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    Personal Insurance Blog

    Some of the Best Insurance

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    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.

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

    The Insurance Monster

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Fri, Jan 18, 2013 @ 01:05 AM

    Be comfortable with insurance from andrew gordon incWhen we were little, we all had fears. Some of us feared the boogey-man who lived under beds. We heard strange noises at night, and we would hide under our blankets with our flashlights to protect ourselves from these monsters.

    Now that we're older, we have different fears. Fear of debt, fear of loneliness, fear of hunger- all these monsters follow us wherever we go. Unfortunately for some of us, we are stalked by the Insurance Monster.

    The Insurance Monster follows you around, waiting for bad things to happen. He is the black cat that crosses your path, he is the number 13, he is the mystery meat that your cafeteria serves you (ugh, talk about bad luck!). In general, this guy is bad news. He will do anything in his power to put you at loss. Your loss is his gain.

    However, the Insurance Monster is easily scared away by one word: Insurance. (You can tell that he didn't name himself). He hates insurance. When he goes about causing mischief and you've got yourself covered, he becomes so upset. His goal is to cause problems that put you at loss. But if you have insurance, what is there for you to lose?

    You see, the Insurance Monster will never disappear. Accidents will always happen, and whether you're accident-prone or not, insurance will always have your back (that is, if you have the correct insurance).

    So make sure you're protected from the Insurance Monster. Scare him away with the very thing he dreads. Take the time to talk to an insurance expert. (Insurance expert = Modern-day Ghostbuster to your very own Insurance Monster.) It will save you both time and money.

     

    If you would like a quote on your home or auto policy, click the buttons below. If you would rather speak to an insurance representative directly, contact us here at Gordon Insurance. And if you have any other insurance questions, or are simply curious about what insurance tools you can use to battle your Insurance Monster, check out our famous whiteboard videos.

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    Tags: insurance, protection, monster, accidents, fears, expert, talk to an insurance expert

    Power Surges and Technology Protection

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Sat, Nov 24, 2012 @ 09:00 AM

    Protect your technology from power surges with personal from andrew gordon inc insurance norwell maThunder and lightning aren’t so frightening- but they can be other things, like “annoying.” If you’ve ever experienced a power surge, you know what I’m talking about.

    Power surges happen when the electrical charge of power lines increases. With the greater electric potential, more electricity is free to flow from the outlet in the wall to your technology. When this happens, the excessive voltage causes the technology to create heat. This heat can immediately damage the system, but it can also affect the system gradually. For example, if a computer appears to function perfectly after a power surge, the system may be fine enough to operate, but internal damage has probably occurred.

    You might be thinking that the chance of a power surge is very slim. After all, lightning can’t strike so often it affects us, can it? Truthfully, lightning probably won’t be the cause of your power surge. However, there are several other causes of power surges, and these are far more common than your typical lightning-induced surge.

    For one thing, technology that uses a lot of electricity, such as air conditioners, refrigerators, clothes driers, etc., utilize a lot of power but at different times. The irregularity of these devices’ electrical use creates an unstable electric flow. In fact, about 70% of power surges originate from within one’s household. The remaining 30% of power surges are caused by wiring issues and downed power lines. As a society that uses electricity 24/7, the chance of a power surge happening is far more common than before.

    Protect your technological devices from electric power surges with personal from andrew gordon inc insurance norwell maSo, now that you know that power surges post an imminent threat to your technology, what are some things you can do to protect it?

    1. Unplug. This is probably the most obvious solution. If your technology is not connected to the power lines, than any damage in the power lines cannot reach your technology. It’s that simple. However, unplugging everything may seem a little excessive. We definitely recommend that for rechargeable devices (such as laptops, cell phones, tablets, etc.) you charge ahead of time before any sort of lightning storm.

    2. Surge protectors. Available at your local electronic store for around $20-$50, surge protectors have built-in protection against power surges. The amount of protection each surge protector provides varies depending on the brand and the actual item. One of the best aspects of surge protectors is that they are easy to use, and they often have several outlets, so you can have multiple devices protected from the surge.

    3. Surge arrester. A surge arrester is a device that is installed at the main electrical panel of your house. It protects all the circuits in your house from any sort of power surge. Like protectors, these arresters have limits. Investing in one is definitely a good idea, even though these products are slightly pricier ($200-$400 range). These products are more likely to be sold in a home improvement store than an electrical appliance store.

    We cannot stress the importance of protecting your technology from power surges. Managing risk is part of our job description, and protecting your technology certainly falls under that category.

    If you have any other questions about insurance or risk management, feel free to contact us at anytime. Learn about personal insurance here.

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    Tags: damage, electricity, power, surges, protection, technology, storm, lightning

    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.

