home insurance checkup

When was the last time you did a home insurance policy checkup? This important update ensures that you have the adequate coverage to cover thefts, loss or damages, and  also verifies that you aren’t paying for coverage you no longer need.

You should evaluate your home insurance coverage at least once a year.  Consider the questions below to prepare for your next home insurance checkup.

Did you renovate or remodel your home?

Any changes to your home’s structure or size could affect the amount of insurance you pay. Even turning a basement into a third bedroom or adding a deck can increase the amount of insurance you need.

Did you install a burglar alarm?

An alarm system may lower your insurance costs and help you save money.

Have you added new valuables or collectibles to your home’s inventory?

Your current insurance policy might not cover your newly-inherited jewelry or your new art collection. Find out if you need a specialty policy or endorsement to cover these valuables.

Do you have replacement value or actual cash value coverage?

Replacement value describes the amount of money you would need to replace your home or its contents with materials or goods of similar quality to what you have now. Actual cash value describes the amount of money you would need to repair your home or replace contents after calculating depreciation.

Did you start a home-based business?

Working from home in any capacity means you may need extra insurance. Share the details of your business with your insurance agent and verify that your business ventures are covered.

Can you afford the deductible?

The deductible on your insurance policy affects the annual premium costs. Calculate how much deductible you can comfortably afford and raise or lower it on your insurance policy.

How frequently do you pay premiums?

Switching to an annual payment, if that’s an option, lowers your annual costs.

How much coverage do you really need?

Many homeowners overestimate or underestimate the value of their home and its contents. Use your property assessment to figure the value of your home, and remember to include outbuildings. A home inventory will give you an accurate value of your home’s contents and help you purchase the right amount of coverage.

Tracy-Driscoll would love to help you check and review your home insurance coverage. Give us at call at 860-589-3434 to speak with one of our insurance professionals.

 

winter pipe

Dropping winter temperatures can affect your home in a number of ways, including your water system and pipes. If the system or pipes freeze, you and your family will experience an inconvenient and expensive mess. Below are some tips to follow to keep your pipes from freezing.

  • Insulate pipes in unheated areas of your home, such as the attic, basement or crawl spaces. If you live in a moderately cold climate, foam pipe insulation will work. You could also consider  using heat tape.
  • Protect pipes located in exterior walls of your home with extra insulation. That may mean removing part of the wall to get insulation on the pipes, but you can check for and repair any water damage or mold growth as you complete this project.
  • Turn off outdoor spigots and disconnect hoses. A frozen garden hose can expand pressure in the entire plumbing system of your home. Disconnect and drain the hose, then close off the valve to the outdoor faucet.
  • Allow five drops of water per minute to drip from faucets when temperatures plummet. This action keeps the water moving and can slow the freezing process.
  • Open cabinet doors that cover kitchen and bathroom plumbing. Your home’s warm air can then circulate around exposed pipes and protect them from freezing.
  • Wrap warm towels around slow pipes. The warmth may loosen accumulated ice and assist your water system in operating properly again. To warm the towels, place them over the pipes and pour boiling water on top or make the towels wet first and place them over the pipes.
  • Use a hairdryer or heat gun to blow hot air directly on freezing pipes and melt ice. Remember to avoid using any heating tool with an open flame so you don’t burn your pipes.
  • Shut off the water if your pipes are already frozen. By preventing additional ice from forming, you reduce the risk of flooding your system, and you make cleanup easier.

Follow these tips to protect your home’s pipes from freezing this winter. As always, Tracy-Driscoll is here to help you protect your home. Give us a call at 860-589-3434, so that our insurance professionals can review, and make sure your home insurance policy is up to date. Your home insurance policy could cover any necessary repairs if your pipes freeze, despite your efforts to keep them running properly.

 

 

lh-dec-4

Life insurance provides financial compensation to your loved ones after your death. Your policy is not like a slow cooker where you set the timer and walk away, though. You’ll need to reevaluate your policy when six life events occur.

Getting Married:

When you get married, your spouse depends on your income and contributions to the home. Take a look at your insurance policy. Is the death benefit adequate for your life partner in case something happens to you? Update your policy or purchase a secondary policy, and make your spouse your primary beneficiary of the benefits. You can also purchase a life insurance policy for your spouse as you give him or her peace of mind.

Having a Baby or Become a Primary Caregiver:

Adding a baby to the family, adopting a child or beginning care for an aging parent, you now have another dependent that relies on you for support. Life insurance benefits help to pay for expenses associated with dependent care. In addition to ensuring your policy provides adequate financial assistance; consider making your dependent a secondary or contingent beneficiary on your policy.

