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    Personal Insurance Blog

    Halloween (the movie) & Minimizing Risk

    Posted by Geoffrey Gordon

    Thu, Oct 25, 2018 @ 05:09 PM

    Halloween Pumpkin Pic

    The latest remake of the 1978 original “Halloween” horror flick surprised a few people with its opening weekend sales of $77 million! This was more than double the formerly highest grossing “Halloween” movie ($26 million its opening weekend in 2007). Looking at these large dollar figures, it seems that people like to get scared more in a group (such as in a theatre) than at home. What’s the appeal? When things go wrong…when things get scary…there is comfort in numbers.

    Numbers provide a measure of predictability and certainty to a situation. On the other hand, unpredictability and uncertainty are at the core of risk, which causes us stress. With theatres under tremendous competition from streaming providers such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, the horror theme seems to be well positioned to scare a bunch of people together.

    In our homes, we can minimize uncertainty of seasonal changes by preparing our homes for cold weather beginning in the fall, and prompted by setting our clocks back. Here's a short list for a Saturday after Halloween:

    • Clean gutters (or hire a handyman for this)
    • close all sill cocks (outside water faucets) from inside (to prevent freezing)
    • inspect the chimney liner if you burn wood - let a chimney company do this)
    • change air filters for air based heat,
    • check around windows for any caulking needs

    Also, review the checkups we should do twice a year (when we put our clocks forward or back):

    • Check tags and location of fire extinguishers (can you locate a fire extinguisher right now?)
    • Change out the batteries on smoke and CO2 detectors
    • Has your family makeup changed such that a review of your family's disaster exit plan should be updated?

    There's also value in numbers, including the number of people at Gordon Atlantic standing behind your insurance, and who have experience with risk reduction, claims mitigation, and claims handling. Always let us know how we can reduce the cost of risk (uncertainty and unpredictability) in your world.

    Call to speak to a Gordon Atlantic Insurance professional by calling 1-800-649-3252. Prefer to type versus talk? Click below.

    HAVE A QUESTION?

    Tags: Halloween, risk, minimizing risk, uncertainty, scary movie, seasonal, safety tips, safety

    Risk Management: When Intuition Fails Us

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Insurance

    Sat, Feb 11, 2017 @ 11:37 AM

    Appreciate your brains decisions on risk management and auto life commercial and personal from Gordon InsurancePeople often fail to appreciate what amazing machines our brains are. How many times have you wished you could do math like a calculator in your head (especially when figuring out a 22% tip on a $321.56 lunch bill split between 13 people)? Well, we shouldn’t be so quick to condemn our brains.

    It’s safe to assume you’re reading this post right now. Your brain is translating the thousands symbols you see into sounds; sounds into words, words into sentences. It’s drawing upon thousands and thousands of memorized meanings to get what I’m trying to say into your head.

    Further, you’re probably reading in a chair right now; so on top of decoding this post, your brain is also performing countless calculations to balance your hundreds of muscles so that you don’t fall to the floor as you read… God help you if you’re standing. Oh, and not to mention that your brain is also controlling the millions of cells and enzymes that regulate your breathing, feeling, and digestion …all this without you even realizing it. The amount of electrical activity in your brain would easily short-circuit your pocket calculator, and your brain can maintain that activity for about 80 years.

    So we have remarkable machines within our skulls, which usually do a pretty good job of assessing danger; we know not to shower with radios, etc. But sometimes, our brains are so active that they make mistakes and our intuition fails us. This happens commonly with risk.

    If you haven’t read our post about the math behind insurance, I suggest you read it quickly, because the probability functions behind the simple games in that post are very similar to what your brain does automatically. For every risk you take, your millions of neurons perform a cost-benefit assessment.

    Let’s say that it’s a nice day. You know that you’ll enjoy yourself outside and you also know that there’s a very small probability that you’ll get hit by a meteorite. However, your brain quickly calculate that the rewards are much greater than the risks, and you go sunbathing. Normally, this process is very effective, but our emotions sometimes distort this process and mislead our intuition.

