Stay Safe This Halloween

pumpkinWitches, ghosts and goblins are ready to come out and scare tomorrow night! But before you journey out for a night of trick-or-treating, be sure to follow these helpful tips to ensure this fun-filled evening happens safely!

  1. Prepare your child’s costume to guarantee they can be seen at all times. This can be done by adding reflective tape or providing them with glow-in-the-dark jewelry. As the night falls, it will be harder for drivers to see children, so remind them to keep their protective wear on at all times.
  2. Remind them never to enter a stranger’s home. Ensure them it is alright to approach a fully-lit home, but tell them that under no circumstances should they go inside.
  3. If traveling with friends, make sure they stay with them the entire evening. It is important your children understand never to travel alone and to have a friend or adult with them at all times. In addition, help to plan your child’s route and remind them to follow it strictly.
  4. Follow basic pedestrian safety rules. Make sure your children know to stay on sidewalks, cross only at corners and be aware of the traffic before crossing. Remember, it is much easier for your children to see a passing car than for a car to see them.
  5. Be sure to check all candy prior to eating. Remind your children that they cannot eat any candy until they come home and have you inspect it first. Be sure to check for any tampering or opened wrappers. To avoid having kids eat their candy during the evening, feed them a well-balanced meal prior to the start of the night.

Halloween is an exciting time for children, but it can also be very dangerous for them as well. Be sure to review these tips with your little ones and make sure they understand the importance of sticking to them. At OceanPoint Insurance, protecting your family is our top priority, so call us for any questions concerning this article. From all of us at OceanPoint, have a Happy Halloween!

Winter is Coming: Is Your Home Ready?

winterAs the inevitable occurs and snow begins to fall, we want to be sure that your home is fully prepared for all that winter may bring. In order to best protect your home, be sure to follow these tips to save yourself time, money and energy this season:

  • Prepare your fireplace: If it has been some time since you last tended to your chimney, call a professional to remove the soot and creosote in order to prevent fires. Cap or screen the top of the chimney to keep out rodents and to stop birds from forming nests. Finally, if your fireplace functions by burning wood, be sure to purchase it ahead of time and store it in a dry place.
  • Clear your gutters of all leaves and debris: If your gutters are clogged, water that is trapped inside can freeze in the winter, causing ice dams and damage to your gutters and roof. Be sure to rake away any potential hazards and keep them free all winter.
  • Keep heat inside the home: Reduce costs on your energy bill by filling in any gaps in the foundation. Caulk and weather-strip your doors and windows, install storm windows or cover them with plastic from the inside to prevent heat from leaving the home.
  • Purchase all necessary equipment before winter hits: Stock up on shovels, rock salt and ice melting materials. Prepare and store an emergency kit in the event that a storm occurs, and be sure to have enough blankets and flashlights for each person in the home. Winter can cause substantial power outages, so it is always a good idea to prepare yourself and your family for these instances.

No home is fully prepared without the proper homeowner’s insurance. Call your OceanPoint Insurance agent today to discuss what is likely to happen during extreme weather conditions and to bring peace of mind knowing it is properly covered.

Keeping Your College Student Safe While They’re Away

shutterstock_218240056Move-in day is over, and now you can finally relax. However, we understand that worrying about your child being safe while at college never really ends – so we’re here to help.

Though you may not be able to be with them everyday, it helps to know that you can still keep their belongings and personal property safe. Expensive items such as phones, laptops, TVs and iPods that often accompany most college students to school can be covered under your homeowners’ insurance. If any of these items were stolen or damaged, it would be very costly to replace them. However, you do have options available to insure your child’s security.

If your student goes away to school and is not taking a car with them, you may be thinking of taking them off of your auto insurance policy to save money on your monthly insurance bill. However, what if he comes back for Christmas break and wants the car to visit friends?

Fortunately, some auto insurers offer a discount on insurance for students away at college with no access to a car except over vacations, breaks and summer. If he or she meets certain criteria, you may be eligible for a Distant Student Discount. Requirements vary by insurance provider, but they typically must be at least 100 miles away from home, be attending school full time, and under the age of 23.

As a full time student, your child may also qualify for a Good Student Discount if they maintain a grade average of 3.0 or higher.

At OceanPoint Insurance, we suggest that you review your current homeowners and auto policies with your agent as soon as possible to adjust your coverage if need be and provide yourself with a much-needed peace of mind.

Are You Fully Covered?

Fall has officially arrived and the school year is underway. schoolHowever, as you may finally be settling into a comfortable transportation routine for your children, it is important to be aware of the gaps in your coverage that are allotted with the different types of commonly used transportation services. Ride sharing, vehicle sharing and carpooling each come with their own hazards that we believe our policyholders need to be aware of.

Ride Sharing

According to the Insurance Services Office (ISO), ride sharing is a term generally referring to a peer-to-peer service that enables the arrangement of vehicular transportation services, often on a very short notice generally utilizing smart phone applications.

