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Sub Pump Overflow and Groundwater Damage

- Monday, January 30, 2023
Lallis & Higgins Insurance

Sub Pump overflow and groundwater damage can be serious issues for homeowners. A sub pump is a device that is installed underground to pump water out of a basement or crawl space to prevent flooding. However, if the pump malfunctions or becomes clogged, it can cause water to overflow, leading to damage to the home and its contents.

Groundwater damage can occur when the water table rises and enters the home through the foundation or basement walls. This can also lead to mold growth, structural damage, and other issues.

Both of these issues can be covered by homeowners insurance. However, it is important to check the specific details of your policy to see what is covered and what is not. In some cases, additional endorsements or riders may be needed to ensure full coverage for these types of damages.

It is also important to take preventative measures to reduce the risk of sub pump overflow and groundwater damage. This can include regularly maintaining and inspecting the pump, installing a battery backup system, and ensuring proper grading and drainage around the home.

Overall, it is important for homeowners to be aware of the potential for sub pump overflow and groundwater damage, and to take steps to protect their home and belongings through proper maintenance and insurance coverage.

For more information, contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance.


Organization Tips, Here Are Our Top 12

- Wednesday, January 25, 2023
Lallis and Higgins Insurance - Home Organization

1. Start in one place

If you have several areas in your home you want to get under control, start with just one. You decide which one to start with — is it the area that gives you the biggest headache, or the area that guests to your home most easily see? Whatever your priorities, select one area and stick to it. Many attempts at organization fail when the task of cleaning up the entire house seems daunting and folks give up. When you complete one area, celebrate and then move on to the next.

2. Allow plenty of time

Don't expect organization to happen overnight. Depending on the area to be organized, schedule a couple of hours each day to work on getting the area organized. Getting a garage whipped into shape will take more time than it takes to organize a linen closet.

3. Clean house

Once you've selected an area, go through the contents. Donate or hold a garage sale for anything you don't or can't wear or use any more. Use the two year rule of thumb — if you haven't worn it in two years, it's time to say goodbye to it. These items take up valuable space and probably won't be missed.

4. Take inventory

After you've removed extraneous items, take a look at what remains. Does it belong here? Does it make sense to keep it here? Is there another place where you've got more room to keep it, or another area where it would be more easily accessible for its purpose? For example, take that professional-grade mixer that you've been keeping in the back of your closet and move it to the kitchen. When it's time to tackle that area of the home, you can incorporate the mixer into the new storage plan for the kitchen.

5. Look for wasted space

If you're in need of more storage space, think creatively about additional areas that you can put to work. Prime examples include over doors and underneath beds. These areas are valuable real estate in your home and are often overlooked.

6. Maximize vertical space

If you don't have a lot of room to work with, a surefire way to instantly create more space is to go "up." Instead of only having a couple of shelves to house your kitchen items, take them up to the ceiling to really maximize the vertical space — you'll store the things you need less frequently on the higher shelves.

7. Divide the space

By adding additional shelves to a single shelf, or by using containers that stack atop one another, you can divide the vertical space and make efficient use of the area you have to work with. By dividing the space, you eliminate the possibility of stacking tall piles of clothing, papers or other items that are destined to topple over.

8. Keep it moving

Consider storage options on wheels: to allow for greater flexibility and to help keep the clutter under control. Carts can hold an assortment of accessories in a small amount of space, and can be wheeled back into a closet or storage area when not in use.

9. Organize with color

Whether you're working to organize the family room or striving to get your home office under control, use color to enhance your efforts. Assign each child a different colored container to keep his or her belongings in and keep them responsible for cleaning up after themselves. Organize projects, bills and other important papers by function and color in your home office.

10. Visibility

The three rules to organization are visibility, accessibility and flexibility. Choose containers that are either transparent or that you can easily label to help immediately identify the contents and save valuable time.

11. Accessibility

Make sure that the items you need most often are the easiest to access. Likewise, place the items you don't need to get to as often on a higher shelf or in another area.

12. Flexibility

Select a storage system that can adapt to your changing needs. That way, you can reconfigure and reuse solutions to solve a variety of storage and organization problems.

Source: containerstore.com


How to Renew Your Car Insurance

- Tuesday, January 17, 2023
Lallis & Higgins Insurance

Most car insurance policies have a policy period lasting either six or 12 months, depending on the length the company offers and for which you signed up. The last day your policy is effective is called the expiration date, and at that point, you can renew your policy.

