Lallis and Higgins Blog

Ways to Protect Your Home When On Summer Vacation

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Lallis & Higgins Insurance -- Quincy, Weymouth, MA

When you’re excited about vacation, it’s easy to forget about what you’re leaving behind. That is, until you get to the airport and wonder: Did I lock the door? Is the iron on? Is the garage door open? Secure your home before you leave so you can travel with maximum confidence and peace of mind. These home security tips for when you’re on vacation will help ensure that you won’t return to any unpleasant surprises.

1. Lock the doors and windows

Locking up might seem too obvious to mention, but an estimated 32% of burglars enter through unlocked doors. Windows are also weak points, so keep them closed and locked, even on the upper floors. A clever burglar can still access them, and an open window anywhere in the house might let in animals, rain or wind.

2. Clear out the mailbox

Mail piling up is a tip-off that no one’s home. Have a trusted neighbor, friend or housesitter collect your mail and keep it safely out of sight. Alternatively, you can request a temporary mail hold or mail forwarding through USPS.com. If you subscribe to any newspapers or subscription boxes, pause your delivery.

3. Use lights to create the illusion that someone’s home

Darkness is another trademark of an empty house — it also allows thieves to sneak in undetected. Nix that vulnerability by leaving a few lights on. Better yet, use motion detector lights to illuminate any intruders, or opt for smart lighting so you can set the lights to a timer and control them remotely.

4. Keep the yard maintained

Unless you have an extremely low-care yard, the lawn or garden will definitely need attention if you’re gone long enough. Make sure your landscaping professional continues working in your absence, and if you don’t have one, ask a neighbor or hire temporary help. If you live in a wintry climate, consider snow removal as well.

5. Leave a car in the driveway

Former burglars have reported that a vehicle in the driveway is a major deterrent in scoping out potential targets, because it almost always means that someone is home. Leave your (locked) car where people can see it, or see if a neighbor wants to park there.

6. Hide or lock up valuables

Easy-to-grab expensive items are extremely alluring to criminals. Conceal and secure the high-value items in both your home and garage. Lock up the most important things in a household safe. Remember that many thieves don’t draw the line at stealing physical goods — they also want to steal your identity. Lock up social security cards, financial information and any personal identification that you’re not bringing with you.

7. Don’t broadcast your plans online

Don’t post about your vacation on social media until after you return (and make sure your kids don’t either). By sharing travel plans, you’re advertising that your house will be empty. You can never be completely sure who sees that information, especially if you have many followers or a public profile.

8. Get your security system ready

If you have a home security system or security cameras, make them obvious to potential intruders. Cameras should be conspicuous so they can see and be seen. Post home security signs and decals prominently. If you don’t have a system, fake signs might be better than nothing. Also, make sure the security system and any automated devices you have are programmed correctly for your absence. If you have a professionally monitored system, inform the company that you’re going away. Make sure cameras, smoke detectors and any other components are on and in good working order, and that your smart home devices are programmed appropriately.

9. Adjust the thermostat

Adjust the thermostat to prevent the HVAC system from needlessly heating or cooling empty rooms. Programmable smart thermostats make this a lot easier, and you can remotely adjust them to comfortable temperatures for when you get back.

10. Prevent water damage

Some experts recommend turning off the house’s main water supply valve to prevent possible water damage from leaky pipes. This is a viable option if you live in a moderate climate and the house will be empty, but if you live in a cold area, or someone will be checking in while you’re gone, you probably want to leave the water on.

For more information on home insurance and protection, contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance.

Source: Safety.com


Motorcycle Insurance to Meet Your Needs, Lifestyle and Riding Habits

Joseph Coupal - Monday, June 17, 2019
Lallis & Higgins Insurance - Quincy, Weymouth, MA

Motorcyclists are a special breed. The feeling of hopping on and catching the wind appeals to your unique sense of self-reliance and independence. We get it. We share your love of cruising the open road and feeling the kind of freedom only a motorcycle can offer. Of course, not all riders are alike. That’s why we tailor the precise motorcycle policy you need to protect yourself and whatever style of bike you ride. All so you can roll with greater enjoyment and peace of mind.

There are as many kinds of motorcycles as there are riders. And as the popularity of motorcycling continues to grow, especially among women, more styles and sizes of bikes come onto the market each year. Whether you’re into cruisers, choppers, sport cycles, touring bikes, scooters, or dirt bikes Lallis & Higgins Insurance has the motorcycle coverage you need to properly protect it. Enjoy the flexibility of choosing the best policy to fit your life by letting a knowledgeable independent agent work with you to craft coverage to meet your unique needs.

