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Homeowners Policy Coverage: Do You Have Flood Insurance?

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Owning a home comes with a lot of responsibility. Some days, it may seem as if you have more to worry about than other days. With the winter in full swing, have you thought about reviewing your Massachusetts homeowners insurance policy? Are you familiar with the scope of what homeowners insurance covers?

Massachusetts homeowners insurance will cover:
• The structure of your home
• Your personal belongings
• Liability
• Additional living expenses should you become temporarily unable to live in your home due to an insured disaster

Massachusetts homeowners insurance will NOT cover:
• Earthquakes
• Flooding
• Animal liability
• Valuable articles

New Englanders know that the winter season can bring a lot of snow with it – as that snow melts, it can mean a lot of wet puddles and for homeowners, this can mean floods. In Massachusetts, you homeowners insurance policy will not cover water damage due to flooding. However, flood insurance will!

Not sure if flood insurance is for you? Think about how easily water damage could impact your home:

• You could have a leak in your roof that could end up letting water into your home
• A pipe could freeze in your home and burst resulting in water everywhere – soaking all of your possessions and items in your home
• The gutters in your roof could get clogged from ice dams causing your drainage system to back up

Consider this: Nearly 23% of all homeowners property losses are a result of water damage related issues such as these. Not only are they easily preventable with homeowners maintenance, but they can also be insured with a flood insurance policy!

Avoid the hassle and aggravation and keep your investment safe and secure. Give us a call today and let us help you review your homeowners policy coverage. Our experienced agents can help you obtain insurance for floods and get you the peace of mind you need today!

Tire Performance: All Season Tires vs Winter Tires

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Now that the weather is cold enough to warrant there being frost on your car’s windshield every morning (can you say automatic start for a holiday gift?) you might be thinking more about maintenance for your car and winterization. One of the most common questions many motorists have when that subject comes up is: What is the difference between all season tires vs. winter tires?

Tire performance is integral for your car. It prolongs the life of many things:

  • Your engine
  • Your fuel
  • The fluids in your vehicle
  • The tread on your tires
  • And more!

When you are considering tires for winter, you want to consider the type of driving you do and weigh your options before making a decision. The best way to do that is to understand the key differences between the different types of tires.

Winter Tires FAQ:

Here is what you need to know about winter tires:

  • If you have winter tires on your car, they can provide your vehicle with enhanced braking in snowy and icy conditions.
  • Winter tires are often referred to as snow tires because they feature tread designs that are made specifically for snow, ice and other severe winter weather conditions.
  •  This tread mentioned above is aggressive enough to reduce snow build up on the tires.

All Season Tires FAQ:

When it comes to all season tires, here is what you should know:

  • These tires will also provide traction and grip in wet and snowy conditions.
  • All season tires will help to provide stable handling and even tread wear, even in wet and snowy conditions.

*Pro Tip: All season tires will offer traction, but winter tires will surpass them when it comes to ice.

You have to consider the conditions you will be driving in when you make your decision. In New England states like Massachusetts, many motorists opt to have a set of snow tires to use on their vehicles in the winter months. This can be economical if you are only using them during the winter. However, the choice is up to you and your budget. Talk to your car dealer about your specific car and how the manufacturer’s tires will handle the snow and ice before anything – your car’s handling is the best indication of your needs!


Winterize Your Home to Help Avoid Insurance Claims

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With the winter weather, there also comes a higher liability for damage and injury to happen on your property, and thus, a higher likelihood of having to file home insurance claims when these accidents happen. Do you know how to properly winterize your home to decrease the chances of something happening? Here are a few basic tips and precautions.

Preparing the Exteriors

To winterize your home, you must first start with the exteriors. It is important to know that preparations can be taken now, but preventative measures need to be maintained throughout the winter, also. Securely fasten your shingles, and put up weather-stripping where needed. Don’t forget to regularly remove accumulating snow from the roof, as well as any hanging icicles that can cause damage or personal harm.

