Payton Agency Blog
If you haven't heard yet, PA has new fireworks law. The new law could affect your policy more than before. In 2016, at least four people died and about 11,100 were injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. More fires are reported on July 4 than any other day of the year. On a typical Fourth of July, fireworks account for two out of five of all reported fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Each year, fireworks cause on average 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires and nearly 17,000 other fires resulting in thousands of injuries.
How will the new law affect my policy?
The simple answer is, the more fireworks are available, the higher chances for something happening in your backyard or neighbor's yard. As more people have access to fireworks, and bigger,ones, the chances of them being managed by someone that may not be as responsible as others go up. Since fire, building, vehicles and people typically don't mix well, polices that involve coverage of those entities would be affected. Now, submitting a claim against your policy isn't always a tell sign of your rate going up, but it can be a good indication if the loss amount is above your companies threshold.
Am I covered?
Always check with your agent and know what coverage is included in your policy. Your agent can help explain what is missing, if anything, in your policy. Remember, you can not ask for coverage after a loss. It is important to know what you have and review your policies with your agent at least once a year.
What to do in case of a firework mishap?
First, call 911 or the local authorities. Make sure everyone is safe! You have time to contact your insurance agent. Most claims are submitted in the following days of a mishap, but what you can do it take a ton of pictures. pictures help the agent and adjusters know what things looked like in the aftermath of the incident. Make sure
Firework Safety Tips from the National Safety Council
If fireworks are legal to buy where you live and you choose to use them, be sure to follow the following safety tips:
HAPPY 4th of JULY!!
Check fluids. Look under sinks, in bathrooms, closets, garage and basement for liquids that include chemicals. Look for potentially hazardous liquids including: cleaning solvents and disinfectants; oil-based paints, primers and thinners; gasoline, kerosene, motor oil, anti-freeze, windshield washer, and other car products; insecticides, pesticides and fertilizers; and charcoal lighter fluid. Safely discard any liquids that are unneeded or expired, based on the manufacturer’s instructions.
Cap, label and raise. Safely cap containers containing chemicals of any kind. If these materials need to be kept, make sure they are labeled correctly. Raise up (out of the reach of children and pets) any containers with hazardous materials.
Ventilate. Make sure petroleum-based products and other products with noxious fumes are not stored in a confined space such as a basement or closet. Nor should they be near a heat source. Springtime also is a good time to have chimneys professionally cleaned.
Check alarms. Housing codes typically require smoke and carbon-monoxide alarms in a residence. Consider adding these safety devices in garages and basements. Check the batteries in all smoke and CO alarms.
Clean up clutter. Many trip-and-fall or fall-from-above accidents happen because houses are cluttered near doors. Garages, basements, and attics are places where many homeowners put things out of the way—only to find them “by accident” come springtime.
Prepare for an emergency. Make sure all entrances and exits to your home, including through the garage or basement, are clear. Place a first-aid kit and flashlight in the garage and basement. Mount a fire extinguisher in the garage, and train adults how to use it based on manufacturer’s directions.
Check appliances. Check appliance hoses for dishwashers, refrigerators, washers, and dryers. Danger signs: crimping, cracking or other damage on power wires, supply/discharge hoses, and vents. If you have a sump pump, test it—before spring downpours and melting snows do.
Now that the list ready to go and you're about to get into full clean-out mode, don't forget to enjoy the warm weather!!
You may think “Hey, I can just buy direct and cut out "the middleman" They just mark up the product's price and sell it to me anyway!”
Well that may be true in the case of buying goods from a wholesaler versus a retailer, but is buying directly from the insurance company truly saving you money?
Currently there are plenty of "direct writer" insurance companies out there. These companies "cut out the middle-man" by selling directly to you, rather than through an agent. However, while you may think you are saving money by going direct, that typically isn't the case. Additionally, by dealing directly with an insurance company, a consumer takes on a level of risk that they may not realize even exists.
