Before the storm:
- Charge all phone and communications
- Move computers and other electronic
devices to countertops or tables to avoid water damage from flooding.
- Turn off circuit breakers to avoid
- If you plan to use a portable
generator during the storm, ensure that a qualified electrician has installed
it and make sure to use a listed and approved transfer switch and GFCI (Ground
Fault Circuit Interrupter) protection.
During the storm:
- Stay indoors during hurricanes and
away from windows and glass.
- Never operate a portable generator
inside your home or garage.
- Do not connect generators directly to
the household wiring unless an appropriate transfer switch has been installed
by a licensed, qualified electrician.
- Always use GFCIs in areas where water
and electricity may come in contact. The National Electrical Code (NEC)
currently requires the GFCIs be installed in all kitchens, bathrooms, garages,
outdoors, and within six feet of any sink.
After the storm:
- Have a qualified electrician inspect
any water-damaged electrical equipment and electronics. Electrical items, such
as circuit breakers, fuses, GFCIs, receptacles, plugs and switches, can
malfunction when water and silt get inside. Discard them if they have been
- If flooding has occurred, have a
qualified electrician inspect your electrical system.
- Do not touch a circuit breaker or
replace a fuse with wet hands or while standing on a wet surface.
- Report and stay away from downed
power lines and always assume they are energized. Never touch a person or
object that is in direct or indirect contact with a downed power line, such as
a fence, tree limb or water. Instead, call 911 immediately.
- Avoid flooded areas as they may be
electrified. Even nonconductive materials like wood or cloth that are slightly
wet can conduct electricity.
- If you smell gas, notify emergency
authorities immediately. Do not turn on lights, light matches or engage in any
activity that could create a spark.
Credit: Property Casualty 360°
When searching for boat insurance, you might be overwhelmed when you find that there are many different types of policies available. In general, insurance companies offer a watercraft liability coverage policy along with additional coverages that you can purchase. If you have financed your dreamboat, the lender probably requires you to also obtain property coverage for damage to your boat.
Watercraft liability insurance coverage is required by law in most states. This insurance provides coverage in the event that damage occurs to a person or to property of others as a result of actions taken on your boat. This is true whether or not it occurs during transportation or actually on the water. The law requires you to have this type of liability coverage and each state will have its own requirement as to how much you will need. It is wise to consult with an insurance agent to find out what is necessary to meet the requirements of the law.
In addition to liability insurance,
you should cover the boat, motor and trailer used to transport your boat. Make
sure that you protect your boat with optional coverage that includes theft,
vandalism, losses caused by storms, fire, sinking, capsizing, stranding and
It is possible that medical payment coverage may be required in your state. This type of coverage pays for the medical expenses, up to a specified amount, for you and any passenger on your boat that result from an accident covered by the policy. As a suggestion, regardless whether or not this insurance is required, you would be wise to consider it. Medical expenses as a result of an accident can become extremely high.
Another additional type of insurance
coverage to the standard boat liability policy is the wreck removal and
pollution coverage. This should also be strongly considered. If your boat sinks
or is involved in an accident for any reason, you are required to remove it at
once in accordance with the law. If oil or gasoline leaks into the water as a
result of an accident, you will be fined. The wreck removal and pollution
coverage provides coverage for this type of incident, and without this coverage
you will be required to pay for the pollution and/or removal plus fines out of
your own pocket.
Just like in automobile coverage, you
should definitely cover yourself against uninsured boats as well. If another
boater who does not have any type of boat insurance or does not have enough
coverage, collides with your boat on the water, this coverage will pay for the
replacement of, or any needed repairs to your boat.
Call Thorp & Trainer to find out
what type of insurance is required, and we will provide a no obligation quote
for this and any other additional insurance you might require for your boat.
HAPPY BOATING THIS SUMMER.
peer-to-peer home rental (sometimes called AirBnB, HomeAway, Flipkey and VRBO)
is an online marketplace for vacation and business rentals that links owners (“hosts”)
who have unused lodgings or bedrooms to rent with users (“guests”) seeking to
rent the space, typically on a short-term (i.e., less than 30 days) basis.
Visiting friends and relatives are often referred to as “guests.” However, unless otherwise stated, “guests” refers to the individuals or families that pay to rent residential space from a “host.”
and municipalities typically consider home hosting a business. Yet, the host’s
insurer is too often unaware of these business-related activities. Thus, asking
more questions on their homeowners’ applications regarding this expanding loss
Advantages for hosting:
Renting unused space results in extra income. The average AirBnB host earns
$924 per month, and 26 percent of hosts make more than $1,000 per month.