    Think about how many times you’ve seen people drive to the beach and then refuse to swim because they’re ‘really afraid of sharks.’ This is a classic misrepresentation of risk. The chance of getting into a car crash on the way to the beach is thousands of times higher than the chance of being attacked by a shark, but it’s the shark attack that people are scared of.

    This is what psychologists would call a misrepresentative heuristic: the process that we use to calculate chances is distorted by our thoughts. Even though we have a better chance of winning the lottery than being munched on by JAWS, the fear that accompanies a shark attack leads us to assign an artificially high concern level for an event with a very low probability.

    This is also the case when talking about poisonous spiders, lightning strikes, and other things that go bump in the night. Our impulses are good things to keep in mind when fear prevents us from having fun or enjoying life.

    INSURANCE QUESTION?
    Corbin Foucart

    Tags: risk, intuition, insurance, management, math, psychology, shark attack

    Some of the Best Insurance

    Posted by Julia Kirslis

    Mon, Mar 04, 2013 @ 10:09 AM

    Insure yourself with safety tips from Andrew Gordon Inc InsuranceSome of the best insurance is policy-free.

    A lot of the time, insurance is about the money. Yes, yes, we understand. We pay bills too; we know what it's like to deal with insurance. Car insurance, home insurance, life insurance- it just seems to add up WAY too quickly for comfort. There are other ways to be comfortable too.

    What am I talking about now?

    I'm talking about things like seatbelts and helmets. These things are available to you, and definitely worth it. Have you ever bought a car without a seat belt? (The answer should hopefully be "no"). The seatbelt is there for you. What if you ever got into an accident? What if another driver's car simply SMASHES yours? That tiny little belt, strapped across your waist and over your shoulder, could be the very thing that saves your life. There could never be a price put on that.

    Helmets are the same way. For a one-time fee to buy the helmet, you get super extra head protection. Falling off a bike, skiing into a tree- there are just so many FUN things that can be so RISKY. So why not just wear the helmet? Again, what's the value of the helmet versus the value of your brain, or even, your life? That thirty dollar helmet doesn't seem so expensive now.

    These items that are made available for safety are truly only there to: KEEP. YOU. SAFE.

    If you look closely, you can see that there is insurance underlying everything. Insurance ensures minimal loss. Insure your children from drowning by taking them to swim lessons, ensure your feet from the cold by purchasing and wearing warm wool socks, ensure your knees and elbows with pads when you first learn how to rollerskate. The ways to insure yourself from loss never seem to end. And what is insurance, after all?

    We remind ourselves that insurance is protection against loss, a guarantee of safety and security. We do these things everyday, whether unconsciously or consciously. That's why we do things like taking swimming lessons- to reduce our risk of having fun with something enjoyable.

    It only makes sense, right? We want to enjoy our lives with the least possible amount of risk involved. As a result, we do things that prevent injury and other forms of pain- such as financial pain. Sometimes the financial pain clouds our vision. Sometimes other things, such as being lazy, also cloud our vision. It takes not even a second to buckle a seatbelt, so why not do it? Why not buy the helmet and prevent the brain damage?

    Take advantage of some of these risk reducers from the get-go. You'll never know when disaster will strike, and being prepared sooner rather than later is best because sometimes, later is too late.

    If you have any questions on reducing your risk, or about insurance in general, feel free to contact us by clicking the button below. Learn more about personal insurance here.

    Contact Us

    Julia Kirslis

    Tags: risk, insurance, protection, seatbelts, helmets, policy free insurance, reducing risk, cheap, management

    Redefining Risk

    Posted by Julia Kirslis

    Fri, Feb 01, 2013 @ 08:00 AM

    Learn about risk with andrew gordon inc insuranceRisk. Danger. Peril. Hazard. These words certainly do not have the best connotations. In fact, it's next to impossible to use these words to express something positive. After all, risk is a possibility of loss.

    Did you know that every single action you do carries some form of risk? Whether it's walking up the stairs, folding some laundry, or eating a bite of that delicious ice cream sundae (see right), each and every action has some possible form of risk.

