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    Personal Insurance Blog

    Insurance University: Tips for the College Bound

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Insurance

    Sat, Feb 25, 2017 @ 12:06 PM

    Insure your college student with personal from Andrew Gordon Inc Insurance Norwell MAFor many young adults, college is an incredibly liberating experience and a time of emotional and intellectual growth as fledgling freshman adventure further along the path of higher education. Unfortunately, many of the high tech gadgets and electronics that pepper dorm rooms can also find it an incredibly liberating experience… as they adventure out of the dorm in the hands of a thief.  The reality is that theft on college campuses does occur, according to the Newton’s 2nd law of theft:

    Expensive Electronics + Doors Left Open + The Occasional Dorm Party = Theft

    Fortunately, insuring the things your student takes away to college can be insured easily and affordably. Here’s what you should know.

    1. You’re probably already covered: Most students are covered under their parents’ homeowners policy, as long as they still list their primary residence as their home address rather than their dorm room. No need to fear if your student has enough electronics littering his or her dorm room to disrupt aircraft radar within a five mile radius; there is generally a 10% coverage rule that protects 10% of the value of your personal belongings worldwide (which includes hotel rooms, temporary residences, etc).  Even so, it’s probably a good idea to call your insurance provider and double check that your college bound daughter or son is covered.
    2. Yes, that includes Healthcare: A recent change in national law recently superseded the state’s coverage policy.  The old law stated that all full time students who are still dependent are covered under their parents’ policy to age 25. The new healthcare legislation further extended this to all non-married children up to 26 years of age.
    3. The abandoned car: many students go off to college and leave their cars at home. Make sure you aren’t paying top dollar for a car that will sit in your garage all year and only endanger the lawnmower next to it. Call your insurance agent and ask for a discount if the car will not be at school.  Furthermore, ask if good student discounts are available should your studious scholar return home to use the vehicle. 
    4. After Graduation: After your college student graduates and takes up residence elsewhere, the rules of the game change. They will no longer be covered under your homeowner’s policy, but will instead most likely need tenant insurance for their apartment or rented house. However, these policies are very affordable and will cover anything in the apartment that would break if someone “turned the apartment upside down and shook it” (Meehan Insurance).

    Cover your college bound student with personal from Andrew Gordon Inc Insurance Norwell MAEven with this information, it’s a good idea to call your professional insurance provider and have a conversation about your son or daughter’s coverage before they leave for college. The short amount of time on the phone could save you time, money, and headaches in the future.

    Additionally, an ounce of prevention is worth a time honored cliché (or a pound of cure). It’s worth taking the time to prevent the theft of items that your students own. You can protect laptops from theft by purchasing a notebook combination lock (several affordable products are listed here). Another good use of time is to photograph all valuable items and take down serial numbers and other information then store them in a GoogleDocs document; if you have a google account, you already have access to this feature. If you don’t, setting up an account is free, easy, and you can access your documents from any computer with internet access. Taking preventative measures before the next dorm party can keep your son or daughter’s electronics from “walking out” in the middle of the chaos.

    For more insurance tips, information, resources, and quotes, visit us at the A. G. Gordon, Inc website. Learn more about personal insurance here

      INSURANCE QUESTION?

    Corbin Foucart

    Tags: home, theft, auto, policy, insurance, student, massachusetts, prevention, university, college

    Bicycle Theft Prevention

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Insurance

    Thu, Feb 23, 2017 @ 12:06 PM

    Now that the weather (in MA anyway) is growing more amenable to outdoor activities, you may find yourself on a bike. Unfortunately, bicycles are favorites for thieves, especially on college campuses. An unlocked, unguarded bike is one of the easiest things to steal; don’t forget, thieves are enjoying the warmer weather too.

    The National Bike Registry is a pretty cool service; by registering with them, if your bike is stolen, police have a way to identify it as yours if found. Otherwise, it will end up in police auction. As the name suggests, this is a national database that covers all 50 states. It’s definitely worth the time to register with them, especially if you have a nice bike.

    Keep your bike safe with a lock and personal from Andrew Gordon Inc Insurance Norwell MAAccording to the III:

    • Bicycles are generally covered under homeowners or renters insurance. However, there is usually a $250 – $500 deductible. Your homeowners or renters policy also provides liability coverage in the event of a collision that results in injury to another person. There are no deductibles for liability claims.
    •  
      Once you purchase a bicycle, keep the receipt for it and any accessories you add. Also, take photographs of the bike. Store these documents off-premises and alert your insurance professional to your new purchase. If you own an expensive bike, consider purchasing a floater. This will provide more coverage than a homeowners or renters policy. For instance, in the event of an accident, a floater covers the cost of bike repairs. A floater costs approximately $9 for every $100 of the bike’s value and there are no deductibles.

