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Baldwin / Welsh & Parker

Monday, 26 November 2018 06:36

6 Ways To Avoid Holiday Package Theft

Online American consumers spent $50.6 billion this year through Black Friday, and sales for Cyber Monday are expected to reach or exceed an additional $7.8 billion. As a result, the U.S. Postal Service expects to deliver nearly 15 billion pieces of mail and 900 million packages, for a total of nearly 16 billion deliveries between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. That means more packages delivered to homes — and more package thieves, also known as "porch pirates" are waiting to grab your holiday purchases. 

In 2017, InsuranceQuotes released a study revealing that 25.9 million Americans had a package stolen from their front porch or doorstep. — and that’s just during the holiday season.

Package theft can happen anytime but tends to happen more often during the holiday season. With more consumers shopping online every year, this number of thefts will undoubtedly climb. Package deliveries increase exponentially the two-and-a-half weeks before Christmas, according to Package Concierge, a company that provides package receipt systems for apartment buildings.

Part of the problem is that it’s so hard to guarantee a package is safe once it’s delivered. While you may add insurance to a piece of mail or package through the delivery service, once the package reaches your doorstep the coverage ends, as the insurance is aimed at covering any physical damage that may take place in transit. Even when dropped off at an apartment building, packages may go missing before recipients can claim parcels. To combat the issue, delivery services, retailers and startups are working to create alternatives to traditional home delivery that will prevent thieves from getting away with your items.

Monday, 15 October 2018 03:53

Can We Stop Robocalls & Scams Calls?

Telemarketing calls are both annoying and, in many cases, illegal. The following information is a compilation of consumer information published at the FCC and FTC websites as well as other sources. It is intended to help you recognize and avoid spam calls. Furthermore, you will discover options to reduce the number of daily calls that you receive.

6 Major Dangers Affecting Teen Drivers

National Teen Driver Safety Week runs from October 21-27. This is a great time to start a conversation about the six major dangers affecting teen drivers. Let them know that obeying the rules of the road is a prerequisite for the privilege of driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) recommends that parents remind their teens about the consequences of breaking the rules.

There were 3 explosions, 60 to 80 structure fires, 25 injuries, and 1 death resulting from the natural gas pipeline explosion in Merrimack Valley earlier this month. More than 8,500 gas customers were affected, according to Columbia Gas. It will be months before residents and business owners and their employees recover. As we continue to hear their stories, many people who were not affected are wondering if a gas explosion can happen to them — and if it does what can be done about it. In this article we answer several questions about what to do after a gas explosion as well as what to do if you smell gas inside or outside of a structure. 

Who oversees and regulates gas pipelines in Massachusetts?

The Office of Pipeline Safety partners with Massachusetts Pipeline Safety Division to regulate and monitor pipeline safety regulatory responsibilities.

The Pipeline Safety Division acts as the enforcement arm of the Department of Public Utilities, ensuring that operators of natural gas distribution companies, municipal gas departments, steam distribution companies, and other intrastate operators are in compliance with state and federal regulations governing safety. The Division also oversees utility operators and excavators to preserve public utility service through enforcement of the Dig Safe Law.

While the students enjoy the freedom and fun of summer, the parents start to count down the days until school starts again. One of the more daunting yet exciting times for both parents and teenagers happens during the summer between graduating high school and starting their freshman year of college. This is the start of many big life changes for everyone, which can also bring a lot of stress and questions. As a parent, an important question you may not be thinking about is what coverage your student will have when they go off to college. Are they covered under your homeowners policy? Do they need more coverage?

Many homeowners’ insurance policies provide coverage for your college student while they are away at school. If they are residents of a college dorm, most insurance carriers provide coverage for their personal liability and personal property under the parents’ homeowners’ policy.

One conundrum many drivers face is knowing when to file an auto claim. This is one of the most perplexing questions, especially since there are financial and time constraints tied to claims submissions.

First and foremost, filing a claim can be dependent upon requirements mandated by your auto insurer and state regulations. Time is of the essence; it is imperative for a claims adjuster to be able to investigate the damage in a timely fashion. Here are some situations that can help you determine if you need to submit a claim or not.

