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7 Simple Snow Shoveling Safety Tips

Shovel snow safely this winter Winter is quickly approaching, and with it comes many traditions and activities: holiday celebrations with loved ones, skiing and snowboarding outings in the mountains, fireplace-lit living rooms, homemade batches of soup, and – unfortunately for many of us – shoveling snow. Living in New Hampshire when snow storms hit and your driveway and walkways are covered with the cold white stuff, you might want to just stay inside. But if your work and personal commitments make that impossible, you’ll need to first dig out the snow shovel – or make sure it’s handy before the snow flies! For many people across NH, snow shoveling will be both a reality and a necessity this winter. At Knapton, Reade & Woods, we want to ensure that your efforts will get you on your way while also keeping you safe, so here are seven simple snow shoveling safety tips provided by the Boston Herald. Warm-up! Never jump right into an activity. Start by cleaning off your car. Place your hands a good distance apart on the shovel – it helps with leverage. Never bend at your waist. Push the snow when you can. Scoop smaller loads of snow. Use your legs, core and arms to help scoop and throw snow. Always step in the direction you throw snow to avoid excessive twisting on your lower back. At Knapton, Reade& Woods, your safety is important to us. For additional safety tips and other valuable resources, please read our blog, or visit us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.... read more

Not All Thieves Are Stupid: Public Safety Announcement

* PUBLIC SAFETY ALERT * Don’t make life easier for thieves. Please read and pass along the following information about how to protect yourself and your family and friends. The following public safety announcement is brought to you by KNAPTON, READE, & WOODS INSURANCE and the Greater Hillsborough Area Chamber of Commerce both located in Hillsborough, NH. Not All Thieves Are Stupid 1.  LONG TERM PARKING Some people in California left their car in the long-term parking at San Jose while away, and someone broke into the car. Using the information on the car’s registration in the glove compartment, they drove the car to the people’s home in Pebble Beach and robbed it. So I guess if we are going to leave the car in long-term parking, we should not leave the registration/insurance cards in it, nor your remote garage door opener. This gives us something to think about with all our new electronic technology. 2.  GPS. Someone had their car broken into while they were at a football game.  Their car was parked on the green which was adjacent to the football stadium and specially allotted to football fans. Things stolen from the car included a garage door remote control, some money and a GPS which had been prominently mounted on the dashboard.  When the victims got home, they found that their house had been ransacked and just about everything worth anything had been stolen.  The thieves had used the GPS to guide them to the house.  They then used the garage remote control to open the garage door and gain entry to the house.  The thieves knew... read more

2 Essential Steps to Winterizing Your Boat

Tucking your boat in for the winter? For boat enthusiasts everywhere, the end of boating season can be disappointing, as on-the-water adventures are about to end and the task of winterization is about to begin. As boat owners know, protecting your watercraft through the winter here in New Hampshire requires an investment of time, labor and money. Considering that winterization is an absolute imperative that can help prevent irreversible damage, it may help to view this process not as a chore, but as a chance to dream about next spring when you’ll be ready to return to the water. When it comes to winterizing your boat, be sure to follow these two essential steps: 1. Find the best storage place indoors or outdoors If possible, find a place to have your boat spend the winter out of water and well out of the way of inclement weather. If you are storing your boat outdoors, check on the level of security. Is there security personnel on duty? Is it a locked facility? If your boat will be exposed to the elements over the winter, make sure to have it shrink-wrapped by a professional. 2. Be thorough in winterizing or rely a pro If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, the steps to winterizing your boat can be easily found via many online resources. Click here to review a series of helpful tips on winterizing your boat from Safeco Insurance. Another great place to look is your boat’s owner’s manual, as most include detailed winterization instructions. Regardless of what source you use to get the details, you will ensure a better start come next... read more

