Lallis and Higgins Blog

Personally Designed Commercial Auto Insurance

Joseph Coupal - Monday, December 09, 2019
Auto Insurance

Did you know that if you or your employees are using personal vehicles for business and you get in an accident, the accident may not be covered under your personal auto policy? It's true.

Commercial automobile insurance is there for a reason. Make sure your employees are properly covered and save your business from unwanted risk.

With commercial auto insurance, the policy should include liability, property, injury, medical, collision and comprehensive, un- and underinsured motorist, towing and rental.

Every business has specific needs however. Perhaps yours is seasonal, or maybe your are in the towing business. Perhaps you are in the livery business or transport expensive merchandise. Contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance for your specific commercial auto insurance needs.


Now is the Time for Us to Say "Thanks" to YOU!

Joseph Coupal - Monday, November 25, 2019
Lallis and Higgins - Weymouth, Quincy, MA

Thanksgiving Day is the perfect time to remind one another of the many reasons there are to be grateful. We gather on this day to be thankful for what we have, for the family we love, the friends we cherish, the success we have had, and for the blessings that will come.

Thanksgiving is more than the festivities, it gives us time to ponder the lessons that we have learned and how we can spread happiness around, to look back at all the great memories and good people who came into our lives. We appreciate you, our customers and clients, so much.

At this time of year our thoughts turn gratefully to you with warm appreciation. Our best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving.


Tips for Deep Frying a Turkey This Thanksgiving

Joseph Coupal - Monday, November 18, 2019

Lallis & Higgins, Weymouth, Quincy, MAThose in Quincy and Weymouth, MA who have tasted deep-fried turkey usually say there’s simply no comparison to an oven-roasted bird — turkey out of the fryer is moist, with crispy skin and a beautiful color.

And, it cooks much more quickly than a turkey in the oven, which means you don’t have to wait for hours on end to get your fix.

But, if you’re not careful, frying a turkey can ruin your Thanksgiving, too. You’ve no doubt seen videos of people accidentally starting fires with their attempts. In some cases, families have even lost their homes.

With a little common sense, though, you can safely enjoy that great taste and fast cooking time. Here are five tips for cooking a great deep-fried turkey — without doing any damage (except maybe to your waistline):

1. Find a safe place to cook.

Don’t ever set up a fryer any closer than 10 feet from your home, garage or any other structure. Make sure the area is flat to keep the fryer from tipping, and never put it on a deck or other flammable surface.

2. Don’t use too much turkey.

You don’t want to drop a 20-pound bird in your fryer; it’s just too big. Keep your turkey to 12 pounds or less, don’t stuff it and make sure it’s completely thawed and dry.

3. Don’t use too much oil, either.

When it comes to the oil, use something with a high smoke point (for example, canola or safflower) and do a test with water beforehand to figure out how much you need. Put the turkey in your fryer and fill with water until it is covered. Then take the turkey out and make a mental note of the water line — that’s how much oil to use. Be sure to dry everything completely after your test.

4. Use caution when it’s time to cook.

Don’t just drop the turkey into the fryer, unless you want to splash hot oil on yourself (bad) or the burner (even worse). Gently lower it into the oil, and then monitor everything as it’s cooking. Keep an eye on the oil temperature to make sure it doesn’t get too hot. Keep an eye on the clock, because you want your turkey to cook for about 3-5 minutes per pound. And, watch kids and pets so they don’t get too close to the fryer.

5. Be prepared for disaster.

If you’re cautious, the odds are you won’t need a fire extinguisher, but you should have one on hand anyway – a multi-purpose model with dry powder. Don’t ever spray water on a fryer fire. If you don’t have an extinguisher, either cover the oil or dump a large amount of baking soda on the blaze. And, if all else fails, call 911 – quickly.

Of course, there’s one way to get a deep-fried turkey that can’t fail: Buy one from a professional. They’re available at some grocery and specialty stores, and even restaurants are getting into the act now.

Whichever you choose, we here at Lallis & Higgins Insurance wish you a happy and safe Thanksgiving!


Preparing for Winter Weather

Joseph Coupal - Friday, November 15, 2019

Lallis & Higgins Insurance, Quincy, Weymouth, MAGetting ready for winter weather

Fall has arrived, but there’s still time to get ready for winter weather, including storms. Extreme cold is always a possibility here in Quincy, Weymouth, MA, so we at Lallis & Higgins Insurance have compiled some tips to help you stay safe and limit damage.

