Homeowner Halloween Safety Tips

Homeowner Halloween safety tips

happy halloweenHalloween time is here, and, although it’s a fun day, it can pose risks to homeowners, children and pets. Check with your insurance agent to make sure your homeowners policy has the proper coverage to protect you and your property. Here are some tips to keep everyone safe and avoid insurance claims and even lawsuits.

It’s up to the homeowner to keep their property safe when welcoming the ghosts and goblins to the front door. Make sure your outside lights are on and the walkway and stairs are clear of any obstacles such as flower pots, ornaments, and wet leaves. This will avoid trips and falls and protect you against any liability claims on your homeowner’s insurance policy.

Serve only pre-packaged candy or fruit. If you are having a Halloween party, remember you are responsible for your guests when it comes to serving alcohol. Do not allow anyone under the legal drinking age to consume alcoholic beverages and be aware of anyone drinking excessively.
Do not use candles in Jack-o-Lanterns or in your home. These can easily be knocked over and cause a fire. Children should not carry candles, even in a Jack-o-Lantern. Use battery-powered candles, flashlights or light sticks.

Use caution when carving pumpkins. This activity should be supervised by an older child or an adult. A pumpkin cutter is the safest tool to use instead of a knife.

If you are stepping out for Halloween, tell your neighbors. Keep lights on inside and out. This will deter not only burglars but vandals as well.

Halloween is not usually a fun time for pets, particularly dogs and cats. They can become frightened or overly excited by the constant ringing of the doorbell, the commotion of you running back and forth to the front door and the voices of the children. Even the strange looking costumes can hype up a dog or cat.

Keep your pets, particularly dogs and cats, away from trick-or-treaters. This not only keeps your guests safe, but your pets as well. A dog that is frightened or feels threatened can bite – it’s their nature, no matter how docile or well-behaved you may think they may be. A dog bite can lead to a claim on your homeowners insurance policy or a lawsuit.

It’s best to keep pets in another room during trick-or-treat hours. Put them in a crate with a towel or blanket over it. Give them their favorite toy and some treats. Also, play some soft music to help drown out the noise from the youngsters.

Don’t leave your pet in a car or outside alone during trick-or-treat hours. They can become easily frightened and anxious if left alone in a car from the noise and strange sights. This can lead to your pet damaging the inside of the vehicle. Also, there have been instances of pets being injured, teased, stolen, and even killed on Halloween when left unattended outside.

If you want your dog to be part of the Halloween fun, there are costumes just for pets. Make sure your dog can tolerate it and that it is not too tight or loose and cumbersome. There are Halloween collars, bandanas and full costumes available for dogs. Be careful nothing on the costume can become a choking hazard. Additionally, make sure parts of the costume can’t become caught on anything.

Your dog’s costume have some reflective stripes if you’re planning on taking him or her trick-or-treating. Make sure you have your dog’s identification tag on its collar. Those strange looking costumed children passing you by on the street could frighten your pet and he or she may try to run off. Should your dog get away from you, it would be easier to find it with the ID tag. Consider getting a microchip implanted in your dog or cat. It allows your pet to be easily tracked down.

Many pet shops sell Halloween treats for pets. Do not give your dog or cat chocolate. A substance in chocolate, the bromine, is toxic to pets. Candy, in general, is not good for your pet since it can cause upset stomachs. Be careful not to leave wrappers around for your pet to consume. These can lead to choking or intestinal blockages. Don’t leave candy lying around where you pet can easily access it. Halloween decorative corn and pumpkins are usually non-toxic but can cause stomach irritation if consumed.

Have fun on Halloween, but make it safe.

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

#HappyHalloween  #SSNPG

How to Work Less and Get More Done

Doesn’t it seem there aren’t enough hours in the day to get your work done? Do you find yourself working harder and accomplishing less? Well, you’re not alone.

A survey by Salary.com found that the average employee wastes two hours of each workday, not counting scheduled breaks or lunch. There are so many distractions today, namely our cellphones. We’re often checking email, texts and the internet. What may seem like an occasional glance quickly adds up to wasted time during the workday.

There’s a saying, “Work smarter, not harder.” There are ways to get the job done without having to work longer or harder. Here are some tips to help you work smarter:

Turn off social media – If you’re not using Twitter or Facebook for work, wait until you get home to engage it, suggests Forbes. You’ll be surprised how much time you save by not scrolling through dozens of posts and tweets. If you are using email or social media for work, check it a few times during the day instead of very few minutes.

Make a List – Having a to-do list will eliminate that wake-up-in-the-middle-of-the night panic that you forgot to do an important task during the day. Make a list that can be realistically accomplished.

Delegate – Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks to co-workers. Just make sure you delegate the right task to the right person.

Do Less – Carefully choose your projects and tasks. Don’t take on more than you can handle – you know your limits. Focus on one goal at a time.

Clear Your Mind – Forbes recommends taking a short break away from your desk several times a day. Go for a short walk or just step away from the computer for a few minutes. A fresh, clear mind does wonders to keep you focused and improve productivity.

Streamline – Try to reduce tasks such as the number or the length of meetings and how many times you check your business email. A few minutes saved here and there adds up.

Improving productivity goes beyond the office. Try to keep your workweek to 40 hours and enjoy the weekend. A study by Stanford University found that productivity declines sharply if the workweek exceeds 50 hours. Those who work a 70-hour week have the same productivity as those who worked 55 hours, according to the study.

Entrepreneur suggests these tips for a better weekend to help you relax and recharge:
Disconnect – Remove yourself from your job between Friday night and Monday morning. Forget about checking work emails or taking work-related calls.

Exercise – Just 10-minutes of exercise helps release the neurotransmitter, GABA, that reduces stress. Walk, run, work in the garden are al; great stress relievers. Get outdoors and enjoy some fresh air.

Enjoy your family – Spend times with the kids and your spouse. Go on a family trip or out to dinner.

Don’t sleep late – It may be tempting to sleep-in weekend mornings but studies show that waking up at the same time each day keeps your circadian rhythm – your internal body clock – in check.

So What About The Law [Radio Broadcast September 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

Labor Day Safety Tips

Some Safety Tips for Labor Day

Labor Day marks the end of the summer vacation season and is one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. It is also a time for boating and backyard barbeques. While it is a weekend to celebrate summer’s last blast, it also is a dangerous time on the roads.

Let’s go over some Labor Day safety tips that will help make the holiday weekend enjoyable for everyone.

  1. Don’t mix drinking and driving – The National Safety Council reports that about 400 people die on the nation’s roads on Labor Day weekend in motor vehicle crashes. Many of these collisions are the result of drunken and distracted driving. Safewise says that alcohol and parties go hand-in-hand and drinking affects reaction time, coordination and decision-making. If you plan on partying, have a designated driver at the ready.
  2. Hit the road early – If you’re planning a long drive, USA Today suggests starting your Labor Day weekend trip early. Leave before the Friday afternoon rush hour or early Saturday morning. On your return home on Labor Day, try getting on the highway by 4 p.m. or after 10 p.m. Plan your route and consider alternate routes. Needless to say, make sure you and your passengers are buckled up.
  3. Check your vehicle – There is nothing more stressful than breaking down on the road. Make sure your vehicle is ready for the trip. Check the tires for wear and proper inflation. All fluid levels including the windshield washer reservoir should be checked and topped off if needed. If your car hasn’t been serviced for a while, take it into the shop and have a technician give it the once over.
  4. Pack an emergency kit – In addition to packing a picnic lunch, USA Today recommends packing an emergency kit for your trip. This should include jumper cables, a flashlight, duct tape, a tire gauge, tools such as screwdrivers and wrenches. Also, take a first aid kit, bottled water and energy bars.
  5. Take a break – Make sure you are well rested before heading off on a long road trip. Make frequent stops during your drive at rest areas and share driving duties if possible. Stay hydrated by drinking water and have a snack. Dehydration and not eating enough can cause fatigue and dizziness.
  6. Boating safety – Highways aren’t the only busy areas on Labor Day weekend, so are the waterways. The weekend is usually the last hurrah for boaters. Before hauling up the anchor, check the boat’s condition and mechanical components. Make sure all safety equipment including flotation devices are in proper shape. Let someone on land know you are heading out on the water and the time of your return.
  7. Food safety – There’s nothing like a picnic or barbeque to celebrate the Labor Day weekend. Avoid food-borne illnesses by keeping such items as meats, coleslaw, potato and chicken salad cool and out of the sun. Keep these and sandwiches in a cooler. Safewise recommends washing your hands after handling raw meat and drying them on a paper towel. Keep meats refrigerated right up to the time they go on the grill.

Following these Labor Day safety tips will make the end of your summer an enjoyable one.

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

 

Safe Summer Driving Tips

How to be safe driving this summer

The summer vacation season is in full swing and it is the busiest time of year on the roads. Following some simple safe summer driving tips will keep you and your family safe on the roads.

