Frozen Pipe Prevention

Old Man Winter has arrived and so have the dreaded: Frozen Pipe Claims!

According to The Insurance Journal:  “weather incidents account for more than half of all homeowners insurance claims, with wind, pipes freezing and bursting, roof and flashing leaks and ice dams among the major causes of home damage during weather events.”

On extremely cold days, take the following precautions to help prevent freezing pipes and resulting water damage:

To Help Prevent The Big Freeze:
  • Maintain higher than normal temperatures (65 degrees +).
  • Turn on your faucets and let the water trickle constantly.
  • Open cabinet doors under the sinks. This will allow the heat to warm the pipes.
  • Insulate pipes. Insulation goes a long way toward preventing freeze ups.
  • Your exterior faucets used for your garden hoses should be shut off from inside your basement and left open (even if you have freeze-proof sill cocks).

Contact Johnson & Rohan Insurance with any questions or if you would like to discuss frozen pipe prevention.

Umbrella! Umbrella! Umbrella!

Umbrella! Umbrella! Umbrella!

We say it over and over again because if you don’t have an umbrella policy, you should.

Personal Liability Umbrella coverage is an important part of your financial portfolio.

Umbrella Insurance protects your assets.

A Personal Liability Umbrella Policy “sits-over” your home and auto liability limits. Coverage limits start at $1,000,000 (up to $5,000,000) and provides you protection from lawsuits.

Coverage is relatively inexpensive to purchase. $1,000,000 of coverage sitting over two autos and a home would cost about $180 annually.

Umbrella Policies require underlying motor vehicle liability limits of $250,000 per person/ $500,000 per accident.

In addition to coverage limits, insurance companies provide legal defense.

So, in essence, when you purchase higher limits you are also purchasing improved legal defense.

In an ideal insurance world, you want your insurance limits to, at least, match the amount of your assets.

No one wants to spend more money on insurance, however, rather than simply trying to save money, you should be asking: Do I have enough coverage?

Please call or click if you would like to discuss Personal Liability Umbrella Coverage.

Dangers of Distracted Driving

Dangers of Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is the most common cause of accidents.

The most common distraction is texting or looking at your cell phone.

The National Insurance Highway Institute describes 3 types of distractions:

  1. Visual – taking your eyes off the road;
  2. Manual – taking your hands off the wheel; and
  3. Cognitive – taking your mind off what you’re doing.

In order to best avoid distractions: put away any device that might tempt you to stray away from the driving task at hand.

If you have kids in the car, make sure they are securely in their safety seats before departing. Make sure the DVD is loaded, coffee is in the cup holder, and everyone has their snacks, tissues and barf buckets.

If you have a long road trip in front of you, make sure you are well rested and alert. Have your destination plugged into your navigation system and, of course, your seat belt is on.

This time of year it can be difficult with fogged windows, ice, snow, rain and snow banks, to see out your windshield.

Spend extra time warming up your auto, de-fogging windows, scraping windows, mirrors and make certain your windshield wipers are in good working order.

Most important: pay attention while driving.

With proper planning and a little patience, we can help avoid the dangers of distracted driving.

 

24/7 Claim Reporting

Our companies offer 24/7 claim reporting.

During off hours, have your policy number ready, and click or call one of our following companies.

Johnson & Rohan Insurance hopes everyone has a warm and safe winter!

Available 24 hours per day/ 7 days per week!

Travelers: 1-800-252-4633

  • travelers

 

 

Safety Insurance: 1-800-951-2100

  • safety-insurance

 

Vermont Mutual: 1-800-435-0397

  • vermont-mutual

 

Mass Property (MPIUA): 1-800-392-6108

  • mass-property

 

MAPFRE/ Commerce: 1-800-221-1605

  • mapfre

 

Arbella: 1-800-272-3552

  • arbella

 

 

Progressive:  1-800-776-4737

  • progressive

 

Plymouth Rock: 1-844-346-1225

  • plymouth-rock

 

 

Bunker Hill: 888-472-5246

 

Snow Shoveling Tips

snow shoveling tips

The Basics

Snow shoveling can be compared to weight lifting, and in some cases, the aerobic aspect of this activity is similar to a workout on a treadmill! To help your body function on demand, consider the following tips:

  • Be heart smart! Don’t eat or smoke before shoveling snow. Avoid caffeinated beverages. These are stimulants and may increase heart rate and cause blood vessels to constrict.
  • If you experience pain of any kind, stop immediately and seek assistance.
  • Pace yourself during shoveling activities. Take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water. Snow shoveling is strenuous work, and it is important to re-hydrate your body often.
  • If the ground is icy or slick, spread sand or salt over the area to help create foot traction. Be aware that some areas may be uneven and could cause you to slip, trip, or fall.
Dress for Success!
  • Consider the weather when choosing outerwear. Dress in layers. Wear clothing that is easy to move in.
  • Wear a hat—a great deal of body heat is lost through the head.
  • If it’s icy cold, consider breathing through a scarf, but don’t let it obstruct your view.
  • Proper boots are essential for keeping feet warm and dry while appropriate soles provide traction. Good boots can help you maintain your balance!
  • Choose gloves that will keep your hands warm, dry, and blister free—consider thicker gloves, which allow for a good grip on the shovel’s handle.
Select a Shovel that’s Right for You

Shovels are made from different materials and come in many shapes and sizes.

