With summer drawing near and the weather warming up, New York neighborhoods come alive with the sights and sounds of the season: lawnmowers, power tools and backyard barbecues, to name a few.
For many people, those things all bring to mind one specific person: Dad. And since Father’s Day is just around the corner, we at The NSA Group thought we’d give you some gift ideas – and some fun history trivia, too!
The history of Father’s Day
Marked on the third Sunday of June in the United States (and in many other countries), Father’s Day was first celebrated in 1910 to complement Mother’s Day. According to Wikipedia, the day was created by Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Wash., who wanted to honor her father, Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart.
Although Dodd originally suggested her father’s birthday in early June, she had not provided organizers with enough time to arrange the event – and the celebration was delayed until the third Sunday of the month.
Although Mother’s Day has been an official national holiday since 1914, Father’s Day had a tougher road. Congress refused to make the celebration official in the years immediately following Dodd’s first observance, fearing that the day would become commercialized. (Some would say those fears were well-founded; the creator of Mother’s Day later came to regret the commercialization of that holiday.)
It wasn’t until 1966 that Father’s Day received an official proclamation, thanks to President Lyndon B. Johnson. And six years later, President Richard Nixon signed a law making the day a national holiday.
Facts and figures (from government website USA.gov)
• There are an estimated 70.1 million fathers across the nation
• An estimated 1.7 million men are single fathers
• Approximately 176,000 fathers are stay-at-home dads
What to get Dad?
Once you’re past the age of, say, 10, the “Old Spice and a tie” routine probably won’t cut it anymore when it comes to getting a gift for your father. Here are some better ideas from AskMen.com:
• Grilling tools (this way, perhaps he’ll even cook for you on Father’s Day!)
• Alcohol (to be enjoyed in moderation, of course)
• Fishing gear
• Golf clubs, balls or other sporting goods – or take him out for a round of golf
• Books (particularly grilling cookbooks)
• Gadgets (such as a GPS; after all, many dads don’t like asking for directions)
• Landscaping services (so he can take a break from mowing the lawn)
Aside from ties and cheap cologne, you’ll probably want to avoid the most clichéd gifts, especially “World’s Best Dad” items (even if it’s true!) and socks.
As with all gifts, though, it’s the thought that counts. And we’re sure your dad will appreciate simply being appreciated. And if you’re a dad yourself – Happy Father’s Day! We hope you’ll enjoy your day.
Tags: cars, nsa group, personal auto policy
Most people have an idea of what’s covered and not covered under their various insurance policies. But at NSA Group, we get a lot of questions about borrowing or loaning a car.
Now that spring is here, and you might be looking to borrow your neighbor’s truck for a home-improvement project or a trip to the local landfill, we thought it was a great time to provide a little more information.
Generally, insurance coverage follows the vehicle rather than the driver. So in most instances, as long as the owner of the car has insurance, it’s covered even if someone other than the owner is driving it — as long as they have the owner’s permission.
The borrower’s insurance is considered secondary, meaning that in the event of an accident, it could apply if the owner’s insurance is insufficient to fully cover the damage.
It’s important to note that there are some exceptions to what is called “permissive use” coverage. For example, permission must be given by the owner, unless the borrower has a reasonable belief that they are allowed to use the car. However, the borrower cannot give permission to someone else. So if your teenager allows one of his or her friends to drive your car to the beach, your coverage likely won’t apply.
Coverage might also be denied if the borrower operates the vehicle in a negligent or criminal manner. And if the borrower is using your car for business purposes, your personal auto policy likely won’t cover that.
If you have a regular long-term arrangement to either borrow or lend a car, the borrower should probably be added to the owner’s personal auto policy. Those who don’t own a car, but often borrow one, might also consider “named non-owner coverage,” an endorsement that provides bodily injury and property damage liability, uninsured motorists coverage and more.
Ultimately, it’s usually safe to loan your friend your car for occasional errands or projects. And the same goes for borrowing a car. Just make sure it’s for “normal” use. You’ll want to confirm that the car has coverage and that your insurance, whether you’re the owner or borrower, will apply.
Feel free to give us a call if you have any questions — after all, you don’t want to wait until after an accident to get answers!
Have some new jewelry in the house? Protect it!
Ah, Valentine’s Day is near, and love is in the air. Well, love and a few other things, such as chocolates, romantic dinners, candy hearts that say “Be Mine” – and, of course, jewelry.
It’s exciting to receive jewelry from a loved one — or to give it as a gift. Not to mention romantic. But if you’re lucky enough to have some new jewelry in your home this Valentine’s Day, you should take a few minutes to think about something you probably don’t find exciting or romantic: insurance.
Don’t know where to turn? Don’t worry. At The NSA Insurance Group, we think it is exciting to help our customers protect what’s most important to them — so we’re ready to help and can answer all of your questions.
Things to consider when insuring jewelry:
You may need to purchase additional coverage. Your homeowners policy covers valuable items such as jewelry only up to set amounts. If the cost of replacing your jewelry exceeds that limit, you will want to purchase scheduled personal property coverage. You can check your policy or give us a call at 631-722-3500.
You might want to reconsider your deductible amounts. As always, this impacts your policy premium. It’s a good idea to take a look at your deductibles whenever you make a change to your policy.
Do you need an appraisal? You may need to have an independent appraisal if the insurance company requires it or if you don’t know the value of your jewelry. Each item should be listed with a description and value on paper.
What kind of coverage is offered? You’ll want to determine if items are covered no matter where they are, whether they’re in your home, or on an international trip, and if the policy offers full replacement cost. You also should ask if you will be required to replace your jewelry if lost or stolen, or if you can simply keep the cash settlement.
Pictures can be helpful. Lost or stolen pieces of jewelry sometimes can be recreated if the jeweler has a good photograph to work from.
Is the value of your jewelry mainly sentimental? Is an item irreplaceable? If the answer to either of these questions is “yes,” you might consider foregoing insurance. But please, talk to us at 631-722-3500 before making that decision. That’s what we’re here for.
Of course, it’s important to store your jewelry securely when it’s not in use; a safe in your home or a safe-deposit box is best. We want your jewelry to be replaced if it’s lost or stolen, but we’d rather your sentimental and valuable pieces stay with you and your family for years to come.
Here’s hoping your Valentine’s Day is full of fun and romance. And if there’s no jewelry involved, well, there’s always next year!
For further questions and assistance, please contact The NSA Insurance Group at 631-722-3500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Content provided by Safeco Insurance
Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the East Coast of the United States on October 29, 2012 and her fury is still being felt today. It seems daily we read stories like this one in Newsday, “Many Sandy Damaged Homes Lacked Flood Insurance”. Of course the first thought upon reading the article was a feeling of sadness for the victims of Sandy, but the second and third thoughts tangled with each other.
The second thought was from the view point of an insurance agent; NSA Insurance is after all an insurance agency. So the following sentences from the Newsday article brought a nod of agreement.
“But many homeowners don’t buy it – even in coastal
areas. In some cases, they have paid off mortgages and
opt to drop the coverage.”
As agents we hear almost daily (or at least we used to) “I don’t need flood insurance, we never have flooding.” or “I paid off my mortgage and it’s not required anymore.” We do our best to explain some basic facts about flood insurance:
- Homeowner & business insurance does not cover damage caused by flooding.
- Everyone lives in a flood zone. Floods are not only caused by hurricanes like Sandy but also by storms, melting snow, water backup due to inadequate or overloaded drainage systems, as well as broken water mains.
- Everyone can buy flood insurance on their homes & businesses no matter what your flood risk.
- All flood insurance policies are offered through the National Flood Insurance Program, run by FEMA. Your flood policy maybe be serviced by another insurance company like Fidelity National Flood, Travelers, etc. but they are all the same product underwritten by the National Flood Insurance Program.
- Contents coverage is also available to homeowners, business owners and tenants.
- Even if the President declares a state of emergency and you do not have a flood policy, you would only be eligible for an emergency loan.
- Under normal circumstances there is a 30-day waiting period for a flood policy to take effect.
The third read through and thoughts were from the point of view of the non-insurance agent reader. Wondering why insurance isn’t doing what they thought it would. There are numerous reasons for confusion but here are a few.