Most auto insurance companies offer automatic renewals, meaning that if you wish to continue coverage, simply take no action to stop the renewal and continue making your payments. If you are enrolled in autopay, the insurer will take your scheduled payment via the method on file (your credit card, checking, savings or debit information). As long as you are in good standing, your car insurance company is likely to automatically offer you a policy for the next term. This is convenient for many, as it is low-hassle; it's not necessary to fill out any more paperwork or take any action to ensure that they remain covered.

Typically, about a month before your policy’s expiration date, your insurance provider will contact you with your renewal offer, with the same limits and parameters of the policy that you previously enjoyed. This message will contain your new policy documents: the new effective dates, the new declarations page and ID cards, and your new car insurance premium. Making your regular payment signals the insurer to automatically renew your policy and continue covering you. The possible danger in automatic renewals is that car insurance premiums can increase without you noticing, even if there is no change in coverage or driving history. It’s important to read the terms of the renewal offer carefully before the new policy begins.

What happens if I don’t renew my policy and my coverage lapses?

  • If you begin your new coverage any time after the expiration date of the previous policy, there will be a lapse in coverage. You want to avoid a lapse in insurance coverage for several reasons:
  • You are unprotected throughout the lapse period.
  • A lapse in coverage can lead to higher premiums down the line.
  • New insurance companies might offer discounts for continuous coverage over a certain length of time; if you lapse, you will not be eligible for this discount.

If your insurance provider does not automatically renew your policy and you let your policy expire before purchasing another, you will also experience a lapse in coverage. From the day your policy expires to the effective date of a new policy, you will not be covered and should not drive your vehicle. If you decide you want to renew your previous policy after all, your insurance agent may be able to reinstate your policy, though you may be subject to a penalty fee. If reinstatement is not an option, it’s time to shop for car insurance online.

For more information, contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance.

Source: thezebra.com


Winter Auto Safety

- Monday, January 09, 2023
Lallis & Higgins Insurance

Changes You May Notice

Tires

As the outside temperature drops, so does tire inflation pressure. Make sure each tire is filled to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure, which is in your owner’s manual and on a label located on the driver's side door frame. Do not inflate your tires to the pressure listed on the tire itself. That number is the maximum pressure the tire can hold, not the recommended pressure for your vehicle.

Some other tips:

  • Inspect your tires at least once a month and before long road trips.
  • It’s best to check the tires when they’re cold, meaning that they have not been driven on for at least three hours.
  • Check each tire’s age. Some vehicle manufacturers recommend replacing tires every six years regardless of use.
  • An inspection is not just about checking tire pressure and age. Remember to check:
  • for any damage or conditions that may need attention;
  • the tread and sidewalls for any cuts, punctures, bulges, scrapes, cracks, or bumps. The tread should be at least 2/32 of an inch or greater on all tires; and your spare tire.
  • If you find tire damage, take your vehicle to a tire service professional.

Consider installing snow tires, but before buying new tires, visit NHTSA’s Tires page to review tire safety ratings. The Uniform Tire Quality Grading System (UTQGS) lets you compare tire treadwear, traction performance, and temperature resistance.

Car Seats

Side by side of children in car seat, one in puffy coat, one not.In colder weather, parents typically dress their children in winter coats. But it’s important to know that heavy coats can interfere with the proper harness fit on a child in a car seat. When your child will be secured in a car seat, pick thin, warm layers, and place blankets or coats around your child after the harness is snug and secure for extra warmth.

Also, make sure car seats and booster seats are properly installed and that any children riding with you are in the right seat for their ages and sizes. See NHTSA’s child passenger safety recommendations to find the right seat for your child’s age and size. You can visit NHTSA’s Child Car Seat Inspection Station Locator to find a free car seat inspection site near you, or to get information on virtual inspections.

Batteries

When the temperature drops, so does battery power. In cold weather, gasoline and diesel engines take more battery power to start, and electric and hybrid-electric vehicles’ driving range can be reduced. Have a mechanic check your battery, charging system, belts, and for any other needed repairs or replacements.

Safety Technologies

Familiarize yourself with the safety technologies on your vehicle and how they perform in wintry conditions. Know whether your vehicle has an antilock brake system and learn how to use it properly. Antilock brake systems prevent your wheels from locking up during braking. If you have antilock brakes, apply firm, continuous pressure to the brake pedal. If you don’t have antilock brakes, you may need to pump your brakes if you feel your wheels starting to lock up. For more information on driver assistance technologies, visit NHTSA.gov/DriverAssistTech.

Floor Mats

Due to slushy winter conditions, you might consider switching out your usual floor mats for thicker material or rubbery ones. Improperly installed floor mats in your vehicle could interfere with the operation of the accelerator or brake pedal, increasing the risk of a crash. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mat installation and use retention clips to secure the mats. Always use mats that are the correct size and fit for your vehicle.

