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Posts Tagged ‘Fall River’

Summer Heat Safety Tips That Will Protect Your Kids & Pets!

When the sun is in the sky and the weather is heating up in Fall River and the South Coast, most people think of fun days at the beach splashing in the water or relaxing with a good book. While summer generally is a time for fun and relaxation, rising temperatures can also be dangerous if you don’t take the proper precautions. Kids and pets are among the most vulnerable during these summer months, so HIG wants to remind you to follow these summer heat safety tips that will keep your family safe.

Kids Summer Heat Safety

Children’s body temperatures can rise much more quickly than adults in hot temperatures, and kids can’t always communicate what they may be feeling. That’s why these summer heat safety precautions should be taken to ensure your child’s safety.

  • Never leave your child unattended in a car. In 10 minutes, a car’s temperature can rise 20 degrees. Even if it is only 60 degrees outside, your car’s temperature can still reach 110 degrees in direct sunlight.
  • Supervise children at all times. During outdoor play, monitor children closely to check for signs of heat exhaustion or dehydration. Early signs of heat exhaustion include dizziness, fatigue, and headaches. If symptoms are more severe such as vomiting and seizures, these are signs of heat stroke, and you should seek help immediately.
  • Hydrate. Children need to be drinking more fluids during the hot weather. Don’t wait for your child to tell you they are thirsty. Have your child take breaks every 20 minutes from playing outdoors to hydrate with a cup of water in a shady, cool spot out of the sun.
  • Protect their skin. If you plan to be in the sun with a baby under six months we recommend SPF clothing, umbrellas, and shade. Children over six months old should wear sunscreen with at least SPF 15, liberally applied frequently, and loose clothes that allow their skin to breathe. Hats are also an excellent choice, along with sunglasses to protect their eyes.

Summer Heat Safety For Your Pets

For most of us, our pets are like an extension of our children, for some of us they are our children, so remember, your pets can’t tell you when they are uncomfortable or may be in danger of overheating. By following these simple summer heat safety tips you can help keep them safe.

  • Never leave your pets in the car. You might think if you crack the window and run into the store quickly, your pup will be okay. This is most likely not accurate. Car temperatures, as stated above, can rise quickly and this is extremely dangerous for your pet. Not only is it dangerous to leave your pet in a hot car, in some states it’s against the law. In Rhode Island, you can face criminal charges for leaving your dog in the car on a hot day.
  • Walk them early or later in the evening. Your pet still needs exercise in the summer, but walking your pet in the early hours of the morning or late evening when temperatures have cooled can help prevent heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
  • Walk them on grass or dirt. Don’t forget that your pet doesn’t wear shoes like you do! If the ground is too hot to walk on with bare feet, it’s too hot for your pooch, too. Walking your dog on grass or dirt can help avoid burning their paws.
  • Keep your pet hydrated. Dogs have to pant to cool down and on a very hot day; this can be ineffective in lowering their body temperatures. Make sure your pet spends a majority of the day in a cool environment and has plenty of access to water to avoid heat stroke.
  • Know the signs. Monitor your pet for any signs of heatstroke. Symptoms that your pet may be overheating include rapid panting, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea and in extreme cases, seizure and physical collapse. In case of an emergency, bring your pet to the nearest animal hospital.

Although, summer is a time for fun, it’s also a time when heat and humidity are at all-time highs, which can be extremely dangerous for the most vulnerable loved ones in our lives, like our kids and pets. HIG wants to remind you to take these summer heat safety precautions to protect your family this summer. HIG has been serving individuals and families for more than 100 years as experts in insurance, but our number one priority is you. For more safety tips for protecting your home, business, and family, visit our blog.

Business Insurance: Answers To Frequently Asked Questions Many Business Owners Have

 

Here at HIG, we’ve been helping local businesses in Fall River, Somerset, and along the South Coast of Massachusetts and Rhode Island with their business insurance needs for more than 100 years. Over the course of that time, we’ve seen how the business world has changed, and have worked to make sure our insurance offerings evolve with it.

We sat down with HIG partner Chris Hadley to go over some of the biggest risks and questions that business owners today have. Read along to learn more about what your business needs to be fully protected.

Q. What are some business insurance options that can protect a company when it comes to slips and falls?

A. “Slips and falls are a pretty big concern for businesses, especially in the winter time. We see this come up a lot when businesses don’t properly salt an entrance or sidewalk. We also see issues with this when people mop floors during business hours. That can be a big risk, even if you put up ‘Wet Floor’ signs. Luckily, a business owners policy (BOP) includes liability protection, which covers a company’s responsibility for any harm it may cause to others. Your BOP covers medical or legal expenses resulting from an accident, like a slip or fall, which happened on your property.”

Q. What kind of income protection does a business have if it’s shut down from a fire?

A. “Most BOP’s have business interruption coverage. If your business experiences a covered loss, like a fire, water damage or another catastrophic event that requires your business to close for a period of time, the actual loss of income you experience would typically be covered during the period of restoration. Business interruption coverage also picks up any extra expenses incurred from setting up in a new location. For example, if you’re a doctor or dentist and you open a temporary office while yours is being restored, the extra expense of renting the space and buying or renting equipment would be covered in this scenario.”

Q. What can a business do to protect themselves from lawsuits related to things like wrongful termination?

A.“Many business owners policies now have Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) to cover this. EPLI provides coverage for wrongful acts related to the employment process. The most typical situations are wrongful termination, discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation. It’s a security policy that pays for legal defense costs and/or any punitive damages. HIG has definitely seen our fair share of these types of claims coming from clients, so we have a discussion about EPLI coverage with anyone who has employees.”

Q. A topic that has been in the news recently is that of employee embezzlement. What can a business owner do to protect themselves from this?

A. “Many BOP’s have an option to purchase what’s known as employee dishonesty or crime coverage. This insurance coverage can protect a business owner from financial losses resulting from fraudulent acts performed by an employee such as theft, computer fraud, embezzlement, wire transfer fraud, etc. Your independent insurance agent will be able to help you determine how much of this coverage your unique business needs.

Q. Cyber Security has been top of mind for business owners for many reasons in recent months, but most recently with the WannaCry attack — what can business owners do today to protect themselves from a data breach or cyber attack?

A. “This is an enormously important topic these days with all of our business insurance clients. We recently had a client come in who had added an online purchasing option to their website. I suggested adding on data security coverage, which is an additional coverage that can be added onto your BOP, since their website was now taking credit card information. They decided to go with my recommendation and added on the coverage, which was very fortunate, because six months later they were the victim of a data breach. It’s one of those coverages where you don’t realize how important it can be until you experience a loss first hand.

Data Security Coverage protects your business if it becomes the victim of a cyber hack. One of the biggest benefits comes if you have credit card data that is stolen. This coverage will protect individual customers and your business by notifying all affected individuals and setting up credit card reporting and monitoring for each customer who is impacted, which can be a serious cost for a business to take on themselves. Business owners should know that credit card data isn’t the only thing cyber criminals are after, however. If they hack your computer system, they can also steal sensitive, personal information, like social security numbers, which is another way that this coverage can be helpful. Individuals who are impacted by your business’ data breach are eligible for identity restoration case management in addition to credit monitoring.

Data Security Coverage will also cover any damages that were done to your computer or computer systems, and includes a professional forensic IT review to research and determine any vulnerabilities in your computer system. It also covers cases of extortion, which have been happening recently like with the WannaCry ransomware attack. It’s not that expensive to add on, especially when you weigh the cost a business could face without this coverage, so we definitely advise any business that uses computers to purchase this additional coverage.”

When it comes to insuring your business, you never want to leave things to chance. A Business Owners Package is a great option for small to medium sized businesses because it combines your major property and liability risk into one comprehensive package, saving you time and money on your total insurance program. While many of the coverages we’ve discussed today are included in most BOP’s, your independent insurance agent can go over policy specifics and limits to make sure your unique business has the protection it needs.

Business owners — have more questions? An HIG representative is ready to help! Get in touch today by calling our office at 508.676.5949 or visiting our website at www.hadleyinsurit.com.

 

7 Types of Insurance Every Small Business Needs

When you’re a small business owner, there are a million and one things you have to worry about everyday. Having the right kind of insurance can ease some of those worries while protecting you from mishaps ranging from employee injury to fire. Here are seven types of insurance that every business owner should have.

General Liability Insurance

Regardless of what kind of business you are, you should definitely have General Liability Insurance. It will protect you, your employees, and your business against expenses related to bodily injury or property damage and covers things like legal costs and medical bills.

