October 28, 2014
The kids are getting excited! Halloween is only a few days away. As you and your family bring out the Halloween decorations and prepare for parties and trick-or-treaters make sure to take time to evaluate the liability exposures are your property.
To make sure Halloween is safe and happy for everyone in your family follow these simple tips:
* Make sure sidewalks, driveways and stairs are well lit for visibility and clear anything that may create a trip-and-fall hazard.
* Even the friendliest of pets can become upset or over excited with an influx of Halloween visitors. Avoid and potential hazard by keeping your family pet away from the Halloween guests.
* Use extreme caution if you decide to place a burning candle inside or around your home for added Halloween ambiance. Candles can be a fire hazard if not appropriately monitored. Consider using battery operated candles inside your jack-o-lanterns.
* Parents will want to supervise their children as they go door to door trick-or-treating but remember to secure your home before leaving to avoid any potential thefts.
* Check you Homeowners Insurance – take a moment to speak with Kerrigan O’Malley & Bailey Insurance Agency to be sure you will be fully protected for whatever your Halloweens plans involve.
January 15, 2013
Probably the last thing anyone is thinking about after the mild temperatures the last few days. The weather forecast is calling for snow and extended winter temperatures. One thing living in New England, the weather is always changing.
If you live in New England, you know the winter season creates challenges for homeowners. Ice Dams tend to be the leading cause of homeowner claims.
An ice dam refers to ice that has formed along a roof’s edge. The ice dam blocks additional water from draining off of the roof and thus pools water back up which then finds its way into your home’s interior.
Once the water enters the home it may cause deterioration and decay to interior wood and plaster, drywall or other insulation materials. Once an ice dam has forced paths into a home, the roof becomes more suspectible to future ice dams and water damage.
What causes an ice dam? Too much heat rising from the home to warm the snow on the roof is the most frequent cause of ice dams. The process occurs unevenly with the warmer area at the higher part of the roof melting snow and then the cooler, lower area particularly the roof edge, permitting the water to refreeze and then accumalate. Inadequate insulation lets too much heat escape into the attic and creates a warmer roof.
A couple of signs that you may have ice dams forming. Icicles, they are great for kids to play with, pretty to look at but heavy icicle buildup means that the interior heat is melting a lot of snow and may lead to ice dams.
How to Prevent Ice Dams
There are a number of ways to help prevent ice dams:
1. Clear excess snow from the roof. We would recommend hiring a professional to help minimizing
damage to the roof.
2. Inspect the attic and roof for cracks, holes, or joints that permit warm air to escape to the roof.
Seal and repair these areas.
3. Check the insulation in the attic and add the recommended amounts to help minimize escaping heat.
4. Reduce your home’s thermostat. Throw on a sweatshirt and reduce the heat during extended cold
spells thus reducing the amount of melting of snow on the roof.
5. Clear your gutters and downspouts so that water is properly shedding off of your roof.
As always, Kerrigan O’Malley & Bailey Insurance is here to help with any questions, claims or problems you may have with regards to your MA Homeowners insurance.
November 21, 2012
We wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Please be safe! The National Fire Prevention Association says Thanksgiving Day is the leading day for home cooking fires, with three times as many occurring on Thanksgiving as any other day of the year.
KITCHEN SAFETY TIPS
•Always stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food so you can check it regularly. If you have to leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
•Stay in the home when cooking your turkey. Use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
•Keep anything that can catch fire such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains away from the stove top.
•Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
•Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
•Keep knives out of the reach of children.
•Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
•Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
•Never leave children alone in room with a lit a candle.
•Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
•Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
If things go wrong and you have a cooking fire…•Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number from outside the home.
•If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear path out of the home, and that someone has called the fire department.
•Keep a lid nearby when cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stove top. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
•For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed
Source: National Fire Protection Association
October 29, 2012
We hope everyone stays safe during the impeding storm…In the event we are unreachable and you need to report a claim immediately you may click on your insurance company below to be directed to their claims reporting page, or you can call in your claim with the phone numbers listed below.
Commerce Insurance 800-221-1605
Travelers Insurance 1-800-238-6225
Mass Property Insurance 1800-392-6108
Foremost Insurance 1-800-527-3907
Vermont Mutual Insurance 1-800-435-0397
As always you can reach me directly on my cell phone (978) 479-4708 if you have an emergency.