There is often no charge just to list the property. A fee is applied only if a
successful booking is made.
Some rental marketplaces will send a professional photographer to the home at
no cost to assist in marketing the space.
Most marketplaces also provide strong customer support, verification regarding
the identity of potential guests, and numerous payment options.
The online system is typically quite flexible. For example, hosts can set
seasonal pricing and weekday/weekend pricing as they see fit.
Many people simply enjoy being a host and love to meet travelers from all
corners of the globe.
A host can rent his or her entire house, condominium unit, or apartment, or
just one room within the dwelling.
Disadvantages for hosting:
Hosts may naively believe that they are simply part of the sharing economy and
not involved in a business activity; however, this peer-to-peer sharing
certainly involves a commercial transaction. Insurers and more municipalities view
home hosting as a business, resulting in regulatory restrictions and property
and liability coverage gaps.
Short-term rentals might violate local zoning, homeowners’ or condominium
association bylaws, lease agreements, or housing laws.
Some cities require that the host obtain a permit or obtain a business license before
the property can be listed.
Some state and local laws may apply rental income or hotel taxes to any
• Federal income taxes also apply to booking revenue. Damage to the rental property or an injury to a guest is an important loss exposure to consider. For example, a host may be found legally liable for an injury on the premises. Without the proper insurance, financial burdens for the host may arise.
• Some hosts
have difficulty navigating the home-hosting website.
Advantages for guests:
• Cost savings—it can be less expensive to stay in an apartment or home rented via an online marketplace.
Many homes will give the guest access to a kitchen.
An excellent host can be a great resource for learning about a local culture
and its customs.
Extensive photos, online reviews, and host/home ratings can help ensure that
the guest gets his or her desired space with minimal fuss.
Disadvantages for guests:
The short-term rental may not comply with local laws and restrictions, some of
which might be safety related.
Online ads may be misleading, incorrect, or even fraudulent.
The rental property might not be as secure as a hotel room.
Reviews may not always reflect both sides of the rental property.
It can be time consuming to find the right rental property.
The level of service or expected amenities people are accustomed to receiving
at a hotel are often lacking in home sharing.
There may be hidden fees that are hard to spot online.
It is often difficult or even impossible to cancel a home-sharing agreement
than it is to cancel a hotel reservation.
Guests might wonder whether their own insurance or the host’s insurance
adequately protects any property or liability exposures they face with a
are many advantages and disadvantages for both hosts and guests. To learn more,
call Thorp & Trainer where, “Your Security Is Our Concern”.
The age of connectivity comes with its own set of risks
A driver’s home phone number, call and message logs, and
personal contacts are just some of the types of information that can be stored
on a rental car.
No matter the season, travelers rely on rental cars to reach their
destinations. Many of today’s cars are designed to make hands-free calls,
stream music, and even access the internet — but one has to connect to an
infotainment system first.
But in order to do this, the infotainment system may store personal information kept on a driver’s phone, says AAA.
“The stored information in mobile devices is vulnerable to theft. If you sync your mobile
phone to a rental car, you open yourself up to having your personal information
stolen,” Lori Weaver Hawkins, Blue Grass AAA, said in a statement. “It is
possible for an unauthorized person to gain access to things like home address
and the code for your garage door opener.”
Know your risks
There are currently no industry or government standards for vehicle
infotainment systems, but the first step to safeguarding your personal data is
to know the type of information an infotainment system may store.
Potentially stored information:
· Home address, work address, and
other saved or frequently used GPS locations.
· Home phone number.
· Call and message logs.
· Personal contacts.
· Garage opener programming.
Reducing your risks
To avoid a data breach of any kind, there are a number of
steps drivers can take.
1. Purchase a phone charger for your phone
that plugs into the cigarette lighter adapter port rather than the USB port.
The lighter adapter port does not access your information.
2. Use your phone’s GPS without syncing up
with the rental car.
3. Check your phone’s permissions to learn
what information your car can access. When syncing your phone, if your
infotainment systems allows you to choose which types of information you
share, restrict it to only what’s necessary. For instance, if you’re only
syncing your phone to play music, the car only needs access to your music
library, not your personal contacts or other data.
4. Before handing your keys over to a valet,
check to see if your car’s infotainment system has a valet mode you can set
that will protect your sensitive data.
5. Before trading in your car or returning a rental car, go to the settings menu on the car’s infotainment system to find a list of synced devices. When you find your devices, follow the prompts to delete them. If you can’t figure out how to do this, check the owner’s manual or an online tutorial.
For additional ways to protect yourself home and while traveling, call Thorp & Trainer at 596.0146.