Worker’s Compensation

All states will require you to have Workers Compensation for all W2 employees. Worker’s Comp provides medical benefits and wage replacement for employees who are injured on the job. Employees covered by Workers Compensation give up their right to sue their employer for the accident resulting in their injury.

Data Breach Insurance

Cyber security has become one of the biggest threats companies face, and a common misconception is that hackers only target big businesses. Any type of business that handles private information, like data about clients or employees, should look into insurance to protect them against a cyber breach. A single data breach can cost a company hundreds of thousands of dollars — so you will definitely get your bang for your buck with this insurance.

Professional Liability Insurance

Also known as Errors and Omissions Insurance, Professional Liability Insurance provides more specific coverage than General Liability Insurance. It protects your business in the case that you provide a client with faulty professional services and is applicable for a range of businesses.

Business Property Insurance

Business Property Insurance protects you from a variety of damages like smoke, fire, vandalism, or theft. It covers your building along with any equipment like computers, tools, or inventory you may have. Certain types of property insurance can also protect against loss of income.

Commercial Auto Insurance

If anyone in your business uses a company car, it’s important to obtain Commercial Auto Insurance. A comprehensive Commercial Auto Insurance plan will protect your business from an unexpected accident, theft or act of vandalism.

Business Owner’s Policy

A Business Owner Policy package is a great idea for small to medium sized businesses. They combine major property and liability insurance into a comprehensive policy that is tailored to your business’ specific needs.

This is a basic rundown of the types of insurance you should look into as a small business owner. You worked hard to create your business; we work hard to protect it. To get an instant quote for small business insurance, you can visit our website

What To Do If A Pipe Bursts

You thought you took the necessary steps to protect your home from freezing temperatures, but now you’re dealing with a burst pipe. What should you do? First of all, stay calm. Then, follow these steps.

Shut off your water and potentially your electricity

If a pipe bursts in your home, the first thing you should do is turn off your water to minimize flooding damage. Every homeowner should know where the main water valve is. Find it and shut it off immediately! If necessary, you should also turn off electricity to the areas of your home where the flooding is occurring.

If you are living in an apartment and do not have access to the building’s water supply or electric services, call your landlord or building manager as soon as you notice a problem.

Call a plumber

Next, call a plumber. If your plumber does not offer 24-hour services, do some research. A quick online search should yield services in your area that work round the clock.

Move your belongings

Move anything you can away from leaking pipes to minimize damage. This includes furniture, clothing, art, or any other items that can be damaged by water. Be extremely careful with electronic devices that may have come in contact with water.

Remove as much water as you can

Get together as many buckets, pots, pans or any other containers you have and start collecting the water. You want to get as much water out as quickly as possible to avoid problems with mold and mildew. Towels and mops or even a wet/dry vacuum can also help with this process. If you don’t own a wet-dry vac, try renting one from your local hardware or home improvement store.

Set up fans and a dehumidifier in the affected area to remove moisture from the air and dry things out faster. Make sure to keep an eye on the dehumidifier and empty it before it fills up. Desiccant products like silica gel can also help for more serious damage. You can apply tubs or sachets of the gel near areas most affected by water such as floors or walls.

For more severe damage, such as leaks affecting multiple rooms or floors of your home or cases where leaks have gone unnoticed for more than 8 hours, a water mitigation or restoration professional may be required.

Call you insurance agent

Get in touch with your insurance agent to keep them up to date about what is happening. Photographs and notes recording the extent of the damage will help you and your agent when it comes time to file an insurance claim.

Did you know that burst pipes are covered under most homeowner insurance policies? Give us a call at 508-676-5949 to discuss home insurance rates or head to our website for more information.

How to Reinforce Your Home to Resist Flood Damage

Along the South Coast of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, there is a high potential for flooding as a result of increasingly violent storms. High winds, downbursts, and fast-moving water are just a few examples of forces that increase the risk of water damage inside your home. Even with our close proximity to the water along the coast, most people don’t realize that flood insurance is not covered in your a homeowners insurance policy.

Here at HIG Insurance, we’ve worked to protect homeowners from flood damage for more than 100 years. The first step to protect your coastal home is to get good flood insurance — then consider these ways to reinforce your home during storms:

Caulking and Weather-Stripping

You may know that weatherizing can keep your home warmer while saving you money on energy bills. But did you know that quality caulking and weather-stripping can also help protect your home from flood related water damage?

