As the weather warms and summer returns,  it’s time to GRILL!   There are risks that come along with grilling, regardless of which type of grill you are using. Every year, 7,000 Americans are injured while using  barbecue grills. It’s usually a case of good products used incorrectly. You can prevent grilling accidents and insurance claims by ‘brushing up’ on these tips.

  1. Only use your grill outside and keep it at least 10 feet away from your house. Farther is even better. This includes portions attached to your house like carports, garages and porches. Grills should not be used underneath wooden overhangs, as the fire could flare up into the structure above. This applies to both charcoal and gas grills. Keeping a 3-foot safe zone around your grill will also keep kids and pets safe.
  2. Clean your grill regularly and after each use to remove grease that can start a fire.If you allow grease and fat to build up on your grill, they will provide more fuel for a fire. Grease is a major source of flare ups.
  3. Check for gas leaks.You can  check for gas leaks by making a solution of half liquid dish soap and half water and rubbing it on the hoses and connections. Then, turn the gas on (with the grill lid open.) If the soap forms large bubbles, that’s a sign that the hoses have tiny holes or that the connections are not tight enough. Only light your gas grill with the lid OPEN!
  4. Keep decorations away from your grill.Decorations like hanging baskets, pillows and umbrellas look pretty AND provide fuel for a fire. To make matters worse, today’s decor is mostly made of artificial fibers that burn fast and hot, making this tip even more important.
  5. Keep a spray bottle of water handy.If you have a minor flare-up, you can spray it with the water to instantly calm it. The bonus of this tip is that water won’t harm your food, so dinner won’t be ruined!
  6. Keep a fire extinguisher within a couple steps of your grill.And, KNOW HOW TO USE IT. If you are unsure how to use the extinguisher, don’t waste time fiddling with it before calling 911. Firefighters say many fire deaths occur when people try to fight a fire themselves instead of calling for expert help and letting the fire department do its job.
  7. Keep an eye on your grill, fire pit or patio torches. Don’t walk away from them when they are lit.

Keep in mind that when you grill, you are playing with fire. Thousands of residents each year learn this the hard way, suffering damage to their homes or even serious injuries in grilling accidents. The National Fire Prevention Association says an average of 8,800 home fires are caused by grilling each year. There’s good news, though: You can prevent grilling accidents by taking these simple precautions. The grilling safety tips above can help ensure you cook only your burgers — and not your house — the next time you fire up the grill. We love grilling and hearing about the fond memories that are created spending family time together.  We are happy to be your local independent agent and take pride in your insurance coverage. You can reach us by phone or online.

Source: https://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/grilling_fire_safety_flyer.pdf and https://abcnews.go.com/Business/ten-tips-safe-summer-barbecues-learn-dos-donts/story?id=13918382 and https://www.lawleyinsurance.com/personal/12-grilling-safety-tips-now-that-summer-is-upon-us/

BOAT WEEK

In honor of National Safe Boating Week, News 12’s Lauren Due spoke to state police about safety tips ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.
Sgt. Fahy says it is important to ensure boats have the proper equipment.
“Every vessel in New Jersey should have a type B Coast Guard approved fire extinguisher. Have at least three flares in operatable, working condition and not expired. You should also have extra line on the boat,” said Fahy.
Sgt. Buro says boaters must always be prepared in case of an emergency.
“Have a first-aid kit. You want to make sure you have paddle,” said Sgt. Buro. “You want to make sure you have enough water and food.”
Boaters should have a radio close by and know the specific channels available to them.
“Channel 9 is for hailing noncommercial vehicles. Channel 13 is import for bridge operators and openings,” said Fahy.
The sergeants also advise boaters to be cautious when the weather is hot.
“With these natural stressors, please be mindful of drinking too much or drinking at all. If you are operating a vessel, we prefer that you not and just be safe,” said Fahy.
Water_Safety_How_to_Stay_Safe_in_Pools,_Lakes,_and_Oceans-min

Water can be a great source of fun and relaxation, but it can also be dangerous if you don’t take proper precautions. Whether swimming in a pool, lake, or ocean, it’s important to be aware of potential hazards and to take steps to stay safe. Here are some tips for water safety that you should keep in mind.