Taking Indoor Precautions

Adjust your water heater accordingly to keep pipes from freezing. And don’t forget to seal all cracks in around windows and doors before they grow worse! Lastly, always be sure your chimney flue is cleaned out before lighting the fireplace. As a matter of fact, fire hazards are the result of a large percentage of insurance claims over the winter, so be sure that all open flames indoors are monitored, and flammable objects—and children—are kept far from the fire.

Safety First

Injuries tend to happen often over the winter, and the best way to avoid insurance claims on your property is to keep safety first in mind at all times. Always lay ice melt or rock salt on the sidewalks, paths, and driveways of your home – insurance claims in winter can often result from a nasty fall outside!

Even if you take all the necessary steps and precautions to winterize your home, it is still important to be covered with a homeowners insurance policy, which can protect you in the event of damage to your home or an injury sustained on your property. Call [astCompanyName], a leading [astStateFull] provider, today at [astPhone] to learn about keeping your home protected this winter!

5 Tips On How to Make A Proper Business Plan

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If you are starting up your own business, it’s crucial that you understand how to make a proper business plan. Without a clear plan set out you may overlook crucial steps, underestimate the financial requirements, and get off track. A well-written and thoroughly contrived business plan will also increase your chances of getting the financial support your new business needs to get off the ground.

In honor of National Write A Business Plan Month, we’re offering these 5 tips on how to make a proper business plan. Good luck!

  1. Be as clear and concise as you can. Avoid adding pointless “fluff” to the plan just for the sake of making it appear to be longer. Remember, quality over quantity.
  2. Don’t overuse text. Whenever you can, use a visual such as a graph, chart, or other image rather than writing a paragraph about it. This is especially crucial in the financials section of your business plan.
  3. Think outside the box. In order to grow your business you’ll need to be creative and find a unique way to catch people’s attention.
  4. Be conservative in your projections, budget, and throughout the entire plan. This will help reassure lenders that you are realistic, practical, responsible, and therefore more likely to pay back money lent to you.
  5. Clearly define your objectives and goals before you start creating your business plan. Make sure your goals are measurable and realistic. Having these goals in mind beforehand will help you focus more specifically on what you need to include in your plan, and what you need to do in order to succeed.

In order to put your new venture on the path to success, you need to understand how to make a proper business plan! Follow these tips and get started today.

Blizzard Safety Tips: What To Do If You’re Trapped In Your Car

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If a blizzard is supposed to be entering your area, avoid traveling on the roads as much as possible. If you do happen to be driving when a blizzard starts, look for a hotel or motel close by where you can safely ride out the storm until the roads are clear again. However, sometimes there may be no where for you to go, and you could find yourself in the dangerous situation of being stranded in your car during a blizzard.

Read these blizzard safety tips in order to learn what to do if you are ever trapped in your car during a snow storm, and how to stay safe.

  • Stay calm, and remain in your vehicle. DO NOT attempt to leave your car and walk for help.
  • While it may be tempting to want to leave your car’s engine running in order to stay warmer, that’s actually a bad idea. Snow can actually build up and block your car’s exhaust pipe, creating a hazard for carbon monoxide poisoning for you and anyone else in the car. Also, leaving your car on will cause your car to run out of gas and then after the storm passes you will be stuck on the road.
  • A better idea would be to turn your car on for short periods of time. Before doing this, clean the snow out from your tailpipe and open the windows a little bit to let out any carbon monoxide fumes. Turning the car on for just enough time to keep the car warm and then shutting it off is the best and safest way to proceed while stuck in your vehicle.
  • If you are with other people in the car, take turns sleeping so someone can always be on the lookout for emergency help or roadside assistance.
  • Tie a brightly colored bandana, scarf, or other item around your car’s antenna. This marking will allow others to know you are stuck in your car and need help.
  • Try honking your horn or flashing lights to alert others.
  • Wrap any blankets, clothing, or anything else you can find in your car around yourself in order to retain your body warmth as best as possible.

Blizzards and other major winter storms can be treacherous in Massachusetts, and that’s why being prepared is crucial! Follow these blizzard safety tips and have a fun and safe winter.