    The best way to prevent bicycle theft is simply to lock your bike up. Cable locks are generally able to be cut, so invest in a sturdy U-Lock. In addition, make sure your bicycle is locked up correctly:

    Learn more about personal insurance here.

    INSURANCE QUESTION?  

    Corbin Foucart

    Tags: theft, auto, lock, cycling, insurance, Business, prevention, car, bike, bicycle

    Boat Theft Prevention

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Insurance

    Mon, Feb 13, 2017 @ 11:40 AM

    Protect your vehicle and prevent identity theft with watercraft insurance from Andrew Gordon IncWhen you’re driving your car, how many times do you leave the key in the ignition or the engine running if you’re not there? Never, right? So why do people leave the keys to their boats in the ignition, or leave their boat running while they go to grab fishing poles from their car?

    What is the Danger?

    If I’m wondering it, then thieves are wondering it as well. Boat theft is one of the most underrated forms of vehicular theft in the United States. But just because it’s underrated doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen frequently. Experts estimate that at least 1000 boats are stolen per month, less than half of which are recovered.

    Preventative Steps

    Here are some steps you can take to keep the harbor hooligans away from your beautiful boat:

    1. Never leave the keys in your boat.
    2. Keep your boat in a well guarded, well lit area – This one is common sense.
    3. Consider investing in an emergency kill-switch or alarm for your boat – this is one of the most straightforward and effective ways to protect against boat theft.
    4. Consider also prop locks and wheel locks.
    5. Scratch your Driver’s license number in a hidden place (such as under the engine cover) – This will give the police a way to identify the boat as yours if stolen.

    When times are tough, criminals get tougher.

    Learn more about watercraft insurance here.

    Contact Us
    Corbin Foucart

    Tags: theft, insurance, boating, boat, South American, groups, prevention, Vehicle, identity

    Identity Theft Prevention: College

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Insurance

    Wed, Feb 01, 2017 @ 11:26 AM

    describe the imageCollege provides a whole new world to students along with independence and a perspective into the “real world”. However, in order to do this, many college students find themselves sharing personal space with many people that they don’t know. Here are some helpful hints for college teens to ward off identity thieves.

    Mail

    College students are constantly out and about; trips, vacations, and time away from school leave personal mail to ferment in student mailboxes.  Make sure your teen doesn’t leave mail lying around, and have him or her cancel any mail during vacations or holidays.

    Personal Possessions

    It is a myth that identity theft occurs over the internet with the disclosure of online account numbers and passwords. A large portion of identity thieves make an honest living by rolling up their sleeves and stealing identification the old-fashioned way. Make sure your teen carefully guards his or her computer, wallet, or purse. One moment of carelessness can lead to devastating consequences.  Here's one strategy when several students live together: let one laptop take one for the team for general browsing, but never for on-line transactions or access to secure accounts.  Checking the hours of the cafe is one thing; but for on-line banking, use your own secure machine.

    Personal Questions:

    Many college students are not suspicious about requests for personal information, especially when it seems to come from a legitimate source, such as a landlord or dormitory. Advise your teen to always question the need to reveal personal information. Additionally, make sure your teen NEVER USES SCHOOL COMPUTERS TO CONDUCT BUSINESS, such as online banking or logging in. Taking identification information from public computer terminals is easier for identity thieves than taking candy (and social security number) from a baby.

    Shredders

    One of the best ways to dispose of personal documents such as mail and bills is to use a shredder. They’re cheap, and generally eliminate the possibility of a thief recovering documents from the trash.

    Facebook 

    Using Facebook is an activity that many college students would not feel normal without. However, thieves can use the public information to gain access to a student’s identity. A common misconception is that a Facebook profile is visible only to friends; a remarkable amount of information can be recovered with a simple google search for a profile. Here are a few things to leave off your profile:

    Date of birth- Everyone likes getting notifications on their birthday, but leave the year out, or change the date to another day of the month.  One of the most common ways to validate credit information over the phone is through date of birth. Don’t let yours land on the internet.

    Travel Plans- Posting Vacation times or specific plans alerts both identity and regular thieves as to when your college student is away, and/or their location. Don’t extend the thieves a written invitation to burglarize a dorm or make a trip to the bank. They might be closer than your teen suspects.

    DON’T POST A PERSONAL PHONE NUMBER OR ADDRESS ON A FACEBOOK PAGE, except possibly your phone,  for Friends ONLY.

    And NEVER, ever, ever post your mother’s maiden name on your page (the most asked security question online); you are handing your online transactions over to identity thieves on a silver platter.

    2-Step Verification

    In light of the recent theft of celebrity photos from on-line accounts, assume that nothing kept on your mobile device is truly private.  But to secure your personal information further, use 2-step verification.  This is a feature where you can have the host (Google, LinkedIn, etc.) text another device (such as your smart phone) a one time code to access your account. Use this at least for whenever a new device tries to access your account, such as when you're traveling or accessing from another network. This is similar to the need for two keys to access your safe deposit box at the bank:  Two steps may take time, but isn't your private information worth protecting?

    Learn more about personal safety and insurance tips here.

    INSURANCE QUESTION?    

    Corbin Foucart

    Tags: theft, id, prevention, college, identity

    Redefining Risk

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    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

     

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

    Holiday Safety

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Thu, Nov 29, 2012 @ 12:02 PM

    'Tis the season... for accidents.Stay safe during the holidays with homeowners auto life personal commercial from Andrew gordon inc insurance norwell ma

    There are so many things that go wrong while in the pursuit of showing off who has the most holiday spirit. One way that people chose to do so is to have their house smelling like the season. Another way people battle for the holiday spirit crown is by having candles light the night from their windows. Even though spirit isn't a competition, safety can be. Make sure you're the winner when it comes to holiday safety.

    Scented Candles

    This time of year, we tend to like the warmth and ambiance that candles give us and with all the holiday scents. How can you resist? There's all sorts of wonderful holiday scents: vanilla, cinnamon, peppermint, pine, etc. The list goes on and on!

    However, with candles comes responsibility.  Candles can be tipped over by children and pets, have their flames ignite the drapes, or even crack the holder and fall out. The result of all of these: a fire, and fires can be extremely devastating with all the damage they cause.

    Remember, we love the smell of candles, not the smell of a burning home.

    Window Candles

    There is nothing so warm and welcoming as driving by a house to see candles in the windows. Who cares if they're electric or battery operated? The message is still the same, and they are certainly much safer than having tiny flames located throughout a house.

    Again, keep in mind that they can be knocked off the window sill and if the bulb breaks, a fire could start. However, the probability of a fire starting is less with a bulb than with an actual flame from a candle!

    If you have any questions about insurance, feel free to contact us. Have a wonderful holiday season, and remember to be careful!

    INSURANCE QUESTION?

    Tags: home, winter, safety, fire, holiday, prevention, candle, season, fires

    Hydroplaning- When the Weather Gets Rough

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    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

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

    How Can I Prevent Car Break-Ins?

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Sun, Nov 04, 2012 @ 09:49 AM

    Prevent car robberies and break ins with these tips and auto from andrew gordon inc insurance norwell maHow many times have you left your cell phone in the car because you know that you’ll be in the store for only a few minutes? Did you hide your phone in your glove box? Or, did you leave it out in the open? 

    Car break-ins happen all too often. It only takes a matter of seconds for a window to be smashed and for valuables to be stolen. Nearly 2 million thefts occur each year, and over 1 billion dollars worth of personal items account for the stolen items.

    How can we prevent these thefts from occurring?

    1. HIDE VALUABLES. Small items like a cell phone or a GPS can be stowed into the car’s glove box or hidden under some sort of blanket or sweatshirt. Larger items such as laptops should be stored in the car’s trunk. Make sure the laptop is located in the trunk initially; thieves notice when you move items after parking in a lot. If it looks as if nothing valuable is in your car, thieves will have no reason to break into it.
    2. LOCK YOUR CAR. Some people think that locking a car is unnecessary. After all, it’s such a pain to unlock it once you return. Leaving a car unlocked is an open invitation for everyone out there, especially since anyone can see if the car is unlocked from the outside.
    3. CLOSE OPENINGS. Locking your car (see previous tip) isn’t going to do anything if your windows are wide open. This applies to any sort of sunroof too. If someone’s arm can reach through the window, then someone’s arm is free to snatch any sort of wallet that may be out in the open.
    4. PARK SOMEWHERE SAFE. Park close to a large group of cars- more people will be circulating throughout the parking lot in those areas and thieves will be more wary. If you are parking at night, park close to a light so that everything that happens to your car is visible.

    Taking the extra precautions requires minimal effort from you, and maximal results. Simple things such as securing your car and hiding the valuables inside may be just the thing to prevent a car break-in.

    If you have any other questions about insurance and risk management, feel free to contact us.

    INSURANCE QUESTION?

