Car-Stuck-in-Snow

With winter just around the corner, it’s time to prep your vehicle now. Tracy-Driscoll is here to help protect and keep your vehicle running all winter.

Check the tire tread

In most states, it must be at least 2/32-inches, which you can measure by placing a penny in the tire – adequate tread will cover part of Lincoln’s head. However, because your vehicle’s ability to stop on slippery surfaces decreases when the tread reaches 4/32″, consider replacing worn tires with all-weather tires for better traction.

Change the windshield wipers

Working windshield wipers are needed to clear snow, ice and debris from your field of vision. Make sure to check your wipers, and replace them if they have any rips or are too worn.

Charge the battery

With a fully charged battery, your car will be ready to start no matter how low the temperature falls. Clean the terminals and double check that the battery’s secure, too.

Fill the fluids

Antifreeze, windshield washer, transmission and brake fluid assist your vehicle in running smoothly. Fill these fluids to the recommended level as you prep your vehicle for winter.

Keep your vehicle fueled at all times. You never know when you’ll become stuck in traffic or a snow drift, and you’ll be thankful for a full gas tank in those situations.

Keep an emergency kit

A few supplies will assist you in flagging help and staying safe in almost any weather. They include:

  • A small shovel
  • Traction material like kitty litter or sand
  • Flares
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Blanket
  • Charged cellphone
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Water and non-perishable food like energy bars or nuts
  • Small amount of cash for fuel or other emergencies

Update your Auto Insurance

From fender benders to hail damage, adequate auto insurance gives you peace of mind and ensures you have the financial resources to fix your vehicle. Give us a call at 860-589-3434 to discuss your auto insurance policy today!

 

life insurance pic

Whole life insurance is one of several life insurance options you can invest in. It provides coverage for as long as you pay the premiums, and you can withdraw cash from the benefits balance before you die and pay for travel, medical care or other expenses.

Whether your parents purchased a whole life policy for you when you were young or you purchased it as an investment for your future, you can convert it to a term life policy. A term policy offers coverage for a specific length of time. Since it’s often more affordable than a whole life policy, many people convert and invest the money they save into a retirement account. To convert your policy, follow these steps.

1. Decide how much coverage you need.

Insurance experts recommend you buy an insurance policy with coverage that’s at least eight times and as much as 12 times your annual salary. This way, your survivors can pay your funeral expenses, repay debt and provide financially for your dependents.

2. Purchase a term life policy that works for you.

Before you cancel your whole life policy, purchase a term life policy. Most term policies require a medical exam, and companies screen for risks like smoking, obesity or risky hobbies. There’s a chance you won’t qualify for a term policy or be able to get the amount of coverage you need, so make sure to keep your whole life policy in place before you convert.

3. Cancel your whole life policy.

Now that your term life policy is in place, cancel your whole life policy. Don’t just stop paying premiums, though. Contact your whole life insurance agent and request to cash out your policy and have the funds transferred to the account of your choice. Otherwise, you may lose any money you had invested.

Switching from whole life insurance to term life insurance is pretty simple. When you decide you’re ready to convert, give Tracy-Driscoll a call at 860-589-3434. We can assist you in getting the coverage you need at a price you can afford.

 

You know you have life insurance, but when was the last time you looked at your policy? Take time right now to review several details as you make sure you have updated and adequate coverage for your needs.
 
1. The Type of Policy

Do you have a term, whole or universal policy? The type of policy you have determines premium costs and whether you have coverage until you die or for a set time like 15 or 30 years. Because your family size, income or debts may be different now than when you purchased the policy, evaluate whether or not you need to switch to a different type of policy as you meet your family’s needs.

2. Policy Number

If you or your loved ones were to have any questions about your coverage, premium or benefits, you need the policy number. Make sure it’s clearly marked on your policy so you can find it quickly.

3. Date Issued

When was your life insurance policy first issued? If it’s a term policy that’s set to expire soon, consider renewing it, especially if your dependents are still young.

4. Premium Costs

It’s easy to pay a life insurance premium without thinking because it’s probably not as high as your mortgage or car payment. However, you could be overpaying, especially if you pay monthly instead of annually or semi-annually. Also, check to see if an automatic debit from your checking account lowers your costs at all.

5. Beneficiaries

Who will receive the death benefit of your life insurance policy? Make sure the correct people are listed as beneficiaries to reduce confusion and conflict.

Now that you know what to review, give us a call at 860-589-3434 to speak with an insurance professional. Ask about additional options or coverages that provide you and your loved ones with peace of mind and adequate life insurance.

 

 

 

Of course, you need auto insurance to drive your car legally, but there a few different types of coverage you can opt into that provide additional protection. Review and consider these 5 types of optional insurance when you decide on the coverage that meets your needs and budget.

Liability

If you’re at fault for an accident, your liability insurance will pay for property repairs, medical treatments and other related expenses. Many states require minimum liability, but it’s a wise idea to purchase more. Otherwise, a single accident could wipe out your savings and cause severe financial hardship.