  • Choose a shovel that is ergonomically correct—a shovel with a curved handle. Many hardware stores and home centers stock ergonomically designed snow shovels. These shovels help you to keep your back straighter reducing spinal stress.
  • Consider a shovel with a plastic blade instead of metal—plastic is lightweight—isn’t the snow heavy enough?
  • Sometimes a smaller blade is better. You will not be able to shovel as much snow per shovel load, but the load will weigh less, which puts less strain on the spine.
  • Get a shovel made to push snow. It is far easier to push snow than to lift it. There are shovels made expressly for pushing snow. See what is available at your hardware or home center store.

Once you have your shovel, you might want to consider spraying a bit of silicon lubricant on the blade. This can help keep the snow from sticking to the shovel. The snow will slide off the shovel blade.

Technique. Technique. Technique.
  • Warm muscles work better. So take some time to stretch to prepare your body for activity.
  • Just like with a golf club, hand placement on the shovel handle is very important! Don’t put your hands (grip) close to one another. Create some distance between the hands. This will give you more leverage and make it easier to lift snow.
  • Think about good posture and maintaining the natural curve of your spine.
  • Address your task directly. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart to maintain balance. Try to keep the shovel close to your body. Bend at the knees—not the waist or back. Tighten your stomach muscles as you lift the snow. Lift with your legs—not your back. Do not twist your body. Dump the snow in front of you. If you need to move the snow to the side, move your feet—do not twist!According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, “If you must lift the snow, lift it properly. Squat with your legs apart, knees bent and back straight. Lift with your legs. Do not bend at the waist. Scoop small amounts of snow into the shovel and walk to where you want to dump it. Holding a shovelful of snow with your arms outstretched puts too much weight on your spine. Never remove deep snow all at once; do it piecemeal. Shovel an inch or two; then take another inch off. Rest and repeat if necessary.”
  • Don’t throw snow over your shoulder! Go forward with the snow.
  • Fresh snow is lighter in weight—so clear snow as soon as it has fallen. Snow becomes dense as it compacts on the ground. Wet snow is very heavy. One shovelful can weigh 20 pounds or more!
  • Pace yourself. Take frequent breaks to stretch your back and extremities.

Snowblowers
A snowblower is a terrific piece of machinery, but if it’s not used correctly, you can strain or injure your back. Snowblowers are designed to remove snow at a particular rate of speed. Pushing or forcing the equipment to go faster is defeating its purpose—to do the work for you!

Community Involvement
Not everyone is able to shovel snow or operate a snowblower. Consider the disabled and some in the senior population. Fortunately, many communities across the US have organized volunteers to help people who need assistance during the winter season.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from Johnson & Rohan Insurance

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from Johnson & Rohan Insurance.

2018 was the most successful year in our Agency’s 25 year history.

We added more companies to our portfolio enabling us to offer even more choices to our clients. We invested in technologies including a new Agency management system. We marketed more than ever before and grew beyond our own high expectations.

To all of our clients we offer BIG THANKS.

Thank you for insuring with us.

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
Happy New Year.

The Big Freeze

 

Old Man Winter is right around the corner and so are the dreaded: Frozen Pipe Claims!

According to The Insurance Journal:  “weather incidents account for more than half of all homeowners insurance claims, with wind, pipes freezing and bursting, roof and flashing leaks and ice dams among the major causes of home damage during weather events.”

On extremely cold days, take the following precautions to help prevent freezing pipes and resulting water damage:

To Help Prevent The Big Freeze:
  • Maintain higher than normal temperatures (65 degrees +).
  • Turn on your faucets and let the water trickle constantly.
  • Open cabinet doors under the sinks. This will allow the heat to warm the pipes.
  • Insulate pipes. Insulation goes a long way toward preventing freeze ups.
  • Your exterior faucets used for your garden hoses should be shut off from inside your basement and left open (even if you have freeze-proof sill cocks).

Contact Johnson & Rohan Insurance with any questions or if you would like to discuss.

Thank you for insuring with us.

Home Insurance and Dogs

Home insurance and dogs

What’s the deal with home insurance and dogs? There are over 4.5 million dog bites each year. These dog bites account for almost 25% of annual homeowner insurance liability claims. If you are a dog owner who’s in the market for a homeowner insurance policy, you should know what you might be up against.

