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

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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

Stay Safe On Your Motorcycle All Summer Long

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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

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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!