Checking for existing leaks and sealing cracks is an effective way to minimize flood damage. Before applying caulk or weather-stripping, assess your home to figure out where water may enter during periods of heavy rain and wind. Look for gaps or holes around window frames, doors, and vents. Pay special attention to cracks in your basement, roof, or in the foundation of your home. Keep in mind that for large cracks, you may need to call a professional.

Affixing weather stripping to all doors that provide outside access is another way to keep water, snow, or sleet out of your house. When installed correctly, weather-stripping should create a watertight seal when doors are closed. Both caulking and weather-stripping wear with time and use, so make sure to inspect both annually.

Gutters and Downspout Inspection

It is important to keep your gutters and downspouts clear all year round. If leaves or other debris are clogging gutters, they can create blockages that prevent water from flowing away from your home. Make sure to also check for leaks in your gutters and downspouts to avoid potentially ruining both the siding and foundation of your home.

Especially during times of heavy rain, it is crucial to ensure that water is moving away from the foundation of your home to avoid flooding. If this is a problem for your house, consider purchasing a downspout extender. Ideally, water should be released away from your home at a distance of at least five feet.

Check Flood Vents

In the event that water does enter your home, flood vents can reduce the likelihood of structural damage by equalizing water pressure inside and outside of your home. If you have structures that are below base flood elevation or if you live in an area prone to flooding, you should consider installing flood vents. It is important to note that while many crawlspaces have air vents in the foundation, these do not function in the same way as a flood vent.

Make sure you have enough flood vents for the size of the area you are trying to vent. Vent opening should be large enough to provide for the force and flow of water. They should also be located low enough on the structure of your home to avoid draining water back to your foundation. Lastly, make sure to check regularly that flood vents are not blocked by debris, especially during periods of heavy rain and flooding.

Dry vs Wet Flood-Proofing

Dry flood-proofing involves several methods for keeping water from entering your home all together, while wet flood-proofing has more to do with minimizing damage once water has gotten into your home. Often times, these approaches are better suited for homes or structures that are not being lived in during times of flooding, such as vacation or seasonal homes.

For dry flood-proofing, you should consider steps such as anchoring your structure, reinforcing walls, raising all utility services above flood walls, and installing a sump pump in your basement. Wet flood-proofing consists of changing the uninhabited areas of your home that are more prone to flooding, such as basements and crawlspaces. This can include installing flood vents (described above) or replacing all construction and finishing materials with flood resistant materials.

Often times, a structural engineer is required for when implementing either of these methods. Make sure to be aware of permitting and coding regulations in your specific area before making large structural changes to your home.

Learn More About Flooding

To read more about how to protect your home and family both before and during severe weather, here are some resources for you to check out:

HIG specializes in helping Fall River, Massachusetts and Rhode Island owners of coastal properties find the best Flood Insurance for protecting their home in case of flood damage. Please give us a call at 508-676-5949 to speak to an expert today. 

 

5 Tips for a Safe and Happy Holiday

The holiday season in New England is a beautiful and festive time of year. From Christmas trees to holiday lights to family gatherings, you’ll always notice more smiles around the holidays! But there are also some safety hazards that come with food, travel, and trimmings. Decorate safely and keep your holidays merry and bright with these five holiday safety tips.

Avoid The Gift of Food Poisoning

Few things can mar a festive family dinner more than a bout of food poisoning! Keep your cooking top notch with these guidelines from U.S. Department of Health and Food Services:

  • Do not wash the turkey. The only way to kill that bacteria is to fully cook the Turkey.
  • Refrigerate leftovers within two hours to prevent bacteria from growing on food.
  • Cook the Turkey until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 165° F.

Be Prepared For Holiday Travel

The holiday travel season carries the highest automobile fatality rate of the year. With so many cars on the road it’s important to check a few things before you leave:

  • Make sure your vehicle’s maintenance is up-to-date.
  • Keep your cell phone away. Let the passenger control the tunes.
  • Map your schedule and consider leaving earlier or later to avoid peak traffic times.

O Christmas Tree

If you’re celebrating the season with a Christmas tree, be sure to follow these basic safety tips to make sure your tree is decorative and not a fire hazard:

  • If you’re using a fake tree, be sure the label reads Fire Resistant.
  • When setting up your tree, be sure to place it away from any radiators, fireplaces, portable heaters, heat vents and televisions.
  • Cut a couple of inches off of the trunk of your tree to expose the fresh wood. This will allow the water to better absorb into the tree and keep it from drying out and becoming a fire hazard.