What’s the deal with home insurance and dogs?

Certain breeds may exclude you from coverage in the voluntary market. These breeds include (but are not limited to): Akita, Cane Corso, Chow, Doberman, German Sheperd, Mastiff, Pit Bull, Ridgeback, Rottweiler, and Wolf Hybrid.

Any dog with a past history of biting will exclude the owner from voluntary market coverage.

What’s the deal with home insurance and dogs? No dog owner wants their dog biting friends or family, so here are some suggestions from professional dog trainers.

*Consider dog breeds carefully prior to selecting your new pet.  Some breeds are more aggressive than others.  You can even ask your insurance agent about a list of breeds that are problems for insurance companies.

*Spay or neuter the animal, as this often decreases the aggressiveness of dogs.

*Seek a veterinarian’s advice quickly if your dog starts to become aggressive.

*Socialize your dog from an early age to encourage appropriate behavior.

*Never leave dogs alone with small children.

*Avoid aggressive games with puppies and dogs- tug of war, wrestling.

*Don’t put dogs in situations where they can feel threatened or teased.

*Train your dog to obey commands.

Ice Dam Prevention

Claims are no fun.

One of the most common and repetitive causes of property damage to building interiors is water damage resulting from the formation of ice dams on roofs.

An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents the water produced by melting snow from draining off the roof.

The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home causing damage to walls, ceilings, and insulation.

While ice dams can develop as a result of multiple factors, the most fundamental causes are:

  • Heat leakage from the interior of the building into attic or loft areas that warms the middle and upper areas of roof decks (see causes of heat leakage below).
  • Snow accumulation on the roof surface which provides the potential for snow melt and re-freezing in the form of an ice dam. This problem can be amplified by lower pitched roofs.
  • Sustained exterior temperatures below 32 degrees which creates conditions under which snow melt water will re-freeze at the eave level of the roof.

Heat leakage can result from any number of factors common to residential properties:

  • An insufficient layer of insulation in the ceiling assembly below the attic or loft area as well as un-insulated or poorly insulated exterior walls.
  • Improperly insulated recessed ceiling lighting fixtures.
  • Improperly sealed and insulated ventilation fans, heating and air conditioning ducts and plumbing vent stacks.

Strategies for avoiding water damage from ice dams take two forms; those that are intended to prevent the formation of ice dams and those that are designed to provide a reliable means for roof surface snow melt water to drain off the roof to prevent water accumulation behind the ice dam.

Prevent the Formation of Ice Dams
  • Provide soffit and ridge ventilation to create and sustain a flow of cold air along the bottom surface of the roof deck.
  • Increase the thickness of insulation in the ceiling assembly below the attic or loft area.

Winter Driving Tips

 

 

Winter Driving Tips by Johnson & Rohan Insurance

As much as we hate to admit it, if it isn’t here already, winter driving is right around the corner.

Tips to keep in mind when driving in winter conditions:

Be prepared.  Have your mechanic check your car’s battery, brakes, fluid levels and tire wear.  Keep your gas tank more than half full- it lowers the chance of freezing and you’ll also avoid running out of gas if your stuck in a traffic jam on 128.

Take care in pulling out.  Your car reacts differently to accelerating on snow, make sure there is plenty of time/space to get your car up to speed.  Remember other vehicles may have trouble braking because of the conditions.

Back your car into the driveway when possible.  You’ll have better vision when pulling out.

Be aware of walkers or joggers on the street. When sidewalks are impassable, die hard joggers and dog walkers are forced to venture onto the street for a clearer path.   Keep an eye out for them!

When waiting to make a left hand turn, keep the wheels of your car pointed forward.  If your wheels are turned to the left and you are rear-ended, your car will be pushed into the path of on-coming traffic.

Braking.  If your car does not have anti-lock brakes and you start to skid, pump the brakes to gain control of the skidding.  If your car has anti-lock brakes, slam and hold down the brakes to allow the anti-lock system to take over.

When you must travel during a storm, notify others of your estimated time of arrival and your intended route.

If stuck, stay in the car and wait for help.  Run the engine and heater sparingly.  Also make your exhaust pipe is clear from snow and ventilate your car to prevent carbon monoxide build up.

If stuck in a storm, preserve your energy.  Have food (energy bars, trail mix, beef jerky) in your car.   They will provide your body with energy to produce its own heat.  Have water available to prevent dehydration.  Don’t eat snow, it lowers your body temperature- if necessary, melt it first.

Prepare a Winter Driving Kit and leave it in your trunk.  Your kit should include an extra pair of gloves, blankets, an ice scraper, food basics (energy bars, trail mix or beef jerky work well), water or energy drink.  An affordable car battery- air compressor can provide a battery charge or refill a flat tire.

 

Johnson & Rohan