 

1.Learn to Swim

The first and most important step to staying safe in the water is to learn to swim. Everyone should learn to swim, regardless of age or ability. If you need to learn how to swim, enroll in a swim class to learn the basics. Even if you’re already a strong swimmer, it’s a good idea to brush up on your skills and take a refresher course occasionally.

2.Never Swim Alone

Never swim alone, whether in a pool, lake, or ocean. Always have someone with you who can keep an eye on you and call for help if necessary. If you’re swimming in a public place, make sure there’s a lifeguard on duty.

3.Know Your Limits

It’s important to know your limits when it comes to swimming. Don’t push yourself too hard or try to swim too far if you’re not a strong swimmer. If you’re tired, take a break and rest. Please don’t drink alcohol before swimming, as it can impair your judgment and reaction time.

4.Check the Water Conditions

Before swimming, always check the water conditions. If you’re swimming in a pool, make sure the water is clear, and the pool is properly maintained. If swimming in a lake or ocean, check for signs of pollution, strong currents, or dangerous marine life. Don’t swim in areas that are marked as off-limits.

5.Wear a Life Jacket

If you’re boating or kayaking, always wear a life jacket. Even if you’re a strong swimmer, a life jacket can help you stay afloat if you become tired or injured. Make sure your life jacket fits properly and is in good condition.

6.Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is essential when you’re swimming, especially in hot weather. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after swimming to avoid dehydration. Please don’t drink alcohol or caffeine, as they can dehydrate you.

7.Know What to Do in an Emergency

Finally, it’s important to know what to do in an emergency. If someone is in trouble in the water, call for help immediately. If you’re a strong swimmer and you feel comfortable doing so, try to help the person while you wait for help to arrive. If you’re not a strong swimmer, don’t attempt a rescue yourself, as you could put yourself in danger.

In conclusion, water can be a great source of fun and relaxation, but it can also be dangerous if you don’t take proper precautions. By following these tips for water safety, you can help ensure that you and your loved ones stay safe in the water. Always be aware of potential hazards and take steps to stay safe.

create_a_fire_escape_plan_with_your_family

Fire can spread rapidly through your home, leaving you as little as one or two minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Your ability to get out of your home during a fire depends on advance warning from smoke alarms and advance planning.

Why do you need a home escape plan?

  • Working smoke alarms and a home fire escape plan can reduce your risk of injury or death in a fire.
  • Most fatal fires happen in homes.
  • When fire strikes you may have less than one minute to get out of the building.
  • Fires double in size every minute.
  • Fires create thick, black, choking smoke that makes it impossible to see or breathe.
  • Fires produce heat, smoke, and toxic gases.

In the event of a fire, time is the biggest enemy and every second counts. In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can turn into a major fire. Having an escape plan will help you and your family to get out of your home quickly. Practice E.D.I.T.H. — Exit Drills in the Home — with your family.

A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes. Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Below are guidelines on how to write your home fire escape plan. As your insurance agent, we strongly encourage you to follow these steps and create a plan for your own home.

  • Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of their home. Show all doors and windows.
  • Visit each room, find two ways out, including windows and doors, and mark them.
  • All windows and doors should open easily. You should be able to use them to get outside.
  • Push the test button on each smoke alarm to make sure each alarm is working. Replace the batteries where needed.
  • Pick a meeting place outside. It should be in front of your home. Everyone will meet at the

meeting place.

  • Make sure your house or building number can be seen from the street.
  • Talk about your plan with everyone in your home.
  • Learn the emergency phone number for your fire department.
  • Practice your home fire drill!

fireWatch these steps to making a home fire escape plan from the National Fire Protection Agency.

According to an NFPA survey, only one of every three American households have actually developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. While 71% of Americans have an escape plan in case of a fire, only 45% of those have practiced it. One-third of American households who made an estimate thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life-threatening. The time available is often less. And only 8% said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out!

