You rely on electricity to brighten your home, cook meals and to keep you warm; electricity allows you to live comfortably in your home, but it doesn’t come without risks. Studies have shown that there are over 30,000 electrical fires and electrical related injuries that occur each year, many of which may have been avoided. Home electrical safety is critical for the safety of your family and your home. To help you gain some knowledge about basic electrical safety tips, XL Brokerage Inc. has put together a few tips for the residents of Selden, NY.
A warm or hot outlet may mean there is a dangerous situation just waiting to happen. Outlets that are warm to the touch often means the electrical load on the circuit is too high, the wiring is loose or the wiring isn’t up to code and if the outlet feels hot, it typically means the wiring has already started melting. When inspecting outlets also be aware of a loose outlet or those that don’t hold plugs tightly. Be sure to switch out all two-pronged outlets with grounded three-pronged outlets and outlets that are located near water should have code-correct GFCI outlets. Contact an electrician as soon as possible to handle these changes for you.
Power Cords and Extension Cords
One of the riskiest things you can do is to use appliances or other types of electrical equipment that have exposed wiring in the power cords. If you notice that the protective coating on an electrical wire has been damaged or stripped away, it should be replaced before using it. Extension cords make life easier, especially during the holidays when you use more electrical decorations than usual, but extension cords pose a risk of injuries and may lead to a fire if they are overloaded. The best solution is to avoid using extension cords and consider contacting an electrician to install additional outlets in your home.
Water conducts electricity, so even a small exposure will lead to electrical injuries. Never use electrical equipment near water and always wipe up spills to avoid the risk of a plug getting wet. When it comes to electrical safety, one of the most important things to keep in mind is that small children are naturally curious, so always use tamper-resistant safety caps on electrical outlets and be sure to keep loose cords out of reach.
Residents of Selden, NY interested in learning more electrical safety tips or how to upgrade their home insurance should contact XL Brokerage Inc.
Do you sometimes feel like you’re paying too much for your auto insurance? If you don’t drive very often, you very well may be investing more in your premiums than necessary. Drivers in the Selden, NY area have the option to switch from traditional policies to a usage-based coverage system. What is usage-based auto insurance and how can a policy from XL Brokerage Inc. keep you covered?
What is Usage-Based Auto Insurance?
Also known as Pay As You Drive coverage, usage-based auto insurance takes into account the number of miles you drive when determining your premium options. Insurers look at these pieces of information when deciding the risk on your usage-based contract.
- The type of vehicle you drive.
- How much time you spend driving.
- How far you typically drive on each trip.
- The average time each trip lasts.
- Where you normally operate your vehicle.
- Driving behaviors such as braking patterns, how long it takes for you to stop, average speed, etc.
There are 3 main ways your auto insurer can use to determine your final rates.
- Tracking the odometer allows agents to calculate your usage, which is used to determine premiums.
- GPS data from an installed tracker, cellphone, or specialized RF technology device reports miles and timing to the insurance agency.
- Additional tracking information from the vehicle such as speed, time of day and place in which vehicle is used, and driver behaviors are compared against the historic riskiness of the roads you take to determine overall risk.
In order to take advantage of this potentially cost-saving option, drivers usually need to agree to have a device installed in their vehicle.
Usage-Based Auto Insurance for Your New York Lifestyle
If you don’t drive often or have a low daily mileage range, a usage-based auto insurance policy may be perfect for you. Contact XL Brokerage Inc. to find out if this coverage is right for your Selden, NY automobile.
Home safety should be a priority when preparing for the holidays. From holiday festivities to holiday décor, consider ways to make your Selden, NY home a safe, comfortable environment for family and friends. The following home safety tips from XL Brokerage Inc. offer some sound advice on how to create a safer home environment this holiday season.
Christmas decorations are at the heart of holiday celebrations as they set the mood for festive occasions. If you’re setting up a live tree, keep in mind it needs to be watered regularly so it doesn’t dry out. A dry tree can be a fire hazard. Make sure your tree is far from heat sources like vents, portable heaters, and fireplaces. Check Christmas lights before putting them on the tree to be sure they’re in good condition, i.e. no frayed cords, broken bulbs, etc. Place glass or pointy ornaments up high, out of reach of pets and children. If you’re using an artificial tree, make sure it’s fire-resistant.
Declutter your entryway, living room and stairs to avoid accidents. Clutter is not only unsightly, but it also takes up valuable space that guests need to move about freely. Clutter can also be a fire hazard.
Have your fireplace and chimney inspected by a professional before using. Never leave your fireplaces unattended after lighting a fire, especially if there are children around. Use wisdom when decorating your fireplace as stockings and garland placed too close to the flames could easily catch on fire.
Smoke Detection Devices
Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they’re working properly. Keep a portable fire extinguisher within easy reach in the kitchen as a preventative measure against grease fires.
Review your home insurance policy to ensure you’re protected against the risk of holiday accidents. To learn more about home insurance coverage and costs, contact your XL Brokerage Inc. agent in Selden, NY.
