Protect yourself from neck injury. Neck injuries are reported by more than one in five cases from rear-impact crashes. 40 percent of drivers do not adjust their head restraints when driving a newly purchased vehicle. Vehicles do not come with head restraints already positioned for you.
More and more states are adopting mold limitations for homeowners coverage. It allows insurers to exclude coverage for loss caused by mold and wet or dry rot unless the conditions result from a covered peril. There are resources on the Internet to teach you about mold and how to deal with it. Check out the following websites:
www. moldtips.com www.realtor.com www.ashi.com
Dogs can take a bite out of your pocketbook!
That loveable member of your household cost insurance companies over one billion dollars in 1996! Companies are now being cautious about renewing homeowner policies depending on dog type, or history of biting or just being judged an "aggressive" dog. A few companies will insure but only with a dog exclusion endorsement.
In New York State the civil penalties have increased. The maximum penalty for dog attacks that cause serious physical injury is $1500. The maximum fine for a dog attack in which the dog has been previously determined to be dangerous is $3000.
The rise in dog bites seems to be becoming a national trend. Nearly one third of liability claims are related to dog attacks. These claims can remain unsettled for years because the victims are often children under 14 years old and the need for repeated surgery can extend over a period of years. 70% of all attacks occur on the owner's property. It seems that owner responsibility is more important than the breed of the dog. Non-neutered dogs are much more likely to bite than those that have been neutered. Fenced property or a 'beware of dog' sign does not relieve the owner's liability. The insurance company pays or more often the owner pays because of lack of insurance. The best approach seems to be to raise and treat your animal with respect, teach them proper manners and provide a loving home.
How does New York State rate?
If you are in a car accident in which another person is found at fault, there is a 14% chance that an uninsured motorist is to blame, according to a new study by the Insurance Research Council. The states with the highest uninsured driver rates are Colorado with 32% and New Mexico with 30%. New York's rate is 7%! The Skeele Agency encourages our clients to raise their uninsured and underinsured auto policy limits.
In 1996, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, over 80,000 hospital emergency room visits were made because of injuries caused by trampoline accidents. Most of those injured were under 15 years of age. Consequently it is becoming more and more difficult to find companies that are willing to insure homes with trampolines.
Sales and fires are booming. Sales of candles have increased five fold in the last 10 years. House fires caused by them have increased 31%.
44% of candle fires start in the bedroom. Next, in order: living rooms, family rooms, dens, bathrooms and kitchens. Least hazardous area, the dining room.
36% of candle fires were caused because they were left unattended or not well supervised. And because of the increase of fires, deaths have also skyrocketed. For more information on fire prevention and control go to: http://www.dos.state.ny.us/fire/firewww.html
We have handouts for tips on the safe use of trampolines and also recommendations for the correct installation of woodstoves. Stop in at any one of our offices
Interesting Road Statistics
The cost of accidents in the United States is $497,000,000 per day !
113 people are killed each day; over 41,000 per year
Every 10 mph over 50 mph doubles your chance of being killed in an accident
On weekends between 10pm and 2am, one out of every five drivers is drug or alcohol impaired!
A 10 inch blanket of snow weighs about 5.2 lbs. per square foot. The average roof is about 1800 square feet. The 10 inches of snow will weigh almost 5 tons! Removing the snow from five feet up from the edge will remove about 2000 lbs. of snow. Removing the snow reduces the risk of ice or water back-up or ice dams and water leakage down the walls. It also reduces the chances of crushing the eaves or collapsing the roof. One good option to remove the snow is the purchase of an ice rake. They are available from a hardware stores for $25-$50.
Solid Fuel Burning Devices
A number of insurance companies will impose a surcharge if you have a fireplace, a fireplace insert, a free-standing fireplace, a woodstove, a coal stove, a pellet stove, or a wood furnace. This auxiliary heat may help offset high heating costs but may increases insurance losses and costs. Improper installation, inadequate clearances, poor chimney cleaning, and improper removal and storage of ashes are leading causes of damage and insurance losses. Improper storage of wood fuel makes a good home for some rodents that may chew through electric wires or become a general nuisance. A largely unknown danger is that of pyrolysis. Pyrolysis occurs when the wood is repeatedly exposed to heat. This will slowly break down the chemical composition of the wood and will lower its ignition point causing a fire hazard.