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

    What is a Personal Umbrella Insurance Policy?

    Posted by Val Feeney

    Mon, Oct 15, 2012 @ 04:50 PM

    Learn what a personal umbrella insurance policy covers with andrew gordon inc norwell ma

    An Umbrella Policy provides liability coverage above and beyond your first line of legal defense, which is usually your homeowners and/or auto policy. These both offer liability coverage to protect you against the cost of a lawsuit. The umbrella policy provides additional levels of insurance in case something really bad happens and the lawsuit is big.

    If a guest is at your house and is injured, you may be sued for damages including medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of earnings and other damages. Your homeowners policy (Part E. Personal Liability) will typically cover you for up to $300,000 or $500,000. If you are sued for more than your coverage amounts, you become personally responsible for the difference. 

    An umbrella policy protects you in these bad case scenarios by adding an additional layer of coverage that sits on top of the underlying home or auto limits. Umbrella policies can be bought in amounts of $1M, $2M, $3M, $5M, $10M, and even greater. Relatively speaking, they’re not expensive.

    To purchase an umbrella policy you must have sufficient underlying limits on your home and auto policies first. For the homeowners insurance you generally need a minimum of $300,000 under Part E. For your auto insurance, most carriers require at least $250,000 per person and $500,000 per accident in Optional Bodily Injury coverage (Part 5). Different companies have different underlying requirements, so coordinating these properly is important.

    Learn about liability and personal umbrella insurance coverage policies with brokers and agents at andrew gordon inc insurance norwell ma

    Umbrella policies vary in price depending on several factors: how many homes you own; how many cars you have; number of drivers in your household; any youthful drivers; driving records; and any owned watercraft. The price can be as low as $150 and the umbrella policy might be written as a stand-alone policy or added to your homeowners policy. Whenever possible, it’s best to have all these policies with the same insurance company.  Given a complicated accident where you exceed those underlying policy amounts, you don’t want to switch defense teams mid-stream if the insurance carriers are different. 

    If you own a second home, a business, any rental properties, or other substantial assets, it is particularly important that you have an umbrella policy.  With assets like these, you're perceived to have a deep pocket and you have multiple exposures that could result in a claim. Lawsuits are on the rise in the United States, and so are your odds of being named a defendant. It is wise to protect yourself with this extra layer of coverage.

    Call the Gordon Atlantic Insurance professionals to discuss a personal umbrella further by calling us toll free at 1-800-649-3252. Prefer to type versus talk?  Click below! 

     

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    Val Feeney

    Tags: personal, policy, insurance, umbrella, coverage, liability, protection, lawsuit

    UV Rays: Tips on Protecting Your Skin

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Thu, Sep 13, 2012 @ 02:00 PM

    "But it isn’t summer anymore!"Protect yourself and skin from the sun with sunscreen personal and life from andrew gordon inc insurance norwell ma

    That doesn’t mean you should stop protecting your skin. Even though the days of sitting by the poolside or lounging at the beach are heading behind us, the sun remains harmful. In fact, you might cause more damage to your skin during seasons other than the summer because of general lack of protection initiative.

    Why is the sun harmful?

    UV rays- the sun simply exudes this type of radiation. UV rays damage the skin. They lead to early aging and even skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the country, and year-round protection of the skin could easily reduce this terrible statistic.

    Don’t fall for Mother Nature’s cruel tricks. The sun is always emitting these rays. Always. That means that if the sky is cloudy, you are still exposed to UV rays. If it’s winter and there is snow on the ground, the UV rays reflect off the snow and onto you.

    Here’s perhaps the cruelest trick of all: You’re inside. The windows are drawn. The only light comes from a lamp in the corner of the room. However, you are in front of a computer screen. Fun fact: the computer screen emits small amounts of UV light. In other words, there is absolutely no escape, even if you are indoors.

    Sunscreen

    Sunscreen will always be the first answer you hear when it comes to skin protection. However, not all sunscreens were made equal. The SPF number on the sunscreen bottle stands for Sun Protection Factor- this number tells the amount of sunburn protection that sunscreen provides for the typical user. The higher the number, the better. SPF 30 provides approximately 97% protection; SPF 15 provides just over 90% of protection.

    Also, sunscreens have different chemicals to provide for the best UV ray protection. When you buy sunscreens, you want to be sure to make sure it has zinc oxide. Zinc oxide provides extensive protection against two different types of UV rays (UVA and UVB).

    What else can I do to protect myself?Protect your loved ones from sun caused health problems with sunscreen personal life from andrew gordon inc insurance norwell ma

    You probably don’t want to be wearing sunscreen indoors at your office job, a family outing, for a quick errand, etc. That’s understandable. There are other solutions than using a bottle of sunscreen a day.