Living in Selden, NY, you experience the damage that snow and winter weather can cause to your property. At XL Brokerage Inc. we know that your car or vehicle will also take the most damage since they travel the snow-covered roadways daily as you commute to work and other areas in this weather. Below are some of our best tips to protect your car from this damage.
Keep your car washed
That’s right. Throughout the winter season, make sure to periodically have your car washed to remove the salt build-up from the roads. This can rust the undercarriage of your car, depreciating the value of it and also exposing this area to the elements.
Keep it covered
If you are one of our clients who has a garage, make sure to use it through the winter months. When you park your car on the roadways, you are not only covering it in snow but also salt from the snowplow that is traveling through the night to keep the roads cleared. This will minimize any external damage.
Fill your fluids
Before the weather gets too cold, it is essential to fill up on the following:
- Fresh oil change
- Brake fluid
- Power steering fluid
These fluids should be at their proper levels prior to the frigid temperatures so that they can continue to operate your car and do so successfully in the winter weather. If these fluids are too low during the winter, they can keep your car from operating and leave you stranded in the cold.
Layer your car with Auto Insurance
Upgrade your Selden, NY auto insurance policy today when you give our agents a call at XL Brokerage Inc. We are here to answer your questions and take your call today.
Flash floods can happen quickly especially if your area receives a lot of rain in a short amount of time. Many homeowners don’t know their flood risk until it’s too late to do anything about it. In Selden, NY, residents can look to the agents of XL Brokerage Inc. if they have questions about flood insurance and if their home is at risk for flooding. Having the right flood insurance policy in place can save you from financial disaster if a flood does occur.
Research Your Location
Research your area to find out where nearby flood plains are. You can do this by going to FEMA.gov or by talking to your local zoning commission. Both will provide you detailed information about flood zones near your home and will help you to determine your potential risk of loss.
Buy Now! Once It Floods You’re Too Late!
Many times, people think of buying flood insurance after they have been a victim. Sadly, if you’re already a victim, purchasing the insurance won’t help you until you have been flooded for a second time. The time to buy a flood insurance policy is when you buy your homeowners’ insurance. If you are ready to review your existing policy, make sure to ask your agent about adding flood insurance.
Not all residents of Selden, NY may need flood insurance. It’s important to learn how high your risk is so that you can get the coverage you need. Schedule an appointment with the agents of XL Brokerage Inc. to discuss your existing policy and any changes you would like to make. The time to add flood insurance is now before you actually need it.
Umbrella insurance is very helpful to protect a business owner because it extends the policy limits of underlying policies and may provide coverage for things that are not covered by other policies.
Umbrella Insurance Increases Policy Limits
Umbrella insurance is more effective than trying to raise all the policy limits of the underlying policies. A business owner may face the risk of a lawsuit that comes from a reason that is not expected. If the insured claim is more than an underlying policy limit, then, after the limit is passed of the underlying policy, the umbrella insurance may provide additional protection. If the claim is covered by the umbrella policy, then, the extra amount of the claim up to the limit of the umbrella insurance is available to protect the business owner.
Umbrella Insurance Provides Additional Protection
Umbrella insurance may also provide protection for things that may not be covered in other policies. Talk with your agent at XL Brokerage Inc. serving Selden, NY and the nearby communities to discuss the specifics.
These policies can be customized to provide protection for things like a defamation lawsuit for libel and slander. They may protect against lawsuits about harassment, discrimination, and wrongful termination. Some umbrella insurance has protection for legal fees and expenses including protection against frivolous lawsuits.
Custom Insurance Programs
If your business needs special coverage such as cyber-attack protection and protection from terrorist attacks, then umbrella insurance may be available for these needs. Ask your agent to conduct a comprehensive commercial insurance review. Your agent will look for gaps in coverage that may be protected by customized umbrella insurance.
Commercial insurance that provides adequate protection includes umbrella coverage that all business owners should have. The amount of umbrella insurance that is appropriate depends on the net worth of the business owner and the estimate of any claim for any lawsuit that might happen.
Contact your agent at XL Brokerage Inc. in Selden, NY to get an insurance review and a quote for umbrella insurance coverage.
If you are a small business owner with less than 100 employees in Selden, NY, XL Brokerage Inc. has you covered when it comes to small business commercial insurance. New York state has over 98% of businesses that are considered small according to Empire State Development. Over 54% of employees work in small businesses.
What Does Small Business Commercial Insurance Cover?
Business liability insurance is sometimes referred to as Commercial General Liability insurance and protects small businesses from the following:
- Injury claims
- Damages caused by employees
- Property damage
- Bodily injuries
- Advertising injury
- Personal injury
- Legal defense
Guide to Getting Small Business Insurance
It’s time to get your business insurance and you’re a little bit nervous about picking the right policy and being prepared with all the correct paperwork. Don’t sweat it though because XL Brokerage Inc. has plenty of options for you and we’ll get you the peace of mind that you need. Knowing that you are prepared for the unexpected is exactly what we will do for your small business commercial insurance needs.