    Severity of Risk

    Ok, so the examples above are pretty mild when it comes to risk. If you are an optimist, I encourage you to think of the positives. If you are a pessimist, try not to get too paranoid. But here are several outcomes that can happen when walking up the stairs:

       1. You walk up the stairs safely with no issue.

       2. You stub your toe on the steps. (Ouch!)

       3. You trip and fall up the stairs, embarrassed and slightly injured.

       4. You fall backwards and break something important (like an arm).

    Ok, so we only have four of any number of possible outcomes that can occur while walking up the stairs. While, if you walk up stairs often, the first outcome is the most likely (let's say 99% of the time), you cannot ignore the other 1% of possible outcomes.

    Likelihood of Risk

    So now that you've opened your mind to some of the several possibilities that could happen to you when walking up the stairs, turn your attention to other things, like car accidents and hurricanes.

    If you are a licensed driver, how often do you drive? How good of a driver are you? How long is your commute, what type of roads do you drive on, and what type of drivers drive around you? All these (and more) are essential factors to determine your risk of driving on the road.

    We've all heard the statistics about car accidents, and in recent years storms have gotten a lot worse (Katrina, Sandy, Irene, etc.) causing billions of dollars worth of damage. Has that damage happened to you? No? Will it happen to you? Maybe.

    You can't predict when loss will occur. All you can do is know that you are always at risk. Will you live a risk-free life? The odds say that no, sometime in your life you will most definitely face loss. We don't know when that one (if it's only one) time will be. And depending on your lifestyle, you could be facing multiple instances of loss within a few years. You won't know until it happens.

    Reducing and Redefining Risk

    Here at Andrew G. Gordon, Inc., our job is risk management. We want to reduce the risk of your loss, and we have many ways for you to do so. For starters, we have a wide variety of checklists - (hurricane preparation, homeowner's) of steps for you to follow to reduce your loss. We also post a wide variety of blogs, which include several different safety tips and guides (ranging from pumpkin carving safety to motorcycle safety to skiing safety). For a more interactive experience, we also have our famous whiteboard videos.

    If you subscribe to our blog, watch a video every now and then, or check our website out once in a while, you are reducing your risk by educating yourself. However, to effectively reduce risk, what you learn must be put into action (i.e. actually stopping at a stop sign vs. knowing that you should stop at a stop sign).

    Unfortunately, risk can never be completely eliminated. However, reducing it to the smallest amount possible is by far the best option. By preparing, we redefine risk as something that even if it happens, there is minimal (if any) loss.

    If you have any other questions, feel free to click the button below to contact us directly. Learn more about personal insurance here.

    Contact Us

     

    Julia Kirslis

    Tags: risk, insurance, loss, prevention, definition, statistics, probability, personal, math, redefining

    Hydroplaning- When the Weather Gets Rough

    Posted by Julia Kirslis

    Tue, Nov 13, 2012 @ 05:28 PM

    Stay safe while driving in storms and avoid hydroplaning with auto from andrew gordon inc insurance norwell maMassachusetts is one of many places subject to a very specific weather phenomenon. During this certain type of weather, the sun often hides behind clouds, strong winds blow, and the air might become a tad bit chillier. Most incredibly, water falls from the sky in sheets!

    This, my friends, is called rain.

    When rains fall from the sky, it hits everything. It hits you, your umbrella, your car… and the road.

    More often than not, rain won’t be enough to prevent you from going about your daily routine. You drive here, do this, drive there, do that, drive home, and then remember you need to drive somewhere else. So hey, what’s a little water going to do to your overall driving experience?

    You may be surprised that water can do a lot, and the streets don’t even have to be flooded. The thinnest layer of water on the road can cause your vehicle to hydroplane.

    Hydroplaning is what happens when a layer of water separates your vehicle’s tires from the road. While the depth of the water does influence whether your vehicle will hydroplane or not, there are many other factors to consider.