Preparing Your Vehicle

Lights

Check your headlights, brake lights, turn signals, emergency flashers and interior lights. Be sure to also check your trailer brake lights and turn signals, if necessary.

Windshield Wipers

You can quickly go through a lot of windshield wiper fluid in a single snowstorm. Make sure your vehicle’s reservoir is full of high-quality “winter” fluid with de-icer before winter weather hits. Make sure defrosters and all windshield wipers work and replace any worn blades. Consider installing heavy-duty winter wipers if you live in an area that gets a lot of snow and ice.

Cooling System

Make sure you have enough coolant in your vehicle, and that it meets the manufacturer’s specifications. See your vehicle owner’s manual for recommendations. Check the cooling system for leaks, test the coolant, and drain or replace the old coolant.

You may also want to visit your mechanic for a tune-up and ask them to check for leaks, badly worn hoses, or other needed parts, repairs, and replacements.

Source: nhtsa.gov


Learn the Top 10 Tips for Mind and Body Wellness

- Tuesday, January 03, 2023
Lallis & Higgins Insurance  - Meditation

Do you find that balancing professional and personal excellence is like walking on the razor’s edge? Sometimes when we are consumed with succeeding at work, we tend to forget that we have a human body– that has certain requirements like rest and nourishment. When we are mentally and physically healthy, we are able to yield better results at work and outside of work. If that rings a bell somewhere, then here are 10 simple tips for mind and body wellness to help you have a healthy lifestyle:

1. Meditation

Striking a balance between the demands in life requires some tools, and meditation can be that one tool that makes a significant difference. It is one of the most powerful tools for restoring the balance in our lives. In meditation, you experience a deep state of restful awareness, in which your body and mind are resting deeply while your mind gains greater awareness.

Meditation is like the foundation of a building, giving you better footing, or the means to withstand greater challenges and pursue your goals. “If you want to build higher, you have to dig deep. The deeper and stronger the foundation, the higher the building”, says Bhanumathi Narasimhan, senior Sahaj Samadhi Meditation teacher who has been teaching meditation globally for 30+ years.

2. Healthy diet

The old adage, ‘You are what you eat,’ could be expanded to include, ‘You are how you eat and when you eat’. Keeping a food diary can give you a clear picture of all the ‘what, how, and when’ effects you. But even just thinking back to when you overate or missed a meal or grabbed something on the go, you may remember feeling dull, unclear, and less dynamic. Taking care of our body definitely contributes to our physical health but also our mental wellness.

Food is the primary fuel for our body which then affects the quality of our minds. When we eat fried foods, spicy foods, leftovers, high fat, and sugar-laden foods we not only experience various health issues but our minds also suffer. Giving attention to a healthy diet eaten on time in a relaxed manner is possibly one of the most overlooked ways of improving mind body wellness, immunity, and even our level of happiness.

3. Daily exercise

If you are not exercising daily you are probably noticing some lack of vitality, health issues, or possibly even premature aging. Everything from our complexion, ability to be mobile and flexible, as well as the quality of our sleep, are all connected to whether or not we have a regular exercise routine.

It is recommended to do thirty minutes of daily and appropriate exercise which can give you more energy, help you relax, and sleep better- even the quality of our mind improves with physical activity.

Exercise changes the levels of the "feel-good" hormones in your brain, such as serotonin, which brings your mood to the happier side. Exercise also removes inertia from the body as well as pent up energies. Daily practice of yoga contributes to mind-body wellness utilizing the power of your breath and awareness with the body. Try doing a few rounds of Sun Salutations to start your day and see your energy increase along with mental focus.

4. Restful sleep

Do you know how important sleep is for us? Doctors say, 7–9 hours of sleep each night maintains blood pressure, reduces cholesterol levels, and breaks the cycle of stress and counteracts its effects on our body, thus making us feel fresh and happy each day. After a good night’s sleep, energy levels are higher. Your mental awareness is more acute and you are likely to smile more. A good night’s sleep also makes us more productive.

5. Cultivate loving relationships

Connecting to people is as important as, or even more than to have a 24x7 Wi-Fi connection. It keeps us from feeling lonely and isolated and helps us deal more effectively with stress. Connections can happen even on the phone or a Zoom call, when meeting in person is not feasible. When possible, do things in a group. This can lead to an increase in dynamism and creativity and even benefit your performance at work. In fact, when the ‘I’ changes to ‘We’, then even illness changes to wellness!