- Gather all information and documents. You will need to have all of your business information ready. This includes the number of employees with total payroll expenses, your gross annual sales, all of your business assets including tools and equipment, the age of the commercial property that your business is located at and the business location.
- Discuss coverage options with your XL Brokerage Inc. representative. Make sure all of your information is ready and discuss different coverage options.
- Evaluate and choose the best options for your business. Make sure that any of the risks associated with your business are well researched, meet your budget needs and that you are covered after talking to our experts.
- Rest easy and know that your business is protected. Every year we will re-evaluate the needs of your business and make sure all of your information is up to date. This will ensure that you have the proper coverage for years to come.
If you have a small business and are ready to discuss your options, give XL Brokerage Inc. in the Selden, NY area a call today.
As a property owner who is a landlord, you have a tough job. You have all the headaches that come along with homeownership and in addition, you have to deal with the stress that being a landlord can cause. Not that all tenants are stress-causing, many are not but having even one can make you very grateful that you have landlord insurance. In Selden, NY, XL Brokerage Inc. is there to explain how landlord insurance can benefit you and your rental property.
Landlord insurance like homeowners insurance protects you in the event of a liability claim and also for property damage when a covered event happens. You may think that regular homeowner’s insurance would be enough but most home policies are designed to cover owner-occupied homes.
If someone is injured at your rental property, even if it is the tenant, you can be held responsible if it is found that the injury is due to neglect on your part. With liability claims, typically there is no deductible.
This is an important coverage that protects the building and any furnishing that belong to you the landlord, this can include things like the appliances, furnace, and water heater. Things covered include fire, vandalism, theft and many weather events. Included are other structures such as fences, detached garage or shed. This coverage can protect your rental in the event you have a tenant who damages the property.
If your home is damaged by a covered event and you are not able to collect rental income, this protection will be sure that you don’t suffer the loss of income.
Other coverages that landlords may want to consider are flood insurance, hurricane insurance, and emergency coverage.
In Selden, NY, XL Brockerage Inc. is there to answer any questions you have about landlord coverage. Give their office a call or stop in for a no-obligation quote.
Home automation offers homeowners several options when it comes to securing your home and saving energy. Timers, thermostats, and environmental hazard controls are available to monitor your home’s energy usage. In Selden, NY, the agents at XL Brokerage Inc. can help you discover new ways to save energy through the use of home automation.
Smart thermostats work with home automation platforms like Google and Alexa to control the temperature of your home when you are there or away at work. In the summertime, temperatures can be raised when you’re gone and lowered when you are on your way home saving energy costs and reducing your utility bills.
Putting indoor and outdoor lights on a timer reduces energy costs but also helps to keep your home secure, especially after dark. It also makes it easier for you to see as you enter your home at night.
Environmental alerts will notify you when moisture is detected in your basement or in other parts of your home. They will also alert you if there is a spike or dramatic decrease in the temperature of your home. This can indicate that your HVAC unit is not properly working or that you are experiencing a power outage.
The agents of XL Brokerage Inc. offer assistance to residents of Selden, NY if they have questions concerning home automation and energy savings. Home automation and home security systems go hand in hand to help homeowners lower their utility costs and protect their homes at the same time. If you have any questions or concerns, call the agents today and set up a consultation to get the answers you need.
When thinking about auto insurance, be sure to work closely with your agent at XL Brokerage Inc. serving Selden, NY and the surrounding area. Keep your agent informed of any changes that are happening in your life, such as a job change or letting another person drive your vehicle Also, for enhanced protection, consider insuring the vehicle for replacement value.
The Benefits of Replacement Value Protection
Replacement value differs from actual value. The actual value is what a vehicle would sell for on the used auto market. This can be estimated by referring to some industry-wide statistics for auto sales. Replacement value is the amount needed to buy a new vehicle of the same model and type.
If a vehicle is involved in a major accident and severely damaged, it may not be worth repairing it if the cost to repair it is more than the vehicle is worth. In common terminology, this level of damage is described as a vehicle that is “totaled.”
If the insurance covers only the actual value of the vehicle, the claim will be limited to the actual value amount less any deductible. If the insurance covers the replacement value, the claim will be up to the cost of a new vehicle of the same model and type, less any deductible.
One thing to consider is how much and how quickly the value of a new car goes down. It is said that a buyer loses a few thousand dollars of value simply by driving a vehicle off the dealer’s lot.
A Wise Strategy to Consider
One strategy to discuss with your insurance agent is how to choose a deductible and balance this amount with the premiums for replacement cost coverage. The cleverness of this strategy is that the deductible limits the amount of loss to a certain figure and a new car of the same type replaces a vehicle that is totally damaged. Even in the worst-case scenario, you know how much it will cost.
Each year it is a good idea to conduct an auto insurance review to make sure your coverage is adequate. Contact your agent at XL Brokerage Inc. in Selden, NY for a quote for any auto insurance needs and to see how replacement cost coverage is well worth considering.