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Helpful tips, advice, information and fun facts on topics including safety, maintenance and homeowners insurance.
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Homeowners Insurance - Are you covered?

  A lot can change in a matter of a year, which could have an impact on your insurance needs.  At the start of this new year, take some time out of your busy schedule to review your homeowners policy. It may save you some money and time should the unexpected occur.  As a policyholder, you can make changes to adjust the amount of coverage you have, which may cause changes to your annual policy premium.  Keep in mind, should you not have enough coverage in place, you could be responsible for any out-of-pocket costs in the event of a loss. Each homeowners policy is different, and it is important you understand your coverages, so you and your agent can select the options which work best for the needs of your family. Consider the following when reviewing your homeowners insurance policy:   What is covered? Your homeowners insurance is made up of coverages which can help pay to repair or replace your belongings and your home should they be damaged by certain perils such as fir ...

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New Year, Clean House

With the start of a new year, there is no time like the present to conquer cleaning up the home. Begin the new year by taking some time to deep clean your home room-by-room and tackling outdoor chores. Consider these suggestions and keep your home clean and clutter-free in 2018:   Kitchen Kitchens can become clutter collectors. Items which do not belong in the kitchen should be moved to their proper location. Consider donating items, such as small appliances, dinnerware, and cookware you do not use to local charities. Clean out your drawers, cabinets, pantry, and refrigerator and be sure to discard any unwanted or expired items. Once you have removed the clutter, wipe down all kitchen surfaces with a cleaning spray and a towel.   Bathrooms Along with all other rooms in the house, de-clutter before you clean. Empty drawers, shelves, and cabinets and remove items such as empty soap and shampoo bottles, old toothbrushes and expired medications. Next, clean and sanitize.   Bedrooms & ...

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Prevent Identity Theft Over the Holiday Season

The holiday season is undoubtedly one of the busiest shopping times of the year. As such, purchases made during this busy time of year could expose you to hackers and scammers looking to steal your identity and drain your bank account. Consider the following tips to protect your information, and wallet during this holiday season: Purchase items using cash or credit cards to limit the use of your debit card. It is much easier for hackers to obtain your information from online purchases. If possible, shop in-store rather than shopping online. If you are doing some online shopping, be sure your computer is equipped with antivirus software and firewalls. Shred any documents containing personal information, such as your social security number, driver's license number, bills, and bank statements. Give yourself the gift of identity theft coverage. Florida Peninsula offers an economical endorsement which can be added to their policies providing assistance if you ever ...

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Choose Safe Toys This Holiday Season

  There are millions of toys in the market for children. Each year, we see new trends right in time for the holiday season. But you must remember, but because they are popular, doesn’t make them safe. Each year, hundreds of kids are treated in hospital emergency departments for toy-related injuries. Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind when shopping for toys this year: Toys made of fabric should be labeled as flame resistant or flame retardant. Stuffed toys should be washable. Painted toys should be covered with lead-free paint to avoid consumption if your child chews on it or it begins to chip. Be sure to purchase art materials which are non-toxic. Crayons and paints should say ASTM D-4236 on the package, which means they've been evaluated by the American Society for Testing and Materials. Avoid older toys & hand me downs from friends and family. Apart from germs, these toys may not meet the current safety standards and may be ...

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What is Synthetic Identity Fraud?

    Synthetic Identity Theft is a type of fraud in which a criminal combines real and fake information to create an entirely new identity. This identity is then used to open fraudulent accounts to make fraudulent purchases. This makes it easier for criminals to steal money from credit card companies and lenders who extend credit based on the fake identity. This way, they are not stealing from actual people making it a lot harder to get caught.   Banks are usually the victims of synthetic ID fraud since most of the information these criminals provide is legitimate, such as a real name (but a stolen social security number). After all the purchases are made and they use up all of the credit, it’s the credit card companies who pay the price, since they cannot collect payment from the fake identity who established the account. This is a very tricky situation to handle.   Synthetic identity fraud has become one of the most common types of fraud, yet the most difficult to catch, and ...

