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Often, after a severe storm hits and damage occurs, homeowners can feel overwhelmed with what steps to take for a successful recovery.  If you haven't already constructed your own plan of action for post-storm damage and power outages, we’ve provided this check list for you to use as a basic guide.  

After a tornado/storm

Check for injured or trapped persons. Do not move them unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. If you have evacuated, wait until authorities tell you it's safe before returning home.
Be alert for other tornadoes and severe weather.
Stay away from standing water.
Sniff for gas leaks. If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the main gas valve, if possible, and evacuate. If you have any concerns, notify a professional.
Do not touch downed power lines or wires.
Be careful moving through any wreckage. Watch for nails, exposed metal, loose boards, etc. that could cause injury. Make sure your tetanus shot is up to date and, if not, seek immediate medical assistance for any injuries.
If you can, videotape or photograph the damage.
Save remnants of damaged or destroyed property for your insurance company adjuster, and do not sign agreements with contractors or anyone else until you have a chance to meet with your insurance adjuster.
Keep a written record of everyone you talk to about your insurance claim, including the date of the conversation and a summary of what was said.
Keep all receipts including documents that reflect costs for temporary housing, clothing, food and other living expenses. Since tornado claims are frequently total losses, you may receive payment for some of these costs  immediately.
Your pre-disaster home inventory will be of great assistance to you at this point. After you've examined everything and determined the extent of damage, call your independent insurance agent as soon as possible to file an insurance claim.


GENERATOR SAFETY**




Branford, CT – May 8, 2018
– Distracted driving has become one of the most major causes of serious automobile accidents in the United States.  According to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, 80% of automobile accidents involve driver inattention.

Eating, drinking, applying makeup, and the use of GPS are all distractions that have contributed to this astounding  number of accidents.  The use of mobile phones behind the wheel undoubtedly proved to be the biggest problem.  Texting while driving is 6x more likely to cause an accident than drunk driving.*

According to the study conducted by Cambridge Metrics Telematics (2017), 75% of drivers see other drivers on their phones every day.  Alarming statistics as such, prompted V.F. McNeil Insurance, a Trusted Choice® independent insurance agency located in Branford, Connecticut, to propose the idea of a distracted driving awareness campaign to its branding partner Trusted Choice®.  



I haven’t been in any accidents or received any violations, why is my rate going up?

The cost of insurance is affected by more than your personal driving history.  Multiple factors go into rating auto insurance premium, including what’s happening in the market overall.  

The auto industry is unfortunately experiencing higher-than-expected claims.  Multiple factors are causing claims to be on the rise.  One of those factors is distracted driving.  In addition, each of these claims on average is costing more than ever before.  Today’s vehicles are standardly equipped with so many advanced technologies, which are forcing up the cost of product replacement as well as labor.  Mechanics are no longer just replacing a bumper during a fender bender.  They are replacing a bumper, a sensor, and a camera.  More expensive parts and more advanced skills are required for each job.  This ultimately results in an auto insurance premium increase and it’s happening industry-wide.  Insurance companies must increase premiums to ensure that they are able to pay future claims.  

A few more examples
The improving economy, the rising cost of medical care, weather-related occurrences, and increasing fraudulent auto insurance claims are all additional factors contributing to these increases.  

When gas pricing is lower and people feel more financially confident, they tend to drive more which of course increases the number of accidents.  As medical costs increase, this also gets factored in to the overall cost as bodily injury claims go up substantially.  Fraudulent claimants pursuing extremely high payouts in cases that don’t warrant such action also have a rather large impact on rating.  

By: Pauline Handy - Marketing Director, V.F. McNeil Insurance

In our last blog, Commit to a Financial Makeover Without Feeling Deprived, we reviewed some ideas on how to pioneer a different approach to managing your finances without feeling like you are missing out on life.  Hopefully, you found some of our tips to be helpful.

If so, it’s time to move on to the next phase so that you have a guide for when the time is right.  Our financial professional and life insurance specialist, Megan Maruzo, shared some great information during a presentation she gave to a women’s group in 2017 that I want to pass on to you! This blueprint for financial confidence is applicable to all.

How Do I Get Started?

You’ve already done that just by reading the first blog and now this one.  However, to more closely hone in on the steps, Megan recommends developing your goals, determining what your priorities are, and then taking the time to learn about the tools to get you to where you want to be.