Light Safety

Whether you’re looking to add a decorative accent to your home or create a beacon in the neighborhood, the basics of holiday light safety are the same:

  • Only adorn your tree or home with lights that have been tested for safety by UL (Underwriters Laboratory) and marked as such.
  • Use no more than three standard-sized sets of lights per single extension cord.
  • Check all of your lights before hanging them to make sure all of the bulbs are working and no wiring is exposed.
  • Check any extension cords for frayed wires and be sure they are UL approved.
  • Do not run extension cords under the carpet.
  • Do not overload outlets or multi-outlet power strips.
  • Use LED candles for ambiance rather than wax or liquid oil votive candles.
  • Be sure to turn off all Christmas lights before going to bed.

Take Time For You

It’s also important to take the time to care for your mental health during the holiday season. Relationships, family gatherings and seasonal stresses can take their toll on anyone. The American Academy of Pediatrics has a few helpful tips to keep your holiday season stress free:

  • Don’t feel pressured to “overspend” on gifts.
  • Make a plan to focus on one thing at a time.
  • Most importantly, remember the holiday season is about spending quality time with your loved ones.

The holiday season in New England is a magical time of year. Take these few basic precautions, you can make sure it’s a safe one, too.  You can find more seasonal tips and insurance news on our website or give us a call at 508-676-5949! We’d love to hear from you.

Happy holidays from HIG!

Everything You Need To Know About Ice Dams

Ice dams are a very real problem that you will most likely face if you own a home in Massachusetts. While ice can be lovely for skating, it can quickly ruin your home if you don’t take the proper precautions. Luckily, we know all about ice dams! Follow our suggestions and you can rest easy knowing that even if we see a repeat of last year’s winter, you won’t have to worry about ice dams ruining your home.

What’s An Ice Dam?
Great question! An ice dam occurs when water from melting snow runs down your roof then refreezes, causing the ice to accumulate, or “dam” in one spot. If any water gets under a shingle it will lift it up, which can often cause water to drip into your home, ruining gutters and shingles along the way. Ice dams are not your friend.

Oh No! How Do I Prevent Them?
The trick to preventing ice dams is to completely seal and insulate your attic space. Unfortunately, this usually means calling a contractor! Call a contractor now and schedule a visit ASAP before they’re booked for months. If your contractor isn’t available, or if you prefer to just do-it-yourself, it’s not that difficult! This guide from Energy Star lays out all the materials you would need and walks you through the process step by step. The sooner you can prep your home, the more quickly you can stop worrying about an ice dam!

Take Care Of Leaves
Autumn in New England is what makes winter worth it for all of us. However, all those beautiful leaves will often clog up your gutter, which can lead to more ice dams. Keep your gutters free of leaves and snow so they can actually do what they were designed for. Now is the time to buy a roof-rake to help keep your roof clear of snow. Remember, the crux of ice dam prevention is a clean roof!

It’s also important to note the importance of basic ladder safety when doing any work on the roof, particularly in the winter. Always keep your ladder away from an electrical wiring, have a spotter stabilizing the base of the ladder and always face the ladder when descending or climbing!

Dam It!
Alright, so despite your best efforts, you still got an ice dam. Don’t panic. We can fix this. Simply run down to the hardware store and grab a chemical melting agent! Avoid using rock salt. While rock salt will melt the dam, it will also likely damage your shingles and gutters. Stick with a basic melting agent like calcium chloride. All you have to do is apply the agent to the dam and you’ll be all set!

Don’t Use Fire
Always use a chemical melting agent rather than fire. While it may intuitively make sense to use some sort of fire, such as a blow torch, to remove ice dams we beg you to listen to us and simply don’t do it. Seriously, don’t do it. You are far more likely to cause a problem than to fix one when using fire in this situation.

If you own a home in New England you need to prepare for ice dams! A little money upfront to purchase the necessary preventative tools will save you a lot of money down the line. Finish winterizing your home by making sure your all of your insurance needs are up to date. Give us a call at 508-676-5949 or visit our website!

The Basics of Fire Prevention: National Fire Prevention Month

October is National Fire Prevention Month! Is your home protected? Most everyone has some semblance of fire prevention in their home, even if it is just a few fire alarms with aging batteries. While “stop-drop-and-roll” may be all you needed to know as a child, as an adult it’s time to step up your game. Fortunately, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about effective fire prevention in this article—complete with a few tips from our very own Paul Burke, who spent 35 years as a firefighter!

Fire Alarms: Location, Location, Location

A working fire alarm is the crux of every fire prevention plan. According to the National Fire Prevention Agency, a working smoke alarm can lower your chances of dying in a reported fire by 50%. Yes, the beeping when the batteries are low can get annoying, but one bulk purchase of batteries just for your fire alarm will ensure you’re protected.

Paul Says: “Smoke alarms obviously work and are designed to save lives. If you have battery smoke alarms, change the batteries every time you move the clocks forward or back. If you have a monitored burglar alarm you want to include the smoke detectors. That way if you’re not home the alarm company can notify the fire department if there is a fire in your house. A fire doubles in size every minute so the sooner the fire department is notified the less damage you’ll have.”

The placement of the smoke alarms is critical to their effectiveness. There needs to be a detector on every floor of your home, in each sleeping area and outside each sleeping area. You can’t predict a fire, but correctly placed, working smoke alarms are the next best thing.

It’s also important to note that every floor should have a working CO2 monitor. CO2 has no smell, making these monitors the only way to detect it. Thousands of people lose their lives every year to this “silent killer.” Get a monitor, rest easy.

Paul Says: “Obviously you want one in the basement near the boiler. You want to have a CO2 detector on every floor.”

Escape Plan

Take the time to create an escape plan with your family. Make sure you know which exit is the closest to where you sleep and create a designated meeting point for all house members that is a safe distance from your home. If an unexpected fire occurs, it will be hard to think clearly amidst the frenzy. Having a plan could make all the difference. Make sure no one forgets by practicing the plan at least twice a year.

Basic Electronics

With everyone becoming more and more connected to the digital landscape, homes are consuming an increasing amount of power. Remember to use surge protectors, keep electronics such as space heaters away from curtains and fabric, and be wary of halogen lights, which have been known to ignite nearby flammable material. You should never leave halogen lights on when you are not at home.

Paul Says: “If you have a room where there are a lot of electronics, you may not be required to put a smoke detector in, but that’s where you should put it. My answer is put it in every single room.”

Additional Thoughts

If you live in a home that is particularly susceptible to fire, you may want to consider a few additional measures. Home sprinkler systems are becoming more common and are surprisingly cost effective when installed only in high risk areas of the home (kitchen, fireplaces, etc).

Paul Says: “Make sure any fireplaces or wood/pellet stoves are thoroughly cleaned before they are used. This is the time of year where it’s about to get cold at night. If you burn a lot of green wood you need to clean them more than once per year.”

It’s also worth noting that smokers need to be extra careful of home fires. It sounds obvious, but you should never smoke in bed! Whether in bed, in your backyard or driving your car, carelessly discarded cigarettes are the leading cause of fires in the United States.

This National Fire Prevention Month, take the time to make sure your home and family are prepared for an emergency. Stop-drop-and-roll is only the beginning. These tips will ensure that you’re prepared for any unexpected fires.

How To Protect Your Car And Home From Hail

Severe weather can strike at any time–as we saw a few weeks ago when golf ball sized hail took Massachusetts by storm in the middle of summer. If you’ve experienced a hailstorm you know that these small balls of ice are much more dangerous than they look. The rare form of precipitation is also the most dangerous, and even small sized hail can cause substantial damage to the unprepared car or home. The average hailstorm lasts about five minutes, but according to reports by the National Weather Service, hail causes upwards of a billion dollars worth of damage every year. Minimize your damages by learning the basics of protecting your car and home from hail.

Protect Your Car!

If a hailstorm is predicted, it is certainly wise to avoid driving during the peak hours of the storm. If you have to be on the road, be ready to pull over into any kind of covered parking when the hail hits—it only takes one piece to crack a windshield. Consider getting to the office a little early that day and leave your car in a covered parking garage.

If you’re in an area that is regularly at risk for hailstorms, you should buy a plastic cover for your car that you can keep in your trunk. The cost of one of these covers pales in comparison to the cost of a dented vehicle. If hail is an infrequent problem and you don’t want to purchase a formal cover, a heavy blanket or comforter will also protect your car from any dents or scratches.

