Insurance Blog

Please read and comment on our blog about a wide variety of insurance topics. Please feel free to ask us any questions.

 

November 25th, 2011 by BrightFire MG

Driving Safety Tips for the Summer in Fall River

teen-driving-during-summer

Ah, summertime – road trips, family vacations, and … teen drivers. If you have a teen driver in the family, he or she is going to want to drive more than during school days. Keeping everyone safe becomes more of a concern during the summer months. There are thousands of younger drivers on the road, who don’t have extensive driving experience, increasing the risk of an accident.

Driving experience makes a difference. A teen driver may not respond to a sudden road hazard the way a more experienced driver would and are also more prone to error. You can reduce the risks for your teen driver by ensuring he or she understands the types of dangers that come with summer driving.

Be extra careful when driving on congested highways and streets. There are higher numbers of people on the roadways, travelling to vacation spots in cars, SUVs, and RVs. Always drive with extra room between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead. Highway pileups can be a disaster and are usually the result of drivers following too closely.

Check your tires! The last thing you need is a blowout. It is not only a hassle, it is extremely dangerous if you are travelling at higher speeds on highways. Before heading out on your family vacation, or allowing your teen to get behind the wheel, check to ensure that all four tires are in good shape. During the hot summer months, the air inside the tires expands creating a higher potential for a dangerous tire blowout.

Bicycles and motorcycles are sharing the roadways. All teen drivers must be carefully educated to watch for and avoid bicyclists and motorcyclists.

Road construction – watch for it! Many accidents occur in construction zones. Watch for the cone zones, and teach your teen to slow down, be extra cautious, and follow the speed limits and warnings.

No texting while driving. Teens are attached to their phones, and it can be difficult for them to avoid looking at or sending a text while behind the wheel. Parents have the option of installing safety apps that make it impossible to text while the vehicle is in motion.

Beware of drunk drivers on holidays. Drinking and driving contributes to a high percentage of fatal accidents across the USA. On holidays, the numbers ramp up even higher. Avoid driving during holidays if possible, and if you must be on the road, operate your vehicle with extra caution.

Summer Safe Driving Rules: A “Must” for Teens

Statistically, the summer months lead to higher numbers of auto crashes caused by teen drivers. At Donald J. Medeiros Insurance Agency , we want everyone in our community to stay safe and we are here to help. Do you need to put auto insurance in place to cover a new driver in the family? Talk to us – we always look for the best deals for our clients from the auto insurance policies available. We are happy to review your current insurance and help you find something that gives you better coverage at a lower rate. Call today and speak with us about your auto insurance, and drive safe!

June 16th, 2016 by Donald J. Medeiros Insurance Agency

Sharing a Business Space? Know the Risks

shared-office-space

Sharing a business space reduces costs but there may be hidden financial risks. If you are planning to share a space with another professional or business, it’s important that you are protected by the right type of insurance.

Your current policy may not adequately cover your business if you plan to, or are currently co-working with another professional in your industry or related enterprise.  Sharing the costs of overhead can be a nice advantage with significant savings. But before you decide to share any business space, speak with us here at Donald J. Medeiros Insurance Agency  to make certain that your business insurance and casualty insurance protect you against the liabilities associated with a shared space.

Due Diligence Comes First

Prior to agreeing to share an office space, it is vital that you do the due diligence. Look into credentials, professional reputation, credit rating, references and other information of the potential cohabitant prior to making any agreement. What you do prior to sharing a space has everything to do with protecting against any potential liability. Leasing agreements, leased or shared employees, and business liability insurance are exceptionally important.

Legal Issues: Sharing Office Space

Shared expenses for employees such as receptionists, assistants, bookkeepers or other staff create a legal situation in which it may appear that the shared space is actually one legal entity, and that’s when problems can arise. A full review of your current business insurance and casualty insurance policies should be undertaken once you have completed due diligence. Physicians, therapists, lawyers and other professionals could be vulnerable to lawsuits for actions by a co-working professional, due to what is termed “vicarious liability.”