    1. Chapstick with SPF protection. You probably aren’t using sunscreen on your lips, but using this type of chapstick will help you. We recommend this especially for the winter months; your lips are chapped, and snow reflects those UV rays everywhere. It’s typically less than three dollars for a stick of this at your local pharmacy.

    2. Sunglasses with UV protection. Just like how sunscreens are not made equal, neither are sunglasses. Make sure you purchase sunglasses that specify that they protect against UV light. Be sure to wear your sunglasses even in the shade. As we’ve said, light reflects off many things and the reflections head straight for your eyes. HEV protection is good too. (HEV is a type of blue that can damage the retinas.) If you ski, snowboard, or swim, the UV rays reflect off the snow and the water- make sure you have the appropriate goggles. Click these links for safety tips about skiing, snowboarding, and swimming.

    3. Lotions with SPF. There are certain moisturizers, make-ups, and creams that protect against the sun’s harmful rays. If you utilize these products already and they don’t have UV protection, change the products. Your skin will thank you.

    4. Clothes and hats. Some companies specialize in creating clothes that work specially to absorb the harmful rays. If your clothes absorb these rays, your skin does not.

    ***Some of us like to be tanner than we are naturally. Any change in skin color caused by the sun qualifies as skin damage. It’s far better to protect your skin and use self-tanners. These self-tanners affect only the outermost layer of the skin and do not cause damage. Your skin is your largest organ, be sure to protect it.


    We have many other blogs about safety tips that can be viewed by clicking on the links below:

    -Homeowner's insurance loss prevention

    -Motorcycle safety

    -Car accident tips

    If you have any questions about insurance, contact us. We can get you a quote. We also publish whiteboard videos to answer all of your insurance questions. Learn about life insurance here

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    Tags: damage, uv rays, sunscreen, skin, spf, sunblock, protection

    Identity Theft – Tricks of the Trade

    Posted by Geoffrey Gordon

    Tue, Jul 10, 2012 @ 09:23 AM

    Use of credit cards, bank accounts, and other electronic monetary transactions are a necessity in today’s world. An unfortunate side effect of this otherwise wonderful technology is the prevalence of identity theft. Previously a small and isolated type of crime, this type of theft has become ubiquitous in a world where money is wired from account to account, and most personal information is handled digitally. News of medical records ending up in landfills reminds us that our privacy is not always within our control.

    But this does not mean you can’t be vigilant and prepared.  Here’s a great checklist from Reader’s Digest developed by former identity thieves to show you discreet ways criminals can help themselves to your money: 

    Learn the basics of protecting yourself from identity theft and cover yourself with personal from andrew gordon inc norwell ma13 Things an Identity Thief Won’t Tell You

    1. Watch your back. In line at the grocery store, I’ll hold my phone like I’m looking at the screen and snap your card as you’re using it. Next thing you know, I’m ordering things online—on your dime.
    2. That red flag tells the mail carrier—and me—that you have outgoing mail. And that can mean credit card numbers and checks I can reproduce.
    3. Check your bank and credit card balances at least once a week. I can do a lot of damage in the 30 days between statements.
    4. In Europe, credit cards have an embedded chip and require a PIN, which makes them a lot harder to hack. Here, I can duplicate the magnetic stripe technology with a $50 machine.
    5. If a bill doesn’t show up when it’s supposed to, don’t breathe a sigh of relief. Start to wonder if your mail has been stolen.
    6. That’s me driving through your neighborhood at 3am on trash day. I fill my trunk with bags of garbage from different houses, then sort later.
    7. You throw away the darnedest things—             preapproved credit card applications, old bills, expired credit cards, checking account deposit slips, and crumpled up job or loan applications with all your personal information.
    8. If you see something that looks like it doesn’t belong on the ATM or sticks out from the card slot, walk away. That’s the skimmer I attached to capture your card information and PIN.
    9. Why don’t more of you call 888-5-OPTOUT to stop banks from sending you preapproved credit offers? You’re making it way too easy for me.
    10. I use your credit cards all the time, and I never get asked for ID. A helpful hint: I’d never use a credit card with a picture on it.
    11. I can call the electric company, pose as you, and say, “Hey, I thought I paid this bill. I can’t remember—did I use my Visa or MasterCard? Can you read me back that number?” I have to be in character, but it’s unbelievable what they’ll tell me.
    12. Thanks for using your debit card instead of your credit card. Hackers are constantly breaking into retail databases, and debit cards give me direct access to your banking account.
    13. Love that new credit card that showed up in your mailbox. If I can’t talk someone at your bank into activating it (and I usually can), I write down the number and put it back. After you’ve activated the card, I start using it.