Preparing your home

  • Perform basic winter maintenance — insulate your walls and attic, caulk and weather-strip doors and windows, and insulate water lines that run along outer walls. When temperatures drop, keep water taps slightly open so they drip continuously, and keep the cabinets under sinks open to allow warmer air in.
  • If you use a fireplace or wood stove, have the chimney or flue inspected each year. Make sure your house has working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and test them monthly.
  • Check your emergency supplies and ensure that you have adequate food and water, along with a battery-powered radio, in the event of an extended power outage. You’ll want a week’s worth of supplies, or more if you live in a remote area.
  • Never use gas-powered generators or barbecue grills indoors. These can allow deadly carbon monoxide to build up.

Preparing your car

  • Have your vehicle serviced according to manufacturer recommendations. Check the antifreeze level.
  • Keep the gas tank near full, which helps avoid ice in the fuel lines and the gas tank itself.
  • Replace wiper fluid with a wintertime mixture.
  • Make sure your tires are in good shape and have the proper air pressure.
  • Check to confirm your battery has a good charge, your heater and defroster are working well, and that your emergency lights are functional.

Preparing yourself

  • Always wear temperature-appropriate clothing, such as hats, gloves, scarves, etc. Remove any wet clothing immediately. And keep spare clothing in your car trunk throughout winter in case you are stranded or stuck.
  • Stay hydrated. You might think this is more important when it’s warm outside, but it’s just as vital in winter.
  • Be mindful of physical exertion and the amount of time you’re spending outdoors. Shoveling snow is hard work, so don’t overdo it!

Winter is a lot of fun, and we’re looking forward to sledding and trips to Santa's village. So get your house, car and body ready, and have a great season!

Contact Us!

At Lallis & Higgins Insurance, we can work with you to make sure you've got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 781-561-9031 or send us a note at Service@LallisandHiggins.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what's important to you is protected!

Content provided by Safeco Insurance


Renters Insurance - Do You Need It?

Joseph Coupal - Monday, November 04, 2019
Lallis & Higgins Insurance, Quincy, Weymouth, MA

While the majority of American homeowners have insurance, only about a third of renters buy renters insurance.

Renters insurance provides financial protection against the loss or destruction of your possessions when you rent a house or apartment. Your possessions are not covered by your landlord's insurance.

Renters insurance premiums are relatively inexpensive.

With renters insurance, your belongings are covered against losses from fire or smoke, lightning, vandalism, theft, explosion, windstorm and water damage (not including floods). Renters insurance also covers your responsibility to other people injured at your home and pays legal defense costs if you are taken to court.

Renters insurance also covers your additional living expenses (ALE) if you are unable to live in your home because of a fire or other covered peril.

There are two types of renters insurance policies:

Actual Cash Value - pays to replace your possessions up to the limit of your policy, minus a deduction for depreciation.

Replacement Cost - pays the real cost of replacing your belongings (regardless of depreciation) up to the limit of your policy.

If you have expensive jewelry, furs, sports or musical equipment, or collectibles, you may want to consider adding a floater to your policy. Most standard renter’s policies offer only a limited dollar amount for such items; a floater is a separate policy that provides additional insurance for your valuables and even covers them if they are accidentally lost.

If you are a renter, contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance for more information.

Source: Wall Street Journal / Source Insurance Information Institute


Vacant Home Insurance: There is a Risk to Not Being There

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, October 29, 2019
Lallis & Higgins Insurance -- Quincy, Weymouth, MA

Whether your home is for sale, under renovation, or part of an estate, you should strongly consider consulting an independent insurance agent about the risks associated with not being there and to review your vacant home insurance policy options. Consulting one will open you doors of opportunities to protect your home and everything inside it while it is unoccupied for various reasons.

Many people vacate their home but fail to consult their insurance agent/advisor. They wrongly assume that their homeowner’s policy will cover the new situation. While that policy will protect a home from certain risks it likely will not cover all risks. Every homeowner should be advised that some insurance providers will deny claims on an existing homeowner’s policy for homes that are no longer occupied. That is why you really need to consult your agent and determine what should be done in order for you to achieve a comprehensive coverage for your property.