Uninsured Motorist

You could get stuck with the bill if you’re in an accident caused by a driver who doesn’t have insurance or adequate coverage. In this case, your uninsured motorist insurance will pay to repair your vehicle.

Medical or Personal Injury

Medical payments after an accident can reach thousands of dollars. If you don’t have a good health insurance policy in place, use your medical or personal injury insurance to pay medical bills for you and your passengers.

Collision

Pay to repair your own vehicle after an accident with collision insurance. Many consumers don’t buy collision coverage on older vehicles, but it’s definitely a smart investment for new or expensive cars.

Comprehensive

Damages that occur outside of an accident are covered by comprehensive insurance. Examples include storm damage, animal collisions or theft. While it is an extra expense, tracking and anti-theft devices reduce comprehensive insurance costs.

Do you have any questions about these 5 optional types of car insurance?  Give us a call at 860-589-3434 so that we can review and answer your questions about your auto insurance policy.

 

 

home repair

Do you know the four most common residential insurance claims? They all involve completing outdoor home repairs that will help prevent expensive repairs and possible insurance rate spikes. This fall, take the time to protect your home before the harsh New England winter begins.

1. Water Damage

From a leaking roof to cracked pipes, water damage can ruin your home and possessions. Inspect your roof and make any repairs before the heavy snow begins to fall. You should also take the time to clean and repair your rain gutters too. Clean gutters will prevent water saturating the ground around your basement.

2. Fire Damage

Unexpected cooking or heating source fires can quickly destroy your home. While you’ll want to test your indoor smoke detector batteries and practice an escape plan, make sure to replace your furnace filters and clean the chimney too. Don’t forget to also inspect the exterior of your chimney to ensure it is in safe working order.

3. Storm and Wind Damage

Snow, ice and wind storms damage fences and roofs. Take the time now to trim trees and remove any dead or low-hanging branches that could do the most damage around your property. Nail any loose siding into place, and secure your patio furniture and any other loose items inside your shed to prevent them from flying away or being damaged.

4. Visitor Accidents

Uneven sidewalk, loose railings and worn deck stairs could cause your winter visitors to slip and fall, so fix these problems now. Also, stock ice melt and a sturdy shovel so that you can remove ice and snow as soon as bad weather starts and before anyone suffers an injury.

These four common insurance claims could affect you, but preventative measures will go a long way toward protecting your family, home and visitors this upcoming winter.

This time of year is also a perfect time to see if your home insurance policy is up to date.  If you have any questions or concerns about your policy, give us a call at 860-589-3434 today!

 

Whether you drive a vehicle that’s new off the lot or one that’s old enough to be an antique, you want your car to last a long time. A fall tune-up helps you achieve your goal. It also helps maximize fuel efficiency, prevents expensive repairs and ensures your vehicle runs properly all winter.  Below  are the essentials.

Check the Brakes

Your mechanic should inspect the brakes for wear and ensure the brake lights on your vehicle work properly.

Change the Oil

Your vehicle’s engine requires engine oil to operate smoothly. Top off the oil this fall or invest in a complete oil change, especially if you’ve driven 15,000 miles since your last oil change.

Check the Battery

Wipe off the terminals and make sure the battery is attached correctly. If your battery is older than four years, replace it so that you’re not left stranded.

Inspect Hoses

Soft, leaky or loose hoses seem like a small detail, but they’re important for proper engine performance. Inspect all your engine’s hoses to make sure they’re attached properly and replace any that aren’t in good working order.

Top Off Fluids

Low transmission fluid and coolant affect your vehicle’s performance and could damage the engine. Top off these fluids this fall. You’ll also want to fill your windshield washer fluid and the antifreeze reservoir.

Inflate the Tires

You’ll experience a smoother ride and enjoy increased traction when you inflate your tires to their proper level.

Update Your Insurance

Now that your car is tuned up, take the the time to review and update your auto insurance, too. Make sure you have adequate coverage to handle any repairs or liability that may occur during a winter storm or after an accident. As always, Tracy-Driscoll is here for you. Give us a call at 860-5893434 today!

 

 

life insur

Each September, the non profit organization Life Happens sponsors Life Insurance Awareness Month. This campaign is aimed at educating Americans about the importance of life insurance, and making sure that they have the coverage they need. According to Life Happens, more than 40% of Americans do not have life insurance.

This September, make sure you have adequate coverage for you and your family by reviewing your policy.

Verify the Death Benefit or Cash Value

Because life circumstances change, verify that the death benefit is adequate. You might need to increase coverage, and now’s a good time to do that. You’ll also want to verify the accuracy of your policy’s cash value. Finally, understand how it’s calculated as you prepare for the future.

Check the Term of Your Policy

Let’s say you bought your 15-year term life insurance policy five years ago when your kids were young. Now, though, your family has grown or your health has changed, and you need a longer term. When you review your policy, make sure the policy’s term is long enough for your needs.