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Holiday Home Safety

    This holiday season brings all sorts of activities. From lighting candles to hanging string lights. Here are some ways to keep your home and family safe from hazards such as fire and injury.   Lights: Inspect holiday string lights each year before hanging them up to ensure there are no frayed cords or cracked bulbs. When replacing bulbs, always unplug the lights first and make sure the voltage and wattage match the original bulb. When going to bed or leaving the house, be sure to turn off the lights.   Ornaments: Avoid glass ornaments, especially if you have curious children and pets. Using plastic ornaments makes tree decorating safe for the entire family. For pets, avoid hanging ornaments at the very bottom of the tree. To avoid injury altogether, gate off the area where the tree will stand so children and pets cannot get too close without supervision.   Candles: Always remember to blow out candles before going to bed and never leave them near curtains or flammable ite ...

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Protect Yourself from ID Theft

    Identity theft is a serious crime which happens when someone uses your personal information without your consent to commit fraud or other crimes. Personal information includes things like your name and Social Security, or credit card numbers. ID theft can happen anywhere, at any time. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to lower your risk of becoming a victim.   1.  Always verify who you are speaking to over the phone: Remember, banks or creditors will never call you randomly and ask you to verify your credit card numbers or social security numbers. This only happens when you are the person calling trying to get information about your account. Always search online directly through your bank or creditor’s website to obtain their official contact numbers. Never dial a number from a third-party. To be even safer, go directly to the branch to solve any issues you may have.   2.  Handle financial documents with care: If you need to throw away documents ...

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Thanksgiving Leftovers: Safety Tips

  Your Thanksgiving meal is one of the largest you will prepare all year, so you’ll be sure to have lots of leftovers for days or even weeks to follow. Follow these tips to make sure your Thanksgiving leftovers are both delicious and safe to put back on the table:     1. Your leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator within 2-3 hours to prevent the growth of bacteria. Store leftovers in shallow pans or containers to decrease cooling time. This will prevent food from spending too much time in unsafe temperatures.   2. For guests who live more than 2 hours away, store leftovers in a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs for safe travel.   3. Remove stuffing from inside the leftover turkey and refrigerate separately from the meat.   4. Avoid consuming leftovers which have been left in the fridge longer than 4 days. (Remember: it’s safe to consume leftovers until the following Tuesday after Thanksgiving)   5. If you ...

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Teaching Tots About Fire

When it comes to fire safety, younger children need to be taught differently, based on their ways of thinking. Unsurprisingly, many children are fascinated with fire, and providing a fire safety lesson a must. Here are a few points to include in your lesson: Teach kids never to play with matches, lighters or fireworks/sparklers: These things must always be supervised by an adult. It is important they know playing with these items can be dangerous and cause devastating loss to property and even people. Make them aware of fire alarms: By pushing the “test” button on your fire alarm, your children will be aware of what your home’s fire alarm sounds like, and how to respond to one when there’s really a fire. Teach them to get low and get out. A child who is coached properly ahead of time will have a better chance to be safe.    Create a family plan: Practice drills with your children and help them remember what to do as a family if there were to ever be a fire ...

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Practicing Fire Safety At Home

  According to Red Cross, if a fire starts in your home, you may have as little as two minutes to escape. Practicing a fire escape plan regularly could cut your risk in half. Here are some tips on how to properly prepare yourself and your family in case a fire threatens your home:   Install smoke alarms: All smoke alarms should be tested once a month and batteries should be replaced once a year. It is important to install the right amount of smoke alarms depending on the size of your home.   Prepare young children: It is important to teach your younger children what smoke alarms sound like and what they should do when they hear one. They should also learn how and when to dial 9-1-1.   Have a discussion with your family: Make sure everyone living in the home knows at least 2 ways to escape, should there ever be a fire. Place emergency numbers where everyone can see, and everyone with a phone should have it saved. Come up with a mutual meeting spot, should there need to be a ...

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