News & PR

For posts relating to E&C in general. News worthy events, press releases, etc.

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Killer Phones

Researchers are trying to understand why traffic related deaths have surged nearly 15% in the past two years. Speed, driving distance and drinking have all increased in recent years, but none of these factors explains the spike in deaths.

Although NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) data doesn’t show it, the cause is fairly obvious – distracted driving. From 2014 to 2016, smart phone use increased by about 80%. How phones are used has also changed. People are talking less and using apps more – up to 80% more. Texting, posting on social media and interacting with other apps all require significantly more attention – attention that should be focused on driving, not on a phone.

The substantial uptick in fatalities has largely involved bicyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians – all of which are easier to overlook as a result of distracted driving.

So when you get behind the wheel, put your phone down or, at the very least, use it in hands-free mode. It can help save a life – possibly yours.

When Teens Crash

According to a recent study, teens are more likely to be involved in a crash or near miss after they get their license than before. It sounds counter intuitive, but the data shows that in the first 3 months after getting their license, teens are 8 times more likely to be in a crash or near miss as compared to the previous 3 months on their learner’s permit.

The study, published in the “Journal of Adolescent Health,” indicates that, after obtaining their license, teens are 4 times more likely to engage in risky behavior, including rapid acceleration, sudden braking, hard turns and more. For parents of teens, the study suggests that a continuation of adult supervision may be appropriate – at least for the first few months a teen has their license.

Knowing all of this, you may want to keep closer tabs on your teen’s driving. Of course, you run the risk of irritating them if you’re too attentive. Considering the risks though, that’s a small price to pay.

Read & Ride Winners

Estabrook & Chamberlain partnered with the West Bridgewater Public Library again this year to sponsor the 2018 Summer Reading Program. As in past years, the program’s intent is to help kids expand their knowledge and horizons through reading. The Read & Ride program also offers young readers the chance to win a new bike – just for reading one book over the summer.

This year’s participation was once again outstanding and we’re proud to announce the winners.
Back row (left to right) Maeve Stipkovich, Caleb Watson,
Tom Chamberlain, Dean Baker, Caleb Castle.
Front Row (left to right) Keira Stipkovich, Anya Stipkovich.
Not pictured: Brianne DePalma and Ellie Smith.

Another Kidde Recall

In our Spring 2018 newsletter, we wrote about a recall of Kidde fire extinguishers. Now, we have a new recall to tell you about. This one involves their dual sensor smoke alarms. The specific product is the Kidde dual-sensor (photoelectric and ionization) smoke alarms – models Pl2010 and Pl9010.

The devices are being recalled due to a possible failure to alert consumers of a fire. According to the recall notice, a yellow cap left on during the manufacturing process can cover one of the two smoke sensors and compromise the alarm’s ability to detect smoke, posing a risk of consumers not being alerted to a fire in their home.

For details, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website at https://bit.ly/2u7qQyx.

Local Celebrity

Some people may know that Don Prohovich, who resides in Bridgewater, was a notable athlete as a young man. He played AAA minor league baseball as a shortstop for the Chicago White Sox organization. His pathway to the major leagues was blocked by Hall of Fame shortstop Luis Aparicio.

Don also excelled in basketball. He played for Holy Cross alongside teammate and Hall of Famer, Tom Heinsohn of the Boston Celtics. Don graciously presented our office with a picture of him and Heinsohn in the 1955 Madison Square Garden Holiday Tournament. Come by and see the picture of Don and Tom Heinsohn with Bill Russell providing the opposition.

Convenience vs. Risk

Many online retailers are working to solve delivery issues. Package theft in particular, is a key concern. For its part, Amazon has begun rolling out “Amazon Key”, a service that combines an electronic lock and a cloud-based camera system. With these in place, delivery drivers can place packages inside your home, rather than leave them outside where they might be stolen.

As convenient as this type of secure delivery may seem, it actually adds potential risks that force insurance companies to play catchup. So many questions arise with this
new service:
• What if a delivery person slips and falls?
• What if the delivery person causes a fire in your home?
• What if the system is hacked?

Currently, many of the answers to these questions are unknown because this is all so new. Given this, many security and insurance professionals advise against such services, suggesting instead that people have packages delivered to work or a friend, family member
or neighbor.

In the near future, look for insurers to revise existing policies and develop new coverages/add-ons to accommodate and mitigate the risks associated with new technology and services. For now, if you’re considering Amazon Key or a similar service, it’s a good idea to review your existing insurance. For help in doing so, give us a call today. We’ll help identify any weak points or gaps in your coverage.

Fire Extinguisher Recall – No Kidde-ing

Smart renters and homeowners have at least one fire extinguisher. One popular brand is manufactured by Kidde, who recently announced a recall of multiple products. This recall involves two types of Kidde disposable fire extinguishers:

Plastic handle fire extinguishers

Plastic push-button fire extinguishers

This recall does not include Kidde Professional or Badger branded fire extinguishers or units with metal handles/valve assemblies.

For details and to see if your Kidde fire extinguisher is included in the recall, visit the following link.: https://goo.gl/fHjvc2

Community & College

In addition to serving the insurance needs of multiple communities, Estabrook & Chamberlain strives to do more for our neighbors and the people we serve. To this end, we provide three separate scholarships to worthy students in the surrounding communities.

Each year, we provide a college scholarship that’s awarded to 2 high school graduates – one from Bridgewater Raynham Regional High and one from West Bridgewater High. Many years ago, we also established a self-funded scholarship for the business department at Bridgewater State University. Each spring, the scholarships are awarded when the business school chooses two deserving students working toward a degree in management or accounting.

Life is about more than protecting what you have. It’s also about giving back where you live. At Estabrook & Chamberlain, we’re proud to help make a difference in the communities we serve.

Rants & Repercussions

The Internet has made it significantly easier to express yourself. But that’s not always a good idea. This is especially true when voicing your opinion,
complaining or venting your frustrations. These days, the news is filled with stories of people being sued for comments they’ve made or acts of Internet-based revenge they’ve taken on people/companies.

Sadly, many people believe they can say/do whatever they like online and the perceived anonymity of the Internet will protect them. Typically, that’s not the case though. The same may also be true of your homeowners insurance.

Whether deliberate or accidental, your damaging rant may open you up to charges of harassment, defamation, libel or slander. While most homeowners policies contain liability coverage, this usually only applies to bodily injury and/or property damage. The bottom line? You may incur significant financial damages and possibly prison!

So if you’re prone to outbursts of excessive vitriol on the Internet, may we suggest putting down your phone or stepping away from the keyboard, taking a deep breath and counting to ten. Then, give us a call to learn more about personal injury coverage and whether your homeowners insurance is sufficient for your needs.

Cold Weather, Hot Cars

 You may not know it, but car thefts increase during cold weather. Many people foolishly leave their cars idling in the driveway or while they run into the store. Their intent is to keep the interior warm, but what they’re doing is providing thieves with an ideal opportunity.

The problem of owners having their vehicle stolen after leaving them idling has grown so much that some communities have outlawed the practice. It’s not all bad news though. Technology is helping to reduce car thefts, but a car can be stolen in less than a minute, so owner vigilance is still the best deterrent. This winter, think twice before choosing between convenience and possible car theft.

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