    Drive safely in rain or storms with auto from andrew gordon inc insurance norwell maFirst of all, your tires. Tires with low traction are not going to be able to drive through water as easily as tires with higher traction. Traction is determined by the treads in the tires as well as the width of the tires. Keep in mind that worn tires are going to have less tread depth due to greater use on the road. Also, the inflation of the tires and the air pressure will affect the vehicle’s likelihood to hydroplane as well. If you have a tire that is not fully inflated, it is more likely to hydroplane even at lower speeds.

    The speed at which you are driving will also affect your probability of hydroplaning. The unwritten rule is to drive about 2/3 of the posted speed limit sign. For example, if the speed limit is 45 mph, it is recommended that you drive at 30 mph during hazardous weather conditions, such as a heavy rainstorm.

    Fun fact: In Massachusetts, you can get a ticket for driving 40 mph on the highway if the limit is 50 mph if you are driving during a heavy rainstorm. Don’t believe me? It says so at the bottom of page 80 in the Driver’s Manual (link can be found here).

    To prevent hydroplaning, you should mostly use common sense. Drive slowly, especially in flooded areas. If cars in front of you create large splashes as they drive ahead, be extra cautious around those areas with greater volumes of water.

    However, even with all the precautions that can be taken- cars WILL hydroplane under specific conditions.

    So, what do you do if your car happens to hydroplane?

    KEEP YOUR FEET OFF THE BRAKES. Braking can cause skids. Same goes with turning, DO NOT MAKE ANY SUDDEN TURNS. You want your car to continue on its destined trajectory; don’t try to mess it up.

    Hydroplaning is serious. When your car hydroplanes, you have no control. You can’t stop, you can’t go- you literally just go wherever the car takes you… that place could be into another car, into a ditch, into a building… you get the picture.

    Risk management is our business, and we believe that prevention is the best solution. In case you hydroplane, remember: DO NOT PANIC. If you have any other questions, do not hesitate to contact us. Learn more about auto insurance here.

      Driving with Insurance in Mind eBook

    Julia Kirslis

    Tags: insurance, driving, accident, auto, prevention, storm, hydroplaning, rain, weather, management, risk

    Bike Safety

    Posted by Nate Gordon

    Sat, Nov 10, 2012 @ 11:16 AM

    It’s important to remain safe when you are out on the streets, regardless of how you travel.  Cycling is a great way to let off steam and get around more cleanly than driving a car.  Unfortunately, having to share the road is a simple reality that drivers, pedestrians, and especially cyclists have to get used to. These are some of the key elements you have to keep in mind when you are out on a bike if you want make it home safe.

    Bike safely with a helmet tips and personal from andrew gordon inc insurance norwell ma

    1. Wear a Helmet

    This one seems obvious, but there are plenty of people who forgo the helmet every time they go out. It’s the sort of thing people like to write off as being for small children, and while they have an especially high incident rate, I really can’t stress enough just how important it is for people of all ages out on the road to wear a helmet. There are constant opportunities for a crash, and the difference between an unpleasant jostling and a trip to the hospital can be as simple as remembering to strap on your helmet.

    2. Hand turn signals

    Easily the biggest threat to road cyclists is the cars you have to share the road with. Turning signals are the same that you would use in a car when your tail lights aren’t working: signal with your left hand as you continue to steer with your right. Before making a left turn, extend your left arm out straight. When you make a right turn, hold your left arm up, elbow at a right angle.  When you are about to stop, hold your left arm pointed down to the ground.

    3. Stay Visible!

    This is one that, again, can come off as pretty obvious, but there are so many ways that people forget to make themselves visible to people in cars. Make sure that whatever you’re wearing has relatively bright colors on it at the very least, even if you are out in the middle of the day.

    Further, you should do your best to avoid going out after dark. Motorists have a hard enough time seeing other cars at night, and they have big lights on them to warn each other. When you really can’t avoid biking late, you have to dress accordingly. At this point, wearing bright colors just isn’t enough; you have to make sure to wear a reflective strip, or get a blinker installed on your bike. But again, the safest option is just to restrict your biking activity to daylight.

