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Winter Storms Ahead:

 Insurance  Comments Off on Winter Storms Ahead:
Dec 042017
 

Are You Ready?

As insurance professionals, our picture of winter is not always cozy. Winter storms mean traffic snarls, hillsides turning to sheets of ice, and cars sliding around like hockey pucks. Cold temperatures can cause pipes to burst, frost swells and other damage. Heating your home with fireplaces and holiday lighting can increase the risk of fire. At Soucy Insurance, we are committed to keeping you and your loved ones protected. Please review the below information on how you can stay safe all winter long.

A picture-perfect winter requires a few precautions

Here are a few of our top tips to help reduce weather-related hassles this winter.

  • Winter-proof your car with good snow tires or chains, new wiper blades, antifreeze, and emergency road supplies.
  • Keep your attic cool to help prevent ice dams. Insulate the attic floor and make sure it is well-ventilated.
  • Do not overload circuits with holiday decorations.

When winter storms hit, be smart

  • If you do not have to drive, stay put. If you must drive, make sure you’ve winterized your car and have a full tank of gas.
  • When the air is cold, keep bath and kitchen cabinet doors open so warm air can circulate around pipes. If pipes do freeze, let them thaw normally—they’ll be less likely to burst.
  • If the power is out, make sure you avoid leaving candles or fires burning unattended. If you use a portable generator, follow the instructions and do not use it indoors.

Know what your insurance covers

We want to help you rest easy.  You will be more relaxed when you know you have prepared your property to lessen the chance of winter storm damage. Your insurance policy covers repair or rebuilding costs. However, your deductible does apply. Check your policy to see what is covered and to confirm the deductible you have chosen.

If you have any questions at all about your coverage, call Soucy Insurance at 762.2218 and we will help you review your options.

 

 

Tips to Help Keep Student Athletes Safe

 Insurance  Comments Off on Tips to Help Keep Student Athletes Safe
Sep 192017
 

Your household may be one of the millions this fall in which student athletes are dreaming of victory on their school playing fields. Of course, we here at Soucy Insurance want to see them succeed, but we also want them to be safe.

So, here are several tips for students, parents and school staff to keep in mind as the new season gets underway:

  1. Start off on the right foot: All athletes require a preseason physical and should share any medical conditions with coaches. And, parents, do not forget to provide your contact information and permission for emergency medical care.
  2. Think about nutrition: A healthy diet offers plenty of complex carbohydrates, plus moderate amounts of protein, salt, sugars and sodium. Keep fat, saturated fat and cholesterol to a minimum.
  3. Be smart about injuries: Athletic trainers and consulting physicians, not coaches, should decide whether athletes continue playing following an injury. All athletic staff must be trained on how to use defibrillators and the devices must be kept nearby during both practice and games. Finally, athletes should always speak up about and seek medical attention for such symptoms as dizziness, memory loss, lightheadedness, fatigue or imbalance after a hit in the head or a fall. In most cases, they should not rejoin practice or play that same day.
  4. Maintain equipment and facilities: Helmets and pads should be properly fitted; gymnastic apparatus well-maintained. Facilities must be kept clean and checked for germs regularly.
  5. Warm up, cool down: Always warm up and stretch before beginning activities. Cool down and stretch when finished, and take plenty of breaks in between.
  6. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water before, during and after a workout or practice.
  7. Build up a heat tolerance: To avoid heat illnesses, especially in sports requiring protective equipment, start slowly and build up to more intensive training requiring the full gear.

We hope these tips help set up your student athletes for success this season. We’ll be rooting for them! For additional information on how to safeguard your loved ones, call Soucy Insurance at 762.2218.

 

Protect Your Investment with Condo Insurance

 Insurance  Comments Off on Protect Your Investment with Condo Insurance
Aug 072017
 

You’ve taken the plunge and opted for condo life.  Now that the papers are signed, it seems like everything is taken care of for you — building maintenance, roof repairs, landscaping, insurance, etc.  It’s time to relax because everything is covered, right?

Not quite.  The insurance policy provided by the condo association covers the building structure and common areas, but what about potential structural damage to your unit and covering your belongings?  Without a personal condo insurance policy, you could be left high and dry if your unit floods, is damaged in a fire, etc.

At Soucy Insurance, we believe it is our responsibility to keep you informed on how to best protect your investments. When it comes to coverage for your condominium, most condos require two insurance policies:

Master Policy:  Generally provided by your condo association, this policy covers the physical structure of the building, including basement, roof, walls, elevators, lobbies, etc.  Coverage usually includes both physical damage and liability. Be sure to request a copy of the policy so you know what is covered.

Personal Condo Policy:  This will cover additional structural damage to your unit, including cabinets, appliances, personal belongings, and more.  This also covers living expenses if you fall victim to a fire, theft, or other covered disaster.  Many insurance carriers, such as Safeco InsuranceTM, offer enhancements that include personal property protection in your condo insurance policy. Safeco’s Full Value Contents® protection will pay the full replacement cost of your belongings, not just what they are worth today.

Other coverage to consider:

Umbrella Policy:   If someone were to trip and fall inside or near your condo, they could sue both you and the condo association.  Umbrella provides additional layers of liability protection and can protect against lawsuits that target both your current and future earnings.

Flood or Earthquake:  Read the fine print on your policy.  They often will not cover damage due to these disasters.  Additional coverage may be required if you live in a prone area

Should you have additional questions regarding condo insurance or any other type of coverage, please call Soucy Insurance today at 762.2218.


*Content provided by Safeco Insurance

What You Need To Know About Your Homeowners Insurance

 Home Insurance  Comments Off on What You Need To Know About Your Homeowners Insurance
Jul 192017
 

When the worst case scenario happens to your home, you want to know that you are covered. Here at Soucy Insurance, we value our customers and understand that we’re all on a budget. We work hard to offer premium coverage at a reasonable rate. While we hope you never experience a loss, if you do, we’ve got you covered.

The best way to ensure that you have the best coverage is to educate yourself on the facts. Consumer Reports has outlined some things to keep in mind when you are looking for adequate protection at a reasonable price:

  • You May Be Paying Too Much – Homeowners insurance isn’t as price-competitive as auto insurance, however, you can still save hundreds to thousands of dollars by shopping around.
  • You May Not Be Covered Enough – Based on a survey conducted by Consumer Reports, about 60% of all U.S. homes are underinsured because some homeowners do not realize that a standard policy does not cover everything.
  • Don’t Worry About The Small Claim – The same survey found that 57% of people who filed claims of less than $5,000 saw no premium increase.
  • Animal Damage May Not Be Covered – The larger and more unexpected the animal, the more likely that the damage will be covered. However, your own pets are generally excluded. It’s important to keep this in mind when you are choosing a plan that fits your lifestyle.
  • Your Credit History Will Affect Your Rates – For over 25 years, insurers in 47 states use a credit-based insurance score to help determine homeowner’s insurance premiums. Make sure that you’re getting all of the information about your premium price and cross-checking the price offered with other insurance companies to make sure you have the best deal possible.
  • The Things Most Important To You May Not Be Covered – Anything abnormally pricey, including fine jewelry, art, computers, deluxe digital cameras, etc. will most likely exceed the limits of a standard homeowners insurance policy. For luxury items like these you may want to invest in a separate policy with zero deductible that covers accidental loss.
  • The Hail Loophole – Hail can cause a substantial amount of damage to homes and property, including shattering windows and leaving holes in your home. The standard homeowner’s policy does cover hail. However, any substantial cosmetic damage, such as dented aluminum or awnings, may be excluded.
  • Even If You Rent, You’re Not Off The Hook – Renters still need insurance. Statistically, only 41% of renters buy insurance. Investing in insurance is necessary to protect yourself and your belongings.

We hope that these tips offer you some insight into the important facts about homeowners insurance. If you would like more information about the logistics of our homeowner’s insurance policies, please give us a call at 401.762.2218.

Prepare Your Emergency Kit … Before Storms Hit

 Home Insurance  Comments Off on Prepare Your Emergency Kit … Before Storms Hit
Jul 192017
 

You never know when a natural disaster is going to hit our area — or even just a big storm that knocks out the power for a few days. With hurricane season in full swing, your friends at Soucy Insurance would like to make certain your family is safe no matter what the weather might bring.

That’s why having an emergency kit for you and your family is so important. It’s not hard to put one together, yet there are still many households that would be completely unprepared if they had to evacuate their home for a few days. Or, for that matter, remain in their home without access to running water or electricity.

Below is a list of basic items for your emergency kit, as recommended by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Of course, you can add or remove items as needed to meet the specific needs of you and your family.

  • One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days.
  • A three-day supply of nonperishable food for people and pets. (Note that the Red Cross recommends keeping a two-week supply of food and water on hand at home.)
  • A battery-powered or hand-crank radio, flashlights and extra batteries.
  • A first-aid kit.
  • Prescription medications and glasses.
  • Dust masks to filter contaminated air, along with plastic sheeting and duct tape to create a makeshift shelter if necessary.
  • A whistle to signal for help.
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
  • A tool to turn off utilities.
  • A can opener.
  • Local maps.

Additional items that are likely to be useful:

  • Important documents, such as copies of insurance policies, identification and birth certificates, bank account records, etc. Be sure to keep these in a watertight container.
  • Extra cash or traveler’s checks.
  • Warm blankets or sleeping bags for each person in your family.
  • Matches.
  • Paper plates, plastic cups and utensils and paper towels.
  • Paper and pencils.
  • Books and activities to keep kids busy.
  • Emergency reference material, such as a first-aid manual.
  • A complete change of clothing for everyone in the family, including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. If you live in a cold climate, you might pack additional clothing and bedding.

Keep in mind, when you need your emergency kit, you really need it. It’s a small investment of time and effort that can have a huge benefit in case of a disaster. And you don’t have to spend your whole day putting it together — spread out the work over a few days and you’ll be prepared in no time.

For more information on keeping your loved ones safe and secure, call Soucy Insurance today at 762.2218.

Stay Safe On Your Motorcycle All Summer Long

 Insurance  Comments Off on Stay Safe On Your Motorcycle All Summer Long
Jun 232017
 

motorcycle safety 2The much anticipated summer weather is finally here. To some, this may mean long walks on the beach or days by the pool. To weekend road warriors, this means taking to the open road on a motorcycle. Soucy Insurance Agency wants to remind you of some tips to take with you on your road trip to ensure that you arrive at your final destination safely.

One of the best ways to ensure a safe trip is to practice motorcycle safety. Consumer Reports has created a list of several tips to keep in mind before you begin your trip. Whether you are a new rider or have years of experience, these tips will help to ensure your safety and make your journey that much more enjoyable:

  • Don’t Buy More Bike Than You Can Handle: The technology and performance of bikes today has increased dramatically over the years. When shopping for a bike, purchase one that fits you and your expectations. If you are planning on riding on highways and trying to keep up with traffic, you may need a larger engine. However, if you are planning on using it for short, commuter drives a small engine may be sufficient.
  • Antilock Brakes: Studies show that motorcycles equipped with ABS brakes were 37 percent less likely to be involved in a fatal crash than bikes without them. ABS brakes help to prevent crashes during emergency stops and to keep the driver in control. Many standard models today are equipped with ABS brakes. If you have an older model, it only adds a couple hundred dollars additionally to add them.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has about 2,700 locations across the United States that offer courses to fine tone your motorcycle skills at a price ranging from free to $350. Courses like these often encourage motorcycle manufacturers to offer credit towards a new bike or training. Regardless of the cost and potential benefit, it is important to be familiar and comfortable when riding your bike in order to ensure the safest trip.
  • Use Your Head: Riders without helmets are 40 percent more likely to suffer a fatal head injury in a crash and are three times more likely to suffer brain injuries, than those with helmets, according to studies. A full-face helmet that is approved by the Department of Transportation is the safest choice. These helmets are clearly marked with a DOT certification sticker on them. Helmets today are light-weight, comfortable, easy to manage, and much more practical than they have been in the past.
  • Dress Appropriately: Leather jackets, gloves, full pants and over-the-ankle footwear are the best ways to protect yourself from flying debris, bugs, wind chill, and road rash. It is also important to protect your eyes. The best way to do so are goggles or a helmet visor. Wearing bright colors can help cars see you and make yourself noticeable in a fast-paced environment. When riding a motorcycle it’s important to dress the part and stay safe.
  • Be Defensive: A recent study by the University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research found that in collisions involving a motorcycle and a car, car drivers were at fault 60 percent of the time. It is imperative to practice defensive driving and be prepared for the unknown when riding a motorcycle. Don’t tailgate, and always allow a safe distance between you and the car in front of you.
  • Avoid Bad Weather and Watch for Road Hazards: Rain cuts out visibility but also reduces your tires’ grip on the road. If you can avoid rainy days it is safer to do so. However, if you must ride on a rainy day it is important to remember that the most dangerous time is right after participation begins, as water can cause oil residue to rise to the top. Sand, wet leaves, or pebbles can interfere with tires’ grip on the road and can be potentially dangerous. If you cannot avoid them, practice a slower speed.
  • Be Ready: Before setting off on your motorcycle, do a thorough inspection. Make sure your tires are not improperly inflated and that your breaks are working efficiently. If you notice anything wrong or concerning, seek alternate transportation until you can have your motorcycle serviced.

One of the most important ways to protect yourself is with motorcycle insurance. At Soucy Insurance, we offer many affordable insurance packages for your motorcycle or other recreational vehicle. To learn more call us at 726.2218.

Buying a Car for Your Grad

 Insurance  Comments Off on Buying a Car for Your Grad
May 182017
 

shutterstock_534195358Buying a Car for Your Grad? Here’s What to Keep in Mind

So, you have decided to reward your graduate with a car (or help him/her purchase one, at least). That’s great! Adding a car to the family can make life easier for everyone — as long as it’s the right car.

Now, how do you figure out which car is the right car? Whether you are shopping for a new or used car, here are a few things we here at Soucy Insurance  would like you to consider.

Safety

It is easy to find out which cars performed well in crash tests (and which did not). Visit these sites for current and past ratings, and other useful tools:

Reliability and Usage

Sources such as Consumer Reports can give you a good idea of the experience other owners have had with the models you’re considering. Warranty coverage is included with new vehicles, of course, but also some used cars that have undergone a certification program. Depending on how your grad is going to use the car, you’ll want to look at mileage estimates and features such as all-wheel drive.

The Importance of an Inspection

Buying used? It is crucial that you get an inspection from a trusted repair shop. Retrieve as much history on the car as you can, from owner records to a report from Carfax or a similar service. And, if you feel the sellers are not being forthcoming, walk away. Do not let their problems become your problems.

Cost of Ownership

Certain cars cost more to repair and maintain than others, and insurance costs can vary widely as well. We would be happy to help you determine the impact different models can have on the price of coverage.

Remember, when you get further along in your search and have a few choices in mind, give Soucy Insurance a call at 762.2218 to find the best option for you.

Spring cleaning? Now’s the time to review that old insurance policy …

 Insurance  Comments Off on Spring cleaning? Now’s the time to review that old insurance policy …
Apr 102017
 

As seasons change so too do your insurance needs.  Many people are unaware that even slight modifications to your daily life can have major effects on your insurance coverage.

Have you recently renovated your home? Is your son or daughter leaving for college and taking an automobile? Is your current life insurance policy enough to provide for your loved ones? Has your business recently expanded? These are just a few of the questions you should consider when reviewing your current home, auto, life or business insurance policies.

Soucy Insurance will provide a complementary review of all your current policies to make sure what matters most to you is sufficiently protected.  We write all types of insurance, including Auto, Home, Renters, Life, Boat, Motorcycle, RV, Rental Property, as well as Small Business insurance packages. Many of our customers are pleasantly surprised to learn that we can often enhance their coverage and save them money.  To schedule your policy review, call 762.2218. 

Spring safely into the season with trusted insurance protection

 Insurance  Comments Off on Spring safely into the season with trusted insurance protection
Apr 102017
 

shutterstock_262257866As we slowly begin to put the cold weather behind us, we are eager to take advantage of any opportunity to get outdoors.  Before you do, we encourage you to consider insuring your recreational vehicles with reliable coverage from Soucy Insurance.  No matter if you plan to spend time in your camper, on your motorcycle, or sailing in your boat, we offer several coverage options throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Our current available policies for recreational vehicles include:

  • ATV’s
  • Boats/Yachts
  • Jet Skis
  • Motorcycles
  • Motor Homes
  • Travel Trailers

At Soucy Insurance, our top priority is safeguarding what matters most to you.  Our policies will properly protect your vehicle in the event of damage or theft. We also offer additional coverage for equipment and property, including bodily injury liability, coverage for guest passengers, and property damage liability.

Kick-back and relax this season knowing your property is safe and insured.  To learn more about how you can secure comprehensive coverage at affordable rates or to schedule a free policy review, please call our offices at 762.2218.

Tips to Get You Ready for Boating Season

 Insurance  Comments Off on Tips to Get You Ready for Boating Season
Apr 042017
 

shutterstock_144093988Spring is here, and summer is right around the corner. It’s time to start thinking about getting your boat out on the beautiful Rhode Island water.

At Soucy Insurance, we believe your first priority should be getting your boat ready for the water. From the engine and propeller down to your trailer, a little preparation before your boat comes out of winter storage can help you start the season off right — and get the most out of your time on board.

Here are some helpful from Discover Boating to get you started:

  1. Check your safety gear. Do you have enough life jackets? Are they in good shape? What about onboard fire extinguishers? Are your navigation lights working?
  2. Consider adding safety items. Should disaster strike, an emergency position indicating radio beacon can help rescuers find you and your boat. And, if you have an enclosed space on the boat, you should have a carbon-monoxide detector.
  3. Examine your fuel system. Any leaks or damage should be addressed immediately.
  4. Look at all belts, hoses and cables. Those that appear brittle or cracked most likely need to be replaced.
  5. Check fluid levels, such as engine oil. Change or add as needed.
  6. Have your battery and electrical system checked. Look for corrosion on your electrical connections.
  7. Make sure your propeller isn’t banged up. Dings and distortion can cause vibration, as well as damage your drive train.
  8. Look at the hull for blisters and cracks. Repair or patch damage, and make sure to use an environmentally safe solution when washing the exterior and interior.
  9. Don’t forget the trailer. Treat your trailer with as much care as you show your boat. Inspect the hubs occasionally, and check your lights before every trip. If you go boating in salt water, give the trailer a good rinse afterward.
  10. Don’t forget insurance! It’s a good idea to check your coverage as you head into boating season. Feel free to call Soucy Insurance at 762.2218 and we can help you with a quick insurance review.

There’s nothing quite like a sunny – and safe – day on our local lakes, rivers and oceans in Rhode Island. We’ll see you out there!