Kitchen Vigilance

Cooking is the leading cause of home fires! Most people have heard that ovens and stove tops pose a very real danger to kids, but you may be surprised to learn that home fire dangers abound in the kitchen. In a recent report, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) identified the leading factors in home cooking fires:

32% – Equipment unattended
11% – Abandoned or discarded materials
9% – Heat source too close to combustibles
8% – Misuse of material
8% – Stove/oven unintentionally turned on/off
7% – Failure to clean

It’s well known that the threat of kitchen fires increases during the holidays when large meals are prepared and people have a lot on their mind. But as you can see from the data above, it pays to be vigilant in the kitchen all year long.

Flood Lessons

Many in Massachusetts who don’t live near the ocean think they don’t need flood insurance. However, as the hurricanes that devastated parts of the Carolinas last year so vividly illustrate, flood insurance is always worth considering.

Those who live near brooks, creeks, and rivers should think seriously about flood insurance because significant rainfall that occurs quickly, or over a sustained period, can easily cause waterways to overflow, putting nearby residents in peril. Such was the case in 2018 for many homeowners in the Carolinas. The same thing could easily happen in Massachusetts – even in areas that have never flooded before.

Don’t try to weather the storm alone. To learn more about flood insurance, call or stop by our
office today.

2019 Summer Read & Ride Program

Estabrook & Chamberlain is, once again, proud to sponsor the annual Read & Ride program in association with the West Bridgewater Public Library. The purpose of the program is to encourage kids to expand their horizons and have fun through reading.

To participate, kids simply have to register, in an appropriate age group, and pledge to read just one book over the program period – June 24th to August 2nd. The lucky winners* will receive a new bike! Winners will be drawn at the library on Friday, August 2nd at 11:30 a.m.

Parents are urged tell their kids about the program and get them involved. It’s fun and rewarding, so be sure to stop by the West Bridgewater Public Library and sign up today.

Registration forms may also be obtained at our office – 45 Main Street in Bridgewater.

* Previous winners are not eligible.

Once Burned …

2018 was a record year for wildfires. Some might let it go at that, but those who lived through them learned some very valuable lessons – not the least of which is why you should buy insurance with disasters in mind, not just smaller events which cause lesser damage.

Often, people shop for the cheapest price and minimal coverage. Those who look to save a few bucks are betting the “big one” won’t impact them. But that can be a “fool’s bet”, because as the fires in California showed, catastrophes (not just fires) can happen to anyone, anywhere, any time.

Given all this, it’s time to stop thinking about insurance as a way to pay for small damage caused by small events. That’s easy. What’s hard is recovering from utter devastation with anything less than full coverage. After a disaster occurs is the worst time to realize your insurance is inadequate. So opt for as much coverage as you can afford now – for greater protection and peace of mind.

To learn how to maximize your protection, give us a call today. We’ll help you review your coverage free of charge and explain how and when choices such as higher deductibles and higher coverage limits make the most sense.

Tips For Renters

Many people who rent their home or apartment choose to forego rental insurance because of the cost. This is often the case with younger people who are on their own for the first time. It’s also a perfect example of being penny wise and pound foolish. That’s because even a minor problem can end up costing you much more than the insurance.

Buying renters’ insurance is a great way to protect your property and your finances. Being proactive can also make a big difference. One good example of this is not telegraphing your vulnerability. People do this all the time by talking about vacations and posting photos on social media – while they’re still on vacation! For nefarious types, this is an obvious clue that your home is likely unattended and ripe for the picking.

Being proactive is prudent, but it won’t protect you completely. That’s where insurance can help. Give us a call today to learn more. We’ll be happy to show you how affordable rental insurance can be.

Faltering Phones

People often curse their smart phones for not doing what they want, but what about when they do what you never intended? Many who rent cars have found out the hard way what the consequences of this can be.

Many of today’s rental cars offer hands-free calling, streaming music and access to the Internet. Unfortunately, connecting to these features/services with your own phone means your personal info can be harvested by systems and people you never authorized. You might think this merely opens you up to more spam, but in many respects, it’s like connecting to public Wi-Fi. The risks may be much greater and could include identity theft, stalking or worse.

A word to the wise – think twice before connecting your device.

When Bigger Is Better

In many instances teen car buyers choose cheaper cars, which usually means smaller vehicles. The same is true for parents who buy cars for their kids. But according to IIHS (the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) teens should drive older SUVs for increased safety. The added size and weight of a larger SUV affords greater protection than a smaller car. Older SUVs often include safety features such as electronic stability control too.

The IIHS publishes a list of recommended vehicles for teen drivers, which it updates annually. Obviously, purchase decisions aren’t based solely on safety, but it should definitely be a priority. To read more and view the list, go to: https://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/teenagers/qanda#teenagers–general.

Wedding Insurance

Wedding season will be here sooner than you think so now is the time couples should be planning for their big day. Planning can get quite hectic and things sometimes get overlooked. One important consideration that’s often forgotten is wedding insurance. Even when couples do consider it, they often don’t always understand what it is or how it works.

To some, wedding insurance means taking out a policy in the event their wedding is canceled due to issues with a vendor or some other unforeseen problem. But it can be much more than that. For example, what happens if a guest gets drunk at your reception and is involved in an accident later? What if a fight breaks out and people are injured or damage is done to the event hall? Some people assume their homeowners policy will cover these kinds of things. But as with all insurance, your coverage is subject to the limits of your policy, which may be inadequate.

To help ensure your special day stays special, give us a call. We’ll help review your current insurance and suggest adjustments if necessary. We can even help you choose additional coverage just for the event.

Spring Ahead!

March 10th is the day when daylight savings time begins in 2019.  This means clocks should be moved ahead one hour.  The change occurs at 2:00 am, so be sure to set your clocks before you go to bed on Saturday evening.