Recent News

4th of July - Most dangerous summer holiday

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the 4th of July ranks as the deadliest day for drivers for the past decade.

Here are a few travel safety tips provided by Travelers Insurance:

Make sure your car is serviced before embarking on your trip.  Be sure to inspect your spare time to insure it is in good shape.

Bring an emergency roadside kit - stock your car with water and non-perishable food, a flashlight, a first-aid kit, jumper cables, reflective triangles, sunscreen, blankets, towels, and road flares.

Familiarize yourself with your route.  Don't rely solely on your GPS.

Avoid distractions - Concentrate on the road and avoid distractions such as eating, reading maps, operating a GPS or using a cellphone.

Take breaks - When traveling long distances, it’s important to rest to help maintain focus and avoid fatigue.

Never drink and drive - if you plan on drinking, make sure you have a designated driver.

The attached infographic from Travelers provides you with some additional information.

Enjoy your 4th of July Weekend and stay safe.

WannaCry - Time to Upgrade Your System

Recently, Europe was hit with an extensive WannaCry - Ransomware virus.  Companies and hospitals across the continent were paying ransom to get their data back.  Here in the US, our companies are faced with the same threat. 

How do you protect your company, your data, and your clients? UPGRADE your systems.  If you are working with Windows XP, or Windows 7, you are a prime target for hacking.  Microsoft doesn't even support these platforms anymore.  If you are working with a vendor on these platforms, they too should be warned to upgrade.

Another method of prevention is to retrain and reinforce your privacy policy and email procedures to show your staff the types of emails that might be suspicious and what not to open.

Upgrade today - it is money well spent and another prevention tool in your continued war against cyber crimes!

Happy Father's Day

"When my father didn't have my hand, he had my back. " Linda Poindexter

To all the fathers, we wish you a wonderful Father's Day!

College Graduates Now is the Time to Look at Your Insurance!

You and your parents survived.  You graduated.  Now, as you make a major transition from college to the work force, you are faced with big decisions.

One of them is insurance. 

Here are insurance decisions you will need to make: 

  • Are you going to stay on your parent's health insurance program?
  • What about your parent's auto insurance policy?  Or are you branching out on your own?
  • If moving out from your parent's home, think about the renter's insurance you will need to cover your personal belongs and liability?

Need help with these insurance decisions, give us a call and we will be glad to go over your options.  Congratulations as you embark on the next step of your life's journey.

Starting Outdoor Projects - Don't Forget Ladder Safety!

Before starting a project that requires a ladder, here are a few things to remember:

  •  Carefully inspect the ladder for defects, such as cracks, corrosion and that bolts and rivets are secure.
  • Make sure the ladder's feet work properly and have slip-resistant pads.
  • Use a fiberglass ladder if you are going to be working with electricity.
  • Look for a safe location with a firm, level footing and rigid support for the top of the ladder.    Refer to your manufacturer's guidance.
  • Never carry any load that could cause you to lose your balance.
  • Never stand on the top of the ladder.
  • Plan your project before beginning to insure your safety.

Remembering on Memorial Day

As we enjoy this weekend with our friends and family, let us take a moment to remember those heroes who have given their lives, who have served, or who are serving, to protect our precious freedom. They are our true heroes.

On behalf of all of us at James A. Connors Associates, we wish you a Happy Memorial Day.

Did You know Landscaping Affects Your Home Value?

We all have our "Honey Do" lists and are working on our gardens and planning our landscapes.  But did you know that landscaping can improve or hurt your property values which affect your insurance premiums?  That's right!

Here's some tips on how to protect your home's value.

Consider adding mature trees to your property.  According to the USDA Forest Service, healthy, mature trees add an average of 10% to a property's value.  Mature trees need lots of room due to their root structure so don't plan them close to your home, driveways or patios.

Don't let vines grow up your home.  They can damage bricks or paint.  So, consider your growing ivy as a threat to your home's structure.

Think about adding prickly bushes which can deter burglars.  Put them in front of windows, especially in the front of your home.

Have a landscaping plan that includes lots of native plants and trees.  Pick varieties that are grown locally.  They provide food and homes for butterflies, bees, birds, and other wildlife.  They also don't require as much maintenance since the plants adapt to the water source in your area.

Finally, still feel lost, consult a landscaping expert to provide you with the information you need to create a garden that increases the value of your home.

Happy Mother's Day

On behalf of all of us at the agency, we wish you a wonderful Mother's Day filled with love and new memories.

Support Local Small Businesses This Weekend!

Don't forget!  Support your local small businesses as we wrap up Small Business Week. Help our community thrive by shopping local.  In addition, post a message on your Facebook page to keep our neighborhoods vibrant and alive.  

Dog Bites and Your Insurance

Ah, that Rottweiler puppy is so cute, you adopted a Doberman, your family gave you a pit bull, what do they all have in common - they are three of the top breeds blacklisted by insurance companies.  In some states insurance has been denied to households with certain breeds.  Why?  Because, according to Allstate Insurance, the average claim was close to $30,000.  And in Washington, the state's Supreme Court jury awarded $2.2 million to a woman who was attacked by pit bulls.

So, before, buying, adopting, or inheriting a dog, check with us and we can work with you to present your options and what you might do to safeguard your home and visitors from your pets.