    4. Stay in the Bike Lane (or, Failing that, remember to stay in Traffic)

    Lower personal risk on your bicycle and stay safe with andrew gordon inc insurance norwell ma

    When you live in a town or city that has a bike lane, it is the cyclist’s responsibility to honor that designation and ride exclusively in that lane. This keeps you safe from cars that have no reason to be passing through that lane, and also frees up traffic so that the motorists don’t have to worry about you going in their lane. 

    However, it is important to note that most rural towns do not have such a lane designated just for bicycles.  If you are in such a town, it is a common mistake to treat the road shoulder as a sort of bike lane.  This is actually significantly less safe than riding right on the road.  The shoulder does not give as much space as a bike needs, so you can still get side swiped by a car whose driver didn’t see you. Biking more in the standard road makes one more visible to motorists coming up behind you and allows you to avoid the potholes and crumbling asphalt you can find on a shoulder.

    So, always stay visible, ride where you’re safest, and always, always wear a helmet.  Despite the scary picture this might paint for road biking, it really is one of the best ways to stay in shape and enjoy the fresh air. 

    For more of our personal blogs, where we discuss everything from safety issues to recipes, click here. Don't hesitate to contact us with an insurance question. Learn about personal insurance here. 

      INSURANCE QUESTION?

    Nate Gordon

    Tags: safety, helmet, bike, tips, traffic, signals, biking, visibility, bicycle, management, turn, risk

    What Do I Need to Know About Insurance? 5 Things

    Posted by Julia Kirslis

    Mon, Sep 10, 2012 @ 04:55 PM

    Insurance can be puzzling- the more you know, the better. As surprising as this may sound, insurance is not entirely about the price. Thus, we’ve created a list of things-to-know about insurance for your convenience.

    Learn everything you need to know about home auto life business insurance andrew gordon inc norwell ma

    1. Amount of coverage

    What do you want to protect? That’s the overall question for deciding the amount of coverage you need.  The best advice we can offer you is for you to think about all the things that could potentially happen. Or consult a professional agent who will ask lots of questions to uncover areas you need to pay special attention.  Although you might want to push these thoughts to the side (i.e. “that could never happen to me!”), someone has to think of these situations. Nobody plans for a car accident or a guest being injured at his/her house, yet these sorts of things happen all the time.  A good way to cover a lot of these is by running down a prepared list such as this checklist for your homeowners insurance.

    2. Risk level

    The amount of risk you take sometimes depends on one aspect of your life: money. If you have available money, then choosing a policy with high deductibles is probably the best option for you. Remember, “Insure only what you can’t afford to lose.”

    Obviously, this part of our list is also going to discuss risk. Some policies cover more than other policies do, so be informed on what risks you can afford to take, as well as what is the cost of transferring that risk (via insurance)? An example of this is would be a dog with a biting history. The only company that will offer coverage after a dog has bitten someone (resulting in an insurance claim) is the Massachusetts Fair Plan (MPIUA). But they might do so with a $25,000 limit of liability for dog bites. So you have to ask, is the dog worth that much to me that if he/she bites someone and it results in a $100,000 claim (we’ve had one here that exceeded that, and not even from a dog ‘on the list’), are you prepared to pony up the next $75,000? Make sure you know what is covered on your policy, and be careful with what chances you take where insurance doesn’t go.

    3. Insurance company

    People often assume that the insurance company will be able to handle anything and everything- you should never assume. If the company goes under, or even if the company stays around but has poor finances, then you won’t get what you need. The best way to make sure that your company will be able to provide for you is to check a credit rating agency. We recommend A.M. Best Company for this. Other credit rating agencies include Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s.

    4. Discounts

    Everybody loves saving money; discounts can be available all around you, and you might not even know it!   For a list of most prevalent auto insurance discounts, click our video and list

    Account discounts, where you have two lines or more (such as home and auto), are often the most compelling.

    Always ask your agent questions, he/she is there is serve YOU.  If they are not helpful, just contact us.