Buying or Selling a House:

Mortgage payments are probably a significant portion of your monthly budget. Could your surviving spouse pay the mortgage and other household expenses without your income? Make sure your life insurance policy covers the mortgage repayment if you die before the house is paid off. If you downsize or repay the mortgage, consider cancelling the policy if you no longer need it.

Incurring or Paying Off Significant Debt :

Student loans, credit card bills and other significant debts put a damper on your monthly budget. Repaying those expenses could also affect your survivors. Ensure your life insurance policy covers any significant debt repayment as you care for the people you love. Once the debt is repaid, you can decide if you wish to keep or cancel the policy.

Experiencing Income Changes:

Lose a job, switch jobs or get a large raise, and you’ll also want to check your life insurance policy. Make sure it provides adequate resources to replace your income. Ideally, your policy should be at least five-to-ten-times your annual salary.

Beginning to Plan for Retirement:

As you are beginning to plan for your future retirement, remember to update your life insurance policy. The benefits can assist your surviving spouse in maintaining his or her current lifestyle, traveling the world or covering nursing and medical care. With it, your spouse has peace of mind and financial security even during the retirement years.

It looks like a lot to think about. But, life insurance provides peace of mind. Tracy- Driscoll’s licenses and expert agents are ready to help you regularly evaluate your policy to ensure it meets your needs.

Don’t wait to protect your family, give us a call today at 860-589-3434 to speak with a professional, and learn more about the advantages of having a life insurance policy. Tracy-Driscoll is dedicated to create a life insurance policy that works for you.

 

TRACY-DRISCOLL & COMPANY, INC. – Bristol, CT

ABOUT US
Tracy-Driscoll & Company is a well-established Independent Insurance & Financial Sales Organization. Partnered with key insurers, we offer: a diversified range of Home, Auto, Business & Life insurance products, Innovative marketing initiatives, and a highly proficient service team.

Providing comprehensive insurance solutions for over 95 years, we lead the charge as an Independent Agency, implementing advanced solutions to protect our clients wherever they go… in Work, Life, and Play.

THE TRACY-DRISCOLL DIFFERENCE
You’ll be part of a motivated Sales team looking to take their careers to the next level by leveraging the industry’s best combination of quality products, sales and marketing support, competitive compensation (including health insurance and pension), qualified leads, training and exceptional resources to help you build your business. We invite you to learn more about our company.

RESPONSIBILITIES of Insurance Sales Executive
Our Sales Executives are self-driven professionals who earn the level of income they desire by providing clients and customers with objective advice and product solutions. Fostered by the strong foundation attributed to our organization, within this role you will:

  • Build and develop your sales function, carrying out all sales and service initiatives
  • Develop and execute a strategic revenue plan, penetrating market sectors, targeting accounts, developing pitches and relationships, and acquiring customers
  • Develop and implement annual sales plans to support achieving revenue and gross margin targets while staying within company strategy and objectives
  • Evaluate success of sales programs and implement changes to ensure goals are achieved
  • Review carrier appetites to align with customer needs
  • Oversee sales support activities including contracts, proposals, and administration
  • Deliver sales presentations to key clients
  • Meet with key clients to maintain relationships and negotiate and close deals

SKILLS & REQUIREMENTS of Insurance Sales Executive

  • Connecticut P&C Producer License
  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience preferred
  • Minimum 3-5 years’ experience in Insurance/Sales
  • Prefer a strong revenue generator with a history of success in sales
  • Strong technical skills in strategic and sales planning
  • Solid understanding of selling
  • Ability to organize and manage multiple priorities
  • Excellent interpersonal, influencing and communication skills including presentation skills
  • Ability to source and aggressively pursue potential customers
  • Outstanding negotiation and closing skills. Detail oriented with excellent follow-up skills
  • APPLIED (TAM) experience preferred
 

Snow removal is one chore every property owner must do. With the first major snowfall expecting to hit this weekend, Tracy-Driscoll wants to make sure your prepared with these snow removal tips.

Steps

Packed snow and ice on steps makes them treacherous. Use a shovel or broom to clear them. You can also spread a thin layer of ice melting agent on your steps.

  • Sodium chloride (rock salt) works best when temperatures are above 25 degrees.
  • Calcium chloride works in below-zero temperatures but can leave a slippery residue on your steps.
  • Calcium magnesium acetate is expensive but is salt-free, biodegradable and less corrosive than salt on concrete.

Roof

You typically don’t have to remove snow from your home’s roof unless you receive a heavy, wet snowfall. Six inches of wet snow weighs the equivalent of 38 inches of dry snow and can cause roof damage. When your home’s interior and closet doors begin to stick or you see drywall or plastic cracks around them, your roof is beginning to buckle under the snow’s weight.

If you can reach the roof with your long-handled snow rake with a telescoping handle and built-in rollers, go ahead and do the job yourself. Otherwise, hire a licensed and insured professional. They own the extension ladders, anchor harnesses and other specialty tools needed to climb onto your roof and remove snow safely.