- Why isn’t my homeowner policy paying for damage sustained to my home? During Hurricane Sandy, for instance the main reason for denials of claims was that the “cause of loss” (insurance terminology for what happened first to cause the damage) was flood. The first blow Sandy gave us was to cause the tidal waters to climb higher than most places had ever experienced. Therefore, because flooding happened first that was the “cause of loss”.
Homeowner and Business policies do NOT cover flood.
- Why isn’t my flood policy covering all the damage? There are a few reasons why this might be the case.
- The maximum building coverage for a typical homeowner flood policy is $250,000 and $500,000 for a business property. If your damages add up to more than the maximum coverage ($250,000 home/ $500,000 business) there is no coverage for the additional cost.
- The maximum contents coverage for a typical homeowner flood policy is $100,000 and $500,000 for a business policy. And again if the damage to your contents is more than the maximum contents coverage there will be no coverage for the additional cost.
- Typically, when a flood occurs in a home or business the flood insurance will only pay up to the part of the wall that was damaged. So if the flood reached 6 inches in your home or business, the sheetrock or wall covering will be cut right above the line of flooding and only the damaged bottom part of the wall will be replaced.
- For the homeowner who had more damage than the flood insurance policy covered our experience has been that our clients have been grateful to have something rather than nothing. $250,000 maximum building coverage plus $100,000 maximum contents coverage or $350,000 towards a hypothetical $400,000 flood claim is better than having to apply for a Federal Disaster loan with an interest rate between 4% and 8% for the difference.
Sandy, Katrina, Irene and Andrew were all storms that made headlines and changed the insurance industry forever. There is no easy insurance answer for all the devastation and loss. The best thing we can all do as insurance consumers is
- Educate ourselves about the insurance contract by asking our insurance agent for explanations and examples and have
- Insurance Coverage Reviews as often as possible to make sure your insurance keeps up with the changes in your life.
Please feel free to contact any NSA Insurance Group office at 631.722.3500 and we would be happy to answer your flood insurance or any insurance related question.
For additional information:
Has your insurance agent recommended Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage to you? Have you thought to yourself “Why should I buy coverage because someone else isn’t properly insured?” or “I have medical insurance, if I need it?” Well guess what? This coverage is there for your protection not theirs.
First, let’s start with the definitions of UM (uninsured motorist) or UIM (underinsured motorist) coverages.
- Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage: “Coverage for bodily injury (BI) and, in some states, property damage (PD) incurred by an insured when an accident is caused by a motorist who is not insured. This coverage allows an insured to collect from his or her insurer as if it provided liability coverage for the negligent third party.” 1
- Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage: “Coverage for bodily injury (BI) and, in some states, property damage (PD) incurred by an insured when an accident is caused by a motorist who is not sufficiently insured.” 2
Now let’s demonstrate with a hypothetical automobile accident.
You are driving along on a beautiful day, when you are hit by a vehicle NOT COVERED by insurance. (You may think this is uncommon, but according to the Insurance Research Council (IRC), 1 in 7 U.S. drivers do not carry auto insurance coverage and are therefore uninsured.)
Back to our claim story; you are hit by an uninsured motorist. Unfortunately, you have serious injuries and that require a hospital stay and surgery. Because the other driver is not covered by insurance, your auto policy will be where we begin to pay your bills.
- If you live in a “no-fault state” (and in New York we do) your personal injury protection (PIP) will be the first coverage to provide help for paying medical expenses (whether you have personal health insurance or not), loss of income, and funeral expenses.
- If your medicals bills exhaust your PIP coverage, the next policy to take over would be your health insurance policy. Considering the rising cost of health insurance today, many people have chosen not to carry health insurance and in some cases health insurance policies have a life time limit of coverage. UM coverage is an affordable solution in these cases.
- Now let’s assume this accident has left you unable to work and you don’t carry any disability insurance. Your medical bills may be taken care of but what about your everyday expenses? Your medical policy won’t cover those expenses, but you are unable to work and collect a pay check. This is where Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage comes in.
UM and UIM protect YOU and your assets from the very real possibility you are involved in an auto accident with someone who doesn’t carry auto insurance or who doesn’t carry adequate insurance! For additional information please contact one of the NSA Group offices or your insurance agent.