    5. When do I need to look at new insurance?

    Certain life changes will cause you to look at new insurance.  These changes include:

    -Starting a new business

    -Buying an additional home

    -Adding a driver to the auto policy

    -Changing jobs (especially if you leave a rich benefits plan for a bare bones benefits employer)

    -Volunteer work (such as serving on the board of a non-profit organization)

    This list just helps prove a very important point: insurance is not only about the price. For a few extra dollars, you can have all sorts of things protected.   Think back to the dog example- imagine how expensive it would be to defend a bad dog bite without insurance! When it comes to insurance, price is important, but it’s not the only thing that matters.

    If you have any questions about insurance, contact us. For quotes, click here. We are dedicated to getting you the best insurance possible for you and your needs. Learn more about personal insurance here.

    INSURANCE QUESTION?  
    Julia Kirslis

    Tags: home, commercial, auto, company, risk, life, insurance, coverage, discounts, ratings

    Why Does My Insurance Company Not Fight My At-Fault?

    Posted by Geoffrey Gordon

    Thu, Jul 05, 2012 @ 09:12 AM

    Understand what your agent can do if youre at fault in an automobile collision with auto from andrew gordon inc insurance norwell maYou’ve just had a fender bender and then find out your insurance company won’t go to bat for you to avoid the dreaded ‘at-fault’ tag for the accident. Aren’t they supposed to? Isn’t that what you’d expect from a risk partner?

    Yes, they are.

    In fact, it’s always in your insurance company’s interest to have the other driver considered at-fault. And having your financial interests and the insurance company’s financial interests both trying to find the other driver at-fault is the best alignment possible.  

    Here’s why your interests align:

    The insurance company for the at-fault driver ends up paying most or all of the cost of the accident. That’s a big incentive. If you’re at-fault, they’ll pay your collision AND the repairs to the other driver’s car, even when the other driver goes through his own insurance. (This is a process known as subrogation, where the non-at-fault company gets paid after the fact by the at-fault driver’s company).

    So why don’t they fight harder?

    In short, legal reality. Massachusetts traffic law has been litigated and argued for about a hundred years. That’s a lot of case law. And even the most skilled lawyering can’t get you ‘not at-fault’ if the case law is against you (excepting documented extenuating circumstances).  

    Massachusetts traffic law has been summarized in the “Standard of Fault”. Distilled down to the very basics, the at-fault driver was usually in one of these situations:           

    • Not yielding to oncoming traffic

                     -Crossing traffic to turn left

                     -entering a main road from a side road

    • Hitting someone in the rear 

                     –not stopping in time

    • While in reverse

    It’s always good to get fresh information at the accident, to avoid ‘description drift’.  See our tips on right after an accident to understand how to protect your interests. Or call us at 800-649-3252. Learn more about auto insurance here

      Driving with Insurance in Mind eBook  

    Geoff Gordon

    Tags: risk, insurance, Automobile, accident, law, auto, Vehicle, car, fender bender, at-fault, at-fault, litigation, traffic, management, crash

    Winter Preparation for the Exterior of Your Home

    Posted by Val Feeney

    Tue, Sep 20, 2011 @ 06:19 PM

    Protect both the interior and exterior of your home this winter with homeowners from Gordon InsurancePreparing the inside of your home for the impending cold weather is an important annual task in the northeast.  An often overlooked chore, however, is ensuring that the exterior of your home is prepared as well.

    DRAINS

    Cleaning your gutters after the leaves have all fallen off the trees can prevent damage to your roof, the fascia, and even your basement and crawlspace. If rain water and snow cannot travel down the spouts, it's going up and over...potentially damaging your garden beds located under those gutters, too. Before the first snow at a minimum, all gutters should be checked for debris and any downspout clogs. Ideally you'll have those gutters cleaned out when they're dry. If you have anywhere near the number of leaves we do, you'll be doing this cleaning more than once.

