Make Your House a Haven For Trick-or-Treaters

October 31, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Posted in Safety, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Halloween is one of the fall season’s most treasured holidays. Kids love to dress up, get together with friends, and go door-to-door in search of the biggest and best goodies.

If your neighborhood tends to be teeming with little ghosts, goblins, superheroes and princesses, you’ll want to be sure your yard and stoop are safe and welcoming. A little pre-planning can prevent unfortunate accidents that could turn out to be tragic for kids and trying for you.

Here are some pointers for ensuring your house is a safe place for trick-or-treaters on Oct. 31.

  • Pets first. Many dogs, cats, and other furry family companions get scared when oddly dressed strangers approach their door in droves. Make sure your pet is in a safe and comfortable space or take them to a secure, relaxing offsite location for the evening.
  • Clean it up. If your yard gathers stuff – like toys, rakes and other yard tools, hoses, tree branches, you name it – take the time to clean it up. Make sure your yard is free of potential hazards and create a clutter-free walking path well before dusk falls this Halloween.
  • Light it up. Make sure you offer a well-lit path. You can do this using any type of yard lights, from solar, string, LED, existing outdoor lighting or glow-in-the-dark.
  • Turn it off. When you’re done for the night, make it obvious by turning any and all inviting lights off. However, if you’re still offering candy in a bowl outside, do make sure to keep the path well-lit until your sweet treats are tucked away inside the house.

At the NSA Insurance Group, we hope you enjoy a safe Halloween devoid of tricks and full of treats!

Contact Us!

At the NSA Group, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 631.722.3500 or send us a note at info@nsainsure.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Content provided by Safeco Insurance

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Breached Data Security – It’s not just for BIG Business!

April 14, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Posted in Business Insurance, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

 The emails from vendors telling us that data has been breached and “ONLY” the email addresses, nothing else was compromised seem to arrive daily in the inbox! It’s not a very comforting thought.  And it can’t be a pleasant thought for the vendors either; wondering whether their customers will have any identity fraud issues after a breach.  The stories of breached data security are all too familiar:

  • An employee takes home a company laptop against regulations.
  • A hard drive is sent for repairs, but disappears.
  • A disc with sensitive data is stolen from an office.
  • A hacker breaks into the company network and steals customer information. 

Big businesses are not the only targets of data theft.  Doctor’s offices, retail shops, contractors, sales people and most other professions store personal information electronically.  Information stolen from your business might result in hefty bills to you.  You may be responsible for the following expenses:  informing the victims of the theft, replacing data and income lost during the recovery, repaying the victims for expenses they incurred to recover their lost information, repaying the victims who suffer financial losses resulting from identity theft and so on.  Your personnel may even lose confidence in you and seek employment elsewhere.  Traditional insurance products – such as general liability, property business income and crime insurance – are not designed to cover this type of loss.  A thorough review of your insurance policies and endorsements would be a good first start in protecting your business as well as implementing the following, as a minimum.

  • Install and update daily an anti-virus program on all computing devices.
  • Set the anti-virus program to scan and filter email attachments and downloads before opening any files.
  • Install and configure firewalls.  The use of default settings is not sufficient in most cases.
  • Networks should be configured using multiple firewalls to separate back office operations from devices using the internet.
  • Create and openly discuss a security policy with all employees and contractors.
  • Create and test a disaster recovery plan.
  • Create and test a security breach response plan.
  • Back up your network data daily and store the back-up files in an offsite location.
  • Remote access should be given only to a VPN or equivalent system.
  • Keep your server room locked and limit access to authorized personnel.

 

This information is intended for educational purposes only.  As always, please feel free to comment on this or any other NSA Group blog post.

 Additional information may be found at:            http://www.kroll.com/about/library/fraud/Oct2010/databreach.aspx

 http://www.cna.com/portal/site/cna/menuitem.489f2511a757a1a1df88e0f2a86631a0/?vgnextoid=2c9f65683c2fe010VgnVCM1000008f66130aRCRD     ** Information from CNA (a partner company of the NSA Group) was used for this blog.

