Preparing for a Hurricane in New England
We are still in the midst of hurricane season and with all of the hurricane activity we have seen lately on the gulf and eastern coasts, it is an important time to prepare for a hurricane in New England. A hurricane can do lasting damage as winds whip up to over 100 miles per hour. As low-pressure meets with tropical ocean water, the conditions result in a hurricane. It surges unto land and as it travels onward, it loses its velocity. However, rain continues to fall often leading to flooding. Floods are perhaps the most deadly consequence of some hurricanes.
To help you with get your hurricane preparedness plan in place, follow these guidelines:
– Preparing for a hurricane in New England means you need a plan in place before a hurricane approaches. Make sure everyone in the family knows the plan. Test-drive the evacuation route in case you need to leave your home.
– Stock your home with essential supplies such as water, food, a first aid kit, flashlight, hand crank radio, and batteries.
– Continuously check with the national and local weather advisories and heed their warnings.
– When you hear that a hurricane is approaching, make sure your home in New England is prepared. Depending on the category rating boarding up windows or closing hurricane shutters and doors may be necessary. Especially if you are in 150 miles of the coast for a category 3 or higher level hurricane. Ensure all drain spouts are in proper working order, as well as other drains, sewers, and sump pumps.
– Check your generator to be sure it’s functional and fueled up.
– If you don’t have a generator, set your refrigerator to a colder setting in case the power goes out.
– Secure important documents that are irreplaceable.
– Check with your insurance agent to make sure your policy covers the potential damage of a hurricane. Add flood coverage if you don’t already have it.
– Cover your outdoor A/C unit with a tarp.
– Remove non-permanent outdoor equipment to a garage or basement (for example, picnic tables, patio furniture, and grills).
– Remove any loose limbs and shrubbery that is near your home.
– If the hurricane has already hit land, do not attempt to drive. Many people die in flooded waters.
Preparing for a hurricane in New England is an essential step to take now. The hurricane season doesn’t begin to die down until November. If you have any questions on hurricane preparedness or about your policy, please click here to contact us today!
Home Based Business Insurance and What You Need To Know!
Having your own business is a great reflection on you. This means you had a goal, worked diligently, and achieved your dream of business ownership. Many people choose to run their business out of their homes. It’s conveniently located, cuts down on overhead costs, and is a comfortable place to be. However, when operating your business out of the home, there are certain risks that need to be addressed. One issue that is often overlooked is that of business insurance for your home-based operation. While you may have your homeowner’s insurance, that will not suffice for the business.
Most people do not plan for emergencies – or even expect them, until it’s too late. Understanding home based business insurance and what you need to know! Preparing in advance for the unexpected mishaps that could occur will save you money and added misery in the end.
What if your home catches fire?
Did you know that the National Fire Protection Association reported there’s an average of 358,300 home-based fires per year? Fortunately, many fires are brought under control before people are hurt. Yet, the physical damage to the home often takes months to repair. If you have a business in your home and a fire occurs, you not only risk damage to the home, but loss of important business equipment. That’s why it’s so important to have business insurance coverage that will protect your assets in case of a fire.
What if your home gets robbed?
No one likes to think about someone robbing their home, but the Bureau of Justice claims that, on average, 3.7 million burglaries occur every year. This number is startling especially when your entire livelihood is contained in your home. We typically think of someone breaking in the home when we’re not there or at night, but theft can occur in other ways too. For example, if you have employees working for you and accessing financial data, embezzlement is a concern. Thieves may also steal equipment you have on your property such as business vehicles. Business insurance helps protect what means so much to you.
What if your home gets damaged?
Many things can potentially damage your home. Ferocious storms often cause tree limbs to fall on homes. Fierce winds or tornadoes result in damaged or lost roof shingles, and torrential rainfall sometimes causes flooding. You cannot predict the problems weather or other accidents may cause. That’s why it’s best to have business coverage before anything occurs.
In short when it comes to understanding home based business insurance and what you need to know! Accidents occur everyday but you can be prepared by investing in business insurance for your home. Don’t let your home-based business be at risk. At Waitte’s Insurance our team has written numerous home based business policies and can advise you on what type of coverage is need.
If you have a home based business and would like to discuss your insurance options please contact our agents by clicking here.
What’s Personal Umbrella Insurance? Personal umbrella insurance is for people who would like to add extra liability coverage over and above another insurance policy. Usually, people get personal umbrella insurance for their auto and homeowners insurance.
What Does Personal Umbrella Insurance Cover?