Proper Technique

Any time you remove snow, dress in layers, bend with your knees and pace yourself.

The next time it snows, use these snow removal tips as you clear your property. In the meantime, make sure your homeowner’s insurance is updated and will cover any snow-related damages or injuries. Give Tracy-Driscoll a call today at (860) 589-3434 to have one of our insurance professionals review your home insurance policy.

 

life insurance pic

For many, life insurance is considered either an unnecessary expense or just not needed. Yet, it should be considered as a core component of a family’s financial plan. Life insurance is not only a way to protect your loved ones, but is also an essential investment to protect your assets. Even if you aren’t supporting a family, life insurance is more important than you realize.

Take a moment to think about your personal financial situation. Do you own a home?  Do you have children?  Have you been saving for retirement? Can your family survive financially without your income? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you’re like many other Americans.

Tracy-Driscoll wants to walk you through a few of the most common myths on life insurance, and why you, and many other individuals put it off.

Myth #1: I don’t Need Life Insurance

You may not realize exactly what life insurance covers.  Life insurance covers not just you but your family also.  For instance it can work as mortgage insurance; whether you live by yourself or a significant other it can provide coverage if something were to happen, your family would not lose their home.  It can also act as an income replacement as well as college funding

Myth #2: I Can’t Afford Life Insurance

Did you know that you could insure your life for about the same amount you spend on a daily cup of coffee, or monthly cable bill? As an agent Tracy-Driscoll works with a number of companies to ensure that our customers are getting the right life insurance coverage at an affordable rate. We will work with you one-on-one to determine the amount of coverage you need and the easiest way to purchase it, many times without any medical exams!

Myth #3: I Can Wait to Buy It

Some people think they are saving money by waiting to purchase a life insurance policy. Yet, did you know that most policies allow you to lock in your premium, which would allow you take advantage of lower rates available at younger age? Unfortunately, rates will increase as you age; and in some instances you might become insurable at an older age.

Myth #4: I Can Afford My Final Expenses

Did you know that your life insurance policy can be used to plan for final expenses? Many believe that they can afford these expenses on their own, but funeral costs, burial costs, and medical bills can all add up to a hefty amount.

You don’t want to place this large potential burden on your loved ones. Tracy-Driscoll’s licensed and expert agents are ready to help you find the best life insurance policy for you and your family.

Don’t wait to protect your family, give us a call today at 860-589-3434 to speak with a professional, and learn more about the advantages of having a life insurance policy. Tracy-Driscoll is dedicated to create a life insurance policy that works for you.

 

drivers hands steering wheel

Did you know that adding a teenager to your existing auto policy can raise your rate by more than 40%? As always, at Tracy-Driscoll, we are committed to not only help you save money on your auto insurance policy, but to also educate your younger drivers to keep them safe out on the road. Our agency’s solution to minimizing the costs of adding a teenage driver to your auto insurance policy is by enrolling them into the teenSMART Driver Safety Program.

What is teenSMART?

Introduced in 1999, teenSMART is the world’s most effective teen driver safety program. It is a downloadable software that installs right on your PC. With the software, you and your teen driver will experience realistic driving simulations, in-car exercises, and videos all while completing the training program together.

teenSMART’s safety program identifies and addresses the six behavioral and social factors that cause 90% of all teen collisions. Unlike traditional programs that just focus on passing a test, teenSMART was the first driver-education training system developed to specifically reduce teen collision rates.

How Could the Program Benefit Me and My Teen Driver?

Research has shown that teenSMART drivers are safer, more skilled, and have fewer accidents- up to 30% less than teens who don’t enroll in the program. teenSMART drivers also file fewer insurance claims.

According to the National Safety Council, reports show that one year after training, collision rates for teenSMART beta graduates were 71% lower than the national collision rate for 16 to 19 year old drivers during the same time frame.

Through our agency we can offer you up to a 20% discount on most coverage’s for the driver who completes and passes the program certification test. The program will give you the peace of mind knowing your teen driver is prepared, with the skills and behind-the-wheel driving behavior to stay safe out on the road.

How Much Does It Cost?

Our customers save up to 40% on the software for each driver through our agency program. We also offer an additional program discount code for each additional teen driver.

Tracy-Driscoll’s licensed and expert agents are ready to work with you one-on-one, to make the process of adding your teen driver as painless as possible. Our agency works with over 15 companies, to make sure you are getting the perfect auto insurance coverage at an affordable rate. Give us a call today at 860-589-3434 to learn more, and how to take advantage of the great teenSMART program that we offer!

 

fire plan

Roughly 374,000 fires occur in homes across the U.S. each year. Protect your home and family from being another statistic with a fire emergency plan. It will help keep you and your family safe in the case of a fire.

1. Discuss Fire Safety Tips

Obviously, you want to extinguish candles, cigarettes and other open flames immediately after use. When cooking in the kitchen, remember to turn off your oven and burners to ensure nothing catches on fire. However, did you know that fabric can become flammable when it lies near a heater? Teach your family to prevent these and other fire hazards.

2. Install Smoke Detectors

To ensure everyone can safely escape a fire, place smoke detectors on every floor of your home where you can hear them day and night. Since smoke rises, place them on the ceiling or high on walls.

3. Locate Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers need to be accessible. Place one in the kitchen under the sink or in the pantry. Other smart locations include near entrance and exit doors, and at least one on each floor. Once they’re securely attached to the wall, ensure your adult and teen family members know how to use them.

4. Choose the Exits

Your home’s layout determines where you can safely exit. In each room, choose two door or window openings where your family can safely exit from . If you have a second story, store an escape ladder near the window, and make sure you know how to use it properly.

5. Designate an Outdoor Meeting Spot

Whether your family meets at a neighbor’s house or a tree across the street, designate an outdoor base camp. Call 911 from this spot after everyone safely escapes the fire.

6. Practice the Plan

Even the best fire emergency plan will be ineffective if your family members don’t know what to do when a fire starts. Test the fire alarms and teach your kids what they sound like. Then, practice escaping out of the nearest exit and meeting at your designated spot.

Having a fire emergency plan is a way to keep your family safe. Additionally, give Tracy-Driscoll a call at 860-589-3434 to review your home insurance policy, and ensure you have adequate home insurance for your house and possessions. Insurance won’t prevent fires, but it will give you peace of mind year round.

 

business insurance buy

 

When most business owners think about business insurance, they generally consider protection against hazards such as fire, flood or theft at their company sites as adequate.

Of course, these types of protections are important to have. Yet, there are other types of hazards that may not be quite as high on the list, but protection could be every bit as important to offset significant financial losses. Here are three examples that underscore the need for business owners to consider a more comprehensive business insurance policy:

Company vehicle contents: If you operate a business with employees on the road making service calls to customers, chances are there is valuable equipment contained in the company vehicles.

But a typical auto insurance policy would probably not cover the contents of a company vehicle if that valuable equipment was lost or stolen.

Tenant property improvement insurance: Do you rent space to conduct your business? Have you built out the interior of your space or made improvements to accommodate your business needs?

If so, you probably made a considerable investment in the improvements. But many property insurance policies don’t include the value of the improvements made by a tenant to the existing structure. If you’ve invested in improvements, it’s worth taking a look at securing coverage to protect it.

Home-based business equipment: More and more people are working at home at least part of the time, even if they maintain an office or site elsewhere. Most don’t have insurance on the business equipment they keep at home; many assume their homeowner’s insurance would cover it.

However, homeowner’s insurance generally does not cover business equipment. If you have expensive business equipment at home, you may want to consider purchasing additional protection.

As you can see, there are many hazards businesses face that aren’t covered under a typical insurance policy. However, you can get extra protection with the types of coverage outlined here.

Since you invest so much time, money and effort into your business, it pays to make sure you have the protection you need. Give us a call at 860-589-3434 so we can help you review your business insurance policy today!

 

home insurance holidays

With the upcoming holidays, your house is going to be filled with guests. Is your pantry filled and your bathroom clean? Even more importantly, update your home insurance policy as you prepare to welcome guests to your home for the holidays.

What Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover?

Most homeowners buy insurance to cover property damages from storms or accidents. It also covers personal property that’s lost, damaged or stolen. Plus, homeowner’s insurance pays for medical treatment or lawsuits associated with injuries people sustain while visiting you.

Make Sure you Have Enough Liability Coverage

You don’t expect accidents to happen in your house, but a visitor could trip over frayed carpet, get food poisoning or fall off the backyard trampoline. Or maybe the traditional Thanksgiving day football game gets rough, and your cousin’s expensive watch breaks. These injuries and damages are all examples of accidents that liability insurance can cover.

Increase Your Coverage Limit

To ensure you have enough liability coverage, check out your policy.  Most policies include a liability coverage limit of $100,000, but you should consider increasing that limit to $300,000 or even $500,000. An accident that affects more than one guest could quickly use up that coverage and leave you with a big bill. The increased coverage limit ensures everyone can receive medical treatment, and it reduces your out-of-pocket expenses if you’re sued.

Buy an Umbrella Policy

An umbrella policy is another insurance product to consider. It adds additional coverage that could be very beneficial as you entertain guests this holiday season.

Before your guests arrive, do more than stock the pantry and clean the bathroom. Give us a call today at 860-589-3434, so we can review your home insurance policy, and make sure you are adequately covered.

 

 
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