Kerrigan O’Malley & Bailey Insurance Agency
77 High Street
Clinton MA 01510
Tel: 978 365-2302
Fax: 978 368-0060
Virtual Office: http://www.koinsurance.com
May 14, 2012
Prom Season is upon us and many parents are busy helping their teens gear up for one of the most exciting time in their teen’s life. Many parents overlook the need for the preparations to include specific and honest discussions with their teen about how to stay safe on prom night.
Tips for Parents
* Encourage your teen to get a limo. The will reduce the chances of your teen driving drowsy and/or driving under the influence of alcohol.
* Talk to your teen about the risks and consequences of drug and alcohol use.
* Contact the parents of your teen’s date. Talk to them about the planned arrangements for the night. Discuss the after-prom plans and make sure all parties are okay with it.
* Have an escape plan for a bad situation. Discuss with your teen that if you encounter an uncomfortable situation on prom night they could text or send you an alert notifying you that they need help. Make sure you reinforce that they can contact you at anytime for advise or permission and that you will be discrete.
* Set up times that they are to call and check in.
* Keep yourself safe and remind your friends to be safe.
* Limit passengers in your car to one. The risk of teens getting into a crash increase as the number of passengers increase.
* Have the number of trustworthy cabs programmed in your phone. Have emergency money to pay for a cab.
* Think through and talk with your friends about pressure situations. Have a plan how to handle them.
* Wear your Seat Belt!
* Do not ride with someone who is fatigued or impaired in anyway.
* At all times, know where you are, and know where you’re going.
* Drive defensively on the road!
We hope everyone has a safe, memory filled prom season….
February 24, 2012
While it doesn’t necessarily make sense to specifically insure every piece of jewelry you own, it’s certainly wise if you have expensive pieces…especially if you wear them frequently.
When you “schedule” a special piece of jewelry on your home, condo or renter policy, it provides additional coverage outside the regular policy limits. It also covers situations such as losing a piece of jewelry that isn’t covered under a regular policy. Agents use the term ‘all risk’ coverage to scheduled jewelry items as when you schedule the item you are getting coverage in the event the piece is lost, stone chips, goes down the drain, etc.
To schedule an item, you usually need to have an appraisal that provides a detailed description and the value. But, something that we sometimes forget is that the value of a piece of jewelry isn’t fixed. With the skyrocketing price of gold and other precious metals over the last few years, you might be surprised that the value of your jewelry has substantially increased. If you currently have scheduled jewelry, you may find that the insured amount is no longer enough and in the event of a loss you are not property protected.
It’s generally recommended to re-appraise jewelry every four to five years. However, when you see a big increase or decrease in commodity prices, you may need to update appraisals sooner to ensure that your coverage is sufficient. Unless, you’ve done so in the last few years, now is a good time to re-appraise your jewelry. Once you re-appraise your jewelry items make sure you get the updated jewelry appraisels to our office so that we can update your home, renters or condo policy.
Keep in mind. This applies not only to jewelry but any high value items such as fine art, antiques, instruments, furs, stamp and coin collections, etc…
As always, we are hear to answer any questions you might have give our office a call or visit us online at http://www.koinsurance.com
February 8, 2012
We are a month into the new year and with it new resolutions, goals and tasks. It is also an excellent time to review your insurance plan. We recommend regular policy reviews for 3 reasons:
1. You May Be Over-Paying: Whether your commuting patterns have changed, car usage decreased, loans paid off, household members moved out, or grades improved – you may qualify for a discount. Let us find out what’s new and apply it to your policy. Consider increasing your deductible to save on insurance.
2. You May Be Under-Insured: In light of the current real estate market, many homeowners opt to invest in remodeling instead of moving. This is the time to update your homeowner’s policy for adequate coverage. Also, your income and assets may have changed, warranting adjusted insurance protection. With lawsuits becoming more frequent and aggressive, it pays to have the right protection in a liability claim.
3. Save Hassle and Paperwork: We can help you to conveniently consolidate all your personal insurance needs. Call us at 978 365-2302 for a free and easy insurance review.