Why is a Home Inventory so Important?

March 17, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Possessions; if you’re like most of us you don’t realize how many possessions you have accumulated over the years.  Now imagine you have to prove you owned all of those accumulated items.  Could you?

If the unthinkable happens and your home is destroyed by fire, you loose your engagement ring at the beach or damage occurs to your property from a covered loss (insurance lingo), what would you do?  You’d call your insurance agent.  And what would your agent ask you for?  Proof!

New homeowners, now is the time to create this list as you are either beginning the accumulation or have it all neatly boxed and itemized for your move.  If you’ve been living in your home for quite some time don’t be discouraged.  Start with your most valuable items and steadily add to the list.  Your list should include:

  • A description of each item
  • Make and model number if available.
  • If you are able to attach sales receipts, or better yet appraisals, all the better.

Be sure to pay special attention to valuable items, especially those listed below.  It is very important to make sure you discuss these items in particular with your insurance agent to make sure they are covered properly and that the value hasn’t increased since you purchased them.

  • Jewelry
  • Artwork
  • Silverware
  • Collectibles (Stamps, first edition books, guns, sports memorabilia, cameras, etc…)

 A video recording of your house or apartment describing the above is a great start as well.  It’s bad enough to have a total loss but to not be properly compensated because you lack the proof would be even worse.  Take the time and protect your possessions!

 For more information visit our site at:  http://nsainsure.com/index.cfm?pageid=195 and slide down to the Auto/Property Valuation Websites section.

 This information is intended for educational purposes only.  As always, please feel free to comment on this or any other NSA Group blog post.

 ** Information gathered from:

http://http://www.assetarchives.com/blog/bid/57687/9-Reasons-Why-You-Need-a-Home-Inventory

http://www.iii.org/articles/how-do-i-take-a-home-inventory-and-why.html

As Frosty the Snowman Melts

February 15, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I’m not sure about you but I’m happy to see the piles of snow melt away and the sun begin to warm us up again.  But the snow melt does bring with it some insurance concerns.

Where does Frosty go as he melts?  The famous movie would have you believe he heads up north to colder climates with all of his snowy body parts in tack.  We adults understand the snow actually melts and unfortunately, at times, wreaks havoc on our property; roof leaks, wet walls, flooded basements and mold are just some of the problems that occur.  Here are some steps you can take to help minimize the damage. 

  • As best you can, shovel the snow away  from your house to avoid water build up near the structure.
  • Keep your eyes open for any water leak or standing water around your home, especially around roofs and windows.
  • Make sure your gutters are clear of build up so the water can drain from the roof properly. (Follow appropriate safety rules or call a professional to help you.)
  • Keep your paper and cloth storage items in the least humid areas of your home to avoid mold.  These items along with dirt and dust build up are great food sources for mold.
  • Using a dehumidifier in your basement can also be a help when trying to reduce the mold build up in your home.

Other than reducing possible property damage the main insurance concern would be the possibility of seepage of water into a dwelling.  This is NOT covered under a homeowner policy.  Flood insurance may provide additional coverage, but here too limitations exist.  Visit http://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/ or contact one of our insurance specialists for more detailed information.

As always, please feel free to comment or ask questions about this or any NSA Group blog post.

Information, Information, Information!

February 3, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Information, information, information! That’s what the Internet is all about these days – the sharing and dissemination of information – on just about anything.

Here at NSA Group, we believe that providing our customers and our community with information about safety, risk management, insurance options is an important function for us. And, what better way to do that than through our Blog.

But that’s not all. We are an integral part of our community and we want to contribute in that arena as well. So, don’t be surprised to read about a community or charitable event, a spotlight on area businesses or citizens, or maybe it’s just a musing about the great places we live in!

Stay tuned, and please let us know if you have an idea for our blog, or a question we should answer. Remember, this is a two-way street!

 

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