Safe Driver Series 1: AVOID ACCIDENTS

Safe Driving, kids wearing seatbelts

When you’re behind the wheel of a car – whether alone or with passengers – driving safely should always be your top concern. We’re more distracted than ever, so it’s crucial to know the basics of safe driving and practice them every time you’re on the road.

Top 4+4 Driving Safety Tips

Delete Distracted Driving1. FOCUS ON DRIVING:
Keep 100% of your attention on driving at all times – no multi-tasking.
• Don’t use your phone or any other electronic device while driving
Slow down. Speeding gives you less time to react and increases the severity of an accident.

2. DRIVE DEFENSIVELY:
• Be aware of what other drivers around you are doing, and expect the unexpected.
• Assume other motorists will do something crazy, and always be prepared to avoid it.
• Keep a 2-second cushion between you and the car in front of you.
• Make that 4 seconds if the weather is bad.

Delete Distracted Driving3. MAKE A SAFE DRIVING PLAN:
• Build time into your trip schedule to stop for food, rest breaks, phone calls or other business.
• Adjust your seat, mirrors and climate controls before putting the car in gear.
• Pull over to eat or drink. It takes only a few minutes.

4. PRACTICE SAFETY:
• Secure cargo that may move around while the vehicle is in motion.
• Don’t attempt to retrieve items that fall to the floor.
• Have items needed within easy reach – such as toll fees, toll cards and garage passes.
Always wear your seat belt and drive sober and drug-free.

A deer in car headlights on highway+4 MORE DRIVING SAFETY TIPS:
• Don’t allow children to fight or climb around in your car – they should be buckled in their seats at all times. Too much noise can easily distract you from focus on the road.
• Avoid driving when you’re tired. Be aware that some medications cause drowsiness and make operating a vehicle very dangerous.
• Always use caution when changing lanes. Cutting in front of someone, changing lanes too fast or not using your signals may cause an accident or upset other drivers.
• Be extra careful while driving during deer season.

Stay tuned for part 2 of our SAFE DRIVER SERIES next month with steps to take if you are in an accident or hit and run.

SAFE DRIVERS are often eligible for premium discounts…
Call us a call at 401-846-9629 for a FREE Auto Policy Review; We’re Always Here to Help!

Content: ©2020 Nationwide®

Stop, Look & Cook SAFELY

D.F. Dwyer Insurance Fire Safety

Did you know that cooking is the #1 cause of home fires and home fire injuries? Unattended cooking is the leading cause of kitchen fires and scald burns are the second leading cause of all burn injuries.

This year our kitchens have become a true beehive of family activity, in addition to cooking, many are serving extra-duty as remote offices and classrooms. With more eating-in and holiday cooking ahead, the most dangerous room of the house will be busier than ever this fall! Appropriately, Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen was selected as the 2020 theme for National Fire Prevention Week. Follow the recommendations below to keep your family safe at home this season and all year round!

STOP: Mise En Place (Prepare)

  • Clear away clutter and give cooking appliances space, coil cords and keep away from counter edges
  • Maintain a clean stovetop and oven to prevent grease buildup
  • Use only microwave-safe containers in your microwave
  • Don’t hang dishtowels on the oven door
  • Keep all flammable items away from the stove including:
    • Fabric: curtains, oven mitts, aprons, towels, napkins
    • Paper: wrappers, paper towels, school and office paperwork
    • Plastic: storage containers, wrappers
    • Aerosols!
  • Dress appropriately when cooking; avoid blousy clothing and roll up long sleeves
  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried
  • Keep pets off cooking surfaces and nearby countertops.

D.F. Dwyer Insurance Fire Safety

LOOK: Focus on the Food

  • Never leave cooking unattended
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food
  • Turn off the burner if you leave the kitchen—even for a short period of time
  • Cook on back burners and turn pot handles inward to prevent spills and burns
  • Always keep a lid nearby when cooking
  • Turn gas stovetop flames off before reaching above the stove
  • Prevent steam burns by removing lids carefully facing away from you to use as a shield
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly and stay in the home
  • Use a timer to remind you that you are cooking or carry around a wooden spoon as a reminder
  • Keep your face away from the oven door when checking or removing food
  • Open microwaved food slowly, away from your face
  • Keep hot foods and liquids away from table and counter edges
  • Let food cool before eating

Put A Lid On ItCOOK: Put A Lid on It

  • If a small grease fire starts, slide a lid over the pan, turn off burner and leave covered until cool
  • Never discharge a portable fire extinguisher into a grease fire because it will spread the flames
  • In case of an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed until the oven is cool
  • If case of a microwave fire, turn the appliance off immediately and keep the door closed
  • After any appliance fire, have the unit serviced before attempting to use again

Some content: National Fire Protection Association

Take Time to Take Stock

Home Inventory

In the event of a fire or other disaster, would you be able to remember all your possessions? Having an up-to-date home inventory will help you get your insurance claim settled faster, verify losses for your income tax return and help you purchase the correct amount of insurance.

Nationwide Home Inventory video

While spending more time at home and preparing for the change of season, September is a perfect month to take stock of what you’ve got!

3 Simple Ways to Get Started:
  1. Pick An Easy Spot: A contained area like your small kitchen appliance cabinet, your sporting equipment closet or your handbag shelf are all good places to begin.
  2. Last-First: Start with your most recent purchases and work backward to tackle older possessions.
    Include basic information to describe each item noting the make and model, point of purchase, price paid and any other detail that might help to make a claim.
  3. Go Seasonal: Count summer clothes and sandals as you put them away for next year and count winter clothes and boots as you take them out for the season. Continue with other seasonal items as you move them into or out of storage– such as outdoor furniture, decor and tools.
Details Matter:
  • Record Serial Numbers— usually found on the back or bottom of major appliances and electronic equipment.
  • Keep Proof of Value— store sales receipts, purchase contracts and appraisals with your list.
  • Jewelry, Art and Collectibles may have increased in value and/or require special coverage separate from your standard homeowners insurance policy.
  • Don’t Forget Off-Site Items— your belongings kept in a self-storage facility are covered by your homeowners insurance too. Make sure you include them in your inventory.
Home InventoryDon’t Get Overwhelmed:

Once you’ve started your inventory, keep going even if you can’t get it all done immediately. It’s better to have an incomplete inventory than nothing at all! A simple pencil and paper will suffice, but technology can make creating a home inventory much easier.

  • Take Pictures: Create a photo record of your belongings. Capture important individual items as well as entire rooms, closets or drawers. Label photos with what’s pictured, where you bought it, the make or model- whatever information might be important to replace and/ or getting reimbursed for the item.
  • Record It: Walk through your home videotaping and describing the contents. For example, you might describe the contents of a kitchen cabinet: “Poppies on Blue by Lenox, service for 12 that includes a dinner plate, salad plate, bowl, cup and saucer. PUrchased in 2015.”
  • Use An App: There are mobile app options that can help you create and store a room-by-room record of your belongings.
Up to Date & Safely Stored:

Home InventoryYour home inventory is only useful if it’s accurate and you can access it to provide information to your insurance company in case of fire, theft or other destructive disaster. Regardless of the medium you’ve used to create your list, keep it backed up and in a safe place.

  • Make it a habit to add new purchase to the list while the details are fresh and the receipts are handy.
  • Store a copy of your paper inventory, applicable receipts and appraisals outside the home in a safe deposit box or at a friend’s or relative’s home. Make at least one backup copy of your inventory document and store it separately. An easy way to make digital backup copies of your paper list is to take pictures of it on your smartphone.
  • Backup digital files – Keep a copy on an external drive or online storage account.
  • Understand your app – Be sure the information you input is backed up by the app developer and that you know how to access information when you need it.
Show Us Your Work!
  • Let’s review your Inventory together; to make sure that you have the coverage you need. Call us today at 401-846-9629 for a free policy review.
Content: Nationwide Insurance ©2020

Hurricane Preparation During COVID-19

Hurricane Preparation and Coronavirus

This year Rhode Islanders were warned of one of the busiest hurricane and tropical storm seasons in recent history. Experts note that due to significant sea level rise and coastal development, tropical storms need not make a direct hit to wreak havoc on our region with storm surge and flooding.