The vacant home and property insurance policies that we independently research and we write throughout Massachusetts can help you provide the protection that your property needs when there is no one around. Just because you the home is not occupied does not mean it no longer needs protection while you are away. For this reason, it is really imperative to consult an independent agent about it, know you options, and come up with a comprehensive insurance for your vacant home.

To find out more about vacant home insurance, contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance.


Don’t Delay — Start Thinking About Winterizing Your RV Today

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, October 24, 2019
Lallis and Higgins Insurance, Weymouth, MA

Unless you’re headed to a warmer climate for the winter, fall in Weymouth and Quincy, MA is the time to start preparing your RV for winter (as long as you’re done using it for a while, that is).

The elements can wreak havoc on your RV’s systems and exterior, but with these five RV winterization tips, you can take steps to protect your investment and make sure it’s ready to go in the spring. Before you get started, though, remember to always check the owners’ manuals for both your RV and any appliances inside — and follow those specific instructions.

  1. Drain and blow out the water lines. Frozen water will do a real number on your RV’s water system. So, clear the lines and drain the tanks, and then add nontoxic (not automotive) antifreeze following the specifications in your manual.
  2. Clean the interior. You don’t want food to spoil and risk mildew on bedding and clothing, so remove all of it from your RV. You also want to get anything out that will attract animals and insects looking for a cozy winter home. After you clean the interior, open up the cabinets and fridge and leave them that way. Close your blinds to keep the sun out, too.
  3. Then, tackle the exterior. Clean all surfaces, including tires (which should be properly inflated), and then put on an RV cover if you have one. Make sure awnings are dry before you roll them up, and close all the windows and doors.
  4. Find a good place to park. After you’ve spent all this time getting your RV protected for winter, don’t park it somewhere unsafe, where a tree could fall on it or high weeds will attract insects.
  5. Watch the battery. Actually, don’t watch it — disconnect it, particularly if you won’t be driving your RV for at least 30 days.

Bonus tip: While you’re not driving your RV, call Lallis & Higgins Insurance to discuss your insurance coverage. You may be able to save money on your policy if it won’t be on the road for an extended period of time.


Small Business Insurance Mistakes that Cost You Money

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Lallis & Higgins Insurance, Quincy, Weymouth, MA

Independent insurance agents are your best bet for finding true value for your insurance dollar. At Lallis & Higgins Insurance we believe that a well-educated business insurance consumer will ultimately seek out the advice of trusted independent insurance agents.

Here are five Small Business Insurance Mistakes that Cost You Money.

Not Having the Right Insurance for Online Sales

Online sales help boost many small businesses’ revenue. However, defective products can lead to expensive lawsuits. Business owners should have a product liability insurance to help protect them against these types of lawsuits. Also, a contingent business income (CBI) coverage can protect policyholders against economic losses caused by damage to property owners.

Not Checking Your Business Credit Before Getting a Policy

Small business owners often don’t realize that the insurer may check their business credit profile as part of the underwriting process. A poor business credit history may make it difficult or more expensive to get the insurance they need. Before you apply for any kind of business insurance, consider checking your business credit profile to see where you stand.

Not Taking Advantage of IRS Code Section 162

Section 162 allows for an Executive Bonus plan. An executive bonus plan is a fringe benefit, funded with life insurance, given to a select group of key employees and/or business owners. It provides protection to the executive’s family during their working years, and when it’s funded with permanent life insurance, it can also provide tax-advantaged supplemental retirement income.

Not Having a Cyber Insurance Policy

Cyber insurance protects businesses and individual users from internet-based risks. It is designed to help an organization mitigate risk exposure by offsetting costs involved with recovery after a cyber-related security breach. Unfortunately, only around 58% of small businesses have cyber insurance. There are businesses who incur losses due to cyber-security risks and having a cyber insurance can help you prevent such risks and losses.

Buying a Policy Based on Price Rather than Value

Most small business owners treat insurance as a commodity and as a result, are buying based on price rather than value. When it comes to buying , one size does not fit all. It is critical that the insurance carriers understand your business and craft the coverage to meet your needs. Cheap policies are not always the best policies for your business.

If you have questions regarding securing insurance for your business, call us! We are independent insurance professionals serving all of Massachusetts.


Fire Safety Month: How to Protect Your Home and Family

Joseph Coupal - Monday, October 07, 2019
Lallis & Higgins Insurance - Fire Safety Month: How to Protect Your Home and Family in Quincy, Weymouth, MA

For Fire Prevention Month this year, families should improve their home’s safety by checking their alarms, testing the alarms regularly and adding reliable protection when replacing expired alarms. We are dedicated to helping protect what matters most because a home emergency can happen at any time and we want you to be prepared.

Fire Prevention Month is the prefect time talk with your whole family about fire safety – include testing alarms, changing the batteries or upgrading to 10-year sealed battery alarm for hassle-free protection, and escape planning.

  • 3 of every 5 home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no working smoke alarms
  • Less than 50% of homeowners have an escape plan
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) is the #1 cause of accidental death
  • 60% of consumers do not test their smoke and CO alarms monthly*
  • Only 47% of people report having CO alarms in their home
  • Just 43% of homeowners have an escape plan*

Are You Fully Protected?

Having functioning alarms installed throughout your home is the first line of defense for fire prevention. They work around the clock to give your family an early alert in the event of an emergency, allowing you time to safely escape. Smoke and CO alarms should be placed on every level of the home, including the basement, as well as inside and outside each bedroom. Fire alarms should also be placed on every level of the home, especially in the kitchen and garage.

Did you know that if a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape? During a fire, early warning from a working smoke alarm plus a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives. Learn what else to do to keep your loved ones safe!

Top Tips for Fire Safety

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
  • Test smoke alarms every month. If they’re not working, change the batteries.
  • Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
  • If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.

For more information on protecting your home, contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance.

Firstalert.com


2019 Fall Bucket List

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, October 03, 2019
Lallis & Higgins Insurance,  Quincy, Weymouth, MA

Four activities you and your family can do this fall:

1. Corn Mazes, apple and pumpkin picking.

  • Sauchuk’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch in Plympton has fun activities for all ages. Two corn mazes, Hay Wagon ride, cow rain jumpy pillows and more! This is one of our favorites to visit each fall. www.sauchukmaze.com.
  • Lookout Farm in South Natick offers both pumpkin and apple picking during the fall. The farm also has children’s play area along with a train and hay ride. www.lookoutfarm.com
  • Connors Farm in Danvers on top of the apple and pumpkin picking – this farm offers a 7-acre corn maze, barn yard animals hay-jump and slide, and more… www.connorsfarm.com

2. Go for a walk or hike! Some of the most beautiful walking and hiking trails are at our footsteps. Here are a few of our favorites.

  • World’s End Hingham GPS address 150 Martins Lane Hingham, MA 02043. Overlooking the Boston sky line, this location brings the best of both land and sea.
  • Blue Hills trails in Canton are a great location to hike. They have different levels of hiking from beginner to intermediate. You can also visit the Trailside Museum at the base of trails after you’re done with your hike.
  • If you enjoy the foliage and like going for car rides, then you may want to take a trip up to New Hampshire this fall for a hike. A Moderate Hike Moose Mountain is just a little more than an hour and a half from Boston. For those more adventures keep driving north to the Franconia Notch State Park.

3. Haunted houses! If you like a good thrill, then these places may give you want you’ve been looking for.

  • Factory of Terror – located in Fall River, Worcester and West Warwick RI. www.factoryofterror.com. If you like a good old fashion scare, then this is right up your alley.
  • Barrett’s Haunted Mansion in Abington. www.bhmansion.com . Experience the madness behind the walls of Black Hinge Maximum Security Penitentiary at Barrett's Haunted Mansion. Prisoners are unhinged and running rampant!
  • Witch’s Woods in Westford, MA. https://witchswoods.com. We dare you to go for this haunted hayride through the Nashoba Valley Ski area!

4. Visit a zoo for a not so scary experience. The Fall is a great time to visit a zoo, and many of the zoos decorate for the seasons. Here are our top three zoos to visit in New England:

  • Southwick Zoo in Mendon, MA. Just an hour south of Boston this zoo is a must see. They even have carnival rides for the little ones to enjoy. Zoo Boo Days are from October 19 – 31th. www.southwickszoo.com
  • Franklin Park Zoo in Boston www.zoonewengland.org/franklin-park-zoo. Conveniently located in Boston. Zoo Howl takes place on 10/26 and 10/27 from 11:00am3pm each day.
  • RogersWilliams Park Zoo in Providence Rhode Island. This zoo has a fun Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular from October 4th to November 4th. www.rwpzoo.org


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