Frozen Pipes? Uh Oh!

frozen-pipes

It’s a freezing cold winter morning and you wake up and head to the bathroom. When turning on the faucet, nothing comes out. Uh oh! You may have a frozen pipe – what should you do? Or, what can you do to prevent this expensive situation in the first place? According to The Boston Globe, “Every winter some 250,000 families in the United States see at least one room in their home damaged by water pipes freezing and breaking.”

I’ve decided to gather some helpful information that will help  to keep the water flowing inside when the temperatures drop outside!

Which pipes are at high risk of freezing?

  • Pipes located in exterior walls.
  • All plumbing on the exterior of your home.
  • Exposed pipes in areas that are unheated in your home.

How can I prepare before it gets cold?

  • Insulate water pipes with heat cable, heat tape or pipe sleeves, especially pipes that run through unheated areas of your home like the basement, attic, garage, etc.
  • Drain water from your swimming pool and water sprinkler lines. Refrain from putting antifreeze in these lines – it’s harmful to the environment as well as humans, pets and landscaping.
  • Leave faucets just slightly dripping so the water is still moving and doesn’t freeze

What should I do when my pipes leak?

You may want to turn the water off to your house, and call a plumber! Especially if it is a slow leak, consider buying disposable diapers and wrap one around the leak. While this is completely temporary, it should prevent any water damage from occurring.

Helpful articles
How pipes freeze and burst, and what to do to prevent damage
How to protect your home from water damage
Preventing frozen & thawing pipes – American Red Cross

As always do not hesitate to contact us for any of your insurance needs! 781.943.1555 or cochraneandporter@renaissanceins.com

 

Turkey Leftover Ideas

food

Thanksgiving dinner is absolutely one of the most highly anticipated meals of the year. There are many ways to make new dishes out of leftover turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and cranberry sauce. Here are two (somewhat unique) ideas for meals you can make with all your leftovers!

Thanksgiving in a blanket

Ingredients

1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls
3/4 c. shredded roasted turkey
3/4 c. prepared stuffing
3/4 c. prepareed mashed potatoes
1 c. cranberry sauce
1/4 c. prepared gravy, warmed

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out Crescent Rolls. Top with mashed potatoes, turkey, stuffing and cranberries (just a little bit of each). Roll up and transfer to prepared baking sheet.
3. Bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve with gravy to dunk in.

Recipe by Delish

Leftover Turkey and Stuffing Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients
1 large egg, beaten
2 c. leftover shredded turkey
2 c. leftover stuffing
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 red and yellow bell peppers, hollowed
1 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella
Fresh parsley (optional)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine beaten egg, turkey and stuffing (in a large bowl). Season with salt and pepper, then mix together.
2. Spoon mixture into bell peppers and top with mozzarella.
3. Transfer peppers to baking dish and bake until peppers are tender and cheese is melty, 25 to 30 minutes. Add parsley (optional).

Recipe by Delish

These are only two out of the many ways you can make delicious meals from your leftovers. As always, for any of your insurance needs feel free to contact us at 781-943-1555 or info@cochraneandporter.com

 

Questions to Ask Before Buying Renters Insurance

Make sure you have proper renters insurance coverage!

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You may or may not be aware that renters insurance covers much more than just your personal belongings! According to the Insurance Information Institute, only 31 percent of renters buy renters insurance. Renters insurance can come in handy if you find yourself legally responsible for someone else while they are visiting your home. Here are some questions to ask to make sure you have sufficient coverage:

  • Do I need additional coverage for some of my items? Valuable items such as furs, firearms, jewelry, silverware and coin collections may not be covered by a standard renters policy. Items like these may need supplemental coverage, which is usually available for your policy.

  • What exactly is covered, and for how much? Typically policies will cover personal belongings including appliances, clothing, electronics, and furniture. Make sure to know the value of all your belongings before choosing your coverage. This is where having a home inventory comes handy.
  • Are my roommates or pets covered? While renters insurance covers both immediately family members and spouses who live in the same household, you can specifically name a person on the policy. Keep in mind the importance of keeping your insurance information up to date. With regards to having a dog, you’ll need to check with us at Cochrane & Porter to discuss the coverage you have.
  • What are ways I can save on renters insurance? If you are looking to save on renters insurance, you should bundle policies together with the same carrier with your homeowners or automobile policy. Another way to reduce costs is by choosing a higher deductible.
  • When exactly am I covered? Insurance usually covers losses incurred from explosions, fire, theft, smoke and water damage from leaky pipes and/or overflows. Usually if your renters policy will cover an incident that happens outside of your home, it will also cover if it happens inside, too. It’s important to note that no matter the loss, you’ll be required to pay the deductible on your renters insurance policy before any coverage kicks in.

Contact us today for any questions you may have or if you would like us to find you a great deal on renters insurance! Partnering with top companies in the industry, it is easy for us to find you a policy well-suited for your needs!

