Tag Archives: prevention


Your annual reminder: Any dog can bite

This week is Dog Bite Prevention Week and the US Postal Service would like to remind you that although there are about 78 million good doggies here in the U.S., “any dog can bite.” They should know. Their carriers suffer about 6,000 dog attacks a year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 4.5 million people are victims of dog attacks each year. The most susceptible to dog attacks are small children, the elderly and postal carriers, in that order.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) says that most, if not all, the dog bites that occur are preventable. They tally some recent numbers: In 2017 there were nearly 350,000 people treated at hospital emergency rooms for non-fatal dog-related injuries. Of those people, there were nearly 10,600 children two years old or younger who visited emergency rooms as a result of dog bites​.

Liability Insurance and Dog Bites

Besides the human and canine trauma that can result, dog bites are also a costly problem. In 2018, dog bites and other dog-related injuries tallied $675 million in liability claims, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) and studies by State Farm. In terms of states, California is #1, with 2166 claims at an average claim cost of $45,542. Florida is #2, with 1281 claims at an average claim cost of $43,893. Texas, Illinois and New York round out the top five states in terms of claims counts and expenses. You can check to see where your state falls on this III interactive state-by-state dog bite liability map.

Your homeowners insurance policy will typically cover and claims related to dog bites, up to the liability limits. If you have a dog, you should talk to your agent about liability limits and also the type of dog you have. I talking about dog bite liability, III says that

“Some insurance companies will not insure homeowners who own certain breeds of dogs categorized as dangerous, such as pit bulls. Others decide on a case-by-case basis, depending on whether an individual dog, regardless of its breed has been deemed vicious. Some insurers do not ask the breed of a dog owned when writing or renewing homeowners insurance and do not track the breed of dogs involved in dog bite incidents. However, once a dog has bitten someone, it poses an increased risk. In that instance, the insurance company may charge a higher premium, nonrenew the homeowner’s insurance policy or exclude the dog from coverage.”

See our prior post on dog breeds that are sometimes blacklisted by insurance companies.

Helpful dog bite prevention resources

Dogs attacks occur for a number of reasons. The dog may be protecting territory. They may feel threatened by strangers or startled. They may be annoyed if they are eating. American Humane offers these tips for dog owners:

  • Never leave a baby or small child alone with a dog, even if it is a family pet.
  • Interactions between children and dogs should always be monitored to ensure the safety of both your child and your dog.
  • Teach your children to treat the dog with respect and not to engage in rough or aggressive play.
  • Make sure your pet is socialized as a young puppy so it feels at ease around people and other animals.
  • Never put your dog in a position where s/he feels threatened.
  • Walk and exercise your dog regularly to keep him/her healthy and to provide mental stimulation.
  • Use a leash in public to ensure you can control your dog.
  • Regular veterinary care is essential to maintain your dog’s health; a sick or injured dog is more likely to bite.
  • Be alert, if someone approaches you and your dog – caution them to wait before petting the dog, give your pet time to be comfortable with a stranger.

Find more dog bite prevention tips:

Reprinted from Renaissance Alliance – no usage without permission.

December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

Together, we can help keep people safe on the road – every day.


december-is-national-impaired-driving-prevention-monthDecember is one of the busiest driving months, which naturally means it’s one of the most dangerous times to drive. Many of us are attending social events and parties that involve alcohol. Data from the National Highway Traffic Administration shows there is a significant increase in DUIs and fatal drunk-driving crashes around this time of year. That is why December has been named National Impaired Driving Prevention Month – to increase awareness about the dangers and consequences associated with driving under the influence of both alcohol and drugs.

There are three forms of impaired driving: distracted driving, drugged driving, and drunk driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes each day. This is equivalent to one death every 53 minutes. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes is more than $44 billion!

The National Association of Drug Court Professionals explains, “Since 1981, every President of the United States has demonstrated the commitment to preventing impaired driving by proclaiming December as national Drunk & Drugged Driving Prevention Month or more recently, National Impaired Driving Prevention Month.”

President Obama states, “This month, let us continue empowering drivers to make responsible decisions and educating the American people on ways they can help keep our roads safe and our futures bright.” Read the full 2016 proclamation here

At Cochrane & Porter, we wish you a happy and safe holiday season, and urge all to remain sober while driving! As always, do not hesitate to contact us for any of your insurance needs.

Cochrane & Porter Insurance Agency
981 Worcester Street
Wellesley, MA 0482

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month


Did you know breast cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in women? Every October is recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease.

There are several different symptoms of breast cancer – sometimes people have no symptoms at all. Some include a change in the size or shape of the breast, a new lump in the breast or underarm, or new pain in any area of the breast. The good news about breast cancer is that many women survive, especially if it’s found early and treated immediately. A mammogram can help detect breast cancer at an early phase.

The American Cancer Society recommends women start annual mammograms between ages 40 and 44. The American Cancer Society explains, “Some women – because of their family history, a genetic tendency, or certain other factors – should be screened with MRIs along with mammograms. (The number of women who fall into this category is very small.) Talk with a health care provider about your risk for breast cancer and the best screening plan for you.”

Follow the National Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation on social media: Facebook | Instagram  | Twitter | Pinterest

Looking to help?
Host an in-person or virtual fundraiser
Make a one-time or ongoing donation

As always, do not hesitate to contact an agent  Cochrane & Porter for any of your insurance needs at 781-943-1555 or info@cochraneandporter.com!