Family-packed cars, motorcycles, trucks, campers, trailer-hauling vehicles and bicyclists are all competing for a piece of the highway. With all that extra traffic, drivers must be extra vigilant and patient.

Most would think driving in the summer is much safer and serene compared to winter. But, the fact is August has the highest traffic fatality rate of any month. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), there were 3,136 crash-related deaths in August, 2013 with July and September close behind with more than 2,900 accident fatalities.

Remember, if you are involved in a crash, it affects your auto insurance rates, particularly if you are at fault. Taking extra precautions to drive safely will help get you through the summer season incident-free. Here are some safe summer driving tips from InsuranceHotLine.com:

  1. Safe driving practices – With increased traffic volume, safe driving practices become particularly important. In addition to regular local traffic, there are many tourists hitting the roads that may be in unfamiliar territory. Stay alert for vehicles that may make a sudden turn or lane change. Leave plenty of room behind the vehicle you are following, obey speed limits, avoid frequent land changes and use directional signals when turning.
  2. Bikes and motorcycles – Watch for cyclists and motorcyclists on the roadways. The summer months bring them out on the roads in droves. Bikes and motorcycles often move fast and can be hard to see. They also may make sudden, unexpected turns. As a motorist, you may not be expecting them.
  3. Keep a clear view – When packing your car for a vacation or road trip, don’t sacrifice your field of vision trying to squeeze in extra supplies inside. Consider using a utility trailer or roof rack. Make sure anything on the outside of the car is secured. Make sure you can clearly see your mirrors and through all the windows. If your windows are blocked, you could be fined for having an obstructed view.
  4. Buckle up – You have heard this time and again – buckle up! Make sure you and all your passengers have their seatbelts secured. Infants and young children should be in a child seat. It has been proven that seatbelts really save lives. If your vehicle is involved in a crash or rolls over, the seatbelt will keep you from being ejected. Occupants not buckled up are more likely to be seriously injured or killed in a crash than those not wearing seatbelts.
  5. Road work – Road construction typically takes place during the summers months. This results in closed lanes and traffic tie-ups. Use caution and reduce your speed when driving through a work zone and be alert for construction equipment that may move into your lane. Most states double fines for speeding through road construction zones. Also, remember to obey the move over law that requires drivers to move over to the next lane if there is an emergency vehicle at the side of the road.
  6. Teen drivers – When school is out for the summer, more teen drivers hit the roads. Sadly, more teen drivers on the road can mean more danger for the rest of us. The unavoidable lack of experience can lead to questionable judgment that can increase the risk of an accident. Data shows that teens are more likely to be involved in accidents than other age groups.

Following these safe summer driving tips and keeping your car properly maintained will keep you and your passengers safe for an enjoyable summer.

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 August 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

Happy Independence Day

Wishing you a safe and happy 4th of July!

 

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

 

Safe Driving Tips for Memorial Day

Memorial Day weekend kicks off the summer vacation season and is typically the busiest for traffic where millions of families hit the road. More traffic means more chances of accidents. In 2012, the holiday weekend claimed more than 370 lives on the roads as a result of crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The American Red Cross and NHTSA offer these safe driving tips to help protect you and your family while traveling.

  1. Stay alert – Give your full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones. Drink water to avoid dehydration.
  2. Buckle Up – Everyone in your vehicle must agree to wear their seatbelts every time they are riding or driving with you. Wearing a seatbelt is also the best defense against a drunk-driving related crash. Make sure children’s car and booster seats are properly installed.
  3. Rest up – Get plenty of rest before you begin your adventure. It will help you stay more alert.
  4. Allow extra travel time – Expect delays and leave early for your destination in order to avoid being frustrated by congested roads. Frustration leads to aggressive driving that can result in a crash. Don’t run yellow or red lights and leave plenty of room behind the vehicles you’re following.
  5. Avoid alcohol – Alcohol and driving can be a deadly mix. It reduces your reflexes and cognitive actions. Every day, nearly 30 people in the U.S. die in an alcohol-related crash.
  6. Make frequent stops – This helps avoid fatigue and keeps you more alert. Have a snack or a light lunch during the stop. Stretch your legs and walk around a bit.
  7. Check your tires – Improperly inflated tires can lead to a blowout, especially driving for long period of time on a hot road. Check the placard on your vehicle driver’s door for the proper inflation rate. Also, check the condition and inflation of your spare tire.
  8. Keep it clean – Make sure your windshield and lights are clean. Not only can the outside of the windshield get dirty, so does the inside where a cloudy haze often forms and can impede night vision. Take a roll of paper towels and window cleaner with you.
  9. Use caution in work zones – There are many road construction projects underway. Speed limits are usually reduced in these zones. Also, remember the “Move Over Law.” If you see a police cruiser stopped at the side of the highway, you are required to move over to the next lane.
  10. Don’t leave kids unattended – Even if you’re running into a store for just a few minutes, children should never be left alone in a vehicle.
  11. Keep an eye on the gas gauge – Don’t let your gas tank get too low. There are some areas where gas stations can be many miles apart. A good rule of thumb is not to let the gauge go below half.