In most cases, ride sharing is not protected through a basic auto policy, as it excludes coverage for liability, bodily injury, physical damage or property damage arising out of the ownership, operation or occupation of a vehicle while it is being used for such purposes.

Listed below are the potential gaps in Personal Auto policies that you should talk to your OceanPoint agent about immediately prior to engaging in ride sharing:

Coverage for Damage to your Auto: your policy will not pay for loss to your covered auto or any non-owned auto while being used as a public or livery conveyance
Medical Payments Coverage: most policies exclude this coverage for any insured for bodily injury if the injury occurred while the vehicle was being used for public or livery conveyance

Vehicle Sharing

Distinct from ride sharing, but equally as prevalent, is vehicle sharing. These types of programs, also known as peer-to-peer car sharing, allows an individual to rent out their personal vehicle for a fee to another individual. Vehicle sharing rental fees are shared between the individual and the vehicle sharing company.

Such as the case in ride sharing, insurance for vehicle sharing excludes coverage for liability, bodily injury, physical damage or property damage when “your covered auto” or a “non-owned auto” is being operated within the context of a personal vehicle sharing program.

Carpooling

carpoolOn the other hand, using your vehicle to carpool children to school is still covered under your basic auto policy, as long as you do not make a profit from it. Accepting gas money does not fall under the terms of making a profit.

However, we highly suggest that you consider additional liability or umbrella liability insurance if you continue to carpool throughout the year. Remember, costs could add up quickly after an at-fault accident. In addition to covering the damages to the other party’s car, injuries, or property that you’re responsible for, covering any injuries for your passengers only adds to these costs.

In the case that your liability coverage isn’t enough to cover the damages of an accident, a personal umbrella policy will assist you right where your other liability underlying limits have been reached.

It is for this reason that we at OceanPoint Insurance strongly recommend that you talk to your agent soon about your options for increased coverage. Call us today to discuss your current policy, and to ensure that you and your passengers are safe and fully protected.

 

Information for this article provided by: Personal Umbrella Policy, Ride Sharing and Vehicle Sharing, and Personal Auto Policy

Protect Your Livelihood with Umbrella Insurance

shutterstock_39940354You have made the investment in home and auto insurance to protect your house and car, but did you know that sometimes accidents occur where these standard policies do not cover all the damages?

Your life could change in a split second, and everything you have been working towards could slip away. What is you find yourself the cause of a major car accident? Have you ever thought that your teenager could end up with a slander or libel lawsuit as a result of one of their social media posts? What happens if a neighbor slips and falls in your yard? Any of these accidents could happen to you and they happen very quickly.

Umbrella insurance kicks-in once your standard insurance policies have been exhausted. Without umbrella insurance you could find yourself paying out of pocket to make up the difference that your home or auto policies could not cover.

Typically sold in increments of $1 million dollars or more, umbrella insurance can be added to your existing policies for as little as $150 to $300 per year.

Protect yourself from these potentially life changing accidents and make the investment in umbrella insurance. Call OceanPoint Insurance at 847.5200 to review your options.

Keep Your Home Safe While Away on Vacation

Summer is here. It’s the perfect time to take that well deserved vacation with your family or friends. Vacation is a time meant for rest and relaxation. However, whether you are going on a short overnight weekend trip or taking a vacation extravaganza, leaving your home unattended can be risky.

Below we offer you some tips on how to keep your home safe while you’re away on vacation.

  • Don’t announce your travel plans on social media and wait until you return to post pictures.
  • Ask a neighbor to pick up your mail and newspaper so it appears someone is home.
  • Install timers for both interior and exterior lights and preset them to go on at night.
  • Install motion sensors in the front, back, and side of the house that cause the lights to go on when movement is detected.
  • Unplug unnecessary appliances. A toaster, coffee machine, microwave, television, or computer is still using energy even when it’s not in use.
  • Turn off the main water valve to avoid a burst pipe or flooding.
  • Give a trusted neighbor your vacation itinerary, contact info of where you will be staying and how you can be reached.
  • Neatly cut your shrubbery so the interior of your home is visible and burglars can’t hide undetected.
  • Arrange to have your lawn mowed (or snow shoveled during the winter) while you are away.
  • Ask a neighbor to set out your trash on collection day and then retrieve empty cans the same day.
  • Never leave your house key hidden outside your home.

Following the above steps will ensure a worry-free vacation. As long as you prepare in advance you can have peace of mind knowing your home is safe as you relax this summer.

Call OceanPoint Insurance at 847.5200 for more helpful tips on how to keep your home and your family safe.

OceanPoint Insurance Agency Proudly Supports The Boys and Girls Club of Newport County, Inc

OceanPoint Insurance and The Selective Insurance Group Foundation Collaborate to Provide Matching Grants

Middletown, RI (July 17, 2014) – OceanPoint Insurance and The Selective Insurance Group Foundation joined forces to support the positive efforts of The Boys and Girls Club of Newport County, Inc through a $1,000.00 grant.