    Tags: theft, auto, safety, insurance, rob, protection, prevention, car, robbery

    Are Your Turn Signals On?

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Sat, Oct 06, 2012 @ 10:10 AM

    Massachusetts is infamous for having drivers that do not use their turn signals while on the road. This lack of blinker use creates more problems than you might think.

    Prevent automobile collisions by using your vehicle signals and with auto from andrew gordon inc insurance norwell maIn fact, a shocking study by the Society of Automotive Engineers shows that one in every four turns is made without using a signal. The result? Two million collisions each year. Therefore, accidents caused by failure to use a blinker occur more than twice as often as accidents caused by distracted driving. (Distracted driving causes about 950,000 collisions per year.)

    Turn signals are important because they act as a form of communication. Other drivers cannot predict which way you are going, and you cannot predict their moves either.

    Whenever you use a blinker, you should always provide an ample amount of time for the other drivers to recognize your message. Use your blinker at least 100 feet before you make the turn (the distance between two electric poles is approximately 50 ft).

    When should I use a blinker?

    It's your responsibility to signal turns, even if your blinker breaks. Here’s what the law says:

    “Every person operating a motor vehicle, before stopping said vehicle or making any turning movement which would affect the operation of any other vehicle, shall give a plainly visible signal by activating the brake lights or directional lights or signal as provided on said vehicle; and in the event electrical or mechanical signals are not operating or not provided on the vehicle, a plainly visible signal by means of the hand and arm shall be made. Hand and arm signals shall be made as follows:—

    1. An intention to turn to the left shall be indicated by hand and arm extended horizontally.

    2. An intention to turn to the right shall be indicated by hand and arm extended upward.

    3. An intention to stop or decrease speed shall be indicated by hand and arm extended downward.

    Whoever violates any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars for each offense. “

    In plainer English, you should always use a blinker. For more specific situations, see below.Drive safely and warn other drivers with blinkers and auto insurance from andrew gordon inc norwell ma

    1. Making turns. Whether it’s a side road, a driveway, a fast food drive-thru, you need to let other drivers know where you're heading. Whenever you make a turn, your car will be slowing down and the cars behind you have to be aware that your speed will be changing prior to the turn.
    2. Switching lanes. You should always use a turn signal to indicate change of lane. Remember, there might be a driver right in your blind spot.
    3. Intersections and traffic lights. At all intersections, use the signal to show in which direction you intend to proceed. At intersections with traffic lights and traffic lanes (i.e. “left turn only” lanes), continue to use your turn signal. Other drivers behind you may have their vision blocked and are unable to identify the specificity of the traffic lanes.

    Using a turn signal doesn’t take away from any of the driving experience. All it does is create a safer environment for all drivers, including yourself.

    If you have any questions about insurance, feel free to contact us. Learn more about auto insurance here.

    INSURANCE QUESTION?

    Tags: auto, safety, law, prevention, ma, driving, accidents, blinker, signals, SAE, distracted, turn

    Hurricane Season 2012: Be Prepared

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Thu, Jun 28, 2012 @ 03:32 PM

    Hurricane Debby’s damage to Florida is a reminder that hurricane season is here; it’s time for all of us who lie in a potential hurricane path to be ready and get prepared. That means get ready for the worst storm before hand, know what to do during the hurricane, and be on top of dealing with the aftermath.

    Before the Storm

    hurricane

    Never get caught “up a creek without a paddle” as some might say. Be ready for the worst case scenario storm.

    Know what to do with you and your family should disaster strike. This includes having a pre planned evacuation route, how to shut off utilities, having extra fuel. A pet plan is necessity if you want to protect Fido. (see our blog about pet plans).

    We provide a free checklist prepared by our in-house insurance experts. Any checklist you find will be a blessing if you follow it.

    • Prepare a survival kit

    Canned food, FIRST AID KIT, portable radio, clothing: our checklist has a more comprehensive list

    During a Hurricane

    The key word here is stay safe. Don’t adventure outside until the storm is long gone.

    Aftermath

    Listen for any flood warnings and other public service announcements, follow suggestions. One of the best things you can do if your home has suffered damage is to make the temporary repairs necessary (take pictures of damage for evidence.) Your policy probably requires this anyway and costs should be covered. Make your claim as soon as possible as well. If you have questions on your policy, contact us and we’ll make sure you’re prepared to be covered.

    Keep your home dry and prevent mold from taking hold.

    And for more info on Hurricane season 2012:

    INSURANCE QUESTION?

    Tags: home, plan, damage, hurricane, preparation, insurance, debby, tornado, prevention, homeowners, disaster, storm, tips, survival kit

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