Everybody in the Pool!

Despite Maine’s cool, wet June weather, pool season is here once again. Swimming pools provide healthy family fun. They can also be a source of risk to your family, friends and financial assets.

Sobering Water Safety Statistics
Drowning is second only to auto accidents as the most common cause of unintentional injury-related death for children under 14, according to the American Red Cross. According to an ACR survey, 48% of respondents said they had nearly drowned at some point in their life.

Pool injuries aren’t limited to the water, either. Slippery deck surfaces and other equipment can cause trouble too. The Red Cross’ web site has excellent water safety advice.

Five Smart Pool-Owners’ Tips
1. Make sure your pool is up to code. Plumbing, fencing and deck requirements can vary by locality. If your pool doesn’t meet current codes, your risk increases greatly.

2. Supervise pool activity.
It only takes seconds for tragedy to happen. Make sure a strong-swimming adult is present when the pool is in use. Use an alarm to prevent accidental, unsupervised or unwanted use of your pool.

3. Fence and lock your pool.
This is required in most locales for in-ground pools and for many above-ground pools.

4. Carry adequate liability insurance.
If someone is hurt while using your pool, insurance may be the only thing between you and bankruptcy. Make sure your liability limits are high enough to protect your net worth and earnings potential. A great idea: buy an umbrella policy, which provides even higher limits than homeowners coverage.

5. Consult Your Insurance Agent
Many insurers do not charge an extra premium for swimming pools, but they usually have underwriting requirements. These are designed to manage the company’s – and your – risk. For example, many companies will not insure pools with slides or diving boards, or without locking fences.

Don’t let tragedy spoil your summer fun when warmer weather finally comes to Maine (we hope!). Play it safe, and have fun!

Considering Reducing Insurance? Consult an Expert!

In today’s economy, many people are re-evaluating their expenses to make sure they’re getting the most for their money. Insurance is no exception. The A.P’s Ieva Augstum’s article in today’s Sunday Telegram outlines the decisions some Americans are being forced to make, and the resulting consequences.

Information is Cheap
Some insurance sites make it tempting and easy to see how much money you can save by reducing coverage that you may think you don’t need. But information without advice can give the false appearance of value.

The Value of Advice
Insurance is a complicated business. There’s a reason why agents must pass a rigorous licensing exam to sell to the public, meet continuing education requirements to keep their license, and why agents who’ve already passed the exam study for many more years to earn designations like CPCU or CIC.

At Noyes Hall & Allen, we understand that the most workable insurance is the one you can afford. If you must cut costs, our agents can help you compare the risks you’ll assume with the premium savings. Then, you can customize your decision to your individual situation.

Easy Money

Everyone’s looking to tighten up their budget these days. Many people prefer to  spread the cost of their insurance throughout the year by paying in monthly installments. But insurance companies charge an “installment charge” to cover the expense of sending those monthly bills, and to replace investment income they forgo by not collecting your premium up-front. The average “installment charge” is $5.00 per bill. That means if you pay your Maine auto insurance in monthly installments, you’re paying $50.00 or $60.00 extra a year.

Quick and Painless Savings

Instead of having the insurance company send you a bill, sign up for Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) – automatic monthly withdrawal of your premium payments from your checking account. Most companies waive the installment charges completely for EFT customers. That saves you an extra $60.00, plus the cost of stamps, checks, and the time it takes to pay the bill.

Clients of our Maine insurance agency who are snowbirds or travel frequently love EFT. They don’t have to worry about bills being forwarded, or accumulating unpaid while they’re away.

One added benefit of EFT: no more risking cancellation notices by forgetting to pay your bill. Because your payments are automatically withdrawn, they arrive on time every month, without any action on your part.

For more information about insurance discountscontact Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance at 207-799-5541.