    TREES

    Take the time to visually inspect your trees for weak limbs.  Snow and ice that builds up can cause limbs to crack and fall, damaging anything underneath, including your roof, shed or fence. There is great satisfaction in cutting down these limbs and hauling them away. HOWEVER, any trees that are near ANY power lines are best left to experts. Terrible accidents can happen if a homeowner's pruning tools come into contact with an energized wire.  

    WATER CONNECTIONS

    All water connections on the outside of the house should be drained and closed tightly. If not done correctly, the water pipe leading into the house may freeze and crack, rendering it useless and expensive to fix next spring. Hoses and sprinklers should also be drained, coiled, and put away.

    LAWN

    Winterizing your lawn is an important step so you do not have to spend additional money next spring putting it back together.  All leaves, acorns, and twigs should be raked; if left in place, this debris will smother the grass and not allow air to get to the soil. Grass can be cut until the first frost. Applying proper fertilizer to the lawn before this event, preferably after a fresh cut, is important as it will keep the grass healthy and strong. Any shrubs that are overgrown should be cut back, allowing them to withstand heavy snow. 

    FURNITURE

    All of your outdoor patio furniture and decor should be cleaned and put away to prevent damage from the elements that can split wood, peel paint, and rust or rot joints. High winds alone can send lawn chairs into your neighbor's yard or the middle of the street. Pools should be properly drained and covered. 

     

    Preventative measures will be well worth your weekend time when you endure another winter without an insurance claim. When your home and your yard are intact next spring your weekends can be spent on the golf course!  Should we be faced with a significant weather event, FEMA is a great information resource. Of course the Gordon Atlantic Insurance professionals always welcome your calls. Our toll free number is 1-800-649-3252. Prefer to type versus talk? Use the form to the left of this blog.

     

    Tags: home, winter, safety, preparation, exterior, gutter cleaning, lawn, winter storm, roof, risk, reducing risk, homeowners claim, lawn care

    Risk Assessment and Hiking

    Posted by Geoffrey Gordon

    Fri, Aug 19, 2011 @ 11:49 AM

    Protect yourself for vacation with personal from Andrew Gordon InsuranceI recently hiked a stretch of the Appalachian Trail  in Maine known as the “100 Mile Wilderness” with my two sons; and even being literally days from the office, and days from cell coverage or other reminders of “civilization,” I had an epiphany about personal risk.

    While insurance and public safety measures are important tools for reducing the effects of risk on our personal lives, it does change our everyday assessment of the risk we are all willing to bear.

    When you’re miles from any kind of help descending a trail littered with boulders, roots, and deadfall trees, every single step is deliberate and cautious. The risk of losing your footing – anywhere on the trail – carries dire consequences. A compound fracture could be life threatening; even a mild sprain could mean you have to lay off your pack with a week of food, clothing and shelter to your two companions (assuming you’re traveling with companions). 

    Back here in civilization, we go to great lengths to minimize risk to the public when they pass by or into our office. The sidewalk is repaired each spring after winter’s snowplow damage; concrete filled steel posts are anchored in the sidewalk to protect us from vehicles parked outside; we have non-slip rugs; and have moved our commercial operation to our basement to provide a conference room for customer privacy. All these are good steps for providing a safe and hopefully risk-free environment to the public. But it changes our personal assessment of risk.

    The downside of this is in how it changes some people’s perception of real risks. We talk of “risky behavior” by teens when they drink and drive, or take drugs: the only risk they may perceive is getting caught by their parents or the police and losing driving privileges. They’ve been so insulated from “the trail” that my sons and I walked on, that they risk their lives and the lives of people with them and around them when they speed down residential streets drunk and high. 

    We all make risk assessments in so many decisions; and reducing risk in all public places allows us to carry-on and focus on things important to us.  But occasionally, a walk in the woods where the environment hasn’t been safety sanitized, can be a good re-set for our perception of the world.

    Click here to read our hiking journal. If you have any questions about risk, do not hesitate to contact us here at the office.

    Learn more about personal insurance here

      INSURANCE QUESTION? Contact Us

    Geoff Gordon

    Tags: home, risk, risk assessment, risk management, intuition, hiking the appalacian trail

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