8 Back to School Insurance Tips

College is expensive enough as it is; can you imagine finding out too late that an accident or theft isn’t covered under your current insurance policies? In order to prevent this from happening, there’s one vital “to-do” to add to your list (other than writing that dreaded tuition check) as you prepare to send your child/children off to school this fall: a review of your insurance coverage. Although policy language varies from one state to the next and there are never “one-size-fits-all” situations, use the following general guide to understand how your child’s move back to school may affect your insurance coverage: Homeowners Insurance Considerations Personal property coverage: Most homeowners policies provide 10 percent of personal property coverage for property owned by an insured that is at a residence other than the insured’s.  For instance, if you have $100,000 worth of personal property coverage, your homeowners insurance policy will typically provide up to $10,000 worth of coverage for your student’s property if he/she is living in a dormitory – provided that the damage is caused by a covered peril and the student meets the definition of an insured. Certain items like jewelry or expensive electronics may require special coverage, or a “rider.” Liability coverage: Homeowners insurance policies typically exclude damage to property rented to an insured, so in most cases, damage to a dorm room or apartment would not be covered. Renters insurance: If your student rents an off-campus home, your policy may not provide coverage for his/her property, so don’t forget about renters insurance. It’s important to understand that landlords’ policies generally only cover the structure, not the... read more

5 Fishing Safety Tips

Many New Hampshire residents look forward to fishing on our state’s various lakes, ponds, and rivers, especially when the warm weather arrives, and one of the best ways to enjoy boating and fishing is to share the fun with others – especially your kids or grand kids. Although expert anglers typically know the ropes of both boating and fishing in New Hampshire, there are still many mishaps that can occur if the excursion is not well-planned, especially when you have little ones along for the ride. The next time you’re gearing up with your loved ones to go after the “big one,” make sure that it’s as enjoyable as you anticipate by keeping the following five fishing safety tips provided by Safeco Insurance in mind: 1. Only fish if weather permits. Check the weather forecast in detail before you head out onto the water. Here in New Hampshire, the weather can change quickly and drastically, ushering in unexpected storms that could scare your children and put you all in harm’s way. 2. Dress yourself – and your little ones – for the adventure. Although it may seem obvious, it can get slippery out on the boat or the dock! Ensure stable footing for all by making sure you and your kids are wearing shoes that will grip boat floors and slick rocks and docks. 3. Make safety a game. It’s important to be equipped with everything you need for safety and protection – from flashlights and sunscreen to plenty of water and life preservers – but you can also make it fun for the kids. For example, make them... read more

3 Ways to Save Money on Vacation Home Insurance

Your dream vacation home is or will soon be yours – what an exciting time in your life! However, amidst all the excitement, it’s important to learn about insurance and understand that if your home is near a body of water or not inhabited year round, it’s more at risk of damage, flooding, theft and fire. Vacation home insurance will shield your dream home from potential nightmares, and provide you with peace of mind, but because of the aforementioned greater risks, it may come at a greater cost. To help you cut vacation home insurance costs, we’ve put together these three tips: Safety first.Fire-resistant roofs on vacation homes in areas prone to wildfires, as well as security systems capable of alerting authorities in the event of incidents, could help lower your rates. Discover the inside scoop.Types of vacation homes that should cost less to insure, to name two, are those in gated communities and newer vacation homes that have been constructed under stricter building codes. Get in on the discounts. Taking extra home-protection precautions can significantly lower your vacation home insurance premiums. Qualifying vacation-home improvements vary by location; for instance, in coastal areas, these improvements may involve adding hurricane protections such as wind-resistant roof shingles and garage doors, roof straps, impact-resistant glass, extra door hinges, and deadbolts. As independent insurance agents, we will take the time to analyze your vacation home’s exposures to help you determine which improvements would be the most beneficial and worthwhile to make. At Knapton, Reade & Woods Insurance Agency in Hillsborough NH, our experienced agents are familiar with many insurance discounts and have been... read more

6 Boating Safety Tips

Keep Safety in Mind as Boating Season Begins Unfortunately, every summer includes fun weekends on the water that take a turn for the worse when accidents occur. Often, these accidents on the water could have been prevented with just a few simple precautions. Don’t let an accident ruin your fun; keep the following boating safety tips from our partners at Safeco Insurance in mind as boating season begins: Life Preservers Aren’t Only for Kids. Don’t just have life jackets on board — wear them! When an accident occurs, people rarely have time to reach for a life jacket and put it on. This rule applies to adults, not just children. More people in their 30s die in boating accidents than any other age group. Life vests have evolved greatly over the years; today, you can even get vests for your water-loving dog! Watch the Back of the Boat. Carbon monoxide kills in minutes, so be sure to tell your passengers where your exhaust pipes are located, turn off your engine when people are in the water, and don’t let passengers “ski” or “teak-surf” by holding on to the back of the boat. Both Washington and Oregon made teak-surfing illegal in the last few years, after several tragic deaths occurred. Carbon monoxide detectors are standard on most new boats, and older boats install devices for less than $100. Alcohol and Boating Don’t Mix. More than 50 percent of drowning accidents result from a dangerous combination of boating and alcohol. Just as you should never drink and drive, don’t ever operate your boat after ingesting alcoholic beverages. Boats Need TLC Too.... read more