Now, during the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, emergency planning presents additional challenges for everyone which makes it more important than ever to have a solid plan. Public health and emergency response professionals have advice to help you safely prepare, evacuate, and shelter for severe storms while protecting yourself and others from COVID-19.

Hurricane Season Prep During Covid-19PREPARE FOR HURRICANE SEASON:

  • Understand that your planning may be different this year because of the need to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
  • Give yourself more time than usual to prepare your emergency food, water, and medicine supplies. Home delivery is the safest choice for buying disaster supplies; however, that may not be an option for everyone. If in-person shopping is your only choice, take steps to protect your and others’ health when running essential errands.
  • Protect yourself and others when filling prescriptions by limiting in-person visits to the pharmacy. Sign up for mail order delivery or call in your prescription ahead of time and use drive-through windows or curbside pickup..
  • Pay attention to local guidance about updated plans for evacuations and shelters, including shelters for your pets.
  • When you check on neighbors and friends, be sure to follow social distancing recommendations (staying at least 6 feet from others) and other CDC recommendations to protect yourself and others.

Storm Evacuation PlanningPREPARE TO EVACUATE:

  • If you may need to evacuate, prepare a “go kit” with personal items you cannot do without during an emergency.
    • Include items that can help protect you and others from COVID-19, such as hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, bar or liquid soap, disinfectant wipes (if available) and two masks for each person.
  • Identify a safe place to shelter and have several ways to receive weather alerts, such as National Weather Service cell phone alerts, NOAA Weather Radio, or (@NWS) Twitter alerts.
    • Find out if your local public shelter is open; your shelter location may be different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • If you need to go to a disaster shelter, follow CDC recommendations for staying safe and healthy in a public disaster shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Follow guidance from your local public health or emergency management officials on when and where to shelter.
  • Make a plan and prepare a disaster kit for your pets. Find out if your disaster shelter will accept pets. Typically, when shelters accommodate pets, the pets are housed in a separate area from people.
  • Follow safety precautions when using transportation to evacuate. If you have to travel away from your community to evacuate, follow safety precautions for travelers to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

Family with facemarksSTAYING WITH FRIENDS OR FAMILY:

  • Talk to the people you plan to stay with about how you can all best protect yourselves from COVID-19.
  • Consider if either of your households has someone who is at higher risk of developing severe illness from COVID-19, including older adults or people of any age who have underlying medical conditions. Make sure everyone knows what they can do to keep them safe from COVID-19.
  • Follow everyday preventive actions, including covering coughs and sneezes, washing your hands often, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Consider taking extra precautions for people living in close quarters.
  • Know what to do if someone in your family or in the household you are staying with becomes sick with COVID-19.
  • Take steps to keep your pets safe.

POST STORM SAFETY

  • Continue to follow preventive actions to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, like washing your hands and wearing a mask during cleanup or when returning home.
  • It may take longer than usual to restore power and water if they are out. Take steps to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning if you use a generator.
  • If you are injured or ill, contact your medical provider for treatment recommendations. Keep wounds clean to prevent infection. Remember, accessing medical care may be more difficult than usual during the pandemic.
  • Dealing with disasters can cause stress and strong emotions, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is natural to feel anxiety, grief, and worry. Coping with these feelings and getting help when you need it will help you, your family, and your community recover.
  • People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms. Additional information can be found at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
  • After a hurricane, it’s not unusual for rats, mice, and other pests to try to get into your home or building. Be aware that with restaurant and commercial closures related to COVID-19, there are already reports of increased rodent activity as they try to seek other sources of food. Follow recommendations for keeping pests out of your home.

If you have not yet done so, TODAY is the day to prepare!

Content Source: CDC.gov

Got Power?

Power Outage: What to do when the lights go out.

Whether caused by lighting, high winds or an overloaded power grid, extreme summer weather can trigger power outages— will you be ready when the lights go out? A lengthy power outage that affects your home can also threaten your family’s safety or damage your property.

Flashlights and batteries Be Ready When the Lights Go Out!
  • Have plenty of flashlights and fresh batteries on hand.
  • Stock up on extra food and water. Keep a manual can opener and food that doesn’t requires cooking – unless you have an alternate cooking source like a propane grill or camping stove with plenty of fuel.
  • Have at least a week’s worth of prescription medications available.
  • Have a first aid kit, list of emergency phone numbers and a charged mobile phone.
  • Fill up car gas tanks and have cash on hand, since gas stations and banks may be out of service.
  • Invest in a surge protector for your electronics.
  • Regularly back up critical computer files.
  • Have one or more coolers ready for perishable foods in case of long-term outages.
  • If you have room, fill jugs of water an inch from the top and keep them in your freezer. If the power goes out, the frozen jugs will slow the defrosting of your freezer.
  • Stock up on playing cards and board games. Playing games will help pass the time and keep everyone’s mind off the situation.
  • Store extra clothes and blankets for when power and heat are lost. (winter)

Prepare for a power outage with board games.

Enduring a power outage, what to do until the power is restored:
  • Unplug the TV, computer and other electronics to protect them from electrical surges.
  • Give each family member a flashlight to use for trips to the bathroom or around the house.
  • Have a battery-operated or hand-crank radio to monitor weather alerts and disaster instructions, as well as music and entertainment to help brighten the mood.
  • Use water sparingly. For example, flush the toilet with leftover cooking or washing water.
  • Eat and drink regularly to stay hydrated and help regulate your body temperature.
  • Scan the area around your house for downed electrical lines.
    • If you see sparks, hear crackling or spot a downed line moving, report it to your electric company – and stay away from it.
  • Don’t run a generator inside your home. They create deadly carbon monoxide.
  • Leave one light in the “on” position so you know when power has resumed.
  • Keep the refrigerator and freezer closed. A half-full freezer will hold for up to 24 hours, a full one for 48 hours.
  • Have everyone sleeping in one room, so that children won’t be frightened or disorientated if they wake up in the dark.
  • During a winter blackout, store milk or other perishables in a cooler on a deck or porch, or in a garage.
  • If using a gas generator, or a kerosene or gas stove, open a window a few inches to keep the house ventilated.
  • Cover north-facing windows with heavy plastic. Arctic air usually sweeps down from the north and east.
  • Place sheets, towels, or draft stoppers at the bottoms of poorly sealed doors or windows to keep frigid air out.
  • Choose activities to keep calm and entertained until the power comes back on.
Check frozen food for spoilage after a power outageRecovering from a power outage:
  • Once power has been restored, check your frozen and refrigerated items with a thermometer to make sure they’re still safe to eat.
  • Before plugging in electronic equipment, be sure the electricity is fully restored.
  • If you believe your home or belongings were damaged as a result of blackout conditions, gather documentation about your possible claim and contact your insurance company or agent.

Source: Nationwide Insurance ©2020

Summer Heat Safety Tips & First Aid

Summer Heat Safety Tips

It’s the zenith of summer and the mercury is likewise at its seasonal peak. As we have recently experienced, a heat wave — 3 or more straight days with temperatures above 90 degrees — can pose a danger and cause serious health issues. Here are some summer heat safety tips to help protect yourself and your loved ones as you enjoy the season.

Stay indoors as much as possible, and limit sun exposure:
  • If you don’t have AC, visit someplace that does – such as a library or shopping mall, if possible.
  • If you need to work outdoors, do it in the early mornings or evenings; luckily there’s still daylight after 8pm.
  • Make sure pets have plenty of water and a cool place to rest.Drink plenty of water and eat well-balanced, light meals and avoid alcohol.
  • Dress in loose, lightweight and light-colored clothes.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and neck from the sun.
  • Be sure pets have plenty of water and a cool place to rest.
  • Keep an eye on older adults, young children and those who are sick or overweight.
  • Never leave children or pets in closed vehicles
Keep your place cool, when the outside temps rise:
  • Installing Air ConditionerInstall central air conditioning (AC) or window air conditioners.
  • Check AC ducts for proper insulation.
  • Weather-strip doors and windows to keep cool air inside.
  • Use shades and awnings to keep extreme heat outside.
  • Keep storm windows up all year.
  • Install temporary window reflectors to reflect the heat back outside.
Recognize & Aid Heat-Related Medical Issues:
Heat Cramps occur with muscle pain and spasms
  • Have victim rest in comfortable position.
  • Stretch the affected muscle lightly and replenish fluids.
  • Give the victim half a glass of cool water every 15 minutes.
  • Don’t give them drink that contain alcohol or caffeine. Water is best. Or juice.

Recognize & Aid Heat-Related Medical Issues

Heat Exhaustion is caused by overexertion in a hot place. Blood flow to vital organs is restricted, causing the victim to go into mild shock. If not treated, the victim may have Heat Stroke.
  • Move the victim to a cooler place.
  • Loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet towels or sheets.
  • Have the victim slowly drink half a glass of water every 15 minutes. No liquids with alcohol or caffeine.
  • Let the victim rest.
Heat Stroke is a serious, life-threatening condition caused when the sweating function, which cools the body, starts breaking down. As a result, the body temperature can rise high enough to cause brain damage or death.
  • Call 911 Immediately
  • Move the victim to a cooler place.
  • Put them in a cool bath or wrap them in wet sheets and fan their body.
  • Monitor their breathing.
  • If the victim is vomiting, fading in and out of consciousness or refusing water, don’t give them anything to eat or drink.

Source: Nationwide Insurance ©2020

LIGHTNING MYTHS & FACTS

Lightning Strike

Know the Truth About Lightning Dangers

“When thunder roars, go indoors!” is a truism that actually holds up. But much of what we think we know about lightning is fiction. Here are some common myths, along with the facts that will keep you and your loved ones safe in a storm. Your safety and wellbeing may depend on knowing the difference between these lightning myths and the facts.
MYTH #1: If you don’t see rain or clouds, you’re safe.
FACT: Lightning often strikes more than three miles from the thunderstorm, far outside the rain or even the thunderstorm cloud. Though infrequent, “bolts from the blue” have been known to strike areas as distant as 10 miles from their thunderstorm origins, where the skies appear clear.
MYTH #2: If you’re outside in a storm, lie flat on the ground.
FACT: Lying flat on the ground makes you more vulnerable to electrocution, not less. Lightning generates potentially deadly electrical currents along the ground in all directions—by lying down, you’re providing more potential points on your body to hit.
MYTH #3: If you touch a lightning victim, you’ll be electrocuted.
FACT: The human body doesn’t store electricity. It is perfectly safe to touch a lightning victim to give them first aid.

Lightning Striking House Chimney

MYTH #4: A house will always keep you safe from lightning.
FACT: While a house is the safest place you can be during a storm, just going inside isn’t enough. You must avoid any conducting path leading outside, such as electrical appliances, wires, TV cables, plumbing, metal doors or metal window frames. Don’t stand near a window to watch the lightning. An inside room is generally safe, but a home equipped with a professionally installed lightning protection system is the safest shelter available.
MYTH #5: Wearing metal on your body attracts lightning.
FACT: The presence of metal makes very little difference in determining where lightning will strike. Height, pointy shape and isolation are the dominant factors in whether lightning will strike an object (including you). However, touching or being near metal objects, such as a fence, can be unsafe when thunderstorms are nearby. If lightning does happen to hit one area of the fence—even a long distance away—the metal can conduct the electricity and electrocute you.
MYTH #6: Surge suppressors can protect a home against lightning.
FACT: Surge arresters and suppressors are important components of a complete lightning protection system, but can do nothing to protect a structure against a direct lightning strike. These items must be installed in conjunction with a lightning protection system to provide whole house protection.

Follow us on Facebook this month, where our #TipTuesday series will debunk the 4 most popular #LightningMyths including:

MYTH #7: Lightning never strikes twice in the same place.
MYTH #8: Lightning only strikes the tallest objects.
MYTH #9: If you’re stuck in a thunderstorm, being under a tree is better than no shelter at all.
MYTH #10: A car’s rubber tires will protect you from lightning.

LIGHTNING PROTECTION & COVERAGE

Lightning Striking House Chimney

How to keep your family, your home and your belongings safe from lightning.

At any given time on our planet Earth, there are 1,800 thunderstorms in progress—and with them comes lightning.  Your standard homeowners and business insurance policies, and the comprehensive portion of an auto insurance policy cover damages—such as a fire—that results from a lightning strike. Some policies also provide coverage for the damage caused by power surges. However, bodily harm from lightning isn’t easily remedied. Here are some steps you can take to prevent the dangerous effects of lightning and to keep your family safe.

Install a Lightning Protection System (LPS)

An LPS provides a specified path on which lightning can travel. A rooftop network of lightning rods or air terminals is connected to a series of down conductors, which carry the current down to a grounding network. In that way, the system safely directs the destructive power of the lightning strike into the ground, which leaves the structure of your home or business and its contents undamaged. Installing a LPS is not a “do-it-yourself” project—contract a UL-listed lightning protection specialist to install the system in accordance with national safety standards.

Protect Your Home and Electronics from Surges

Electrical surges from lightning can enter a structure via power transmission lines and cause electrical fires as well as damage to your building’s electrical system, your appliances and your home electronics. Regular power strips offer little surge protection. To assure the best safeguards, UL-listed surge protection devices (SPDs) should be installed to filter and dissipate damaging electrical discharges. Most electric utilities will rent or sell a surge device for the electric meter to “clamp down” on incoming surges; licensed electricians can install similar protection. To protect valuable electronics like computers, home entertainment centers, gaming systems and smart home technology, install UL-listed transient voltage surge suppressors–and consider unplugging expensive electronics when you know a storm is approaching. More information from National Grid

Lighting Protection System Infographic
This infographic provided by the Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) shows how a LPS works.
Protect Your Family with Precautions
  • Shelter from lightning in a low, hardtop vehicleWhen thunder roars, go indoors. During a storm, it’s best to take shelter in a house or other fully enclosed building. Inside, don’t stand near open windows, doorways or metal piping. Stay off the phone and avoid contact with small appliances, like toasters and hairdryers. As water conducts electricity, also stay away from plumbing, sinks, tubs and radiators.
  • If you know a storm is coming, avoid known hazards and dangerous locations. These include areas where you will be the highest object—a golf course, for example. Bodies of water also attract lightning, so avoid lakes, beaches or open water, and fishing from a boat or dock. Never ride golf carts, farm equipment, motorcycles or bicycles during a thunderstorm.
  • If you are caught outside in a thunderstorm, take shelter in a hard topped-vehicle or a low area such a tunnel or even a cave if necessary. Stay clear of fences, isolated trees and other conductive objects such as telephone poles, power lines and pipelines. These present a danger from a potential side flash, which is voltage from a nearby, lightning-struck object./li>
  • If you’re caught in an open field with no nearby shelter, and your hair begins to stand on end, drop down into a crouch with your hands on your knees, and balance on the balls of your feet. The static electricity in your hair is an indication that lightning is about to strike, and the idea is to make as little contact with the ground as possible. Never lie down flat or place your hands on the ground.

Vacation & Staycation Safety Tips to Help Prevent Home Burglary

Planning a road trip

Although fly-away vacations will likely be on hold this summer, you may still get-away to the great outdoors with a family road-trip or pleasure-cruise. But, before you pull out of your driveway or cast off of the dock, check out these tips to prevent burglary and ensure that you’ll have a happy homecoming! 

Deter Burglars All Year Long, Install the Following:

  • Home Security System
  • Strong Exterior Doors (made of solid wood or steel)
  • Deadbolt Locks
  • Motion-Activated Sensors on Outdoor Floodlights
  • Block Basement Windows
  • Lock Pet Doors

Planning a pleasure cruiseAnd Prior to Traveling:

  • Don’t share about your trip on social media or in public until after you have returned home
  • Make an Inventory of valuables w/ serial numbers and photos
  • Stop the newspaper, mail and other deliveries or ask a trusted neighbor to pick them up
  • Put at least one light on a timer
  • Arrange for your lawn to stay trimmed

Make It Difficult for Burglars:

  • Don’t store expensive flatware in the dining room hutch
  • Don’t keep expensive jewelry on your bedroom dresser
  • Keep important documents, financial information and small valuables in a fireproof safe, discreetly hidden in your house.

Have the Right Home Insurance Policy:

No matter the precautions taken to prevent theft, sometimes the unexpected still happens. In the event thieves break into your house, steal your personal items or damage your home, home insurance may be able to help you.

Call us at 401-846-9629 for a free policy review.
We’re always here to help!
Source: Nationwide Insurance ©2020

Stem to Stern: Know Your Boat’s Insurance Coverage

Social Distancing & Boating

Boat Owners Should Review Three Often Overlooked Policy Issues

With National Safe Boating Week (May 16-22) days away, the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) reminds boat owners to secure the right type and amount of coverage for their recreational vessel.

Beyond covering a boat owner in the event of theft, boat insurance policies typically provide coverage to repair a boat if it is accidentally damaged or destroyed due to a collision or because the boat struck a submerged object.  Property damage to a boat caused by vandalism, a windstorm, or lightning are also covered under most boat insurance policies.

Boat insurers typically assess risk and price their policies based on differing factors. For instance, a boat owner’s operational experience can play a large role in determining a prospective policyholder’s eligibility for coverage and what they will pay for a policy.  The boat’s make, model, age and value often influence the cost of a boat insurance policy, too. In addition, boat insurers want to know the boat’s primary cruising areas, also known as navigational territories.

Boats in storageThe I.I.I. counsels boat owners to focus on three lesser-known but important issues when either buying or renewing a boat insurance policy.

  • Agreed Value versus Actual Cash Value policies: Ask your insurance professional if your policy provides either Agreed Value (AV) or Actual Cash Value (ACV) coverage. An AV policy means you and your boat’s insurer have agreed on the value of your recreational vessel. In the event of a total loss, you will be paid that amount. ACV coverage is typically less expensive than an AV policy but only pays up to the value of the boat at the time the boat was either lost or damaged. Depreciation and wear and tear are factored into the claim payout’s amount if you have an ACV policy.
  • Lay-up period: Make sure your boat is covered during the off-season. Even when a boat isn’t in the water, there is still the risk of property damage. For example, if a major storm hits and a tree falls on your boat, you may be exposed if you are without insurance coverage.
  • Navigational territory: Ask your insurance professional if this issue is specifically addressed in your boat insurance policy. If you are navigating the boat in a territory not specified in your policy, you may not be covered if something were to happen there.

Sailing off of Castle Hill, Newport, Rhode Island, photo by SallyAnne Santos

Other coverages incorporated into boat insurance policies may include:

  • Damage your boat caused to someone else’s property.
  • Medical payments for injuries incurred by either the boat’s owner or its passengers.
  • Hurricane haul-out provisions to keep the boat out of harm’s way before a windstorm.
  • On-water towing and assistance for unexpected breakdowns or running aground.
  • Fuel spill liability protection for damages caused by a boat’s accidental discharge.
  • Personal effects coverage for expensive equipment (e.g., fishing gear).
  • Ice and freeze coverage for damage to a boat’s engine and water systems.

With a basic knowledge of how boat insurance may help protect you, your boat and others, you can set sail knowing you have the best policy in place.

Content Source: Insurance Information Institute (iii.org)

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