- Trusted Choice,
1 IRMI. “Uninsured Motorists (UM) Coverage.” - Insurance Glossary. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 July 2012. <http://www.irmi.com/online/insurance-glossary/terms/u/uninsured-motorists-um-coverage.aspx>.
2 IRMI. “Underinsured Motorists (UIM) Coverage.” - Insurance Glossary. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 July 2012. <http://www.irmi.com/online/insurance-glossary/terms/u/underinsured-motorists-uim-coverage.aspx>.
Here are three reasons why you always should insure your business equipment with an inland marine policy.
1. Costs associated with equipment theft exceed $1 billion, according to the National Equipment Register (NER). This includes direct and indirect losses, such as rentals.
2. The major reasons for the increase in equipment theft are the value of the equipment and its ease of sale. “Lack of site security” is the top reason why thieves seem attracted to heavy equipment.
3. There isn’t much of a deterrent for equipment theft. Thieves also know that the penalties are fairly light if they are caught. The equipment is very difficult to trace and is recovered less than 15% of the time. (Stolen autos are recovered 60% of the time.)
According to the NER, equipment owners should register their equipment immediately. The next step is to consider your insurance coverage. Although, most business owners take the insurance offered by the leasing company, an inland marine policy may be your most cost effective avenue and the best defense against financial loss due to equipment thieves. Adding the equipment to your current business policy may also be an option so speak with your agent or contact the NSA Group with any additional questions.
Most hazards will involve property that will attract children, but are extremely dangerous when handled improperly. They create a special obligation for homeowners to properly secure and protect them. Examples are:
- swimming pools
- empty buildings/sheds
- appliances kept outside
- construction materials
All of these can lure children onto property and they all have the potential to cause serious injury.
Children do not have the reasoning ability of adults. A property owner will not escape liability because the child was trespassing.
Here’s how you protect yourself:
Do whatever it takes to prevent a child’s access to the property. You can:
1. Eliminate the property:
- have old appliances hauled to a junk yard
- tow old, non-running vehicles away
- get rid of construction materials immediately after a building project is complete
2. Secure the property
- take off doors or covers from large appliances awaiting garbage pickup
- keep sharp tools, especially power tools and equipment, locked away
- store construction materials in a garage or shed
3. Reduce the chance for injury
- install a pool cover and have a locked fence to prevent access to pool
- do not allow younger children to use equipment such as trampolines
- make sure there’s adult supervision of children using play equipment
If you’re not certain about whether you have an attractive nuisance situation, contact us to discuss the situation.
Additional Information from:
Trusted Choice - Swimming Pool Risks
Mayo Clinic - Trampoline Safety
Did you know that arson is the leading cause of fires in the United States, resulting in more than $1 billion in property loss each year?
Arson is one of the leading causes of fires along with open flames, electrical and lightning. Churches that have been victims of arson, incur on average, in excess of $450,000 in damages.
Why are Churches Targets for Arson?
Churches are often targets for arson because the buildings are frequently unoccupied and church schedules are very predictable. Security systems in many religious buildings also are often insufficient or absent.
According to research from the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS), sprinkler systems were not present in 95 percent of churches reporting fires, yet there was a 47 percent reduction in damage per church fire when automatic suppression systems were present.
However, not every Church can afford these systems. Listed below are preventive measures that can be done to protect your congregation without breaking the bank.
- Always make sure all windows and doors are locked when the building is unoccupied.
- Limit the number of keys to the building, and make sure that all keys are returned if an employee or volunteer leaves the church. Locks should be changed occasionally.
- All doors and windows should have adequate locks, jams and/or deadbolts.
- Keep exterior building, door and parking lot lights on from sunset to sunrise. Remember to change the lighting timers with Daylight Savings Time.
- Keep an interior light visible from outside lit at night or consider the installation of motion-activated lighting near entryways and windows.
- Maintain shrubs and trees, ensuring that they are trimmed around doors and windows.
- Establish a “Church Watch” program, enlist volunteers & neighbors to check the property at various times of the week and report any suspicious activity.