Hang Up and Drive: Don’t Be a Distracted Driver

For many Americans, especially those under 40, using a cell phone while driving seems perfectly normal. And considering that there are more than 236 million cell phone users, it’s safe to say that there are many on the road. But is it safe? Statistics say no. Studies conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that more than 25 percent of all police-reported vehicular accidents are caused by this behavior. The problem? A driver using a phone is a distracted driver. Although many people claim that “multi-tasking” has no effect on concentration, tests have repeatedly proven this false. For instance, one University of Utah study revealed that a young person on the phone has about the same reaction speed as someone over the age of 70. Other research and highway law enforcement observation commonly compare drive-and-chat performance to drunk driving. Excessive slowness, inattentiveness to traffic conditions, and lane-to-lane weaving are all dead giveaways. The consequences, too, are predictably similar. Phone-distracted motorists hit more potholes, miss more warning signs, and generally fail more often to process their surroundings, compared to alert, fully-focused drivers. The problem is most serious when pedestrians are involved. By law, a car must yield the right of way to all pedestrians at all times, but when a driver’s attention is diverted, this rule is one of the first to be forgotten. No Hands? No Better! Many cell phone users believe that hands-free devices remove the dangers of distracted driving. However, this is typically not true, as it isn’t the phone that causes mishaps, but rather it’s the conversation itself. Simply listening and processing information... read more

If I Borrow a Friend’s Car, Am I Insured?

Most people have an idea of what’s covered and not covered under their various insurance policies. But at Knapton, Reade & Woods, we get a lot of questions about borrowing or loaning a car. Now that spring is here and you might be looking to borrow your neighbor’s truck for a home-improvement project or a trip to the local landfill, we thought it was a great time to provide a little more information. If you’re asking yourself, “If I borrow a friend’s car, am I insured?,” it’s important to understand that insurance coverage generally follows the vehicle rather than the driver. So in most instances, as long as the owner of the car has insurance, it’s covered even if someone other than the owner is driving it, as long as they have the owner’s permission. The borrower’s insurance is considered secondary, meaning that in the event of an accident, it could apply if the owner’s insurance is insufficient to fully cover the damage. It’s important to note that there are some exceptions to what is called “permissive use” coverage. For example, permission must be given by the owner, unless the borrower has a reasonable belief that he/she is allowed to use the car. However, the borrower cannot give permission to someone else. So if your teenager allows one of his or her friends to drive your car, your coverage likely won’t apply. Coverage might also be denied if the borrower operates the vehicle in a negligent or criminal manner. And if the borrower is using your car for business purposes, your personal auto policy likely won’t cover that, either.... read more

6 Snow Plow Safety Tips

Snow plow safety is a priority here in New Hampshire, given the significant amount of snowfall that must be cleared from the roads each winter. Even for the experienced driver, safely maneuvering a snow plow vehicle is a challenging job. If you are plowing this winter, use the following snow plow safety tips from MMG Insurance to keep yourself and everyone else on the roads safe this winter: Get adequate sleep – many times a snow plow operator must be ready to get started without much notice. Getting adequate sleep plays an essential role in safe vehicle operation. Understand all necessary operating procedures – make certain that you understand how each portion of the plowing equipment operates; always check to be sure all lights and signals are operating correctly before plowing. Keep the salt spreading machinery clean – to properly dispense road salt and sand materials, as well as to lengthen the life of your equipment, keep the salt spreader and other machinery clean and free of obstructions. Perform a head check – although side and rear-view mirrors supply some visual assistance, it’s best to turn around and look out the side or rear window when making lane changes, executing a turn, or backing up. Acquaint yourself with your surroundings in advance – familiarizing yourself with the grounds before the snow accumulates helps you ensure that you plow the proper areas, limiting unintended damage to property and/or landscaping on the premises. Plow during low traffic hours – if conditions permit, it’s safest to operate a snow plow vehicle when there is little to no traffic. When high winds, low... read more