Insurance Blog
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 15:18

Insurance Checklist for Your Move

5 Important Insurance Tips When Moving

  1. Upon Signing the Purchase and Sale Agreement: Contact Baldwin/W&P for an insurance quote. Be ready with:  your new home’s address, square footage, year built, and years of updates to wiring, plumbing, heating, and the roof. 
  2. Decide on Coverage: Your experienced agent will help you make decisions about your insurance needs (including special coverage for jewelry, earthquake, and flood), and provide you with a detailed proposal.
  3. Closing: Provide your agent with the mortgage bank’s closing attorney or mortgage broker’s contact information. Your agent will prepare the insurance documentation and provide it to the bank’s attorney for review prior to closing.
  4. Cancel Previous Insurance: If your former home is not yet sold at the time of relocation, discuss with your prior insurer how vacancy may affect your coverage.
  5. Moving: Check with your mover to make sure that you have coverage for personal belongings in transit.
Friday, 26 May 2017 15:30

Summer Grilling Fun

From our Trusted Choice Friends
 

Your Grill Should Cook, Not Burn…

The barn. Or the house. Or a child.

Every year, what should be a fun outdoor occasion for family and friends instead turns into tragedy at nearly 9,000 homes, causing deaths, injuries and tens of millions in property damage. Your Baldwin / Welsh & Parker Trusted Choice® independent insurance agent remind you that fire damage and potential liability for injury to friends will be covered by your homeowners policy, but we’d much rather you sidle up to the picnic table than hunker down in the emergency room.

Gas grills represent the greatest risk by far, and are involved in more than 80% of all grilling fires. But all types of grills represent a danger if used incorrectly or carelessly. A few simple precautions, courtesy of the experts at the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), may make the difference:

For all grills:

• Propane and charcoal barbecue grills should only be used outdoors.
• The grill should be placed well away from the home and deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
• Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
• Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
• Never leave your grill unattended.

For charcoal grills:

• If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Once the fire is started, never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquid to it.
• Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
• Electric charcoal starters that do not use fire are available. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
• When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

For propane grills: 


• Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. 
• If you detect a gas leak from your grill, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.
• If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.

Almost one-third of gas grill injuries occur during the lighting or relighting of the fire. One significant hazard of propane grills occurs if the flame goes out during the cooking process. Too many grill owners have never read the manual to see there is a critical procedure that must be followed when relighting, or risk a dangerous explosion. ESPN’s Hannah Storm was a victim of just such an accident, and her courageous video recounting her accident and recovery is well worth viewing on the National Fire Protection Association's website.

 pool safty family and friends

Many Americans retreat to swimming pools throughout the summer to escape the blistering heat. For some, a pool party complete with drinks, grilled food, and music is an essential part of a perfect summer day. While swimming pools are great for bringing family and friends together, there are risks and pool safety concerns home owners should consider.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly ten people drown each day in the United States and there are over 3,000 unintentional drowning deaths, unrelated to boating, every year. While swimming in a residential pool is relaxing and great for physical exercise, it does present dangers that home owners should prepare for—especially when children are present. In fact, the Red Cross states that about 200 children drown in residential swimming pools annually. Vigilance and certain safety precautions can greatly reduce accidental injuries and swimming-related deaths.

Invest in Adequate Fencing and Gates

According to MSN Real Estate, it is extremely important for home owners to have locking gates and fencing surrounding a pool. Privacy fencing at least six feet high greatly reduces the chances that an uninvited person will enter a backyard to swim. In addition to regular privacy fencing, there are specially made fences with childproof locks that can enclose the immediate pool area. The Red Cross recommends using a four-foot high fence that has self-latching and self-closing gates to keep children and pets away from the water.

Provide Swimming Lessons and/or CPR Training for Members of Your Household

If you reside in a home with a pool, every member of your household should know how to swim and understand basic CPR methods in case a swimmer or guest needs resuscitation. Furthermore, young children should be enrolled in swimming classes that are age- and skill-level appropriate so that they can learn basic swimming techniques to help prevent fear of water and promote better responses to pool-related accidents. The Red Cross and the National Swimming Pool Foundation offer an online course that teaches pool safety tips and training for accident prevention.

Beware of Faulty Drains

A potential danger to adults and children alike is faulty drains that produce too much suction where clothing, hair, and limbs can become trapped at the bottom of a pool or spa. Faulty drain issues resulted in federal mandates and consumer advocacy education regarding this danger, especially after the death of a young girl, Virginia Graeme Baker, in 2002. The Consumer Product Safety Commission launched a public awareness campaign to help prevent faulty draining mechanisms from claiming more lives.

Precautionary measures recommended by the Consumer Product Safety Commission include ensuring that spa and pool drain covers are compliant with the latest safety codes and installing Safety Vacuum Release Systems, which automatically stop a pool pump if blockage in the drain is detected. Additionally, home owners should have easy, quick access to pump switches so they can be rapidly shut down if necessary. If a swimmer is trapped by the suction of a drain, avoid pulling the person out of the drain. Instead, break the seal by inserting a small object or several fingers between the swimmer and the drain or grate.

Arm Your Pool with an Alarm System

Like homes, pools can be armed with alarm systems. For example, Leslie's Swimming Pool Supplies, a company with stores throughout the United States, offers in-ground pool alarms that can sense entry into a pool by an animal or person weighing over 18 pounds. Using negative displacement technology, this type of pool alarm is submerged and can be activated by a remote control device. When its sensor detects in-water movement, an alarm will sound inside the home as well as in the pool to alert home owners. In addition to sounding a noticeable alarm, this safety device will also sound off when removed from the pool in its armed state. Other alternatives to pool alarms that can help notify home owners of unwanted pool activity are motion-sensor lighting and security systems for doors and windows that limit access from the home to the pool area.

Practicing pool safety and receiving proper training in responding to swimming-related accidents or injuries can offer home owners more peace of mind when it comes to protecting loved ones and friends. For more safety tips, talk with a Baldwin / Welsh & Parker Trusted Choice® independent insurance agent. We can help you protect your home and its occupants with valuable information and insurance coverage.

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Hudson, MA - 978-562-5652

Wayland, MA - 508-358-5383

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