- Reach out to local law-enforcement and ask them to patrol your property at odd hours when the building is not occupied.
- Keep the grounds of the church free from debris and garbage. Have tools and ladders secured in a locked area.
For additional information please feel free to contact us at 631.403.4107 or on our website at NSAinsure/Churches and Synogues.
Did you receive new computer equipment this holiday season? How about a new piece of jewelry? Musical instruments, high quality cameras, golf clubs and even fine arts are popular gift items.
If you were given a valuable gift, you need to take steps to protect it against loss. Although most homeowners insurance covers a certain amount of personal property, many high-value items are excluded from your policy or have limited coverage.
Some items you should consider getting additional insurance on include:
- Musical instruments
- Golfer’s equipment
- Fine arts
- Collectable stamps
- Rare and current coins
- Computer equipment
- Fire Arms
- Wine Collections
# # more # #
Ask your insurance agent about protecting these possessions with what’s called a Scheduled Personal Property Endorsement, or a Personal Articles Floater. These endorsements allow your agent to list each article separately, and assign a specific value to them for which they will be covered. Be sure to talk with your agent about the true cost of your gift; providing a bill of sale or an appraisal of the item is always the most accurate way of determining value.
There are various ways to cover these items:
- Actual cash value (original cost minus depreciation)
- Cost of repair
- Replacement Cost (cost to buy new)
- Replacing with “like kind and quality”
- Agreed value loss settlement
The terms of this type of scheduled personal property coverage is determined by the specific insurance company and the terms of the agreement. Keep in mind in some cases you will not be able to return to your neighborhood jeweler but instead the insurance company will find the replacement for you.
Fine arts should be insured under an agreed value, as they are usually unique and their value is difficult to determine.
As with most insurance policies, there are some things that aren’t covered, like damage due to wear and tear, or damage caused by insects. Ask your agent about any exceptions in your policy.
For more information about protecting your valuable possessions, contact your insurance agent. They are trained professionals that can offer expert advice on how best to insure against loss. If you are interested in additional information on this topic, please don’t hesitate to contact one of The NSA Group offices.
The holiday travel season is fast approaching and many people will be on the roads. Last year more than 35 million people traveled during the Thanksgiving holiday, with almost as many traveling during the Christmas week. With more people choosing to drive instead of fly, you’ll need to be extra careful on the roads.
Here are some quick tips to make your journey safe and sound.
Check Road Conditions and Weather Reports. Even if the forecast is good, winter weather can change quickly. Check weather conditions not only in your home town, but log onto weather.com to check the forecast for the town you’re traveling to. Check the Federal Highway Administration’s Web site for up-to-the-minute traffic information, detours and road construction. Planning for delays or looking for alternative routes can save you time and a lot of hassle.
Emergency Snow Kit. Even the best planning may not allow you to avoid wintry driving conditions. Pack an emergency snow kit, and keep it in your car. Include a snow scraper and brush, a flashlight, blankets, booster cables, a shovel, kitty litter, flares, emergency triangles and a first aid kit. While you may never have to use these items, you’ll be glad you have them in the event of an emergency.
Winter Check Up. The last thing you want to do is break down, whether it’s on a deserted back road or on a busy interstate highway. So make sure to have a certified mechanic check your oil level, tire pressure, windshield wipers, heater, defroster, antifreeze and brakes before you head out on icy and snowy roads.
Buckle up. Sounds like a no-brainer, but many motorists fail to use this basic safety essential. Thanksgiving weekend is one of the most dangerous and deadliest times of the year to travel, don’t let yourself or your loved ones become a “Thanksgiving statistic.”
Do Not Over Eat. Over indulging in holiday treats can make you feel uncomfortable and groggy for the ride home. If you have a long journey ahead, consider cutting back on the goodies and have a cup of coffee or a caffeinated soda to help perk you up for the trip home.
Do Not Drink and Drive. Another no-brainer. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more people are killed in drinking and driving accidents during Thanksgiving weekend than during New Year’s Day weekend.
Review Your Auto Insurance Policy. Make sure you know what is and is not covered in your plan. Please feel free to contact us with questions.
You can find additional safety information on the NSAinsure links page.