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    Winter Storm Nemo

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Wed, Feb 13, 2013 @ 08:13 AM

    If you're reading this, then congratulations, you have power! If you aren't reading this, then you don't!

    Cover your home for winter storms with homeowners from Andrew gordon incWinter Storm Nemo (dubbed so by the Weather Channel) caused a lot of damage. Whether you want to believe this violent storm was named after the cute little clownfish from Disney/Pixar's Finding Nemo, or after Captain Nemo from Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, or even after the Latin word meaning "no one", absolutely nemo can say that Nemo was just like any other winter snowfall. (Hahaha, see what I did there?)

    However, the effects of Nemo are not a laughing matter. In fact, Nemo caused quite a lot of damage. You can see on the right, a picture of a tree sliced into two from a falling tree branch. (Sorry the quality is bad; I took the pic on my phone.)

    More than 97% of my town went without power for days; some homes still do not have electricity. Trees snapped, branches broke, and for the first time since 1978, the Massachusetts governor, Deval Patrick, banned driving on the roads. The penalty for breaking the ban was heavy- a $500 fine and a one-year prison sentence.

    Personally, I think the driving ban was well within reason. Granted, my neighborhood is enclosed by lots and lots of trees, and the snow piled up rather quickly. I remember hearing copious amounts of snow falling from the tree branches onto my house and listening to trees snapping as if they were only toothpicks. Snow is heavy, and all the extra weight on the trees caused quite a lot of branches (as well as trucks) to fall to the ground, occasionally taking power lines down with them.

    What's even more scary is that trees landed on houses, garages, cars, fences (our fence fell victim to the collapse of a smaller tree) and destroyed A LOT of property. Besides the whole electric inconvenience of not having electricity, the places where people lived got damaged- and that let in even more cold.

    Fortunately, my family invested in a generator after Hurricane Irene two summers ago. Thank goodness we did that. Although the summertime is generally warm, with slight chills in the night, the generator during Irene helped a lot. And now, especially that Nemo took place during the wintertime, the generator provided much needed heat to our home when our fireplace couldn't do the job. So, as a word of advice, I recommend purchasing a generator for the next time there's a power outage. With that generator, make sure you buy gas to fuel it (we had to refill ours two or three times before we got power back). And if you plan on investing in one, be sure to do it sooner rather than later. Imagine all the people who think about purchasing generators immediately before storms, and then imagine the stores being out-of-stock when it's your turn to purchase. Don't be that person left out!

    If you need to file a claim, click here. If you have any other insurance questions or would like some more safety advice, feel free to contact us.

    INSURANCE QUESTION? Winter Storm Center

    Tags: home, winter, damage, insurance, homeowners, storm, weather, snowfall, nemo, blizzard

    A Car Accident Story

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Mon, Jan 28, 2013 @ 08:37 AM

    Drive safely in the winter and snow with your automobile covered by auto insurance Andrew gordon incI was in a car accident pretty recently. A lot of snow had fallen, school had not been delayed, and the roads had not been plowed in the slightest. Not even Main Street, the street that runs through the very heart of our town. To make matters worse, I don't even live on Main Street; I live in a neighborhood hidden in the woods.

    I left for school much earlier than normal. I figured that with the horrendous weather I would drive super slowly and cautiously because my commute would be twice as long. And I did. That didn't help my car from skidding under me and losing control of my wheel.

    I kid you not, I was going maybe 8 miles per hour around a curb that typically is taken at speeds of 25 miles per hour. I made it around the curb safely, but after the curb and onto the straightaway, my wheels refused to turn due to all the snow, and it kept turning- right into a guard rail on the opposite side of the road. Fortunately, no cars were in the other lane.

    That guard rail saved my life. I had never really considered the importance of guard rails before, but it embraced my car and even though the rail definitely bent under the weight, it did its job and prevented me from falling into a ditch. If that guard rail hadn't been there, who knows where I would be today. Alive? Disabled?

    Kudos to my seat belt too. If I hadn't been wearing it (I always do), the guard rail may not have made a difference. Sure, it would have stopped my car, but would it have prevented me from flying through my front windshield?

    Prevent car accidents in the winter snow with auto from Andrew gordon incThe point is, I faced a major reality check that day. Although it wasn't my first car accident, it was the first one where my safety and well-being had been extremely compromised. It made me rethink all the stupid moves that drivers make, such as breaking the speed limit, not wearing seatbelts, texting, etc. I wasn't even distracted; I was totally focused! It was an act of nature that sent me spinning out of control.

    So here's my two cents from this experience: Always wear your seat belt. Do not get distracted. Do not drive if you feel as if the weather or the road conditions will affect your driving. And all the other little things. Here's a couple of other driving hints: It's not cool to speed, to text, to not wear your seatbelt, or to make incomplete stops at stop signs and traffic lights. You only put yourself and others at danger, and when accidents like this happen (and they do) you are not going to want the reason to be because you were acting as a careless driver.

    My car was damaged. It received a lot less damage than I anticipated, but I had also anticipated arriving to school safely and without accident. Accidents are unplanned. Make sure you have all the coverage you need to cover yourself in case something like this happens to you. If your car gets out of control, there's no telling what it could hit- a guard rail, a tree, a house, another car...

    Be safe and cautious while driving. If you would like a free auto quote from us to best fit your needs, click the button below. We'll do the shopping for you. Learn more about auto insurance here

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    Tags: winter, story, auto, safety, personal, insurance, accident, bad, driving, car, weather, seatbelt

    Winter Driving

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Fri, Dec 28, 2012 @ 09:45 AM

    Here are a few tips to keep you, and others on the road, safe this winter in New England...a climate that is prone to freezing rain and snow.

    Car in Snow Pic 2019

    Proactive steps to prepare for the white stuff would include having an ice scraper in good shape, gloves, and a snow brush that extends for hard to reach places. Make sure these are left in an easy to retrieve spot in your car. Storing them in your trunk may not be the best idea as large amounts of snowfall may make lifting your trunk to get them out difficult.

    Cleaning your car of snowfall, especially where the wipers come back down to their resting position, is very important because once you're underway finding a safe place in inclement weather to pull over and clean may be difficult. Snowfall gathers at the bottom of your windshield and sometimes make the wipers useless.

    Test the Roads

    All types of snowfall require more distance to safely come to a stop if needed to be done quickly. Most new vehicle models will have an anti-lock braking system and finding out how they react in snow can readily be explained by a knowledgeable mechanic. Take the time to ask an expert while getting your oil changed or snow tires put on. Most folks in the automotive business take pride in sharing their wealth of knowledge on the ins and outs of your car!.

    Be gentle when braking on snow around corners and down hills. Many people seem to expect their vehicle never to slide because of claims of stability that manufacturers advertise on TV. Regardless of these assurances the vehicle still relies on its driver to exercise caution and good judgement when navigating inclement weather.

    As a last measure, it may seem strange but testing the road surface while going slowly and with no one else around will give you an idea of what kind of traction you can expect to encounter while under that particular kind of condition. While driving down a straight section pump the brakes a few times to see what kind of response you're getting and how long it takes you to slow or stop. Knowing the conditions you're encountering will make you more confident on how to handle your vehicle. 

    Take Your Time

    Simply plan to give yourself more time to reach your destination when the weather isn't optimal. Making judgement calls with traffic and red lights and falling snow, all while under pressure to get somewhere at a particular time, is a stressful scenario. With all the planning in the world, it's far better to be late and safe than to get into an accident that can injure you or your wallet.

    Should you wish to discuss your personal insurance program with a Gordon Atlantic professional, please feel free to call us at 1-800-649-3252. Prefer to type versus talk? Use the form at the top left of this blog! 

     

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    Tags: winter, safety, preparedness, snow, driving, weather, snowfall, new england

    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.

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

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