    +Custom Parts and Equipment
    +OEM Parts Coverage
    +Gear Replacement at No Extra Cost
    +New Harley-Davidson® Replacement Cost

What Your Motorcycle Policy Covers

Your mandatory motorcycle insurance requirements will depend on where you live. Of course, Safeco policies are written to satisfy all state requirements, so talk with a local independent agent to learn about mandatory insurance levels in your area including:

    +Bodily Injury Liability
    +Guest Passenger Liability
    +Property Damage Liability

Enhanced Coverage Options

    +Comprehensive
    +Collision
    +Comprehensive
    +Medical Payments
    +Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Coverage
    +Roadside Assistance
    +Trip Interruption Coverage

For more information on the best motorcycle insurance for your needs and lifestyle, contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance.


Modern Insurance for Your Classic Car

Joseph Coupal - Monday, June 10, 2019

It takes more than age to make it a classic. A collector car isn’t just a way to get around. It’s an investment that will continue to appreciate in coming years. Not all classic or antique cars are used the same, so Lallis & Higgins Insurance will work with you to select the appropriate antique care policy to accommodate coverage needs, miles driven, vehicle age, and vehicle modifications to make sure you have the best policy to meet your needs. Here are some features you should look for when shopping for classic car insurance:

  • Agreed Value: This means the provider will pay you the full (agreed to) amount in the event of a covered total loss, less any applicable deductible. This type of coverage is much better than “actual cash value” or “stated value” that you may get with some companies.
  • Low Rates: Why pay full-time insurance when you driver your collector car only part-time.
  • Coverage Options: Not all collector cars are the same, so Lallis & Higgins Insurancecan work with you to determine the right amount of coverage to meet your specific needs.
  • Generous Mileage: You’re proud of your collector car, so drive it. Not all insurance companies have a mileage limit, but most collector cars should be driven less than 5,000 annual miles to maintain their value.
  • Roadside Assistance: Whether you’re down the street or on a classic rally through the mountains, you’ll want to find coverage that will flatbed your car to the closest qualified repair facility.

Do you need the insurance for your prize Mustang, Camaro, Charger, Corvette, Thunderbird, or other collector car? Talk with Lallis & Higgins Insurance today to identify the best combination of coverage, value, and price for you. We can help make sure your insurance continually meets your needs.


Insuring a Vacation Home

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, June 04, 2019
Lallis & Higgins Insurance - Quincy, Weymouth, MA

Vacation homes present special risks.

Like any residence, your vacation home needs to be insured —but because the risks are different, the coverage might cost more than your primary homeowners policy.

Second homes provide a respite from weekday life, and may even be a good investment. They also, however, present more of an insurance risk than your primary residence—the fact that you don’t not physically occupy your second home as frequently puts it in more danger for theft, vandalism and easily undetected damage, like burst water pipes.

Key factors that impact vacation home insurance costs

While the homeowner policy for your second home will provide the same types of coverage as your primary home insurance policy, the following factors will likely impact your insurance costs:

Location is always a factor in homeowners insurance costs—for example, you need additional insurance if your dwelling is in a flood- or earthquake-prone area. With vacation homes the very location that makes a place desirable may also make it more expensive to insure. For instance, a ski house or hunting lodge in a remote or mountainous area could be at greater risk for damage due to wildfire. A beach house may be more exposed to wind damage or storm surge from a hurricane. These location-based risks will impact the price of coverage, and in some cases may even incur higher deductibles.

Type of property. As with any house, the age and type of building materials used in a vacation home will impact the cost of insurance. Is it a single-occupancy house, a condominium or a townhouse. A condo in a ski resort area may have lower insurance costs than a stand-alone chalet, because a homeowners association maintains the property and may provide some security.

Amenities. Though wonderful for relaxation, pools and hot tubs add risk to your second home. If your vacation residence is equipped with these or other special amenities, you may pay a higher insurance premium and you should also consider additional liability protection, which will increase insurance costs, as well.

Ways to save on second home insurance costs

There are steps that you can take to help make the cost of insurance more affordable.

  • Choose a location with less risk — A home further from the beach won't be as susceptible to high winds or storm surges, for instance.
  • Bundle your policies — If you insure your second home with the same insurer that provides coverage for your primary residence, you may be able to save on premiums.
  • Install an alarm system — A centrally monitored alarm system that detects both fire and break-ins can help lower the cost of insurance.

If you plan to rent your vacation home to others, your homeowners insurance costs will likely increase, and you may need to purchase additional coverage.

Because renting your second home entails additional, more complex risks, it’s a good idea to consult with your insurance professional and learn more about coverage for renting out your home to others.

For more information on insuring a vacation rental home, contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance.

source: iii.org



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