Personal umbrella insurance is to protect people from large liability claims or judgements. Personal umbrella insurance helps when underlying liability limits have been reached. Bodily injury, personal injury, property damage and landlord liability is usually covered by personal umbrella insurance.
Personal Umbrella Insurance Policy in Action
Now, here are some examples so that you can better understand how a personal umbrella insurance policy works.
- Car Accident
The policyholder gets in an at-fault accident that injures the other driver. Your regular auto insurance policy covers the injuries of the other driver with a limit of $250,000. The other driver is severely injured, and their medical bills are going to be approximately $700,000. You may be legally responsible for their medicals bills exceeding $250,000. If the driver decides to sue you, your personal assets could be at risk.
Your regular auto insurance policy is going to cover $250,000 of their medical bills. $450,000 is needed to cover the rest of their medical bills for their severe injuries. Once your auto insurance policy limit is reached, that’s where a personal umbrella insurance policy will pay the remaining balance of $450,000.
- Personal Property
The policyholder has a leak underneath their shower. The policyholder needs to replace their walls and floors because of the water damage. The leak ruins the neighbor’s walls and floors, and they need to be replaced as well. A personal umbrella insurance policy won’t cover the policyholder, but the insurance company will pay for the neighbor’s below them to replace their walls and floors.
What Isn’t Generally Covered By a Personal Umbrella Insurance Policy?
- Personal Property
Personal umbrella insurance usually only covers people who are responsible for damages to someone else’s property. Usually, it won’t cover damage to the personal property of the policyholder.
- Business losses
If the policyholder experiences business losses, personal umbrella insurance won’t usually cover them. Even if the business is from the policyholder’s home, they still wouldn’t be covered.
- Intentional or criminal acts or omissions
A personal umbrella policy won’t protect the policyholder for their own intentionally harmful or illegal behavior.
- Written or oral contracts
A personal umbrella policy usually won’t cover the policyholder from liability that arises in the connection of a written or oral contract they’ve entered.
If you would like to discuss your options in regards to What’s Personal Umbrella Insurance and how it may work into your coverage options.
Between Memorial Day, Father’s Day and the 4th of July, there is a lot to celebrate in the summer months. Many of these occasions call for certain traditions, such as grilling outside with family and friends and even setting off fireworks. While fireworks are illegal in Connecticut for personal use (except for sparklers and fountains), they are still legal in other states for small-party celebrations. We would never encourage the illegal use of these explosive displays in our state, but in the event that you find yourself visiting an area where it’s permitted, we’d like to provide a number of firework safety tips to prevent disaster throughout the summer festivities.
Firework Safety Isn’t Only a Precautionary Measure, it’s a Responsibility!
They are exploding devices, period:
And as such, they are very dangerous and can cause serious injury. The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to find a public display. Many towns host their own state-approved shows, spending thousands of dollars on top-of-the-line fireworks that you can’t buy at the fireworks stands. So gather the family and enjoy the sizzling, awe-inspiring displays together.
Fireworks damage property and onlookers:
Every year, fire marshalls around the United States report house and grass fires caused by fireworks. You could be liable and even charged with a felony if a fire, property damage or personal injury results from a firework (legal or illegal).
Pets aren’t too keen on fireworks displays:
It’s recommended not to bring your pet to a fireworks display or to shoot fireworks near your pets. Dogs especially have ultra-sensitive hearing and loud bursts can cause heightened anxiety for them. At home, before it gets dark, put your pet in an interior room with no windows so they can’t see (and hopefully hear less) of the fireworks. Many pets become afraid of the explosions and escape from their yards on holidays that involve fireworks, so check to make sure your pet is wearing an ID tag. In addition, it is common courtesy to warn any neighbors with pets that you will be setting off fireworks in the area. This will allow them to take the proper precautions for their pets ahead of time.
Local television weather stations usually start reporting fire bans a few days before the holiday, and you can always call your local fire station. Always abide by posted warnings and bans in your local area.
Read all warning labels:
If you insist on creating your own fireworks displays, read the labels and the caution warnings to know how the fireworks will perform prior to lighting them. A responsible adult should ALWAYS supervise any fireworks. Everyone nearby should wear safety glasses. Needless to say, fireworks and alcohol don’t mix. So do your fireworks show first, then have a celebratory beer afterward.