With depression reaching higher and higher numbers across the globe, connection with others is paramount. Sometimes depression comes when we spend too much time thinking, ‘What about me?’ A couple of simple antidotes are to extend your hand to another person in need or do a random act of kindness for a stranger. For a bigger impact on depression and anxiety, learn SKY Breath Meditation which significantly decreases both clinical and non-clinical depression and anxiety. Participants have also noticed improved personal relationships.

6. Drinking plenty of water

Did you know that water can help burn fat and keep you healthy? And that 70% of our brain is made up of the same water that is so critical to our body's proper functioning? In fact, water also regulates the digestive processes and helps get rid of waste. Without water or enough of it, our bodies either function at a reduced capacity or sometimes parts simply stop working.

Definitely drink water when you’re thirsty and drink extra water when it is warm outside to keep you perfectly hydrated. While there are some differences of opinion, around eight to ten glasses of water every day is all we need to maintain the water requirement of our body. If you like, you can carry a fancy water bottle to add a dash of style!

7. Smile a little more

"A smile is a curve that sets everything straight." Did you know that smiling can release stress and tension from different parts of your face? It is like giving your facial muscles some exercise along with relaxation. Smiling also releases endorphins – a chemical in the brain that lifts your mood. Smiling slows the heart rate and relaxes the body. So when faced with problems you can reduce tension if you take a minute to smile. You might just find along with the tension leaving, a new perspective arrives.

8. Be generous

Just take a minute and reflect: which of these makes you happier: giving a gift or receiving a gift. It is always the joy of doing something for others that makes us feel uplifted. Just as a random act of kindness benefits the recipient, it also uplifts the giver.

The possibilities are endless, whether it is a small gesture or a large donation to a non-profit, random acts of kindness and charity, contribute to your physical, mental and even spiritual wellness. Consciously planning for ways to be generous is both worthwhile and needed.

9. Say no to drugs

There has never been a time when it was easier to gain access to both prescription and non-prescription drugs than in today’s world. Pain medications unfortunately often come with builtin addiction risks. And recreational drugs have so many negative effects, from lung damage to brain damage.

10. Save time for fun

Having fun may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of mind and body wellness, but fun can be a big influencer when it comes to healthy living. If we don’t take time for fun then stress could have an even bigger impact on our life. Having fun helps us balance work and home, and also recharges us in ways no other self-care tool can. So take a break and meditate, then do something playful, surprising, and FUN! Your mind and body will thank you!

Source: artofliving.org


New Year’s Greetings

- Thursday, December 29, 2022
New Year’s Greetings

We hope calendar year 2022 was memorable for all the right reasons and leaves you with only life-long heart-warming memories. As the dawn of the new year approaches, we extend our best wishes for the same throughout 2023. It is truly a privilege to serve you and to be uplifted by you. From all of us here at Lallis & Higgins Insurance we thank you and wish you all a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!


An Appreciative Happy Holidays Wish from All of Us

- Monday, December 19, 2022
Happy Holidays

The holidays have arrived. As we write this, we continue to do our very best to meet and exceed your expectations. Simultaneously, our hearts are filled with Holiday joy, too many to itemize fully. One of our greatest joys is our appreciation of you. Please know how much we value and are personally rewarded by our relationship.

For warming our hearts and for thinking of us when our business can meet your needs, everyone here at Lallis & Higgins Insurance offers our thanks and heartfelt greetings for a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, and joyful wishes for your every holiday celebration.


Winter Bucket List

- Tuesday, December 13, 2022
Lallis & Higgins Insurance - Winter Bucket List

There is still time to make the most of this magical time of year! Get into the holiday spirit and join in some festive fun with these events and activities. There is bound to be something close to home that the whole family will enjoy!

Brewster Gardens Light Up the Night: Plymouth

There’s no need to spend a lot of money to make lasting memories. The gorgeous Brewster Gardens in Plymouth have been filled with Christmas lights and are completely FREE to enjoy! The walkable trail is open from December 3rd to January 1st (5-9pm) so you have plenty of time to plan your visit. The Gardens are located at 57 Water Street in Plymouth, MA.

