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Thanksgiving is a time for great food, and spending quality time with family and friends. We all know the kitchen is the heart of the home, especially at Thanksgiving, so it is important you practice kitchen safety. With so much activity and people around, it can be easy to be distracted.

Thanksgiving is the leading day for home fires involving cooking equipment, with 3 times the average number.

To ensure the safety of your loved ones, as well protecting your home, we offer some simple precautionary cooking and kitchen fire safety tips to follow:

  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Keep kids away from cooking areas by enforcing a “kid-free zone” of three feet around the stove.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working.
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
  • If you must use a turkey fryer, make sure it is outdoors and in an open area away from all walls, fences or other structures that could catch on fire and away from moisture that can cause serious burns from steam or splattering hot oil.
  • Have activities that keep kids out of the kitchen during this busy time. Games, puzzles or books can keep them busy.
  • Keep anything that can catch on fire—pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from your stove top and oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.

For more information on home to keep your home safe, call OceanPoint Insurance at 401-847-5200.

Move-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.

Umbrella Insurance

You 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? You may need Umbrella Insurance.

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 it 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. Contact OceanPoint Insurance  to review your options.

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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 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 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.

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Did 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.

The 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.

OceanPoint Insurance Agency has been named one of the 2014 Best Places to Work in Rhode Island. The Best Places to Work program is presented by the Providence Business News (PBN), and is based on the program created and conducted by the Best Companies Group.

This statewide survey and awards program is designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in Rhode Island, benefiting the state’s economy, its workforce and businesses. This annual list is assembled based on the evaluation of confidential surveys of employees and management reports.

“We are honored to be included among the 2014 Best Places to Work in Rhode Island,” said Doug Mayhew, President/CEO of OceanPoint Insurance Agency. “OceanPoint values the hard work and dedication of all our employees. Our company strives to foster a positive, supportive environment to ensure the continued success of our entire team.”

Companies from across the state participated in the two-part survey to determine the Best Places to Work in Rhode Island. The first part consisted of evaluating each nominated company’s workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience. Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process in Rhode Island and also analyzed the data and used their expertise to determine the final rankings.

OceanPoint was one of 18 small businesses chosen for the award. All 50 chosen Best Places To Work will be honored by PBN on June 12 at the Crowne Plaza Providence-Warwick.

For more information on the Best Places to Work in Rhode Island program, visit www.BestPlacesToWorkRI.com.

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Spring is here, meaning the rainy season has begun, which poses risk for flooding. Floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States, so it’s important we prepare for the potential disaster.

The average waiting period for a flood insurance policy to take effect is 30 days, so act now before it’s too late.

Flooding is common in our area, and there are a variety of ways floods can develop. Some develop slowly, while others such as flash floods, can occur within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall. Excessive rainfall can cause overland flooding, which is when waterways such as rivers or streams overflow. The resulting water flow can exceed the capacity of underground pipes or the capacity of streets and drains, which can flood surrounding areas.

With the change in weather already approaching, it’s crucial you make sure you and your family are protected. We urge you to maximize your protection plan by investing in flood insurance to mitigate the potentially large price tag that comes with flood damage for uninsured.

Many homeowners find out the hard way that a basic home or rental policy does not cover damage from flooding. If your home were to fall victim to flash flooding or excessive rain, your homeowners insurance policy would not pay for any repairs. Even if your property is not located in a designated high-risk flood zone flooding incidents can happen anywhere, anytime. According to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), about 25% of all flood insurance claims are from areas that are not deemed high-risk.

We encourage you to talk to your OceanPoint Insurance agent about adding a flood insurance policy today to ensure your home and its contents are safe.

Call OceanPoint Insurance today at 847-5200, for more information on your flood insurance options.