Never give fireworks to children:
Don’t get crazy:
Remember the rule of thumb – lighting only one firework at a time, and never try to relight a “dud” firework that didn’t ignite the first time. Have a large bucket of water to douse any fires just in case. Once you have lit a single firework, back away from it quickly but carefully, as not to trip and fall in the process. And yes, we have to say it… fireworks should only be used OUTdoors and at least 50 yards away from any cars and homes.
Don’t get creative, either:
NEVER make your own fireworks. Those without the proper expertise in explosive chemicals and devices can put themselves in extreme danger. Many fingers have gotten blown off and serious injuries have occurred as a result of do-it-yourself fireworks. And don’t shoot fireworks into containers or at each other. Firework safety is about abiding by the posted instructions and not tempting fate.
We hope you take all of the above firework safety information into strong consideration to ensure happiness and safety for all of your loved ones during the summer holidays. To all Americans, we want your Independence Day to be without incident and filled with joy!
In addition to providing quality and cost-effective insurance rates for Norwich and surrounding residents, we also want our customers to stay informed on the latest news, safety, and helpful everyday tips. One of the ways we do this is through social media, so be sure to check out the Waitte’s Insurance Agency Facebook Page!
A firearm of any kind is a very serious piece of equipment. For gun owners, firearm safety should be a common sense ideology. However, the majority of gun accidents in the household occur from lack of education or not taking the proper precautions. Whether you’re already a gun owner or looking to become one, you always want to avoid a potentially deadly scenario in your home by using extreme caution and abiding by basic firearm safety protocol. This could mean the difference between protecting your family from home invaders and accidentally harming someone that you love or an innocent bystander.
Firearm Safety Tip Checklist
It doesn’t matter whether you purchase from a gun show, pawn shop, or online, you MUST register your firearm and obtain the necessary licensing. This is a legal requirement not only in case your gun goes missing, but to ensure accountability in the event your gun is used in a criminal act. Connecticut locals are strongly encouraged to research the state’s required licenses before purchasing their first gun.
Inquire at your local gun ranges, as most of them provide the customary training and safety courses for appropriately operating a firearm. As important as it is to earn the proper certifications, it’s even more crucial to pay attention and truly learn what is needed to keep you and your family safe with a gun in your home.
Preferably in a locked vessel such as a safe, hide your firearm securely and out of reach of children or those who it is not registered to. Always keep your gun unloaded with the safety trigger on. Additionally, ammunition should be hidden separately away from the gun. These practices will help avoid an accidental discharge and will make it more difficult for intruders to get their hands on a loaded weapon.
Handling the Firearm:
Safely handling a firearm will be discussed in-depth in your training courses, but we still want to stress the topic. Guns should always be in “safety” mode whenever they are in your possession. Furthermore, your shooting index finger should never hover around the trigger until the moment you intend to shoot it. Always keep the barrel of the gun pointed down towards the ground until you’re ready to fire. *Rule of thumb – NEVER point your weapon at anything you do not intend to destroy just in case of an accidental discharge.
Cleaning the Firearm:
This is significant for a few reasons. A poorly maintained and dirty firearm will not always fire correctly. Because of this, many misfires and backfires can occur, causing damage to the weapon and possible injury to anyone around. Any firearm should be thoroughly cleaned inside and out before each use. And just like how it is suggested to be stored, your gun should always be unloaded with the safety on whenever you are cleaning it. Even if you remove the magazine, a single bullet may be loaded into the chamber of the gun; so double, triple and quadruple check to ensure it is completely unloaded.
When to Take It Out:
Most people purchase a gun to protect their families and homes from criminals in or around their property. The hope is that the weapon will never need to be used for this reason, but an immediate threat is one of only a few instances in which it should be taken out. The other reasons would be to clean it or to go shooting at a gun range. Whenever transporting a firearm to a gun range, it should be secured in a locked vessel and stored in the trunk of your car.
Who Should Have Access to it?
Only those with the required licenses and training should ever access your personal firearm. Never lend it out to anyone unless it is within the confines of a range. No weapon should ever be put into the hands of a child. Children are more likely to be killed or injured by a firearm accidentally than from a criminal act. It may be tempting to some to show off their newly-purchased handgun, but it should only be handled by its owner.
Firearm safety is the number one responsibility any gun owner to avoid harm to themselves, their families and their property. Yes, gun incidents can also lead to damage to your home, which in turn, leads to unnecessary insurance claims. Accidents in the home can arise out of nowhere, so you don’t want to just protect yourself physically but also financially with sufficient homeowner’s insurance. In the market for new coverage? We’re always happy to help!