Taking time to review these safety precautions and write your home fire escape plan might just save a life!  We look forward to helping keep you and your family safe by providing the insurance coverage for all your home needs. You can reach us by phone or online.  A.C. Marmo & Sons at https://www.acmarmo.com/homeowners-renters-condo-insurance/   or call us at Fairfield Office at (973) 340-9100 or Lavallette Office at (732) 793-7530

Source:

https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/FPW/Educate/2019/FPW19Grid.ashx

https://fire.arlingtonva.us/safety/escape-plans/

https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Staying-safe/Preparedness/Escape-planning

https://www.gohealthuc.com/library/does-your-family-have-fire-escape-plan

https://www.mass.gov/service-details/create-and-practice-a-home-escape-plan

business_insurance

Your company may need insurance to survive certain unexpected—but possible—challenges. Nobody likes buying insurance. It can be confusing and expensive, and you won’t see any benefit unless you have a loss, accident, or claim. But insurance can make or break your business. Without the right insurance, a theft or fire can cause devastating losses. A personal injury lawsuit can leave you struggling just to pay the legal fees and yet many small business owners don’t take the time to evaluate their needs and get appropriate coverage.

Business Owner’s Insurance, also known as a business owner policy (BOP), combines protection for all major property and liability risks in one insurance package. This type of policy assembles the basic coverages required by a business owner in one bundle. However, it is usually sold at a premium that is less than the total cost of the individual coverage. BOPs include:

  1. Property insurance for buildings and contents owned by the company — there are two different forms, standard and special, which provides more comprehensive coverage.
  2. Business interruption insurance, which covers the loss of income resulting from a fire or other catastrophe that disrupts the operation of the business. It can also include the extra expense of operating out of a temporary location.
  3. Liability protection, which covers your company’s legal responsibility for the harm it may cause to others. This harm is a result of things that you and your employees do or fail to do in your business operations that may cause bodily injury or property damage due to defective products, faulty installations and errors in services provided.

BOPs do NOT cover professional liability, auto insurance, worker’s compensation, or health and disability insurance. You’ll need separate insurance policies to cover professional services, vehicles, and your employees. To decide whether you need business insurance, ask yourself two questions:

  • Does your business have property—including inventory, computers, and other equipment—that you could not easily afford to replace? If your only business property is a laptop, you may not need to insure it. But if you have tens of thousands of dollars of store inventory, insurance is a must.
  • Is there a reasonable chance your business could be sued for a substantial amount of money? For example, you might be sued if someone has an accident on your premises, if you aren’t as careful as you should be, if you suffer a data breach, or if an item you make, or sell is defective and injures someone.

If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, business insurance will help you minimize your risks.

However, not all businesses qualify for business owner’s policies. Eligibility requirements differ among providers. Insurance providers may have requirements regarding business location, the size of the location, revenue, and class of business. Typically, businesses classes eligible for BOPs include retail stores, apartment buildings, small restaurants, and office-based businesses.

The key takeaways to BOPs:

  • A business owner policy (BOP) is a package that bundles basic insurance coverage and is sold at a premium.
  • A BOP typically protects business owners against property damage, peril, business interruption, and liability.
  • While coverages vary among insurance providers, businesses can often opt-in for additional coverage, such as crime, spoilage of merchandise, forgery, fidelity, and more.
  • Insurance providers determine if a business qualifies for a BOP based on business location, the size of the location, the class of business, and revenue.
  • A business may qualify for special considerations if it meets certain eligibility qualifications.

Contact A.C. Marmo & Sons at https://www.acmarmo.com/business-insurance/  or call us at Fairfield Office at (973) 340-9100 or Lavallette Office at (732) 793-7530 today to discuss your Business Insurance needs with an agent!

Source: https://www.iii.org/article/what-does-businessowners-policy-bop-cover and https://www.investopedia.com/terms/business-owners-policy.asp and  https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/business-insurance-when-you-need-it-and-when-you-dont

Whether it’s raining, hailing, or windy outside, your roof takes the brunt of all the harsh elements. However, if your roof has been neglected and isn’t in tip-top shape when bad weather hits, then you could be putting your home at risk for leaks or other potential severe damage. If your roof is old, faulty, or on its last leg, your home may be categorized as high risk. This also means you may be paying a higher premium for your policy. Here, we’ll review what’s typically covered for roof damages and why a new roof could decrease your homeowners insurance.

Keeping your roof well-maintained is a general best practice to avoid extensive repairs or premature replacements of your roof. Typically, insurance policies may cover the following roof damages:

• Rain

• Hail

• Wind

• Fire

• Fallen objects

• Hurricanes

• Tornadoes

Some insurance companies will provide discounts to homeowners after they’ve installed a new roof. An asphalt shingle roof that’s 15 years old is more prone to leaks simply due to the fact that it’s near the end of its lifespan and has taken the brunt of 15 years of weather. For this reason, older roofs can be categorized as high-risk since homeowners are more likely to file a claim for damage, which results in a higher insurance premium.

On the other hand, a newer roof is less likely to be susceptible to weather damage simply due to the fact that it’s new. Different states and different insurance companies have their own discounts for new roofs, so you’ll want to consult with your insurance agent to determine how much of a discount you can receive as each insurance company has its own set of requirements for what qualifies for a new-roof discount.

Getting homeowners insurance will allow you to protect your home in the case of unexpected damages during storms or inclement weather. However, the price of protection can be hefty if you have an older roof. Some insurance companies will offer discounts for new roofs simply because it’s a new roof that hasn’t taken the brunt of ever-changing weather. In addition, some insurance companies will offer discounts for impact-resistant roofs. Fortunately, new technological advances in the roofing industry have allowed manufacturers to develop roofs that can withstand high winds, are resistant to moisture-related growth, and are resistant to impact from falling tree branches. Contact (Agency Name) at (phone number) or visit our website at (homeowners insurance link) to see how your homeowners insurance policy is affected if you decide it’s time to get a new roof.

Source: https://www.stateroofing.com/blog/roofing/why-a-new-roof-will-decrease-your-homeowners-insurance/

When you decide you want to buy your first home, homeowners insurance may not be the first thing you think about. However, most mortgage lenders require you to have homeowners insurance before they will approve your loan. There are a few things you should know about homeowners insurance.

Certain losses are excluded from most homeowners insurance policies. Standard homeowners insurance policies don’t cover floods or earthquakes. If you want coverage for flood or earthquake damage, you will need separate policies for those. If you are in a flood zone, your mortgage lender may require you to purchase flood insurance.

We all know that our credit score is important for many things. Did you know it can also affect your homeowners insurance premium? Some states have banned this practice; however, in most cases your credit score can affect your insurance premium. The better your credit rating, the lower your premium. So while you’re spiffing up your credit rating to get a good deal on your mortgage loan, you should maintain a good rating to save money on your homeowners insurance.

Poor home maintenance may cause a claim to be denied. Not all damages are covered by homeowners insurance. If the damage that occurred to your home is due to your failure to properly maintain your home, your claim may be denied. When it comes to home maintenance, don’t be a procrastinator!

While you are living in your new home, you will acquire new valuables, personal possessions, and may do some home improvements. You should always report these to us right away so we can ensure your coverage is sufficient for your investment. Enjoy your new home, you deserve it!

Source: https://www.hsh.com/first-time-homebuyer/facts-about-home-insurance.html

On average, the roughly 1.5 million to 2 million people in the U.S. who drive for both Uber and Lyft earn $18.15 an hour before expenses. Just one car accident, though, could easily eat up that money—and more. That’s why Uber and Lyft drivers likely need separate rideshare insurance to supplement both personal auto insurance and the coverage that’s automatically provided by rideshare companies. A driver’s financial stability could ride on whether they’ve got rideshare insurance.

To understand the insurance for rideshare driving, it’s important to know the three phases while a rideshare app is on:

1. Available: The driver is available to pick up a passenger.

2. En route: The driver has accepted a ride and is on the way to pick up the passenger.

3. On the trip: The driver has picked up the passenger and is on the way to the passenger’s destination.

When an Uber or Lyft driver’s rideshare app is off, their personal auto insurance applies. But when the app is on, Uber and Lyft provide some coverage on the driver’s behalf. Personal auto coverage typically excludes rideshare trips. That’s because your auto insurance company has priced the policy assuming you’re driving yourself, relatives and/or friends, and that you aren’t earning money from private trips and putting a lot of extra miles on your car.

As a result, a rideshare driver’s personal auto policy typically won’t supply coverage while you’re making rideshare trips. A rideshare driver might be happy with the insurance provided by the rideshare company, especially if the driver carries only the minimum personal auto insurance required by the state. In those cases, a million dollars in liability coverage from Uber can look like a major bonus.

But, there can still be gaps, which is where rideshare insurance comes in. For example, rideshare companies don’t provide collision or comprehensive insurance when the app is on and the driver is waiting for a ride request. And a personal auto policy that includes collision and comprehensive likely won’t cover that period. So, if you accidentally back into a pole, you’d have no insurance for the damage. Without additional rideshare coverage from their personal auto insurer, drivers may find their existing coverage may not apply to a loss that occurs while they are acting as a rideshare driver.