“Through the variety of programs the Boys and Girls Club offers, they are able to provide critical services to children, teens, adults and families in our community. OceanPoint Insurance Agency is pleased to support The Boys and Girls Club and their mission,” said John Kaull, Vice President, Commercial Lines, OceanPoint Insurance.

The grant represents a $500.00 donation from OceanPoint Insurance matched by a $500.00 grant from The Selective Insurance Group Foundation.

“The Matching Grant program allows us to partner with our agents to support the needs of the communities we serve,” said Chuck Musilli, Senior Vice President, Chief Field Operations Officer for Selective.

John Kaull presented the check to Joseph Pratt, Executive Director & CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Newport County, at their club located at 95 Church Street, Newport, RI 02840.

About OceanPoint Insurance Agency

OceanPoint Insurance Agency, Inc: Headquartered in Middletown, Rhode Island, provides a broad range of property casualty insurance products, in addition to a full array of financial services. Along with BankNewport, OceanPoint Insurance Agency, Inc. is a subsidiary of the Mutual Holding Company, OceanPoint Financial Partners, MHC. Tracing its roots back to 1863, OceanPoint Insurance Agency, Inc. is proud to serve the insurance needs of clients from three full service offices located in Middletown, Barrington, and Coventry Rhode Island, forming one of the largest independent insurance agency operations in southeastern New England. For more information visit www.oceanpointins.com.

About The Selective Insurance Group

Selective Insurance Group, Inc. is a holding company for ten property and casualty insurance companies rated “A” (Excellent) by A.M. Best.  Through independent agents, the insurance companies offer primary and alternative market insurance for commercial and personal risks, and flood insurance underwritten by the National Flood Insurance Program.  Selective maintains a website at www.selective.com.

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OceanPoint and BankNewport Host “Feed the Kids” Summer Food Drive

image002OceanPoint Insurance Agency and BankNewport invite the community to join us this summer to show support for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank in its efforts to provide food for local children in need.

Beginning Monday, July 7 through Saturday, July 19, all OceanPoint and BankNewport locations will be collection locations for community donations of “kid friendly” food items, including breakfast cereal, granola bars, canned/bagged pasta meals, mac’n’cheese and peanut butter. All items are non-perishable and are not limited to specific brand names.

During the school year, children have access to healthy and nutritious meals, but that comes to a harsh halt when summer vacation begins. We are excited to be able to make an impact to improve the lives of many children this summer.

Spread the word about our food drive with your family and friends – all food donations will truly make a difference!

Click Here to download the flyer.

Click Here to download the shopping list.

Are You Prepared to Weather the Storm?

shutterstock_119265961Did you know June 1st marked the beginning of hurricane season? The 2014 hurricane season has arrived after last years unusually quiet season, which was the first since 1994 not to have a single Category 3 or stronger storm. Since even the experts are unsure what 2014 has in store, it’s important to have the appropriate insurance protection in place now.

In order to prepare you for unpredictable storms and help you recover from the aftermath, we offer you the following tips:

  • Make copies of important documents, such as insurance policies, the deed to your home, and a home inventory.
  • Create an emergency supply list.
  • Review your evacuation route and emergency shelter locations with family members.
  • After a storm, report any damage to your insurance agent, explain your overall situation and ask any questions you may have, such as: Am I covered; How long will it take to process my claim; Do I need to obtain estimates?
  • Do not return to your home until local authorities authorize you that it is safe.
  • Look for any structural damage to the foundation, porches, stairs, and overhangs.
  • Make temporary repairs to prevent further damage and save receipts for any material you purchase.
  • Take photos of any damaged items before you make any repairs.
  • Make lists of anything that is damaged and include information, such as brands, model numbers, location of purchase, when it was purchased, etc.
  • Keep copies of all lists and documents you submit to your insurance agent, and anything your insurance agent provides you.

While Mother Nature is unpredictable, you can take steps to ensure you and your loved ones remain safe and damage is mitigated. It is crucial you review your homeowners and flood insurance policies so you are fully aware of what is covered in the event of a natural disaster.

Call your OceanPoint agent at 847.5200 for a complimentary policy review and be ready for whatever life brings.

Insure Your Summer Fun

shutterstock_4589980The warm weather is here and summer is rapidly approaching. We are all eager to enjoy those summer toys with family, especially after the rough winter we’ve had. No matter how you choose to travel it is crucial you secure proper insurance protection.

At OceanPoint Insurance, we urge you to review your insurance policies to be certain they will protect you for another summer of fun and adventure. Your current policy may not fully protect you against theft, damage or accident; therefore we encourage you to talk with your OceanPoint agent to ensure everything is properly insured.

We provide insurance protection for:

  • Jet Skis
  • Motorcycles
  • ATV’s
  • Boats/Yachts
  • Motor Homes

We also offer additional coverage for equipment and property, including bodily injury liability, coverage for guest passengers, and property damage liability.

Call OceanPoint Insurance at 847.5200 to review all of your coverage options and ensure you’re covered for all seasons.