Protect your business, your professional practice, and your reputation. At Donald J. Medeiros Insurance Agency in Fall River, Massachusetts, we have a breadth of knowledge about insurance protection for professionals who plan to share an office space. Your policies must match up with the current situation, and protect against any liability created by a co-working professional or business. If you have concerns about your insurances and any needed changes for this situation, connect with us for immediate assistance. We can review your current policies and advise you of the various changes necessary to protect your business or practice when sharing office space.

June 3rd, 2016 by Donald J. Medeiros Insurance Agency

How to Minimize the Fire Hazards in Your Home

homeowners-fire-safety

Your home is probably your most valuable possession; losing it to fire is unimaginable – but it happens. As a homeowner, you can take steps to minimize the fire hazards in your home and not only protect your loved one, but also avoid expensive property damage.

Plan an Escape Route

Every family member should be involved in a fire safety plan so each person knows exactly what to do if a fire breaks out. Fire exit routes should be discussed and practiced in family fire drills. Ensure there are two escape routes from every room. Rope fire ladders for upstairs bedrooms are important for rooms that do not have two escape routes and should be stored under the bed. Practice using these ladders, and ensure the screens and windows can be easily removed.

Check Your Smoke Detectors

Keep your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms in top working order. Replace the batteries two times a year, and check smoke detector units to ensure they are functioning properly. Each bedroom should have a smoke detector – they save lives.

Keep Fire Extinguishers Charged and Ready

Ensure you have charged fire extinguishers in the home, and that they are easily accessed. Small fires can be stopped with a correctly operated fire extinguisher. Contact your local fire department for information about purchasing and recharging your extinguisher.

Electrical Cords and Outlet Safety

Limit the number of electrical devices plugged into one outlet, particularly in older homes.  Also, look over all of your electrical devices for worn cords and replace them immediately. Broken or frayed wires can lead to fire.

Teach Your Children Fire Safety

As well as the dangers of fire. Children are interested in lighters, matches, and stoves.  As a parent, keep these things out of reach.

Be Prepared for Grease Fires

To put out a grease fire on a stove – the most common type of home fire – never use water; it will make the fire worse. Don’t swat at it to try to put it out as it provides even more oxygen to burn. Instead:

  • Leave the pot or pan where it is.
  • Put on oven mitts, turn off the stove or oven element, and cover the fire with another pot or pan.
  • Keep several boxes of baking soda in your home.
  • If covering the grease fire doesn’t work, pour a large quantity of baking soda over it.

A home fire extinguisher can also put out a grease fire. Talk to your local fire department about the type of extinguisher they recommend, and keep it charged and ready in your kitchen area. 

Are You Protected Against Property Damage?

Your homeowner’s insurance will include fire coverage, but it is important that you speak with your insurance agent and understand exactly what is covered. All homeowner’s insurance policies vary in the level of protection they offer. There may be lower-priced options on the market that could give you a higher level of protection.

If you would like your policy reviewed, connect with one of our friendly local agents at Donald J. Medeiros Insurance Agency in Fall River, Massachusetts. We would be happy to look over your current policies and search for a less expensive option with better coverage. 

May 17th, 2016 by Donald J. Medeiros Insurance Agency

How to Survive a Business Interruption

business-interruption

While all business owners want their enterprises to be both productive and profitable, you may not have considered the costs associated with a business interruptionYour business interruption coverage can be added to your property insurance and this form of insurance is critical in keeping your business fully protected. It is impossible to predict every eventuality, particularly the damage incurred when a heavy storm or other disaster damages your property. This insurance keeps your enterprise viable during the period that you are forced to vacate. You can continue to provide your employees with pay, and manage bills during the period in which the business cannot operate.

But how is this different from standard property insurance? While your property insurance will help to pay for restoring your business after the interruption, it doesn’t always cover the losses associated with the inability to function for a period of time must be covered as well. Many business owners choose to add business interruption insurance to their property insurance to protect against this eventuality.

Business interruption insurance (or business income insurance) is triggered under the following circumstances:

  • Physical damage to the property is so extensive that operations are suspended.
  • Damage to the property is so severe that customers or clients are unable to gain access.
  • A government shutdown of the area prevents customers from gaining access to the property.