Winterlights Display at the Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate: Canton

If you’re looking for a full evening of seasonal fun look no further than the Winterlights Display in Canton. The beautiful Bradley Estate has been decorated with thousands of lights and the sparkling display has been organized into a ½ mile walk. There are also activities for the kids and refreshments for all! You’ll need tickets for anyone over the age of two so check out this link and plan ahead. https://thetrustees.org/program/winterlights-massachusetts/

South Shore Celebration of Lights: Marshfield

The Marshfield fairgrounds aren’t just for summer fun anymore! You won’t want to miss the creative light displays that have taken over the space! Stay cozy in your car while you drive through this winter wonderland while listening to accompanying music right on your car radio. Check out this link for more information and tickets. https://www.fiestashows.com/fs/south-shore-light-show/

La Salette Christmas Light Display: Attleboro

Beautiful in any season, the La Salette Shrine is even more of a must-see in December! This year’s display includes more than 300,000 lights over ten acres. The event is free to all (donations welcome) and can be experienced nightly from 5-9pm through Jan 1st. There is no need to reserve a spot ahead of time but if you’d like more information here is the link to the La Salette website. https://www.lasaletteattleboroshrine.org/

Enchanted Village: Avon

The beloved Enchanted Village is on display at Jordan’s Furniture in Avon and is free to explore! Enjoy this vintage and carefully restored collection of toy displays that will warm your heart. If you want to keep the fun going, there are additional ticketed activities available as well, including a ride on the Polar Express! https://www.jordans.com/enchanted-village

Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops Patriot Place: Foxboro

No winter bucket list could be complete without pictures with Santa. Create lasting holiday memories at Bass Pro Shops by signing up for free pictures. There will also be crafts, games, and activities. Sign up here https://www.basspro.com/shop/en/santas-wonderland and enjoy!


FHA Now Accepts Private Flood Insurance!

- Monday, December 12, 2022
Lallis & Higgins Insurance - Private Flood Insurance

Great news! FHA (Federal Housing Administration) must accept private flood insurance beginning on December 21, 2022. Now, homeowners with FHA loans will be able to take advantage of the private flood insurance rates. Private flood rates can be up to 40% off the NFIP required flood policy rates.

With deductibles no higher than the specified maximum amount under a standard National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy, Beyond Floods flood insurance through Lallis & Higgins Insurance offers many options for deductibles.

NFIP still only offers a maximum building limit of $250K for residential and $500K for commercial. The only time NFIP offers replacement cost on building coverage is for a primary single family home that is lived in by the owner 80% of the year with coverage 80% to value or max limits of the program. All other building coverage is actual cash value. Contents coverage is always actual cash value with the NFIP. The private market offers broader coverage options, increased limits and single deductibles. Some of those broader coverages are often a la carte so if you need them you can buy them and if you don’t you aren’t paying extra for unused coverage. Some examples are simple coverages can be loss of use, replacement cost for contents and other buildings on your property like a shed or detached garage (used for parking or storage). With NFIP other buildings coverage is only 10% of the dwelling coverage and is included as part of the dwelling coverage.

Here are some other great benefits of Beyond Floods Floor insurance:

  • Limits up to $1.5M for dwelling and up to $750K in contents coverage. Again, NFIP still only offers a maximum building limit of $250K for residential and $500K for commercial.
  • Single deductible - One deductible for both dwelling and contents. With the NFIP contents coverage is always actual cash value .
  • Loss of Use up to $150k
  • The private market offers broader coverage options, increased limits and single deductibles.
  • Flexible payment options including monthly installments
  • Personalized Flood Outlook Report so you can be educated on your exposure to flood.
  • Some examples are simple coverages including loss of use, replacement cost for contents and other buildings on your property.

For more information on private flood insurance, contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance.


7 Rules of Skiing Safety

- Monday, December 05, 2022
Lallis & Higgins Insurance - Skiing with Family

While a helmet, goggles, and gloves are a few important things to bring along for a long day on the slopes to stay safe and warm, common sense is probably the most important thing to bring when you’re skiing or snowboarding.

On a busy Saturday, there can be thousands of people at a ski resort. Navigating through dozens of people at varying skill levels on the same run can feel like a game of Frogger as you dodge ski school groups, stopped skiers or snowboarders, and speed demons.

Ski and snowboard injuries are common

While deaths are relatively rare – approximately 38 per year out of over a million ski days per season, according to the National Ski Areas Association – ski collisions and non-life-threatening injuries are much more common. Researchers at Johns Hopkins Hospital estimated that about 600,000 people nationally are injured each year as a result of skiing and snowboarding.

The National Ski Areas Association developed “Your Responsibility Code” to help skiers and boarders be aware of the risks associated with snowsports.

Know the Code

Here are the seven rules of slope safety to keep you and others out of harm’s way:

  • Always stay in control and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
  • People ahead of you have the right of way. It’s your responsibility to avoid them.
  • Don’t stop where you obstruct a trail or aren’t visible from above.
  • Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
  • Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
  • Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
  • Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride, and unload safely.
  • Ultimately, it’s up to each of us to use common sense, show courtesy to others, and be aware of our surroundings to stay safe on the slopes.

Source: intermountainhealthcare



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