We can provide coverage from many insurance carriers so you receive the insurance for your budget and needs!

Source: https://www.forbes.com/advisor/car-insurance/rideshare-insurance/

If your home is left unoccupied for weeks or months at a time, your standard homeowners insurance policy might not provide coverage in the event of a claim. Any damages or losses that occur would have to be paid out of pocket unless you have vacant property insurance. 

Unoccupied and vacant homes present a greater insurance risk than an occupied home. The emergency response time is slower and there is an increased probability of a break-in occurring. This increased risk has resulted in the exclusion of these properties in a standard homeowners insurance policy. If you own an empty or vacant house, you should purchase vacant property insurance to protect yourself and your home.

Generally speaking, if your home is left unattended for 30 days or more you’ll want to purchase vacant property insurance. Before leaving your home vacant for an extended period of time, you should contact your insurance agent and discuss how your insurance carrier defines vacancy. Below are some scenarios where a homeowner might find the need for vacant property insurance.

  • You own a vacant home that you only visit a few times per year.
  • You’ve purchased a home, but won’t be moving in for several weeks.
  • You’re constantly traveling for weeks at a time.
  • You’re remodeling your home and won’t be living there during renovations.
  • You’re renting out your home and you’re in between tenants.

Source: https://www.valuepenguin.com/unoccupied-and-vacant-home-insurance

According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are an average of 385,500 residential fires every year. While taking out a Homeowners insurance policy with fire insurance coverage will help protect you from the costs incurred from a house fire, following these fire safety tips can help prevent a fire from starting in your home. 

Fire Safety Tip #1: Don’t Smoke Indoors

Smoking indoors can cause more damage than you may realize. Over 18,000 fires are started by smoking materials annually, causing $476 million of property damage. While it’s best not to smoke indoors or on exterior balconies or porches, if you do, be sure to completely extinguish any cigarettes and never smoke when there’s a chance you might fall asleep. 

Fire Safety Tip #2: Keep Your Dryer Clean

It may surprise you but completing common household chores like cleaning the lint trap in your dryer can help prevent fires. In 2010-2014, U.S. fire departments responded to almost 16,000 home structure fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines each year. In addition to keeping your washer and dryer clean, it’s best to only run them when you will be home to supervise, that way if a fire starts, you can take immediate action. 

Fire Safety Tip #3: Practice Summer Grill Safety

Over 10,000 house fires a year are attributed to grills and fire pits. Whether it’s because people use their grill too close to their home or they use the wrong fire starter to ignite the charcoal grill or fire pit, practicing summer grill safety can help prevent fires from starting. This includes everything from grill placement, making sure your grill is clean, safely disposing of charcoal briquettes, and never leaving your grill on while unattended. 

Fire Safety Tip #4: Don’t Leave Candles Unattended

Candles can create a relaxing ambiance for your home, but unattended candles can be incredibly dangerous. In fact, from 2011-2015, over 8,500 fires a year were started by candles, with $295 million in property damage. Never leave candles in a room unattended, especially if you have children or pets, and always make sure to clear the area around a candle of anything that could possibly ignite, including decorations, curtains, papers, etc. 

Fire Safety Tip # 5: Practice Firework Safety 

Fireworks and sparklers account for roughly 15,000 fires per year, including house fires, vehicle fires, and outdoor fires. To avoid injury and potential fires, it’s important to practice firework safety, including only using legal fireworks, having a designated area for setting off fireworks, only lighting off one firework at a time, only letting responsible adults use sparklers and fireworks, and properly disposing of firework remnants after they’ve been used. 

Fire Safety Tip # 6: Create a Wildfire Defensible Space

While wildfires are powerful and unpredictable, there are safety tips you can try if you live in an area threatened by wildfires to help create a wildfire defensible space, which could prevent the spread of wildfires. To do so, you might consider actions like keeping your lawn and plants watered, clearing away brush and debris, using fire-resistant shrubs and plants, storing firewood away from your home, and keeping your roof and gutters clear of leaves, needles, and debris. You’ll also want to practice additional fire safety if your area is experiencing a drought like nearly half of Washington state.