Many families take their pets with them. Consider your pet’s age and health before taking him or her along for the ride. If you do take your pet with you, make sure you bring food and bowls, a leash, and medication. It’s also a good idea to bring along a picture of your pet in case it gets loose.

Being properly prepared for the long holiday weekend trip can make it not only fun, but safe.

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 April 2016]

“So what about that law?” Radio Show

Sunday 10:30 AM WATD 95.9 FM

April 3rd, 2016:    Lois Drukman , the shows expert on insurance and I discussed the importance of :naming a Health Care Agent, having life insurance and helpful tips to reduce your insurance premiums.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

 

 

Auto insurance myths

Auto insurance covers items stolen from your car. If your car is totaled in a crash, the insurance covers what it is worth after the crash. Your auto insurance pays for mechanical repairs.

Many believe these are covered by auto insurance. In fact, they are not. They are common auto insurance myths. According to PropertyCasualty360.com, Princeton Survey Research Associates International conducted a survey for insuranceQuotes.com in 2015 to find out how misinformed consumers are about their auto insurance. Their findings were surprising.

InsuranceQuotes.com senior analyst Laura Adams said that the survey results “indicate that millions of Americans need a fresher course on what insurance does and does not cover.” Check with your insurance agent to clarify what your policy covers and whether you need to add or drop some coverage.

The five common auto insurance myths are:

  1. Red cars cost the most to insure – The survey showed that 44 percent of respondents believed that driving a red car would cost more to insure. The fact is the color of the vehicle does not affect insurance premiums. However, the type of vehicle does, such as a luxury import sports car would cost more to insurance than a standard American vehicle.
  2. 2. Auto insurance doesn’t cover you if you cause a crash – Thirty-seven percent (52 percent of those millennials) believe that auto insurance wouldn’t cover them if they are at fault in a collision. This may be due to the fact some consumers only have liability coverage which pays for damage to someone else’s property if they are the cause of the crash. Liability coverage does not pay to replace or repair the insurer’s own vehicle.

The fact is liability insurance is required coverage in most states while collision is optional and pays for damage to an insured’s own vehicle, even if they are at fault in a crash. It’s a good idea to carry uninsured/underinsured coverage that pays for damage and injuries caused by a driver who has no insurance or is underinsured.

  1. Insurance only covers what the vehicle is worth after a crash – Twenty-eight percent of those surveyed believed that insurance only pays for the post-crash value of their vehicle. Another 12 percent didn’t know what the insurance covered. The fact is auto insurance pays the market value of a new vehicle before the crash. Some policies offer new-car replacement that pays the cost of what the vehicle would be before depreciation. Liberty Mutual, for example, offers coverage for vehicles less than a year-old and have been driven less than 15,000 miles. It’s an endorsement and obviously is an added fee to the policy.

Consumers should consider gap insurance if they owe more than the vehicle is worth. This coverage pays off the remaining balance on the loan if the vehicle is totaled.

  1. Auto insurance covers mechanical repairs – Fourteen percent of respondents believed that their auto insurance would pay for mechanical repairs. Also believing this to be true were 23 percent of Millennials and those who make less than $30,000 a year. The fact is auto insurance does not pay for routine mechanical repairs. The insurance only covers damage caused by a collision.
  2. Auto insurance covers items stolen from your car – Thirty-four percent of respondents believe auto insurance would pay for belongings stolen from their car. Forty-seven percent of those 64 years old and older also believed this to be true. The fact is auto insurance does not cover stolen items from vehicles. Homeowners and renters insurance, however, would cover items stolen from vehicles as long as the items are worth more than the deductible. As an example, if a laptop was stolen from the car and it was worth $2,000 and the policy has a $500 deductible, the insured would receive a check for $1,500.

Your insurance agent is the best source to tell you what is “myth” or “fact” when it comes to your auto insurance. Have your agent go over your policy with you to see if you have the right insurance coverage.

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