Traveling This Summer? Here Are Safety Tips to Prevent Identity Theft

June is National Safety Month – want to protect your identity while traveling?


In the 21st century, you are much more likely to have your identity stolen than in the past. Mostly based on technological advances, identity theft is a growing problem worldwide. Travelers are vulnerable because there are many times where they need to use unsecured internet connections. They typically carry personal documentation with them at all times. Lastly, when traveling, you typically use your credit cards in places you’ll never be again.

Some suggestions for protecting your identity while traveling include:

  1. Delete all cookies and browsing history on public terminals. Computers cache a significant amount of information, and certain websites keep you logged in, even if you exit out of the webpage – some examples include Facebook & LinkedIn. That’s why it’s beneficial to delete your cookies & browsing history before you walk away.
  2. Be careful of shared and unsecured internet connections. When traveling, it’s tough to find internet connections other than public ones in cafes, hotels and airports. With an unsecured internet connection, there is a risk any time you type email passwords or website logins.
  3. Use only bank ATMs. Many convenience stores and hotels have
    generic” ATMs. These have less oversight and are often more vulnerable to identity theft. Regular ATMs are normally targeted less by thieves.
  4. Check your credit card statements on a regular basis. Identity thieves will choose travelers as victims because typically people do not check their bank statements until they have returned home!
  5. Keep an eye on your cell phone. Your cell phone likely has many apps that may contain personal information. Not to mention, many people leave their cell phone hanging around in places where many people have access to it. Before traveling, consider deleting any apps with especially private data such as banking apps or social networks.

These are just some of the steps you can take to ensure eliminate identity fraud while traveling. Feel free to contact us at 781-943-1555!

*Cochrane & Porter also offers a product that serves as an alarm system for your identity. Learn more!

The Importance of Taking a Home Inventory

laptop phone

If you were asked to stop what you were doing and make a list of every item you have in your home, would you be able to? Chances are, probably not! That is why it’s so important to create a home inventory.  If a burglary or natural disaster occurs, you will be thankful that you keep an inventory list of all the items you own. A complete home inventory will also help you determine the amount of insurance coverage you need on your policy, as well as help to settle claims quicker.

To start, make a list of all your possessions – describe each item, and jot down where you purchased it, along with the make and model. Organize your list by attaching receipts or other documents you may have obtained when buying an item. Take pictures of your items, as well as record any serial numbers, if applicable.

Obvious examples of inventory items:

  • Jewelry
  • Artwork
  • Furniture
  • Appliances
  • Electronics

Important items often overlooked:

  • Carpets
  • Clothing
  • Toys
  • Draperies
  • Photographs
  • Receipts

If you’d prefer to take an easier approach, the Insurance Information Institute recommends videotaping and describing the contents in your home. Simply walk through your home or apartment and describe the contents as you walk past each, stating where and when you purchased it, how many you have, etc.

A complete home inventory checklist (PDF)

Top 10 Best Home Inventory Software programs of 2016

Make sure to start your home inventory as soon as possible – you never know when you may need it! Whether you are just moving into a home or have been there for many years, it is better to have some items listed than none. Call us today at 781-943-1555 today if you have any questions!

February is American Heart Month

Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are due to heart disease, making it the leading cause of death for both men and woman in the United States. However, heart disease is typically preventable by making healthy decisions early on in life and making sure you don’t have high blood pressure.

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are working to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes in the United States by 2017. The CDC highly recommends that anyone who is aware of their high blood pressure monitor it and make it a goal to lower it in the upcoming months.

There are several ways you can protect yourself from having heart disease in the future. Some include:

  • Do not smoke or allow yourself to be exposed to second-hand smoke – this can increase the risks of heart disease as well as lung cancer and stroke.
  • Maintain a healthy blood pressure – age and heredity greatly increase the chances of having a high blood pressure. It’s helpful to measure blood pressure at your home while you are relaxed, as many people have white coat syndrome, meaning they become nervous when going to the doctors.
  • Monitor your cholesterol – high blood lipids are a large contributor to cardiovascular disease. If you have a strong family history of elevated cholesterol, it is important you watch your diet; drug therapy may also be necessary.
  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes per day – whether it is a run or just moving in any way, this is important. Lack of exercise is a large contributor to obesity in Americans.
  • Reduce stress – stress contributes to cardiovascular disease and if severe enough, could potentially cause a heart attack. Some simple ways to reduce stress include laughing, healthy relationships and engaging, regular exercise, among others. It is important to take responsibility for your health and make sure you understand the common risk factors for heart disease. Also, if you have diabetes, your risk dramatically increases, so it becomes even more vital you take the necessary actions to prevent this potentially deadly disease.

It is important to take responsibility for your health and make sure you understand the common risk factors for heart disease. Also, if you have diabetes, your risk dramatically increases, so it becomes even more vital you take the necessary actions to prevent this potentially deadly disease.

Other Helpful Links:

Our Free Health Discount Card – you can gain access to programs that can save you money every time you use pharmacies, vision care providers, hearing care specialists, & more!

Full list of ways to help cope with stress in your daily life: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/stress-management.htm

25 ways to sneak in exercise throughout your day: