Yard Work Safety

 Home Insurance, Insurance  Comments Off on Yard Work Safety
Jun 202018
 

Let’s Keep Our Lawns, and Ourselves, Safe

For many of our neighbors, summer means more than sunshine and vacations. It also means beautifying your yard – often with tools that can be dangerous if not used properly.

Each year about 400,000 people are treated for injuries from lawn and garden tools, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Do not let your landscaping efforts land you in the hospital! Soucy Insurance urges you to follow these handy safety tips.

Tool Safety Tips From the CPSC:

  • Dress appropriately. To protect yourself from debris when using lawn tools, wear eye protection, long pants, long-sleeved shirts, close-fitting clothes and no jewelry. Sturdy shoes are recommended, and ear plugs may be appropriate depending on how loud the device is.
  • Before starting, remove objects from your work area that could cause injury or damage, such as sticks, glass or stones.
  • Keep children indoors and supervised at all times when any outdoor power equipment is being used. Never let a child ride or operate a garden tractor or riding mower, even if the child is supervised. And never assume children will remain where you last saw them.
    Use extreme caution when backing up or approaching corners, shrubs and trees.
  • Teenagers using power equipment should always be supervised by an adult.
  • Handle gasoline carefully. Never fill tanks while machinery is on or when equipment is still hot. Of course, you should never smoke or use any type of flame around gasoline or any gasoline-powered equipment.
  • Do not work with electric power tools in wet or damp conditions. For protection against electrocution, use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).
  • Be sure that extension cords are in good condition, are rated for outdoor use, and are the proper gauge for the electrical current capacity of the tool.

Lawn Chemical Safety Tips from Texas A&M University

  • If you use chemicals to control weeds or pests in your lawn, read the product label carefully so you understand the potential effects on humans, animals and the environment. Follow all instructions.
  • Keep children and animals away from the application area, and protect your skin, eyes and nose during and after application.
  • Remember, use only the recommended amount. Using more of the chemical will not do a better job.
  • Ask yourself if you truly need to use a general pesticide. Is there a product that will specifically treat only the problem you need to solve?

From all of us at Soucy Insurance. here’s to keeping both you and your lawn healthy this summer!

 

 

Protect your college grad with the right insurance

 Insurance  Comments Off on Protect your college grad with the right insurance
May 092018
 

College graduation is an exciting time for students and their parents alike.  And, while it is easy to become immersed in graduation parties and first-job jitters, it is also a time of major transition and big decisions. At Soucy Insurance, we want to make certain graduates are prepared for what comes next.

One area new college graduates need to address is insurance.  As insurance professionals at Soucy Insurance, we know insurance can be a confusing topic.  We also know that seemingly small missed details can result in very large losses.  We want to ensure your college graduate is protected before heading out into the real world, so we have compiled the following pointers.

  • Review your family’s current insurance. The first step when considering insurance for your new graduate is evaluating the coverage you currently have. Make an appointment with your agent, who can advise on whether it is appropriate given the pending changes, and whether it will cover your son or daughter.
  • Know the law. Most states require drivers to have auto insurance, and most of those have minimum policy limit requirements. Research the law in your son or daughter’s state, or consult with your agent, to make sure they are covered adequately.
  • Read your lease. Many apartment, condominium and home rental properties require tenants to maintain a certain level of renter’s insurance, which covers the contents of the home in the event of a robbery, fire, or other loss. Make sure you know the terms of your son or daughter’s new lease, and insure them accordingly.
  • Don’t end up liable. Any home renter or owner is exposed to liability risk. To ensure there is adequate coverage in the event someone gets injured on your son or daughter’s property, speak with your agent about liability insurance.
  • Don’t gamble! Never go without. It is simple: your son or daughter should always have insurance in place. Be sure to discuss with your agent what types they need.
  • Know your company benefits. Many college graduates move straight into the workforce, and most companies have benefits. Study the company’s human resources handbook to learn what benefits are available, when they go into effect, and what their limitations are.

We at Soucy Insurance congratulate you on the graduation of your daughter or son!  Please contact us at 762.2218 with any questions, or to request a review of your family’s insurance portfolio.

Insure your springtime fun

 Insurance  Comments Off on Insure your springtime fun
Apr 112018
 

As the temperatures continue to climb, more and more people will start up their recreational vehicles. At Soucy Insurance, we want to ensure that all our customers enjoy a fun and safe Spring, and that begins with making certain your recreational vehicles are properly insured.

The same reasons you have coverage for your automobile also apply if you own a recreational vehicle, motor home, motorcycle, or boat. You need to be protected in the event of damage, theft, or an accident. Soucy Insurance has policies that cover a wide range of on and off-road sports vehicles, including:

  • Motorcycles, dirt bikes, and scooters
  • Motorhomes, campers and camper trailers/fifth-wheel camper trailers
  • Golf carts and Segways
  • ATVs
  • Boats
  • Jet skis

Coverages vary and can include bodily injury liability, coverage for guest passengers, and property damage liability. Additionally, you can also receive coverage for collision, medical payments, and uninsured/underinsured motorists.

Soucy Insurance offers comprehensive coverage for all types of recreational vehicles. We will work with you to customize a policy that suits your needs and budget. Call us today at (401) 762-2218 to learn how affordable protecting your springtime fun can be.

Understanding Insurance to Value

 Insurance  Comments Off on Understanding Insurance to Value
Apr 112018
 

Do You Have Enough Coverage to Rebuild Your Home?

Imagine how devastating it would be to lose your home in a fire. Now imagine not being able to rebuild it completely because you did not have the correct amount of insurance.  While this scenario is something that no one wants to consider, at Soucy Insurance we are committed to protecting you from the unexpected.

Selecting the proper amount of coverage is the single most important decision you can make with your homeowners policy. Without it, you may not have enough coverage to rebuild after a total loss. This is called “insurance to value.” Below are some explanations and tips to help you make the right choices for your needs — and remember, if you need help, we’re just a phone call away!

What is insurance to value?

Insurance to value is the relationship between the amount of coverage selected (typically listed as “Coverage A” or “Dwelling Coverage” on your policy declarations page) and the amount required to rebuild your home.  Insuring your home for anything less than 100% insurance to value could mean you would not have enough coverage to replace your home in the event of a total loss.

Why is the cost to rebuild different from the market value?

A home’s market value reflects current economic conditions, taxes, school districts, the value of the land and location, and other factors unrelated to construction cost.  The cost to rebuild your home is based only on the cost of materials and labor in your area.  It is important that you insure your home based on its reconstruction cost, NOT its current market value.

Why is reconstruction more expensive than new construction?

New-home builders typically build many homes at once, and solicit bids from various sub-contractors to receive the best pricing. Their business model is based on economies of scale. For example, they may purchase 20 bathtubs at once, securing a lower unit cost. These economies of scale do not exist when building a single home.

How can I make sure I have the correct amount of insurance?

Work with your Soucy Insurance agent to provide detailed information at time of purchase to be sure that you receive a thorough and accurate quote. Also, ask us about additional coverage options that may be available. Finally, review your insurance to value calculation on a regular basis with your agent, and let us know about any changes or improvements that you make to your home.

We would be happy to review all your current insurance policies to make certain they are providing the levels of protection you require. Call Soucy Insurance at 762.2218 to schedule a complimentary policy review.

Spring is Here! Is a motorcycle in your future?

 Insurance  Comments Off on Spring is Here! Is a motorcycle in your future?
Mar 152018
 

With spring underway, you will probably notice something in addition to the warmer weather and blooming flowers: more motorcycles on the roads.

Just imagine heading down the highway with the sun shining and the road stretching out to the horizon. There are other benefits motorcycle riders enjoy as well, such as lower fuel costs and easier parking; but riding a motorcycle safely requires different skills than driving a car.

If you’re thinking that this is the year you’re going to buy your very own bike, let us at Soucy Insurance help you determine if a motorcycle is right for you. We’ve provided some questions below that the Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommends you honestly answer before becoming a bike owner.

Are you a risk-taker? Or are you safety-minded?

Think about how you drive your car. If you have aggressive tendencies or talk on your phone while driving, a motorcycle probably isn’t for you. Motorcycles lack the protection that cars can provide in an accident, so driver focus and caution are extremely important.

How is your vision? What about your balance and coordination?

It’s extremely important that you see well – peripherally and in general – when riding a motorcycle. Motorcycles are not as visible as other vehicles on the road, so riders need to be alert and aware at all times. And, of course, riding requires balance and coordination, much like a bicycle. If you’re not great on non-motorized two-wheelers, you might want to think again about motorcycling.

Do you respect dangerous machinery?

When you use a chainsaw or other equipment that can cause harm, do you always follow the instructions and wear the proper safety gear? If not, a motorcycle probably isn’t right for you. Maintenance and protective equipment is vital to riding safely. What you might be able to get away with when driving a car or using power tools could lead to a tragic outcome on a motorcycle.

Are you willing to invest in riding safely?

The best way to stay safe on a motorcycle is to invest some time before you get on the bike. Take a safety course and learn how to ride the right way. Purchase the right gear, including approved helmets and padded clothing. And learn about properly maintaining your motorcycle.

If you’re prepared and commit to safe riding, motorcycling can be a great way to get around. The freedom you’ll feel on the road is different than driving any car, which is just one reason millions of people find riding to be incredibly rewarding.

And when you’re ready, we are too! Feel free to give us a call at 762.2218 to discuss your motorcycle insurance options as well as safety tips!

 

Motorcycle Safety Resources:

There’s a lot of great information out there about safe riding. We’ve just scratched the surface. To read more, check out:

Have some new jewelry in the house? Be sure to protect it

 Insurance  Comments Off on Have some new jewelry in the house? Be sure to protect it
Feb 082018
 

Valentine’s Day is near, and love is in the air. Also, a few other things, such as chocolates, romantic dinners and, of course, jewelry.

It’s exciting to receive jewelry from a loved one — or to give it as a gift. But if you’re lucky enough to have some new jewelry in your home this Valentine’s Day, you should take a few minutes to think about something you probably don’t find exciting or romantic: insurance.

At Soucy Insurance, we think it is exciting to help our customers protect what’s most important to them — we’re ready to help and can answer all of your questions.

Things to consider when insuring jewelry:

You may need to purchase additional coverage. Your homeowners policy covers valuable items such as jewelry only up to set amounts. If the cost of replacing your jewelry exceeds that limit, you will want to purchase scheduled personal property coverage. You can check your policy or give us a call at 762.2218.

Review your deductible amounts. As always, this impacts your policy premium. It’s a good idea to take a look at your deductibles whenever you make a change to your policy.

Do you need an appraisal? You may need to have an independent appraisal if the insurance company requires it or if you don’t know the value of your jewelry. Each item should be listed with a description and value on paper.

What kind of coverage is offered? You’ll want to determine if items are covered no matter where they are, whether they’re in Rhode Island, or on an international trip, and if the policy offers full replacement cost. You also should ask if you will be required to replace your jewelry if lost or stolen, or if you can simply keep the cash settlement.

Pictures can be helpful. Lost or stolen pieces of jewelry sometimes can be recreated if the jeweler has a good photograph to work from.

Of course, it’s important to store your jewelry securely when it’s not in use; a safe in your home or a safe-deposit box is best. We want your jewelry to be replaced if it’s lost or stolen, but we’d rather your sentimental and valuable pieces stay with you and your family for years to come.

Here’s hoping your Valentine’s Day is full of fun and romance. For further questions and assistance, please contact Soucy Insurance at 762.2218.

Don’t Let the Cold Get to Your Pipes This Winter

 Insurance  Comments Off on Don’t Let the Cold Get to Your Pipes This Winter
Jan 192018
 

It’s hard to think of a worse start to a winter day than turning on the faucet and … nothing. Maybe there’s a trickle of water, but it’s clear you have a frozen pipe. So, what now? At Soucy Insurance, we are dedicated to helping you shield yourself from financial loss.

Here are some smart tips to help you prevent or address what could easily become a very messy and expensive situation:

  • See to your outdoor water lines: Drain water sprinkler and swimming pool supply lines, and remove, drain and store outdoor hoses. If possible, close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs, and open the outside hose bibs for draining. Keep them open so any remaining water can expand without breaking the pipe. If you can’t shut off the water from the inside, pick up some foam faucet covers.
  • Keep your home warm: Maintain an interior temperature of at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit, even when you’re sleeping or not at home. Seal any drafts and leave interior doors open to help keep an even temperature from room to room.
  • Tend to those pipes: Leave the cabinet doors open in the kitchen and bathroom so your pipes are not shut off from the warm air. You can also insulate your pipes with sleeves, heat tape or heat cable. Insulation is especially important in unheated areas, such as your attic, basement, garage or crawl space, and for pipes running along exterior walls. During severe cold spells, you may want to leave all faucets, both hot and cold, running at a slight trickle.
  • Call in a professional: Frozen water in your pipes can cause them to burst, meaning you’ll have a mess on your hands once that water thaws. So, act quickly to shut off your main water supply, and call in a licensed plumber to see to the situation.

Finally, be sure to touch base with your Soucy Insurance agent at 762.2218 to check whether you’re covered for the damage a frozen pipe may cause. We’re happy to answer all of your policy questions this winter, and beyond.

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