‘Back in the day’, insurance companies used to not sell to the public. Instead, their products were offered to consumers by "agents" who had to be professionally licensed to deal directly with the public. Regularly agents came to your house to quote your insurance needs. Consumers paid the agent nothing because it was the insurance company who paid the agent a commission, and this commission was not added to the retail price.
Now, the agents are still in place throughout the U.S. You can find dozens if not hundreds of local agents in your telephone book or online. However, thanks to advancing technology, going straight to the insurance company for a quote can be easily accessible. If you like the quote, you can even sometime buy a policy right online.
Do all your needs get met?
Do you have the correct coverage?
Do you know enough to understand what you just bought?
Do all your questions get answered?
What happens when you need to use your insurance?
What happens when a call center representative doesn’t have an answer or understand your need, or you don’t like the answer you are given?
Where can you turn?...
The insurance agent is your representative - your agent - to the insurance company. The agent is licensed by your state and carries with them the fiduciary responsibility to be your advocate. They must put your interests first over and above their own, or the insurance company. And the agent is STILL paid by the insurance company not you* Even though the agent is paid by the insurance company, they work for you.
*some brokers charge fees for consultations and servicing , the Payton Agency DOES NOT!
Many articles are floating around this time of year recommending some common sense things you should do to protect your vehicle and yourself in the bitter cold winter weather.
We came across some other tips that are simple, very inexpensive and so unusual we just had to pass them along:
1.) Ice-proof your windows with vinegar: Do you want to prevent that early morning frost? Just fill a spray bottle with three parts vinegar to one part water and spray it on all your car windows at night. In the morning, they’ll be clear of icy mess! How does it work? Vinegar contains acetic acid, which raises the melting point of water, which prevents water from freezing. Wake up to an already frozen car? Just spray the mixture on your windows & watch it melt!
2.) Prevent car doors from freezing shut with cooking spray: Spray cooking spray on the rubber seals around car doors and rub it in with a paper towel. Doors freeze when snow melts into the seals during the day, and then freezes at night, but the oils in cooking spray prevent water from melting into the rubber in the first place!
3.) Keep your headlights clear with car wax: That wintry mix of slush, snow and road salt can really do a number on your headlights. And if the stuff sticks, it can dangerously reduce your visibility. But there’s an easy fix: Just wipe ordinary car wax on your headlights. It contains special water repellents that will prevent that messy mixture from accumulating on your lights, so you’ll be able to get wherever you need to go this winter safely, and the protection will last for weeks.
4.)Fog-Proof your windshield with shaving cream: Shaving cream creates a protective film on the glass that prevents fogging. Spray a little on the inside of your windshield and wipe it off with paper towels. Why does it work? Shaving cream has many of the same ingredients found in commercial defoggers.
5.) Squeak -proof your wipers with rubbing alcohol: Are your windshield wipers squeaking, or leaving streaks that make it hard to see? If so, wipe them with a cloth saturated with rubbing alcohol or ammonia. These are solvents that cut through the buildup of grease and grime, the main culprits that prevents wipers from working properly. This one trick can make badly streaking wipers change to near-perfect clarity.
6.) De-Ice your lock in seconds with hand sanitizer: Can’t get your key in the lock on a frozen morning? Just put some hand sanitizer gel on the key and lock, and the problem is solved! Why? Hand sanitizers contain alcohol, which is the main ingredient in most commercial de-icers. Just make sure you carry a sanitizer that’s at least 60% alcohol. Sanitizers with less alcohol won’t work (and guess what, they won’t sanitize your hands, either).
Some other common sense tips include :
Welcome to our new insurance agency blog!
This is our very first post. We're not quite sure what we're going to write about here, but the plan is to create helpful content for customers and prospective clients about information that is relevant to you.
We hope you'll come to view this as a top resource for keeping your family and your finances safe.
Here are a few of the topics we may be writing about: