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The Russell Agency, LLC Blog

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Insurance

What to do if you’re involved in an accident

What do I do at the scene ofthe accident? If you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident, the first thing you should do is contact the police. If anyone is injured, give details to the police, then give the victims...

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Personal life insurance: the basics

What’s the purpose of life insurance? Life insurance usually is purchased by individuals to guarantee a specific sum of money to a designated beneficiary upon the death of the insured, or to the insured if he or she...

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Insurance and the divorcing couple

According to various studies on American divorce rates, more than 40 percent of marriages end in divorce or annulments. If you and your spouse are going through a similar circumstance, we would like to share with you...

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Connecticut Law Forbids Certain Certificate of Insurance Requests

Public Act No. 14-74 was signed by Gov. Dannel Malloy on June 3, 2014, and went into effect on Oct. 1, 2014. The law prohibits certain requests that have become prevalent in recent years that created inaccurate or...

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Sexual Harrasment Training Required by October 1, 2020

Connecticut state law requires most employees in the state to complete sexual harassment prevention training. Employees must take a mandatory training course by Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, in order to comply with the new...

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Tips for Power Tool Safety

What would you do without power tools? Well, you’d probably take on fewer home-improvement projects — and probably have a lot more calluses on your hands. Thankfully, you don’t have to do without. But you do have to use...

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State Legislature Extends Emergency Powers

The Connecticut Legislature extended Gov. Lamont’s emergency powers until Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021, which will help the governor protect the state during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Lamont, “The extension will...

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Minimum Wage Increases

Gov. Ned Lamont reminded Connecticut residents that the state minimum wage increased from $11 per hour to $12, effective yesterday. The raise is a result of a law signed on May 28, 2019. Public Act 19-4 requires the...

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What is water backup coverage and why is it important?

Water damage can be disastrous to your home. Imagine discovering that your entire basement is filled with brown water and sewage from a backed-up water main or other pipe. It’s not only disgusting and potentially...

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We are Here For You

Even during challenging times, we are here for you.We know things are hard right now. And, while COVID-19 may be affecting all aspects of everyday life, we hope you realize that some things haven’t changed-our agency...

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How to Update your Home — Without Spending Thousands

It doesn’t take a massive remodel, or a big budget, to make your house feel a little more like home to you. Inside or out, small improvements can make a significant difference - and whether you’re handy or not, you can...

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Stay Safe and Cool This Summer

When the weather gets hot, sunny and humid, it’s always refreshing to take a dip in the pool. Swimming can be a fun, relaxing way to spend your summer days with family and friends-but it’s important that everyone is...

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On the Road Again...

Travel is a popular summer pastime-it’s a time when we see many recreational vehicles and motorhomes on the road. If you are one of the some 10 million people who own an RV or motorhome in the U.S.-or if you are...

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Should I Stay or Should I Go? Hurricane Edition

During hurricane season, coastal residents should make it a priority to be prepared for anything. Hurricanes are serious storms that can devastate acres of land- taking wildlife and homes along with it. Many who live...

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Paycheck Protection Program Update

On June 30 , a few hours before the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) expired, the U.S. Senate passed by unanimous consent a bill to extend the deadline for businesses to apply for coronavirus PPP aid until August 8th....

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Boating Safety

When operating a boat, you need to make sure you take necessary steps to keep yourself, your passengers and others safe. Connecticut implements laws and regulations that aid boat operators to take these steps. First,...

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Top Ten Insurance Tips for Hurricane Season

2020 is predicted to be an active hurricane season. Don’t be caught unprepared! These steps will help you minimize hurricane damage and get back on your feet if you are struck. Just as hurricanes come in many shapes...

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Flood damage: is my home covered? Part 2

Would flood insurance cover seepage of water into my basement? It would in certain circumstances. An NFIP policy covers the “unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters....” So, if there is no surface...

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Flood damage: is my home covered?

Is my home insured for damage that may result from flooding caused by a hurricane or other storm? Not necessarily. Generally, coverage provided by a standard homeowners policy does not include damage caused by flooding...

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How to keep your vehicle safe from car thieves

Professional car thieves can break into a car and drive away in less than two minutes. This occurs every 40.9 seconds somewhere in the U.S. Auto theft costs Americans nearly $6 billion annually; and approximately 237.4...

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Windstorm Reminder!!!

June 1 – Nov. 30 is hurricane season. And although the Northeast may not be quite the hurricane mecca that the Gulf coast is, hurricanes and windstorms are still a real threat to homeowners along the eastern seaboard....

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5 Things Homeowners Need to Know in Preparing for Flood Season

5 Things Homeowners Need to Know to Prepare for 2020’s Flood Season Flood season is upon us. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this flood season promises to be a wet one, with 23 states...

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I Just Bought a New Car. What Insurance Coverage Do I Need?

Congratulations! After weeks of research, comparing makes and models, and taking test drives you finally bought that brand-new car you wanted. But before you take that well-deserved road trip, check one more item off...

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Senate Passes Paycheck Protection Flexibility Bill

On June 3, the U.S. Senate passed H.R. 7010, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, by unanimous consent. The bill extends the window for businesses to be able to spend the funds loaned under the program. The...

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How are hurricanes graded?

Hurricanes are graded by the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale as follows:Tropical storm-winds 39-73 mphCategory 1 hurricane-winds 74-95 mph (64-82 kt) No real damage to buildings. Damage to un-anchored mobile homes. Some...

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What is a hurricane deductible?

The Connecticut Legislature passed Public Act 12-62, which was signed into law in June 2012. According to the act, insurers are allowed to impose a hurricane deductible in the policy in lieu of an overall policy...

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Storm damage—what’s covered?

Generally, how does my homeowners policy respond to storm damage to my property? Your homeowners policy covers most losses that may occur to your dwelling and personal property. Commonly, losses resulting from theft,...

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A household inventory—well worth the time

What is a household inventory and why do I need one? A household inventory could prove invaluable if you lost some or all of your household belongings in a fire, burglary or natural disaster. A household inventory is a...

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FAQs on Connecticut’s grace period for insurance premium payments

Who does the order apply to? The executive order applies to all insurers licensed or regulated by the Connecticut Insurance Department. What must insurers do? All insurers must give policyholders unable to pay their...

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Questions that homeowners may have about their property-loss claim following a catastrophic event

Your property insurance covers many events that can cause damage to your property. Unfortunately, not every event is covered. Earthquakes, floods and power blackouts are examples of events typically excluded without...

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Employee or independent contractor?

There is a common mistake employers across the U.S. are making that could cost them a lot of money: Misclassifying their employees as independent contractors. It’s easy to do, but the cost of doing so could be drastic....

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How does my auto insurance react to pothole damage?

If you have collision coverage, your auto insurance policy will cover damage caused by hitting a pothole. Potholes can impair alignment, ruin shocks and struts, puncture tires, bend wheel rims and damage other parts...

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Crime Prevention Begins at Home

I always lock my doors whenI leave my house. What else can I do to prevent abreak-in? Make your home appear occupied. Timers are inexpensive and can be effective at fooling thieves. Use them to turn lamps and radios...

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It might be time to spring clean your insurance

Spring may be the time of year for cleaning out closets and drawers and organizing attics and cellars, but it also is a great time to clean up your insurance coverages. It is important to look at your insurance...

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A household inventory—well worth the time

What is a household inventory and why do I need one? A household inventory could prove invaluable if you lost some or all of your household belongings in a fire, burglary or natural disaster. A household inventory is...

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Flooding Will Double Worldwide by 2030

A new World Resources Institute report found that 147 million people will be hit by floods from rivers and coasts annually by 2030, compared with 72 million people just 10 years ago. Damages to urban property will...

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Keep Your Pets Safe in a Disaster

A safe home, a regular routine, a soft bed – the things that bring you comfort bring your pet comfort, too. It’s so important to give some advance thought to how you’d handle your pet responsibilities during and after a...

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Hurricanes and Flood....Oh My!!!

According to H. Jackson Brown Jr., “the best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.” At our agency, we strive to do our best to help you prepare for your tomorrow-especially if your tomorrow includes a...

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The Dangers of Drunk Driving

In 2017, nearly 11,000 people in the United States died in motor vehicle crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $44 billion. What can I do to help...

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Windstorm Reminder

June 1 – Nov. 30 is hurricane season. And although the Northeast may not be quite the hurricane mecca that the Gulf coast is, hurricanes and windstorms are still a real threat to homeowners along the eastern seaboard....

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What’s the requirement for companies to provide loss runs on request?

It applies to all commercial-lines policies. C.G.S. Section 38a-326 provides that insurers shall provide, upon request of the principal named insured, a summary of policy claim information for a period of up to four...

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What is the Appropriate Coverage A Limit for a Connecticut Condo Policy?

In order to write a policy with the appropriate Coverage A limit, you must know what the association and unit owners are responsible for insuring. Most Connecticut associations are following the statutory default,...

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US Senate Passes More Funding for CARES Act Small Business Programs

Today, by voice vote, the U.S. Senate passed legislation to provide over $300 billion more for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was created by the CARES Act. Last week, PIA National worked with a broad...

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Above Normal Hurricane Season Projected

An atmospheric scientist at Colorado State University, Dr. Phil Klotzbach, has issued an early forecast of 16 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes for the year 2020. He predicts an above average...

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Coronavirus Update

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in many ...

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Attention Builders: New Freeboard Requirement Effective January 2021

The objective of the Community Rating System (CRS) is to recognize communities that are doing more than meeting the minimum NFIP requirements to help their citizens prevent or reduce flood losses. The CRS also provides...

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Connecticut Insurance Commissioner calls on insurers to adjust premiums

Connecticut Insurance Department Commissioner Andrew N. Mais called on insurers to lower auto premiums and adjust commercial hired and non-owned auto insurance in response to the disruption that the COVID-19...

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When a Bicycle Hits a Car, What Insurance pays?

If your car was hit and damaged by a bicyclist to which policy-household auto or homeowners-should you look to recover for the damage caused by the bicyclist’s negligence? The bicyclist’s homeowners policy. The personal...

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ERISA and Your Business Insurance

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 establishes specific duties and standards for discretionary and nondiscretionary activities in the management of employee benefits plans. Liabilities incurred by...

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Why You Need Service Line Coverage

Let’s spare a moment for something most of us use every day yet probably take for granted: our service lines. We rely on them for access to water, electricity, gas, Internet connection, and more, but only think about...

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Connecticut Launches Small Business Bridge Loans

Gov. Ned Lamont’s Economics Chief David Lehman announced the immediate roll-out of the Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program, which will allow Connecticut small businesses hit the COVID-19 crisis to borrow up to $75,...

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Important News On Insurance Premium Payments for Connecticut

April 2, 2020 Executive order requires 60-day grace period for policyholders unable to pay premiums due to COVID-19 pandemic - As part of Executive Order No. 7S, no insurer may lapse, terminate or otherwise cancel...

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CT Governor Announces 60 Grace Period for Some Insurance Premium Payments

Gov. Ned Lamont announced that there will be a 60-day grace period for property/casualty, and health insurance policyholders unable to pay their premiums due to the impact of COVID-19. During the grace period,...

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Start applying for a Paycheck Protection Program loan Friday, April 3

Small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply for Small Business Administration loans under the Paycheck Protection Program beginning Friday, April 3, 2020, through existing Small Business Administration lenders....

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FEMA Extends Grace Period for Payment of National Flood Insurance Policy Renewals due to COVID-19 Pandemic

The Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) provides that the term of the policy commences on its inception date and ends on its expiration date. To avoid a lapse or reduction in coverage, a National Flood Insurance...

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Are You Covered?

When it comes to protecting the things that matter most to you-your home, your jewelry, your life-it’s important that you consider what types of insurance will cover you best, and you need to know ahead of time the...

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What is the Most Common Natural Disaster in the U.S.?

The answer is flooding. If your home sustained damage due to a flood, would you have coverage? You might be thinking-of course I would have coverage. I have a homeowners policy. You aren’t alone in thinking that, but...

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Protect Your House When You Rent It Out To Others

Renting out your house to others can be lucrative. Millions of people take advantage of various house/apartment sharing services (e.g., Airbnb, HomeAway, FlipKey or MIMDU) each year. These companies match hosts who...

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Online Term Life Quoting Tool Now Available!!!

Are you interested in learning what a term life insurance policy might cost for yourself or a loved one? If so, stop by The Russell Agency home page and click on our new term life quoting tool. You will have your answer...

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Connecticut Insurance Department Information Page on the Coronavirus

The State of Connecticut Department of Insurance has an information page on the coronavirus and insurance. You can access the page by clicking here.If you have any questions, please call our office.

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Insure Your Jewelry

Jewelry is a popular gift for engagements, anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas and Valentine’s Day. It’s one of the most meaningful gifts-and the most valuable-that someone might receive. It’s imperative that these...

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Stay Insured When You Rent or Hire a Vehicle

People may put a significant amount of effort into adequately insuring their personal vehicles, but they frequently make quick assumptions about coverage for rented or hired vehicles. However, it is important to...

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Coronavirus and Business Interruption

For business interruption insurance coverage to be triggered, the insured property must suffer physical damage by a covered cause of loss. Unfortunately, a virus is not a covered cause of loss. When a cause of loss is...

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

There has been an increase in concern about the spreading coronavirus COVID-19. Businesses should consider implementing safeguards to reduce exposure to illness. Steps should include but are not limited to: - Encourage...

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Is federal flood coverage available for commercial property?

The National Flood Insurance Program offers three Standard Flood Insurance Policy forms. These forms provide policyholders with a description of their coverage and other important coverage information. Dwelling Policy...

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Transportation Network Companies, like Uber and Lyft

Transportation Network Companies, like Uber and Lyft, have really taken off over the last few years. People are providing transportation to others with their autos using a cell phone application to connect. While this...

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Top 10 contractor hiring tips for homeowners

A home is a very valuable asset and proper maintenance is a key factor in the retention and growth of a home's value. This factor is one reason why it is important for homeowners to hire highly qualified contractors...

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What to Consider When Choosing Auto Insurance

Carrying a minimum amount of auto insurance is required by state laws, so you can’t legally drive without it. Yet while the minimum amount keeps your premiums lower, it can also put you at great risk if you have an...

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Storm Damage - What's Covered?

Generally, how does my homeowners policy respond to storm damage to my property? Your homeowners policy covers most losses that may occur to your dwelling and personal property. Commonly, losses resulting from theft,...

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State of Connecticut Mandates Sexual Harassment Prevention Training for Businesses

Under Connecticut law, employers with three or more employees must provide two hours of sexual harassment prevention training and education every 10 years. Any new hires must complete this training within six months of...

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House Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Address Reptitive Loss Properties

Bipartisan legislation, the Repeated Flooded Communities Preparation Act, was introduced in the House of Representatives last week in an attempt to address repetitive loss properties covered by the National Flood...

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The dangers of drunk driving

In 2017, nearly 11,000 people in the United States died in motor vehicle crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $44 billion. What can I do to help...

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What you should consider before changing auto insurers?

Some of our customers have been prompted by TV commercials or mass-mail advertisements to consider switching their automobile insurance. Before saying “yes” to one of these proposals, we hope you will consider the ...

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Choosing the Correct Fire Extinguisher Classification

Fire extinguishers are classified by the type of fire that they will extinguish. There are five different fire extinguishers classifications. If the proper fire extinguisher class is not used there is a risk that the...

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5 Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips

Every year, unintentional carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning (not linked to fires) sends 20,000 people to the emergency room and causes more than 4,000 hospitalizations. And, you might consider them the fortunate ones. CO...

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State Auto Offers Identity Theft Protection

You are a target for identity theft. And once your identity has been stolen, it's hard to get it back in order. From prevention to restoration, our Identity Theft Protection Program has you covered. Provided free of...

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Credit Card Safety Measures

When protecting your credit there are many things to consider. You could become a victim of theft in many places including the grocery store, mall, or a parking lot. New chips have come out claiming to better protect...

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What is a Reservation of Rights Letter?

A Reservation of Rights Letter is notification from your insurance company that coverage for a claim may not apply. The notification allows the insurance company to continue to investigate a claim in order to determine...

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Governor Signs Executive Orders to Reduce Health Care Costs in Connecticut

Gov. Ned Lamont recently announced that he has signed two executive orders that will address health-care costs, primary care spending, and quality of care for individuals, businesses and state government. The orders...

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Hemp Will Qualify for New Crop Insurance Pilot

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on Dec. 23 that hemp farmers in 21 states will be eligible for a new crop insurance pilot program starting in 2020. The program provides actual production history...

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Yikes! Second Hottest Year on Record

According to independent assessments of global temperatures in 2019 by NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the World Meteorological Organization, Berkeley Earth, and the U.K. Met Office, last...

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Avoid a Loss: Prevent Burst Pipes While on Vacation

Preparing for a vacation requires a long checklist: Pack your bags (check!); stop the mail (check!); bring your pets to the kennel (check!); ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your house (check!) and turn off your water!...

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Referrals Welcome!

Everyone has heard a friend recount a nightmarish story about an 800-number insurance company they thought they’d save money with for 15 minutes of their time ... Only to find out that they were never told what their...

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Super Early Spring Cleaning Ideas!

Getting organized and ready for spring feels great. We’ve got some suggestions for you to think about when you’re spring cleaning: 1.) Tune up your auto policy.Everyone makes sure auto insurance "fits" when they first...

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Stay Informed

Staying informed and up-to-date on your insurance company’s insurance policies isn’t just smart, it also can save you money and give you peace of mind. If you haven’t reviewed your coverage in a while, you might be...

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The Safety of Independence

When it comes to staying safe-in your car, when you are traveling, in your home-it’s important to consider one of the most important tools that will make you feel safe and secure: insurance. Sure, you can stay safe by...

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Make Sure You Are The Only You Out There

The Federal Trade Commission processed 1.4 million fraud reports-totaling $1.48 billion in losses-in 2018. Identity theft occurs when an unauthorized person uses your personal identifying information, such as your name,...

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Seat Belt Laws


The Do’s and Don’ts After A Fire

During a fire, it’s important to follow your emergency action plan and ensure that you and your family are safe. After a fire, it’s equally important that you take care of your home-but maybe not in the way you might...

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Electric Scooters are Coming!!!

Effective Oct. 1, 2019, legalized electric scooters, electric bicycles and electric tricycles became legal in Connecticut. The law allows these vehicles-as long as they do not exceed 20 miles per hour and are not...

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When Roadside Assistance Isn’t Enough

If you’ve ever been stuck on the side of the highway with an RV issue, you know what a life saver roadside assistance can be. Whether you need a battery charged, a tire changed, or a tow you’re often back on the road in...

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A Home's Replacement Cost

Wouldn’t it be nice to buy a homeowners policy that would guarantee replacement of your home in the event of a loss without any conditions? That concept may be appealing, but it’s not realistic. In order to charge the...

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Older Drivers

An article in the Washington Post took a look at U.S. Census data and noted the number of licensed drivers over the age of 65 increased 29 percent from 2003 to 2013. In fact, the article said, older drivers have...

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