Protect Your House!

The most important way to protect your home from hail is to keep your roof in tip-top shape! Make sure there are no leaks, rotting wood or exposed areas that hail could harm. A well kept roof will protect your home from any form of precipitation. If you need to redo your roof, consider using an impact-resistant material if you’re in an area that regularly deals with hail.

The size of hail will vary depending on the severity of the storm, but some pieces can be as large as grapefruits! A large enough piece of hail can easily shatter your basic home windows. Covering the window shades, drapes and blinds can help prevent the wind from blowing broken glass into your home and causing further damage or even injury.

If you have any patio or outdoor furniture, always try to either bring it inside or place protective covers over it. One hailstorm can easily decimate an entire patio set.

Get Insured!

Comprehensive and rental insurance coverage will leave you with the peace of mind that your home and car are protected, regardless of the severity of the weather. Most comprehensive insurance covers severe weather (like hail), as do most rental insurance agreements. The only thing worse than ruining your car in a hailstorm is ruining your rental car in a hailstorm. Take the time to make sure you have the proper coverage.

The best thing you can do to protect your home and vehicle from any kind of severe weather is to prepare in advance. If you follow these easy tips, hail will never be more than a minor inconvenience. While we can’t yet control Mother Nature, we certainly can mitigate the damage she causes by taking a few precautions before the hailstorm hits.

At HIG, we want to learn about what you need and are happy to help you find the right coverage. Give us a call at 508-676-5949 or visit our website for a free quote!

5 Reasons You Need Rental Insurance

The adage “safety is priceless” is rarely more apt than when it’s used to describe rental insurance. A lot of times it takes a loss before you realize that while rental insurance in Fall River or the surrounding communities isn’t always mandatory, it is always necessary. Many Fall River residents learned this the hard way after a devastating winter of intense snowfall left many apartments flooded due to ice dams and their belongings damaged. If you are getting ready to move into a new apartment and don’t have rental insurance, here are five reasons getting a quote is the right choice:

It’s Cheap
While each individual scenario will differ, the average rental insurance policy costs a little over $150 a year—that’s $3 a week. If you packed one lunch, or skipped one cup of coffee you’ve paid for your rental insurance that week. Think about it: that’s $3 a week protecting thousands of dollars worth of your stuff!

Your Landlord’s Insurance Isn’t As Comprehensive As You Think
A good landlord will always be appropriately insured, but your landlord’s insurance never protects your personal belongings. So while they may help with a damaged dishwasher, your sofa that was flooded is not going to be replaced.

Rental insurance also protects your belongings from theft. People’s belongings are worth more now than ever before, in a large part due to the value of technology like computers and cellphones. Dealing with a burglary will be a lot easier knowing that you can be reimbursed by your trusted insurance agent for the cost of your stolen belongings.

You Have Neighbors
You may be thinking only within the walls of your own home here, but your neighbor’s actions affect your life. What if your neighbor forgets to turn off their stove and starts a small house fire? Even if the fire doesn’t spread to your apartment, you could be dealing with thousands of dollars worth of smoke damage. Without rental insurance, you could be in serious trouble through no fault of your own! Rental insurance can give you the peace of mind that you are in control of your belongings.

It Protects You From Negligence
We all make mistakes, that’s just a fact of life—but that doesn’t mean we can’t prepare for them. Insurance is about investing in your future and protecting what you work for. Remember, if you leave a pot cooking on the stove and start a fire in your apartment complex, you’re not only liable for your apartment, but for any others affected. Most rental insurance policies cover negligence and when it comes to protecting your future, the best you can do is make sure you’re prepared.

Protection that Travels with You
Rental insurance protects your belongings, no matter where they are. This means that if you lost your laptop while on your vacation in Europe, it isn’t a complete loss. Always remember to check your policy or ask your insurance agent what constitutes “other covered losses” to know the full extent of your protection while traveling abroad.

Rental insurance provides protection for your belongings wherever they may be, and liability coverage for accidents in your home. You work hard for the life you have, why would you not protect it for less than the cost of a single drink a week? Rental insurance in Fall River may not be mandated by your landlord, but if you value your property it’s a small investment with a large payoff.

Now is the time to protect your home, and HIG Insurance is happy to help find the right coverage for you! To request a quote today: CLICK HERE.