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Avoid Home Fires
When my son, now 19 and an Eagle Scout, was in his early days of Scouting, we learned how to make fires in multiple ways.  One thing we would collect for campouts was the lint from our dryer lint screen.  That was when I learned that dryer lint is a highly combustible material.  In fact, it is a key ingredient in home-made fire starters.  

This knowledge took me back to when I was a younger adult.  My mother used to get after me for not cleaning out the lint screen at home when I would do laundry.  She would scold and shout that I was going to start a house fire.  How could lint start a fire???  She never really explained.  Her words went in one ear and out the other as most parental reprimand does.  It was just like her tirade about turning off the lights because we don’t support the electric company!  You’ve all heard this one right?

Anyhow, I’ve smartened up in my more mature adult days.  I clean my lint screen faithfully each day I do laundry.   The Mount Everest of laundry in my house never ends so we get a ton of lint!  

Now for the Part I Didn’t Know  

Homeowner's Insurance


Often, after a severe storm hits and damage occurs, homeowners can feel overwhelmed with what steps to take for a successful recovery.  If you haven't already constructed your own plan of action for post-storm damage and power outages, we’ve provided this check list for you to use as a basic guide.  

After a tornado/storm

Check for injured or trapped persons. Do not move them unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. If you have evacuated, wait until authorities tell you it's safe before returning home.
Be alert for other tornadoes and severe weather.
Stay away from standing water.
Sniff for gas leaks. If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the main gas valve, if possible, and evacuate. If you have any concerns, notify a professional.
Do not touch downed power lines or wires.
Be careful moving through any wreckage. Watch for nails, exposed metal, loose boards, etc. that could cause injury. Make sure your tetanus shot is up to date and, if not, seek immediate medical assistance for any injuries.
If you can, videotape or photograph the damage.
Save remnants of damaged or destroyed property for your insurance company adjuster, and do not sign agreements with contractors or anyone else until you have a chance to meet with your insurance adjuster.
Keep a written record of everyone you talk to about your insurance claim, including the date of the conversation and a summary of what was said.
Keep all receipts including documents that reflect costs for temporary housing, clothing, food and other living expenses. Since tornado claims are frequently total losses, you may receive payment for some of these costs  immediately.
Your pre-disaster home inventory will be of great assistance to you at this point. After you've examined everything and determined the extent of damage, call your independent insurance agent as soon as possible to file an insurance claim.


GENERATOR SAFETY**




Branford, CT – May 8, 2018
– Distracted driving has become one of the most major causes of serious automobile accidents in the United States.  According to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, 80% of automobile accidents involve driver inattention.

Eating, drinking, applying makeup, and the use of GPS are all distractions that have contributed to this astounding  number of accidents.  The use of mobile phones behind the wheel undoubtedly proved to be the biggest problem.  Texting while driving is 6x more likely to cause an accident than drunk driving.*

According to the study conducted by Cambridge Metrics Telematics (2017), 75% of drivers see other drivers on their phones every day.  Alarming statistics as such, prompted V.F. McNeil Insurance, a Trusted Choice® independent insurance agency located in Branford, Connecticut, to propose the idea of a distracted driving awareness campaign to its branding partner Trusted Choice®.  


Auto Insurance Rates

I haven’t been in any accidents or received any violations, why is my rate going up?

The cost of insurance is affected by more than your personal driving history.  Multiple factors go into rating auto insurance premium, including what’s happening in the market overall.  

The auto industry is unfortunately experiencing higher-than-expected claims.  Multiple factors are causing claims to be on the rise.  One of those factors is distracted driving.  In addition, each of these claims on average is costing more than ever before.  Today’s vehicles are standardly equipped with so many advanced technologies, which are forcing up the cost of product replacement as well as labor.  Mechanics are no longer just replacing a bumper during a fender bender.  They are replacing a bumper, a sensor, and a camera.  More expensive parts and more advanced skills are required for each job.  This ultimately results in an auto insurance premium increase and it’s happening industry-wide.  Insurance companies must increase premiums to ensure that they are able to pay future claims.  

A few more examples
The improving economy, the rising cost of medical care, weather-related occurrences, and increasing fraudulent auto insurance claims are all additional factors contributing to these increases.  

When gas pricing is lower and people feel more financially confident, they tend to drive more which of course increases the number of accidents.  As medical costs increase, this also gets factored in to the overall cost as bodily injury claims go up substantially.  Fraudulent claimants pursuing extremely high payouts in cases that don’t warrant such action also have a rather large impact on rating.