Halting Operations Can Bring Significant Financial Losses

When any business is forced to halt operations due to a disaster, clients and customers can be lost to the competition and repairs can take an extended period of time. Policy limits will vary based upon need and the type of business will determine the cost of adding business interruption insurance to your property insurance policy. Generally, if you have equipment that poses a risk of fire this factor will also affect the cost of added insurance protection. There may be other options beyond business interruption insurance – such as added expense insurance – that could be adequate for your needs. But the only way to determine what is best for your business is to speak with a local agent.

Contact one of our insurance agents at Donald J. Medeiros Insurance Agency  to discuss adding business interruption insurance to your commercial property insurance policy. We search out the best programs for our local customers, with the highest level of protection at the lowest possible rates. Call today for more information.

May 3rd, 2016 by Donald J. Medeiros Insurance Agency

Don’t Let Water Damage Soak Through Your Savings

burst-pipe-water-damage

Damage to a home can be costly and time-consuming to repair, but the dangers associated with water damage extend beyond the immediately obvious. Even surfaces that do not feel wet to the touch may conceal serious damage to internal structures and this can lead to even greater repair costs down the line. If the damage isn’t covered by your homeowner’s insurance then expect the repair bills to quickly stack up.

Water Damage Vs. Flood Damage

Many homeowners aren’t aware that the terms “water damage” and “flood damage” refer to two very different issues in home insurance policies. You may be shocked to discover that you have coverage for just one of the issues but not the other.

Damage caused by flooding occurs when water outside of the home rises and then enters the home, and is usually the result a natural event. Heavy rains, mudslides, and overflowing rivers are all examples of situations that trigger flooding. Coverage for flooding is rarely included in a typical homeowner’s insurance policy, and you may want to consider additional coverage particularly if you live in an area that is known to be prone to flooding.

Water damage on the other hand, is not caused by rising external waters. It could be caused by a leaky roof, a malfunctioning appliance, or plumbing issues. It can occur as one destructive event, such as a burst pipe, but can also occur slowly over the course of weeks or even years. Slow leaks or poor insulation can help moisture to slowly build up which leads to structural damage and dangerous mold.

What to Do in the Aftermath of Water Damage

If your home is affected by flooding or any type of water damage the repair process can be extensive. Beyond dealing with the immediate crisis – getting rid of the water, repairing a broken pipe or appliance, etc. – it is also possible that other, less visible damage has also impacted your home.

Depending on the source of the water, it could be contaminated with harmful microbes or chemicals with dangerous consequences even after the water is gone. Water left standing can seep through drywall, tile flooring, and laminate surfaces such as hardwood, collecting behind what appears to be a solid surface. Over time the trapped moisture provides a breeding ground for dangerous pathogens and molds that cause respiratory ailments while also undermining the structural integrity of the home.

Any time extensive water damage or flooding has occurred, it is important to seek the services of a professional for the cleanup process,and to assess for other potential health hazards or structural damage. Dealing with any problems immediately can protect both your health and your wallet and the right insurance coverage can help you avoid the risks associated with both flooding and water damage.

Are You Covered Under Your Home Insurance Policy?

At Donald J. Medeiros Insurance Agency in Fall River, Massachusetts, we strive to provide our clients with high quality insurance services that suit their needs, and to keep homeowners informed about their insurance coverage and the different options now available. As with any insurance, the time to think about it is before you need it. Flooding and water damage can occur suddenly and the damage can be done in a matter of just minutes.

Our friendly local insurance agents can review your existing homeowner’s insurance policy to help you be sure that you have the correct coverage. We want to help you avoid being forced to pay out thousands of dollars out-of-pocket to repair your home.

Contact us and speak with one of our local agents at Donald J. Medeiros Insurance Agency in Fall River. We live and work right here in Fall River, and are available to help our friends and neighbors in the area avoid the extreme financial liabilities that may arise.

April 18th, 2016 by Donald J. Medeiros Insurance Agency