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SECURITY TIPS FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Credit Cards

Credit cards are as good as cash and clerks rarely check identification. Most credit card companies hold the owner responsible for all purchases until the card is reported lost or stolen. To prevent credit card loss:

  • Keep your credit cards in a safe place.
  • Report any losses immediately.
  • Check your online statement regularly.
  • Check your monthly statements for accuracy.
  • Keep a record of your credit cards and phone numbers to call if they are lost or stolen.

Cash

The tendency to carry large amounts of cash is greater during the holidays. If you must carry cash:

  • Take only the amount you plan to spend.
  • Keep all money hidden in a safe place.
  • Avoid flashing your money in public.

Transporting Gifts

Gifts left unattended in the back seat of your car can be tempting to a thief.

  • Always lock your car.
  • Pick up major items at the end rather than the beginning of a shopping trip.
  • Lock all purchases in the trunk of your car.
  • Immediately remove all purchases from your car when you return home.
  • Consider a locker at the shopping center.

Deliveries

Do not give criminals an easy opportunity.

  • Schedule deliveries for times when you plan to be at home.
  • Make arrangements to have your parcels delivered to a neighbor or to your workplace if you are unable to be at home.
  • If you live in a multi-unit building, bring packages left outside for your neighbors into a secured area and advise your neighbor immediately.

Home Security

Many people like to keep their presents out for days before or after the holiday. Also, homes are more vulnerable, given the time spent shopping and visiting.

  • Close the blinds/curtains at night or while your away.
  • Garage locks are usually the weakest locks you have. Avoid hiding presents in the garage. A second-story closet or attic offers you safer storage.
  • Break up boxes, especially for purchases like televisions and computers. Put the boxes in a garbage bag and set for recycling.
  • A light display shows ownership and increases lighting in areas around your home.

Holiday Scams

Know your charities and retailers.

  • Fake charities: If you are asked for a donation, verify the legitimacy of the charity before giving.
  • Gift cards: Only purchase gift cards from trusted retail outlets. Make sure gift cards have not been tampered with before buying them.
  • Scam emails and online shopping: Shop only at trusted retail websites. Do not respond to unsolicited emails or click on links in them.

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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ARE YOU READY FOR A STORM?

An easy to follow guide for you and your family

Are you and your family prepared for hurricane season? We are and we urge our customers to prepare as well. This simple guide can assist you in preparing a safe plan that includes gathering important phone numbers, medicines, evacuation routes and supplies.

First

  • Plan on being able to answer this:
    • Is my home, auto and watercraft secure?
    • If we need to evacuate our home, where do we go? What route do we take?
    • What do we do with our pets?
  • Can we ride out the storm in my house? How do we get ready? Can we sustain ourselves for the recommended 14 days without electricity or running water?
  • Have the area around your home clear of trash and debris causing material, trim trees and make sure to have a specially trained professional cut around power lines, this can be dangerous and we do not recommend doing this yourself.
  • For insurance purposes; take pictures of your home and valuables or video tape it and keep it in a safe dry place like a bank vault or home safe inside Ziploc bags.
  • Make sure every member of your family knows the emergency plan.
  • Have a back-up communication device that is cordless and non-cellular
  • Remember to contact: www.FEMA.gov if you or anyone you know has special needs.

Before the storm hits

  • Public officials and the media will keep you informed of evacuation routes, information and special instructions
  • Prepare your home
    • Bring your outside furniture in if possible, if not secure to avoid it becoming debris
    • Secure windows and doors
    • Move valuables away from windows and cover with plastic if possible
    • Turn off and unplug any non-essential electrical equipment
  • Have water, supplies and food to last you and your family at least 14 days
    • Have bottled water in gallon jugs or bottle size for ease of storage and use. It is recommended to have 1 gallon per day per person.
    • Have supplies like: baby supplies, baby food(non-perishable), adult food(non-perishable), plastic dinnerware, plates and cups, non-electric can opener, matches or lighter, pet food, insect repellant, clothing, blankets, gloves, trash bags, tarps, batteries, flashlights, detergents, sunscreen, soap, chlorine, board games, battery operated radio
    • Have cash or travelers checks in case ATMs are not working and banks are closed
    • Have your vehicles topped off with fuel
    • Have your propane tanks filled
    • Have your cell phone fully charged and get a car charger
    • Turn your freezer and refrigerator to the coldest setting in case you lose power, freeze blocks of ice for storage in coolers, fill up your pre-sanitized bathtubs with water

After the storm

  • Top priority is the safety of your family and home
    • Stay inside till it is safe to move around, do not travel until authorities have deemed it safe to do so
    • Remember to turn off your circuit breakers if your windows and roof begin to leak because water can run down your walls and get in contact with electrical equipment and/or power outlets and cause an electrical fire/hazard. Remember, while operating switches or unplugging any electrical device avoid standing in/near water
    • Immediately call 911 to report dangerous or hazardous conditions.
    • Remember, stay far away from downed power lines and debris-laden and flooded areas that may be hiding downed power lines. This is one of the biggest threats to life after a storm passes
    • Use battery-operated flashlights and lanterns instead of candles
    • Do not wire your generator directly to your breaker or fuse box
    • If you use a portable generator, read and follow all the manufacturer’s instructions. DO NOT SET IT UP INSIDE YOUR HOME OR GARAGE
    • If you are using a grill or portable stove be aware of the potential danger of carbon dioxide poisoning. DO NOT GRILL INSIDE YOUR HOME OR GARAGE
    • When it is safe to do so, make repairs to the damage that prevent looting or further damage your home
  • Try and keep your food cool, check food for spoilage; if in doubt, throw it out!

When it can be done safely, photograph or videotape your home – inside and outside; take inventory to determine and record losses.

June 2013 

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WHY IT DOESN’T PAY TO USE THOSE 1-800 #
CLINICS THAT PROMISE YOU MONEY…


REGULAR 6 MONTH INSURANCE POLICY AVERAGE COST = $1,000

THE SAME 6 MONTH INSURANCE POLICY WITH A PIP CLAIM BECAUSE YOU CALLED AN 800 NUMBER THAT PROMISED YOU MONEY: COST = $1,500 TO $2,000

THIS IS AN INCREASE OF $500 - $1,000 EVERY 6 MONTHS BUT THE AVERAGE CLAIM PRESENTED BY THE 800 NUMBER YOU SEE AND HEAR ADVERTISED WILL GET YOU ABOUT $1,000 - $2,000.

PIP CLAIM ON YOUR RECORD = 3 YEARS

COST TO YOU OVER 3 YEARS = $500-$1000 x 6 = $3,000 - $6,000

DO THE MATH – IS IT WORTH IT?

April 2013 

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ARE YOU BEING DENIED AUTO INSURANCE?

 

Calling an 800 number to get assistance can actually prevent you from getting insurance in the future. If you call one of these 800 numbers that promise you benefits of up to $10,000 – you actually DO NOT get $10,000. You might receive a very small percentage of that money, if any at all. The attorneys and/or the clinics you visit WILL keep the majority of that money, if not all of it. You WILL end up INELIGIBLE to purchase insurance from certain insurance companies after that because you have been labeled a RISK.  Now, many insurance companies will order your claim history and deny you coverage if you presented a PIP claim. As a result, you will PAY MORE for insurance!  We are the experts and we see an increase of $500 to $1,000 per policy for AT LEAST 3 years after the claim. 

Be real and if you are in an accident, ALWAYS contact 911.

If you are injured, go to the hospital and ALWAYS contact your insurance company. 

March 2013

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