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    Personal Insurance Blog

    Snow Plow Operations – Are You Covered?

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Tue, Dec 24, 2013 @ 09:00 AM

    Snowplowing can be a lucrative business, especially in the New England area. However, the chances of injuring someone or damaging something unseen are high. For snowplow operators, ‘Bodily injury to others’ is the coverage on your auto policy that would apply. For ‘snowplowees’, you might want to check out the insurance policies of potential contractors before they get to work.

    Operators: don’t wait until it's too late to review this coverage with your agent. Make sure you have adequate limits. Here are three more considerations and hazards for all you snowplow users to think about.

    • You are plowing a driveway or parking lot and damage a parked car or building with your snowplow or the truck that it’s attached to. ‘Property damage to others’ is the clause in your policy that applies. But what if you collide with something that damages your snow plow?
    • How much is the ‘Collision’ coverage on your policy? Sufficient to cover your damaged snow plow? Some companies require you to schedule the snow plow on your policy so you should check things out with your agent.
    • Do you need a ‘General Liability’ policy? It depends on what you contract to do.

    Don’t wait for the first flakes to fall before discussing both adequate ‘property damage to others’ limits and ‘collision’ coverage with your agent. Then factor these costs into your pricing for snow-moving jobs.

    What if your services include more specific snow clearing areas, such as snow removal (and disposal) from walkways, sidewalks, steps and sometimes even the snow on the roof? Be sure that you are on top of your contractual obligations. For example, when 2 inches of snow builds up, you may be required to plow parking lots without a call from your customer.

    Be covered for snow trouble this winter with personal home insurance from andrew g gordon inc

    Other contracts may call on you to sand and salt the parking lots, steps and walkways. In these situations you bear some responsibility if someone were to slip and fall. They could blame their injury on your improper snow removal, sanding/salting, or failure to plow during an agreed upon accumulation. In such cases you require insurance under a ‘General Liability’ policy. This would also cover the risks of you damaging someone else’s property in the course of your business.

     

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    Tags: winter, snowplow, plow, plowing, snowplowing, snow, coverage, collision, bodily injury, property damage

    A Couple of Things about Winter Fun

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Sat, Dec 21, 2013 @ 03:24 PM

    Winter's here! There are a lot of great things that come with this enchanting season, especially in the New England area. Here's a list to help you remember why winter is such a fantastic season:

    • Have a safe winter with personal insurance from Andrew G gordon incFreshly fallen snow that makes every day a winter wonderland
    • Hot chocolate by the fire
    • Sledding down the highest hill on the fastest sled
    • Making snowmen and snow angels and snow forts
    • Snowball fights with your best friends
    • The holiday season because anyone from any religion has a reason to celebrate
    • Peppermint candies
    • Plays and ballets such as "A Christmas Carol" and "The Nutcracker" because the actors take these roles to heart
    • All the holiday specials on TV that play once a year... and knowing exactly when they air and being able to quote all the lines
    • The fresh pine smell that comes along with Christmas trees
    • Have a happy winter and christmas holiday season with personal insurance from andrew g gordon incThe spirit of giving
    • Skiing and snowboarding and all those mountain activities
    • Warming up after spending a long time outside
    • Staying up late on New Year's Eve and sleeping in on New Year's Day
    • Hockey season whether it's with the NHL or your six-year-old's team
    • Every four years we have the Winter Olympics (Go USA!)
    • Ice skating with family in an arena or on a frozen pond
    • Being snowed in and playing board games with your fellow captives
    • Warm desserts such as chocolate chip cookies and homemade cherry pie
    • The Doctor Who Christmas special, obviously
    • Feeling well-rested because you sleep more because the days are shorter
    • Groundhog's day and being upset when the groundhog does see his shadow
    • Valentine's Day because someone will always be your valentine, even if it's your mom
    • President's Day because we love our country and car dealerships have mega awesome sales
    • Martin Luther King Jr. Day because this is country based on equality
    • Being excited because spring is coming... but being sad because we have to wait another nine months for winter to return

    With winter comes a lot of fun, but also a lot of un-fun too. In order to be prepared for certain winter weather hassles, check out our Winter Storm Center page and stay prepared. If you have any insurance questions, contact us by simply clicking the button below.

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    Tags: skiing, snowboarding, winter, december, hot chocolate, sledding, snow, skating, blizzard

    Stay Healthy This Season

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Mon, Dec 09, 2013 @ 09:33 AM

    Uh oh.

    The person to your left just sneezed, the person walking behind you coughed, and the office tissue box never seems to have enough tissues. While this might not be an endemic, you should consider yourself and your health and all the people you are exposed to on a daily basis.

    Winter is when a lot of people get sick. A LOT. The colder temperatures encourages people to stay inside more, and when more people stay inside more often, buildings become incubators for disease.

    Stay healthy this season by heeding to a few simple steps. You wouldn't want to miss a festive party because you're clammy and sniffling at home.

    Stay healthy during the sick season with health life insurance from andrew g gordon inc1. Wash your hands.

    This is something you should already be doing before eating a meal and after using the restroom. (I REALLY HOPE you are already doing this step.) But maybe it's time to squeeze washing your hands in a few more times during the day, ESPECIALLY after touching something that has been touched by many. An example of this? A door handle. A shared keyboard, mouse, printed document. A fridge in the break room. If it's public, then it's been exposed.

    2. Wear proper clothing.

    It's cold outside. Make sure you dress appropriately for all sorts of weather. You don't want your body to use energy to warm you up. Don't distract your immune system by wearing socks that are too thin or choosing to not wear a hat or earmuffs solely for that reason that it will mess up your hair.

    3. If you have to cough/sneeze...

    Do not be part of the problem. If you have a slight cough or a sneeze, DO NOT SNEEZE AT OTHERS. There is nothing more rude than saying "Happy holidays" and then giving the gift of sickness. I bet that an illness was definitely not on their Christmas list this year, so don't act as Sick Santa and give them one.

    4. Clean

    Clean more than usual. If you never clean at all, then you have been warned. With all the coughing and sneezing and touching and sheer breathing, germs are everywhere. A cleaner space will allow for an overall healthier environment.

    5. Eat healthily

    Because it's the holiday season, you are more than welcome to eat any arrangement of pies, cakes, and chocolates you want... within reason. Don't sacrifice good health and good eating options entirely. Your body needs the fruits, vegetables, proteins, etc. If you deprive yourself of that, then have fun depriving yourself of good health during the season.

    These steps are advice for overall good health in general, but please be more aware especially during this time of year. 'Tis the season for fun and good cheer, and you don't want to miss that because 'tis the season for sickness as well.

    Take care and enjoy your holiday.

    Any questions about insurance? We've got you covered. Contact us by clicking the button below.

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    Tags: winter, health, sneezing, coughing, sickness, sick, ill, hanukkah, cold, holiday, winter weather, disease, christmas, holiday season

    Will Naming Winter Storms Affect Your Deductible?

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Wed, Feb 20, 2013 @ 08:10 AM

    Cover your home and car for winter storms with homeowners and auto insurance from andrew gordon incWho’s bright idea was it to name winter storms? Nemo? Really? I don’t know about you, but Nemo just doesn’t quite ring right. The Blizzard of 1978 conjures up powerful imagery of the superstorm of all winter superstorms. All I can say is our recent brush with Mother Nature will forever be the Blizzard of 2013 to me.  

    The Weather Channel apparently decided to name winter storms  in a bid to boost public awareness and coordinate response efforts. Guess I will never get use to winter storms being named after Disney characters. First, there is Nemo. What comes next?  Will a future storm be called “The Little Mermaid”?  Where will it end??

    Okay, to be fair, Nemo was not named after a Disney character, but rather from the Greek name meaning “from the valley” or “nobody” in Latin.  Or perhaps Nemo is named after Captain Nemo, aka Prince Dakkar from Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Regardless, I still don’t see the connection with a blizzard.

    Once possible outcome of this seemingly innocuous public relations move to name winter storms is the possibility that insurance companies could apply a higher named storm deductible for damage from a named storm. While I have not seen this happen, it’s a possibility if a carrier carries policy wording that applies a higher deductible for damage from a storm which is named by the National Weather Service or any other recognized meteorological authority. The question remains if the Weather Channel is a recognized meteorological authority by insurers.

    The Weather Channel apparently decided to name winter storms  in a bid to boost public awareness and coordinate response efforts. The Weather Channel announced that in addition to providing information about significant winter storms by referring to them by name, the name itself will make communication and information sharing in the constantly expanding world of social media much easier. As an example, Twitter hash tagging a storm (#Nemo) based on its name provides a one-stop shop to exchange all of the latest information on the impending high-impact weather system.

    The naming of winter storms may have been a PR move by The Weather Channel but the naming could have broader implications within the insurance industry. The intent of a named storm deductible was to apply to tropical storms nearing hurricane strength. #Nemo and his successors open the door for some insurers to apply a higher deductible because now there is a name attached to a blizzard.

    Fortunately, we have not seen a change in deductible practices with any of our carriers as result of winter storm naming. I do not foresee this changing but it’s an interesting twist to the named storm debate. Regardless, our most recent storm will always be #Blizzard2013 to me.

    If you have more insurance questions, feel free to contact us here at Gordon Insurance by clicking the button below.

    INSURANCE QUESTION?  Winter Storm Center

    Tags: winter, insurance, storms, changes, nemo, blizzard, deductible, named

    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

    How To Enjoy Winter Safely

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Wed, Jan 02, 2013 @ 05:16 PM


    The Magic Number 98.6

     

    98.6 should be a number familiar to you as it is the average temperature of the human body in degrees Fahrenheit.

    thermometer pic 2019

    The human body constantly reacts to its environment in a process known as homeostasis (starting to remind you of middle school science, right?). The important part to remember is that any drastic change in outside temperature, short or long-term, changes the body's internal temperature. When this body temperature is elevated or lowered, bad things happen. Metabolic processes necessary for life cannot occur quickly, if at all, and the body begins to shut down. In other words, you want to stay as close to 98.6 degrees F as much as possible.

    So how can you do this? Winter seems to be the season of sickness. The sheer number of people rushed to the hospital due to temperature changes is frightening and the number of deaths is even more startling. Who ever said the common cold couldn't kill?

    Fortunately, there are several, easy steps that can be taken in order to keep yourself and your loved ones at a toasty 98.6°, and these steps mostly include wearing warm clothes.

    Get warm clothes and personal life insurance this winter with andrew gordon inc

    CLOTHING IS IMPORTANT

    • 1. Winter coats- Remind your teens that a sweatshirt is not a winter coat. Although a sweatshirt might be easier to find and throw on before you head out the door, a sweatshirt won't keep you warm for extended periods of time. This is especially true if you're going to be doing winter activities such as ice skating or sledding; wear something that is made to keep you warm.

    2. Gloves- Gloves are another thing that are often avoided. Yes, they can sometimes be a pain, but they do keep your fingers and hands warm and able. Have you ever tried using a cell phone with frozen hands? It's not pretty- your hands shake and it takes about three times as long to upload that sledding pic to Instagram.

    3. Hats- You know that a large portion of the body's heat is lost through the head. Because people have different types of hair, hair length, or no hair at all, it's safe to say that head warmth is not equally bestowed. The best way to keep your body heat at prime is to wear a hat, or maybe some earmuffs (ears can get cold pretty quickly).

    4. Socks- Whether you love them or hate them, you lose a lot of heat through your feet, as well. Wear slippers around the house (cold floors will draw heat out) if socks are not your cup of tea.

    Eat and drink warm this winter to stay safe with personal life insurance from andrew gordon incFOOD AND DRINK

    Speaking of tea, drinking warm beverages such as hot tea, hot coffee, and hot chocolate can help warm you up, especially after being outside for a long period of time. While the drink won't affect your body temperature too much (there's that homeostasis again), your hands and mouth are very sensitive. This sensitivity to the heat will make you feel warm all over.

    Hot meals, such as soup and mac n cheese, will also help you remain warm in the winter.

    Colder foods like ice cream, while delicious, do not do much for you when it comes to staying warm. So if you're going to have some ice cream, try to add some hot fudge or warm apple pie.

    Come on, this is Massachusetts! You're bound to get cold sometime! Bundle up, be safe, be warm, and have a wonderful winter!

    If you have a question one of our insurance professionals can answer for you, use the form at the top left of this blog. Or you can always call us at 1-800-649-3252. 

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    Tags: winter, health, personal, life, insurance, staying, warm, body, temperature, clothes

    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

    An Insurance Christmas

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Mon, Dec 24, 2012 @ 09:01 AM

    Have a happy christmas and holiday season with personal from andrew gordon inc insurance
    Snowman

    Stocking

    Reindeer
    Snow

    'Twas the night before Christmas

    And all were asleep

    Happy and worry-free

    In case disaster should creep

     

    The stockings were hung

    So they won't catch aflame

    And if they did, the homeowner's policy

    Would put that to shame

     

    If a reindeer hits the car, 

    Insurance will protect the auto

    "Making Insurance Make Sense"

    -That is our motto

     

    So sleep sweetly and dream,

    Let the sugar plum fairies dance

    You have no loss to fear 

    Because of insurance!

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    Have a wonderful Christmas! Stay safe!

    From, the Gordon Staff

    Learn about personal insurance here.

    Tags: winter, safety, personal, holiday, christmas, insurance poem, poetry

    Some More Holiday Safety: Lights

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Sat, Dec 08, 2012 @ 04:32 PM

    IStay safe with holiday lights this season with personal from andrew gordon inc insurance norwell man our last blog post about holiday safety, we touched upon the topic of candles. In this blog, we’re going to talk a little about electrical safety.

    One of my favorite things about the holiday season is how decorated the world becomes. Some of my fondest Christmas memories are of driving through towns and down streets just to see the lights on the houses. Some neighborhoods go all out; some just have a couple of lights in the windows. Either way, lights constitute perhaps the largest part of holiday decorations- both inside and outside the home.

    Lights also pose several hazards. The best way to avoid these hazards is to follow the steps listed below:Learn about safe holiday light use this winter with personal and homeowners from Andrew Gordon inc insurance norwell ma

    • Make sure the lights you use outside are meant for outside use. If the lights are meant for indoor use, the weather can cause fires and electric shocks much more easily. Just check the tag.
    • When putting electric lights outside (say, on the roof) make sure you use appropriate ladder safety. (Have someone spot you, make sure the ladder is stable, ascend slowly and safely, etc.)
    • Check and change all the light bulbs BEFORE you plug in.
    • Keep the wires away from any pets that might be chewing on them.
    • Check to make sure the wires are not frayed or exposed.
    • If the wires start to overheat, unplug them immediately.

    Enjoy the holidays and all the dazzling lights! "Ooh" and "ahh" at the houses that go crazy with spirit! But remember to follow the steps above- nobody wants to enjoy the season in the dark.

    If you have any questions about risk management or insurance, feel free to contact us. For a homeowner's quote, click the box below.

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    Tags: winter, safety, personal, electric, seasonal, decorate, insurance, holiday, homeowners, lights

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