Scenarios when a claim must be filed:

  • If you are involved in an auto accident and anyone is injured, you need to file a claim. This is especially important if you may be found at-fault in the accident. Not filing a claim can leave you open to litigation, since injuries may result in medical expenses.
  • Accidents where it isn’t clear who is at fault. A claim should be submitted for auto accidents that result in either injuries and/or property damage as a result of a crash with another party. This allows your insurer to properly represent you. Vehicle damages that may appear minor can actually be deceivingly expensive. Also, sometimes injuries manifest 24 to 48 hours after a crash.
  • Weather-related damage and vandalism. Significant vehicle damage caused by a storm (downed limbs, flooding, etc.) necessitates a claim. As does vehicle vandalism caused by an anonymous vandal.

Claims should be submitted as quickly as possible. Thanks to mobile devices, many people can now file claims directly at the scene of an accident. Steps to consider when filing a claim:

Wednesday, 01 August 2018 06:02

Camp Fire Safety Tips

How to Build, Maintain & Extinguish Your Campfire

A camp fire can be one of the best parts of camping, or provide necessary warmth to hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts. Just don’t forget your responsibility to maintain and extinguish it to prevent wild fires. With the wild fires in California happening right now, it's time to talk about fire safety to prevent damaging and life-threatening fires wherever you travel.

Keep your camp fire from becoming a wild fire!

BEFORE ...

  • Choose a spot that’s protected from wind gusts and at least 15 feet from your tent, gear, and anything ammable.
  • Clear a 10-foot diameter area around your camp re spot by removing leaves, grass, and anything burnable down to the dirt.
  • Don’t build your camp re near plants or under tree limbs or other ammable material hanging overhead.
  • If allowed, dig a pit for your camp fire, about 1-foot deep, in the center of the cleared area.
  • Build a fire ring around the pit with rocks to create a barrier.
  • Don’t use any type of ammable liquid to start your fire.
  • Gather three types of wood to build your camp re and add them in this order:
    • Tinder - small twigs, dry Kindling – dry sticks leaves or grass, dry needles
    • Kindling - dry sticks leaves or grass, dry needles. smaller than 1” around
    • Firewood - larger, dry pieces of wood up to about 10” around.
Wednesday, 01 August 2018 05:49

6 Essential Travel Tips

Vacations are for reducing stress, not adding to it. Unfortunately, things can happen to make any vacation a stressful experience, no matter how beautiful the locale or destination.

Some things you are not able to control, such as the weather or flight delays. Other things, such as missing documents or stolen credit cards, have the potential to interrupt your fun but do not have to end your vacation if you are prepared.

Before you pack your bags and turn on your email out-of-office message, here are six tips to make your vacation one for the books:

This article was orginally published by our friends at Plymouth Rock on August 29, 2017. As of this publishing date, all locations mentioned in the article were still open for business. We recommend that you call the restaurant before for you travel.

Craving fried seafood? Whether you live in New England or you’re just visiting, be sure to check out these delicious and authentic New England seafood spots in your area!

Who doesn’t love the sunny, warm days of summer? They’re delightful! But, keep in mind that more time spent outdoors in the heat and humidity can bring on a multitude of risks for pets. As the temperature rises, be mindful of these important safety concerns to help keep your pets safe all season long.

Heat-related tips:

  • The number one heat-related rule, and we’ve all heard this before, is never, ever leave your pet in the car unattended. Even if you park in the shade. Even if you leave the windows open. Even for just a few minutes. Just don’t do it. The temperature can rise to over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes, and it’s even illegal in some states.
  • If taking your dog for walks or playing outside, try to do so in the morning or evening when it may be cooler.
  • Try to avoid prolonged exposure to hot asphalt or sand, both of which can burn the pads on your dog’s paws.
  • Provide ample shade for your pet, with tree shade and tarps being better options than doghouses. Your pet’s doghouse can actually trap heat rather than provide relief from it.
  • Make sure your pet has plenty of cool, fresh water. This goes for drinking and, well, just sitting in it. Many lucky dogs love to take a quick dip in a child’s wading pool filled with clean, cool water. And if they are like my dog, they’ll drink it while they’re sitting in it. Multi-tasking at its best!
  • Believe it or not, you can apply sunblock to your pet’s least hair-covered spots, which are ears, nose, and bellies on dogs, and ears and around eyes on cats. Make sure the sunblock is pet safe, such as epi-Pet Sun Protector Sunscreen. Some typical sunblocks such as zinc oxide can be toxic to pets. And don’t cut your pet’s hair too short. Groomed pet hair, even if it’s long, helps regulate body temperature.
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