lot or at the side of the road.

Distracted driving is not only risky, it can also be costly. Fines average $100 for texting and driving in many states. Alaska will fine a driver who texts and drive a whopping $10,000 – for the first offense.

Tips for the Best Elevator Pitch

One of the best networking strategies to make a quick connection with someone is the “elevator pitch” – a short, to-the-point introduction about your business, skills or interests. Following some tips for the best elevator pitch will help your pitch pack a punch.

The “elevator pitch” term comes from a scenario of meeting someone important in an elevator and you have only about 30 seconds to a minute – the average time of an elevator ride – to make an impression and communicate your brand to a potential client or employer.

“When you only have a few minutes of someone’s time, having a well-prepared, elevator pitch can make those few minutes count,” says the University of Denver’s career services. “A successful pitch is where the other person relaxes and says, ‘Interesting. Tell me more.’”

Condensing business goals, life skills or education in 60 seconds or less is not easy. The University of Denver offers these tips for the best elevator pitch:

  • Keep it Simple – Remember, the elevator pitch is a brief summary of who you are, what you or your business can do and why it matters to the potential client or employer. Keep these points in mind when crafting your pitch.
  • Words Matter – Use strong, action-packed words and speak in a confident, personable tone.
  • Be Relevant – List your accomplishments or those of your business that are both relevant and compelling to your contact. It’s not about you – it’s about what you can do for your contact.
  • Practice Makes Perfect – Practice your pitch, but don’t memorize it word for word. You want to sound natural and not rehearsed.
  • Make a Connection – End your pitch with a question to your audience to draw them into the conversation.

If you’re looking for a job, Forbes recommends that you clearly describe the field you are interested in, your skills and how you would benefit your potential employer’s business. Forbes says that a good pitch should answer three questions: Who are you? What do you do? What are you looking for?

Remember to tailor your elevator pitch to your audience, not you. While the people are listening to your pitch, they’re asking themselves, “What’s in it for me?” So, be sure you are focused on how you would benefit them.

This example from Forbes demonstrates a typical pitch from a job seeker to a potential employer: “I am a human resources professional with 10 years’ experience working for consumer products companies.”

Forbes says that the pitch would be more powerful if the person said, “I am a human resources professional with a strong track record in helping to identify and recruit top-level talent into management.”

Elevators pitches can be used as a follow up phone call, at a career fair or at a networking event. The pitches don’t always have to be verbal – they can be used in an email introduction.

Follow these tips for the best elevator pitch and keep ahead of the pack at your next networking or career fair event. Or, even a chance meeting in an elevator.

 

 

 

 

Tips for Driving Safely in Winter

There is nothing more nerve-wracking than driving in snow and particularly on ice. Following some tips for driving safely in winter will help keep your nerves from getting frayed.

Be Prepared

Coolant – Get your vehicle ready for winter. If you haven’t changed your antifreeze in the past few years, have the coolant system flushed and put in fresh antifreeze. Remember, the coolant has to be a 50-50 mix with water.

Battery and wipers – Your battery is on borrowed time if it’s five years old or more. Replace it. Check your wipers and replace them if they streak or skip across the windshield. Always keep the windshield washer reservoir filled.

Tires and gas – Make sure your tires are set at the proper inflation levels. The inflation rate is typically on a placard attached to the driver’s door jamb. Always keep your gas tank at least half filled during the winter months.

Emergency kit – It’s a good idea to have an emergency kit in your vehicle. This should include an ice scraper/brush, jumper cables, a shovel, sand, a blanket, flares, battery-powered compressor and a flashlight. Watch weather reports and plan to allow extra time when snow arrives.

Driving in Snow

Slow and steady – If you must drive during a snowfall, take it slow. Avoid quick starts, accelerations and stops. Keep a steady, slow pace. Also, avoid quick turns. Remember, speed limits are for dry roads – not icy or snow-covered ones.

Stay back – Make sure you have plenty of room behind the vehicle you are following. If the vehicle in front of you suddenly stops, you will need extra room to slow down and stop on a snow-covered road.

No high beams – When driving in snow at night, do not use high beams as they will reflect off the falling snow and reduce visibility. Use fog lights and the regular headlights.

Skidding – If you start to skid or slide, take your foot off the accelerator and do not brake. Steer slowly into the skid and you will straighten out. If possible, avoid stopping on an icy or snow-covered road. Also, do not use cruise control on a slippery road.

Slippery hills – If you going up a, incline or hill, try to get some momentum before going up. Avoid stopping on a slippery hill. If you’re going downhill, take it slow but steady.

Bridges – Be extra careful when driving on a bridge or overpass. These typically freeze up quickly.

What to do when stuck in snow

Get off the road – If you get stuck or break down in snow, try to get your vehicle off the road in a safe spot. Put on your hazard lights and stay with the vehicle.

Keep warm – To keep warm, run the engine for ten minutes at a time with the heat set on high. Make sure the exhaust pipe is clear of snow to avoid carbon monoxide buildup. It’s a good idea to crack open a window while the car is idling should carbon monoxide filter inside.

Keep in mind these tips for driving safely in winter. Spring is around the corner!

 

 

 

 

 

So What About The Law [Radio Broadcast February 2017]

“So what about that law?” Radio Show

Sunday 10:30 AM WATD 95.9 FM

Lois Drukman, my insurance broker, and the show’s Health, Auto and Home Insurance expert co hosted. We discussed the law as it relates to insurance.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

 

If you are in need of an insurance agent or are looking to find out what your insurance options are for your home, auto, health or business please contact me.

Lois Drukman
Independent Insurance Broker
Walter J. May Insurance Agency Inc., Hingham, MA
Direct: 781-740-5421 Cell: 617-827-6848
Email: ldrukman@waltermayinsurance.com

So What About The Law [Radio Broadcast January 2017]

“So what about that law?” Radio Show

Sunday 10:30 AM WATD 95.9 FM

Lois Drukman, my insurance broker, and the show’s Health, Auto and Home Insurance expert co hosted. We discussed the law as it relates to insurance.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

 

If you are in need of an insurance agent or are looking to find out what your insurance options are for your home, auto, health or business please contact me.

Lois Drukman
Independent Insurance Broker
Walter J. May Insurance Agency Inc., Hingham, MA
Direct: 781-740-5421 Cell: 617-827-6848
Email: ldrukman@waltermayinsurance.com

Christmas Safety Tips

The Christmas season is here, one of the most joyous times of the year. It’s the season for family gatherings, decorations and making memories. Unfortunately, it is also the season for fires and accidents – the majority of which can be prevented by following some simple Christmas safety tips.

According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), December has one of the highest number of house fires. Each Christmas season, some 400 house fires in the US are sparked by holiday decorations resulting in $15 million in property damage. Also, the Electrical Safety Foundation reports that there are some 5,800 injuries each December from falls while people are placing rooftop decorations on their homes.

Here are some Christmas safety tips to keep you, your family, and your home safe during the holiday season.

Christmas trees – There’s nothing like the look and scent of a real Christmas tree as the centerpiece of your home decorations. Real trees, however, can be a fire hazard risk and require care. When selecting a real tree, make sure it is fresh and green and the needles do not fall off when touched. About two inches should be cut from the bottom of the trunk. Water should be added daily to the tree stand to provide moisture.

A dried-out tree is like having a can of gasoline sitting in your living room. If it catches fire, flames can spread very quickly. The NFPA reports that 230 house fires were caused by Christmas trees each year between 2007 and 2011.

The tree should be at least three feet away from any heat source such as a fireplace, stove, radiator or vent. Never place candles on a real tree. Use only Underwriters Laboratory (UL) approved lights. Make sure the lights and cords are not damaged. One of every three house fires caused by a Christmas tree is related to an electrical problem.

Lights – Holiday lights should not be used for more than three seasons since they are delicate and can damage easily. Do not use more than three sets of push-in bulb strings together. You should also not use more than 50 screw-in bulb strings together. Check the cords for fraying or damage. Also, check the conditions of the bulbs. As mentioned, make sure the light sets are UL approved. Turn off the lights when leaving your home or going to bed.

Candles – Although real candles can set a mood, they can be dangerous. December is the prime month for candle-related fires. Never leave candles unattended in a room or place them near anything combustible. Place candles on a non-flammable and heat-resistant surface or plate. According to the NFPA, 56% of candle-related house fires are the result of candles being too close to another object.

Extension cords – Never run an extension cord under a rug and make sure it is placed away from where people walk to avoid a tripping hazard. Check the condition of the cord before using it. Make sure the cord is UL approved. Do not overload electrical outlets.

Children and pets – Holiday decorations draw the attention of both children and pets. While adding to the festive ambiance of your home, decorations can be a hazard for your child or pet. Poinsettias, holly and mistletoe are poisonous if ingested. Symptoms of poisoning from these plants include rashes and nausea. If your child exhibits these symptoms, call the National Poison Center at 800-222-1222. Pets can also show similar symptoms and should be taken to a veterinarian immediately.

Drink responsibly – The Christmas season is the time for parties. Consider having a designated driver or limit your alcohol intake.

Following these Christmas safety tips will make your Christmas a merry one!

 

 

 

 

So What About The Law [Radio Broadcast December 2016]

“So what about that law?” Radio Show

Sunday 10:30 AM WATD 95.9 FM

Lois Drukman, my insurance broker, and the show’s Health, Auto and Home Insurance expert co hosted. We discussed the law as it relates to insurance.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

 

If you are in need of an insurance agent or are looking to find out what your insurance options are for your home, auto, health or business please contact me.

Lois Drukman
Independent Insurance Broker
Walter J. May Insurance Agency Inc., Hingham, MA
Direct: 781-740-5421 Cell: 617-827-6848
Email: ldrukman@waltermayinsurance.com