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Before snow, ice and severe winter weather hit the region, it is important that you take the proper steps to ensure the safety of your family and home.
If there is still time before the storm arrives…
The best advice for driving in bad winter weather is not to drive at all, if you can avoid it. Don’t go out until the snow plows and sanding trucks have had a chance to do their work, and allow yourself extra time to reach your destination.
If you must drive in snowy conditions, make sure your car is prepared (see tips below) and that you know how to handle road conditions.
It’s helpful to practice winter driving techniques in a snowy, open parking lot, so you’re familiar with how your car handles. Consult your owner’s manual for tips specific to your vehicle.
Driving safely on icy roads:
If your rear wheels skid…
If your front wheels skid…
Thank you Weather.com for all this valuable information!
The III recommends to “Talk with your insurance agent or company representative about your liability insurance coverage and any exclusions, conditions or limitations your policy might have for this kind of risk. Appropriate liability insurance coverage is necessary. In some cases special event coverage may be available that will cover both liquor liability and other liability exposures specific to the event.”
* A Social Host is any person who by express or implied invitation invites another person into their homes and who legally provides alcoholic beverages to their social guest. If you serve alcohol to a social guest who is “visibly intoxicated” who causes injuries to a third party (i.e. drink and drive), you can be held responsible for the injuries or damages sustained as a result of the visibly intoxicated guest.
Further, New Jersey Courts have held that guests who serve themselves at a party will not remove the social host from responsibility. Still, the social host will not be liable for injuries of the legal age drinking guest themselves; only third party injuries caused by the guest as a result of the guest being served while visibly intoxicated during the party. Under no circumstances should alcohol be served to a minor.
The cold weather is coming – but it’s not bad yet. Right now, we’re just preparing for the winter season and on chilly days, maybe lighting a fire in the fireplace for extra warmth and the ambiance. Before you use it this season, follow these tips:
Clean it out. Schedule a cleaning and inspection with a certified fireplace specialist, and make sure there’s nothing flammable—like hanging tree branches—near the chimney pot. Before you start each new fire, clean out the old ash and store it outside in a metal bucket with a lid. (Hot, live embers can survive for up to four days in ashes.)
Get the right type of wood. Wet wood creates more sparks, so use dry. If you’re using commercial fire logs—a wood alternative made from wax and sawdust—follow the package instructions, burn the logs one at a time and avoid poking or breaking them apart while they’re burning.
Start with a small fire, which—when given room to breathe—will burn hotter and create fewer sparks than large fires crammed into small spaces. To achieve the right-sized fire, start it in the back of the fireplace, preferably on a grill, and use kindling, twigs and small balls of newspaper, instead of fire accelerants, to get it going.
Use a tight-fitting screen at all times, and keep it closed while the fire is burning, to contain sparks and embers. Never leave a fire unattended or use a home fireplace to burn garbage, leaves or piles of newspaper, which burn quickly and at very high temperatures—and might create toxic fumes.
Prepare for emergencies. Install and/or check smoke alarms throughout your house and keep a fire extinguisher nearby. And before lighting a fire, remove objects like decorations and cards from around the fireplace, and move rugs and kindling away from the hearth.
Thanks to Progressive insurance for these great tips. For more information, check National Fire Protection Association website.
Biggert-Watters Flood Reform was passed on 7/6/12 in order to phase in true risk premiums for subsidized properties. FEMA defines homes built prior to 1/1/75 (Pre-FIRM) as subsidized properties. Only Pre-FIRM properties will see substantial rate increases as a result of Biggert-Watters Flood Reform. Homes built after 1/1/75 (Post-FIRM) will generally see smaller annual rate increases if the home is built in compliance with flood building codes.
*Severe Repetitive Loss (SRL) properties include every NFIP insured property that, since 1978, and regardless of any change in ownership during that period, has experienced:
** Once a map changes, the true risk premium will be calculated for each home. That rate will then be phased in at 20% per year – of the overall premium difference – over a 5 year period.
*** FEMA defines a Primary Home as one that is lived in at least 80% of the 365 days immediately preceding the loss. All other home occupancy is considered as Secondary.
**** All flood policies issued after 10/1/13 contain a new 5% (of the total premium) reserve fund assessment. This assessment is in addition to published premium increases.
***** A Tentative Rate policy is rated without enough information to determine the true-risk premium. Therefore, if a loss happens, the policy limit will be adjusted to that which the premium collect would purchase.
This tool illustrates health insurance premiums and subsidies for people purchasing insurance on their own in new health insurance exchanges (or “Marketplaces”) created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Beginning in October 2013, middle-income people under age 65, who are not eligible for coverage through their employer, Medicaid, or Medicare, can apply for tax credit subsidies available through state-based exchanges.
Additionally, states have the option to expand their Medicaid programs to cover all people making up to 138% of the federal poverty level (which is about $33,000 for a family of four). In states that opt out of expanding Medicaid, some people making below this amount will still be eligible for Medicaid, some will be eligible for subsidized coverage through Marketplaces, and others will not be eligible for subsidies.
With this calculator, you can enter different income levels, ages, and family sizes to get an estimate of your eligibility for subsidies and how much you could spend on health insurance. As premiums and eligibility requirements may vary, contact your state’s Medicaid office or exchange with enrollment questions.
Click on Calculator below to open the Subsidy Calculator (courtesy of the Kaiser Family Foundation).
“The YouToons Get Ready For Obamacare” is a seven-minute video that explains the changes in the way people will get health coverage starting in 2014, whether it’s through their employer, Medicaid, Medicare, or buying insurance on their own with the help of federal tax credits. The video (narrated by Kaiser Family Foundation trustee and former ABC World News Tonight anchor Charlie Gibson) helps viewers understand what their coverage options are and what they can do to prepare for the open enrollment period that runs from October 1 through March 31.
For more information, contact our Life & Health Department manager, Steve Sanborne, at 609-399-0655.