Read the Restrictions

Does your policy require a waiting period before benefits can be paid or must you undergo an annual health exam? Know the restrictions to reduce surprises to ensure you’re following the guidelines, and not inadvertently doing something to void the policy.

Drop or Add Riders

Update the riders on your policy and drop or add them as needed.

Change the Beneficiaries

Has your life insurance policy beneficiary changed? If so, update the policy to ensure the right person gets the money from your policy.

This month, take the time to review your life insurance policy to ensure that it is accurate and up to date. As always, we’re here to help! Give us a call today at 860-589-3434.

 

 

Driver

Auto insurance: every driver needs it! You don’t have to spend a fortune, though. Here are 5 ways to save money on your auto insurance policy while receiving the best protection available.

1. Drive a basic vehicle. Luxury, racing or other high-end cars will cost more to insure. By choosing a basic vehicle, you still get where you’re going but pay less to insure your ride

2. Drive safely. Some insurance companies offer safe drivers big discounts, so keep your record clean for five years to enjoy lower premiums. Taking a safe drivers course or a motor vehicle accident prevention course might also reduce your insurance costs.

3. Reduce the number of cars on your policy. If you’re looking to cut the amount of money you spend on insurance in one year, reducing the number of vehicles you insure will do the trick.

4. Insure multiple vehicles. When you want to cut the cost of each vehicle’s insurance premiums, combine them under one policy. This trick is especially applicable to immediate family members who live in the same household.

5. Remove mechanical or cosmetic modifications. They make your car run or look cool, but they could also factor into higher auto insurance premiums.

Saving money on your auto insurance is possible. You just need to invest a little time. Call Tracy-Driscoll today at 860-589-3434 today to learn more.

 

car cover2

Every vehicle on the road needs insurance coverage. However, you might be able to drop insurance, on a car you don’t drive. Review the common situations below to make sure you have the right insurance for all of your vehicles.

1. Someone else will use your car while you’re out of the country for an extended time.

Even though you’re working or traveling outside the U.S. for a year or longer, you can still remain a registered vehicle owner and allow someone else to use your car. Contact your insurance agent to add a driver to your policy or add your car to the driver’s policy.

2. You keep a car for someone to use even though you’re not a licensed driver.

There are several reasons why you may not drive.

  • You never got your license
  • You’re disabled
  • You gave up driving because of old age
  • You lost your license due to reckless driving or a DUI

In these cases, you can still have a vehicle in your name but be excluded as a driver on the policy. Tell your insurance agent why you aren’t licensed and provide details on the licensed driver. In most cases, the licensed driver must be someone in your household.

3. The vehicle will not be driven for months at a time.

You might want to buy a classic car and store it in the garage until you can fix it up or maybe you can’t pass up a deal on a vehicle for your 14-year-old son. These circumstances can be grounds for owning a car that’s not insured. All vehicles with liens must typically be insured.

To better understand the auto insurance requirements of the state of Connecticut, call Tracy-Driscoll today at 860-589-3434. Our auto insurance professionals will make sure you have adequate coverage for all your unique circumstances.

 

health insurance

Do you love playing basketball, doing karate or riding your bike? You need health insurance that covers all the injuries you might sustain while doing the activities you love. Below are a few tips to make sure you’re covered.

What Injuries Are Common Among Athletes?

Every sport has unique risks, including even leisure sports like badminton. In fact,  did you know that more than two million adults will suffer a sports injury this year? Common injuries include:

– Bone fractures

– Concussion

– Rotator cuff injury

– Anterior knee pain

– Tennis or Golfer’s Elbow

– Sciatica

Which Athletes Are at Risk?

Of course, certain sports are more dangerous than others. For instance, rugby and lacrosse cause an average of one injury during every 33 hours of play, and basketball causes one injury every 71 hours of play. And don’t forget the dangers of extreme sports like mountain climbing, motocross and boxing. Studies show that 90 percent of boxers suffer brain injuries. However, common sports carry risks, too. Aerobic dance class causes one injury every 100 hours. Make sure you have health insurance as you enjoy your favorite sport.

Update Your Health Insurance Coverage

Does your current policy cover your favorite sports activities? Some exclude treatment for injuries sustained while performing extreme sports or while visiting overseas locations. You’ll want a rider or a different policy if you need coverage for these activities.

Get Prompt Treatment

Waiting even a day to “see if the swelling goes down” can be disastrous after certain injuries. Be sure your health insurance allows you to see the doctor immediately. It should also allow for out-of-network treatment if you travel away from home to play sports.

Make Sure Your Doctors are Covered

Some athletic injuries may require emergency room care, orthopedic surgery, physical therapy and regular visits to a primary care physician. Check your health insurance policy to make sure you can access these and other treatments you may need after a sports injury.

Knowing that sports are risky probably won’t make you give up your favorite pastime. That means, though, that you have to have updated health insurance. Call us today at 860-589-3434 to make sure you’re covered.

 
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