Related links
The Benefits of Having Renters Insurance
National Association of Insurance Commissioners: What You Need To Know About Renter’s Insurance

Teens Inherit Their Parents’ Driving Behavior

driving on phone

As the saying goes, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree! The truth is, today’s teen drivers learn most of their driving habits from their parents driving. They’ve been observing these habits since they were old enough to sit in a car seat. Whether parents realize it or not, their driving habits are essentially an early form of Driver’s Ed!

The Studies Against Destructive Decisions (S.A.D.D.) have found that children are much more likely to engage in similar driving behavior as their parents as opposed to other teen drivers. While many parents typically tell their children not to text and drive and to always wear a seat belt, studies have shown the most effective approach is to simply lead by example.

A study conducted in 2012 found that 60% of kids in high school stated their driving habits are most influenced by their parents. With 1,700 students being surveys, 88% expressed they’ve seen their parents speed and 59% have witnessed them texting while on the road.  Parents essentially have the ability to mold their children’s driving habits. Whether it is wearing a seat belt, always driving the speed limit, or not texting while driving, parents should try and display their best driving behavior – not only for the safety of themselves, but for their children who are learning from them as well!

Contact us at Cochrane & Porter for any questions you may have, whether it is regarding this topic or a general insurance question! 781-943-1555 or info@cochraneandporter.com.

How Dogs Affect Your Home Insurance

Do you have a new pet? It’s a good idea to let your insurance agent know!

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It’s an exciting time when your new companion arrives home for the first time. Naturally, you’ll want to show your family and friends photos of your new friend and show him off! You’ll buy treats and food, and schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. Something you may not think of is it to inform your independent insurance agent of the new animal living in your home.

As a pet owner, you may find yourself liable for damages your dog or other pet cause. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), dog bites and other animal-related injuries accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claim dollars paid out in 2015, which costed more than $570 million!

An important fact is many homeowners’ insurance policies do cover dog bites. The breed of the dog is also a key factor when it comes to home insurance dog restrictions. There are certain dogs that have a reputation for being aggressive, but many times those are incorrect.

The only real way to know if your pet will affect coverage is to talk with your insurance agent!

If you are a new or existing pet owner, we offer a Veterinary Discount Plan, which you simply receive 25% off every trip to the vet! Don’t forget to contact Cochrane & Porter for any of your insurance needs at 781-943-1555 or info@cochraneandporter.com.

In 2016, Tax Day is April 18th!

 

money

For all the procrastinators out there – you’re in luck! If you live in Massachusetts or Maine, you get two additional days.

This year, the due date for filing federal individual tax returns has been changed from Friday, April 15th to Monday, April 18th. If you are a Massachusetts or Maine resident, you have until Tuesday, April 19th.

There are several reasons for this – Patriots’ Day is on the 18th, so many IRS offices in both Massachusetts and Maine will be closed.

While actual filing isn’t due until the 19th, estimated tax payments are all due on April 18th regardless of what state you’re in. The other reason is Emancipation Day is celebrated on April 15th – this Friday – when taxes are usually due. Emancipation Day typically falls on April 16th, but because it falls on a Saturday this year, it is being celebrated on the 15th.

So, although you have another 5 days (6 in MA and ME), go and file your taxes!

Related Links
5 ways to use your tax refund
Tax returns reveal our secrets

What Does “Full Coverage” Car Insurance Really Mean?

traffic

In short, “full coverage” car insurance doesn’t exist. It’s a term that references the combination of collision and comprehensive coverage on an insurance policy. A policy with full coverage is one that provides a solid amount of coverage for when an accident occurs.

Common variations of what is considered “full coverage” include:

  • A policy which includes a state minimum coverage, plus any additional insurance required by the lender who financed your vehicle.
  • Coverage that would take care of everything if an accident or other incident occurs.
  • A policy which includes liability, collision and comprehensive coverage.

It’s important to mention while this is considered full coverage, it does not mean you have full protection no matter what. It’s all about what best fits your specific needs. If you are looking for a totally comprehensive car insurance policy, think about maybe adding one of the following coverages:

  • Rental Reimbursement –  covers your rental costs while your car is in repair if you’re in an accident.
  • Medical Payment – even if you were at fault, this coverage can be used to pay for your medical costs after an accident.
  • Roadside Assistance – this kicks in if your car breaks down and you need towing and labor assistance.

Keep in mind what one person may consider “full coverage” does not necessarily mean it is the best insurance for you. Your own personal needs, as well as your vehicle and budget are things you need to think about while deciding which coverages you need. We are available Monday through Friday to help you decide which coverages may work best for you. Feel free to give us a call at 781-943-1555 or email us at info@cochraneandporter.com!

 

Helpful links
What is covered by a basic auto insurance policy?
Why do deductibles matter?
Get a quote!