    Sources: Former identity thieves in Kentucky, Florida, Indiana, Virginia, and New York.
    From Reader’s Digest – September 2010 

    Protect yourself and your bank account from identity theft with these tips from andrew gordon inc insurance norwell maIf you should become a victim of identity theft, be sure to contact your financial institutions to report the problem.  Many insurance companies offer ID Theft Recovery coverage either as an automatic coverage or for a small charge.    

    *13 Things An Identity Thief Won’t Tell You | 13 Things | Reader’s Digest. Reader’s Digest Magazine Articles. Sept. 2010. Web. 31 Aug. 2010. . 

    Even if all these steps are noted and taken advantage of, there is a chance you may still become a victim. Fortunately, many homeowners’ insurance companies offer assistance in reclaiming your identity.  If you’re not sure that your homeowners insurance includes ID theft coverage, contact us.  It isn’t expensive and will save you a ton of time and money if some sly thief absconds in the middle of the night with your identity. 

    Wish to discuss this topic further with a Gordon Atlantic Insurance professional?  Call us toll free at 1-800-649-3252.  Prefer to type versus talk?  Click below!

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    Tags: theft, Business, coverage, protection, credit, card, recovery, MasterCard, protect, identity, Financial, services, atm, debit

    Lessons from Hurricane Irene about Checklists and Preparation

    Posted by Geoffrey Gordon

    Sun, Aug 28, 2011 @ 05:46 PM

    Hurricane Irene is on her way out this afternoon, while certain thoughts of clarity are fresh. The concepts and new understanding come from both successes and failures of preparation.  Here are some of the things I learned:

    BusinessPrepare yourself for hurricanes with personal insurance from Andrew G Gordon Inc

    On Friday, we convened in our conference room to review our hurricane disaster plan.  We confirmed all contact numbers for our staff, discussed service providers (adding a few with whom we've been impressed, and deleting one who has disappointed us), and decided to open early on Monday morning. Our office has three tiers of responsibility, including off-hours and off-site expectations, so we reviewed these responsibilities with Val Feeney, our newest employee in Tier 1. Kasey McCarthy updated and printed hard copies of a packet for every employee with insurance company contact numbers, staff contact, and of course a small supply of initial claims questionnaires. On Sunday, we reported from our respective homes what kind of damage we expected; this was very helpful in preparing further for Monday's expected call volume.

    On Saturday, I boarded up our two large picture windows at our office at 680 Main Street in Norwell Center. While we do have a generator for our IT and basic office needs, the last thing we wanted was an office full of glass and rain to greet us on Monday morning. In addition, we didn't know even by Saturday afternoon whether the storm would track more northeasterly than it did. The lesson: probably not necessary for this particular event, but we'll do it again for the next hurricane if predictions merit.

    Home

    At home, we ran through the checklist on our Hurricane Resources page, and included some personal tasks that will be on a more detailed checklist we'll draft after this storm. Here's a tip: DO the checklist. All of it. My new understanding about checklists is this: we didn't know that in less than 24 hours we were going to lose power for 48+ hours; but we DID know that the chance of losing power was the greatest it'd been since Hurricane Earl (a lesser dud from 2010). Thus, we were grateful for everything we did when power went out at about 11:00 on Sunday morning.

    To illustrate, we took one step for our personal food needs that will be helpful whether or not we actually have an insurance claim to file. Since we have a $2,500 deductible, I know that any food loss is on my nickel, so we should plan as though we were headed on a 2-3 day camping trip. We filled two coolers: one with meats and frozen cold packs; and closed. We won't open until we have power again. The other has milk, salad fixings, cheese, and non-frozen meat that we'll work through over the next couple days. We won't open the fridge until we have power, and only then decide what gets tossed out. But in the meantime, our food preparation will keep food needs off our task list as we get back to work Monday.

    Here's a mistake...I didn't have my cell phone fully powered on Sunday morning, so am now in the office (powered by a generator) Sunday afternoon writing this blog while my cell phone powers up. New phones are such power hogs, even 24-36 hours will drain most smart phones. Furthermore, I sent this picture (below) to other Tier 1 employees as a measure of what the week would bring us. Lesson: I needed my phone to check emails, texts, and send images. I used it a lot. I should have been more attentive to power, and may now spring for a second (fully charged) battery as backup.

    Prepare yourself for storms with personal from Andrew Gordon Insurance

    So here is the main lesson: take the time to work through a hurricane (or any pre-storm) checklist. There are many that are good, we link several from our Hurricane Resources page. While we never know for sure how bad it could get (and Irene really wasn't nearly as destructive here as it could have been), when it is bad, an ounce of prevention truly is worth a pound of cure.

    Learn more about covering your loved ones here.

      INSURANCE QUESTION?  

    Geoff Gordon

    Tags: home, safety, irene, hurricane, protection

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