Category Archives: Condo Insurance

Home and Auto Insurance Surprises

When shopping for insurance, it can get pretty confusing. Some policies have so much fine print you may not be sure what you’re getting. Here are some of the most common truths that surprise people when they get insurance. Make sure you have all of the facts, so you won’t be surprised!

You’re not automatically protected from Mother Nature.

Many Homeowner’s Insurance policies don’t automatically cover things like flood, earthquake and other natural disasters. So make sure you’re covered for these things.

You may not get top dollar for your home in the event of a disaster.

Your Homeowner’s Insurance will be based on what it would cost to rebuild your home, NOT on the real estate market value of your house. These costs vary, so check with your insurance agent.

Auto Insurance doesn’t cover tractors.

Homeowner’s Insurance covers things like tractors, garden equipment and storage sheds. In fact, it covers things that aren’t necessarily attached to your home—a detached garage, patio, fence, etc.

Cars with automatic transmission are more likely to be stolen.

More Americans don’t know how to drive a manual, or stick, shift. That’s why automatic cars are more appealing to would-be thieves.

If you buy a home out in the country, you could be paying more for insurance.

Insurance companies like to know that your house is in a safe location, not far from a fire department or neighbors who can lend a hand if something goes wrong. That’s why, if you live in a remote area, your costs tend to go up.

Older homes equal higher insurance rates.

Insurance is all about risks—assessing whether your risks are high or low. If you choose to buy an older home, it’s assumed the plumbing may be old, the roof may be about to give out. But if you want to buy an older home, there are things you can do to lower your costs. Make sure the electrical is updated, as well as the pipes, to reduce the chances of accidents. And if necessary, install a new roof.

Comprehensive Auto Insurance doesn’t cover everything.

Comprehensive Auto Insurance pays for events besides collisions. These include fire, theft, vandalism, weather and accidents involving animals. It does NOT cover personal property. For instance, if your laptop is crushed in an accident, you’ll need Homeowner’s Insurance to cover it.

Auto Insurance carriers factor in many things when determining rates.

It isn’t just about the age of the driver and driving history. When you purchase a new car, insurance  companies look at the age of the car, make, model, engine size and whether or not there are any special safety features in the car. They also factor in the amount you drive per day.

At Zawada Insurance Agency, we’ll help you shop around to find the best deals on every kind of insurance—including bundling, if it helps you to save more.

Please contact Zawada Insurance Agency for details.

Zawada Insurance Agency, Inc. is a family-owned and operated independent insurance agency, located in Worcester, Massachusetts, serving central Massachusetts and beyond.

How To Lower Your Insurance Risks

Are You a Landlord?

How To Lower Your Insurance Risks

Owning an apartment building can be an exciting venture and wise investment. But it does come with its share of responsibilities.

Make Sure You’re Covered

As a landlord, you can be vulnerable to liability claims by tenants and / or contractors doing work on your property. And it isn’t just things like property damage or bodily injury, either. Of course, you want to make sure your property is as safe as possible to reduce the likelihood that someone could slip and fall. In past blogs, we’ve talked about making sure you have coverage for theft, vandalism, storms, fire, acts of nature, flooding—all necessary coverages.

But there are other liability issues you may not have thought of.

For instance, Advertising Liability encompasses things like libel and slander. In this age of social media, be especially careful about what you post. If you make a reference to a competitor in a negative way or repost an unflattering image of someone without their permission, you could be at risk. You also need to be careful of any advertising that misrepresents your property.

What Things Can You Be Held Liable For?

Here are just a few of the things that you, as a landlord, could be held liable for:

  • If your negligence caused an injury.
  • If asbestos is discovered, and you didn’t take steps to contain it, and a tenant becomes sick.
  • If old plumbing isn’t replaced, and a leak damages a tenant’s property.
  • If there is a break-in because of little or no security—broken locks, poor lighting, etc.

How Landlords Can Save on Liability Costs

There are several things that you, as a landlord, can do to ensure that you lower your risk of liability claims. First, make sure that all electrical and gas appliances and lines are in good working condition. Fix any plumbing leaks and do a thorough inspection of pipes. This is not only to prevent flooding, but also mold, which can result from trapped moisture. Do a thorough maintenance check before a tenant moves in and include all of these things, as well as anything that could be a potential fire hazard.

For security purposes, provide a good amount of outdoor lighting at night. Install peep holes in every door. Have all sidewalks and parking lot area cleared of snow and ice after a storm.

As a protection for yourself, keep all communications with tenants in writing. If something is ever disputed and you have to go to court, you’ll have it all on paper. Also, never enter a tenant’s apartment unless it’s an emergency, such as a fire. And don’t discriminate against a potential tenant based on things like race or religion, etc.

Last But Not Least. . .

Check what discounts may be available for making enhancements to your property. Don’t make the mistake of reducing your coverage to save a few bucks. In the long run, it’s better to have a higher deductible, so you’ll get a lower premium.

Zawada Insurance Agency is your go-to place for home, auto and other types of insurance. Please contact Zawada Insurance Agency for details.

Zawada Insurance Agency, Inc. is a family-owned and operated independent insurance agency, located in Worcester, Massachusetts, serving central Massachusetts and beyond.

5 Condo Insurance Mistakes to Avoid

What You Should Know

Congratulations! You own a condominium. You know everything about the condo and surrounding complex (on-site gym, swimming pool?) that made you fall in love with it. Now it’s time to know about condo insurance as well as you know your new home. It’s that all-important layer of protection you’ll need should something unforeseen and unexpected arise. Here are some of the mistakes new condo owners make when buying insurance. Even before you purchase your condo, understand what NOT to do, and you’ll be a well-informed homeowner.

  1. DON’T get a “bare walls-in” master policy. “Bare walls-in” only covers everything inside the condo, but not bath or kitchen fixtures, floors, or architectural details within the condo itself. If you have “all-in” coverage, you won’t have to worry should something shatter your granite countertop in the kitchen. Often those with only “bare walls-in” coverage will have to purchase additional coverage to make sure they don’t have to pay extra if any of these interior things get damaged. However, as with all things relating to insurance policies, it may depend on your budget as to which coverage you can afford. But if you want greater protection, “all-in” is the way to go.
  2. DON’T choose cash value over replacement cost. In your policy, you’ll likely have the option to choose one or the other. If a major appliance breaks, and you’ve chosen cash value, you’ll receive the amount that appliance cost when you originally bought it. That means it could be worth much less if the appliance was purchased several years ago. If, on the other hand, you choose replacement cost, you’ll receive enough money to buy another appliance. Going with cash value may not leave you with enough money to replace what you lost.
  3. DON’T be turned off by high condo association fees. Okay, sometimes the fees are just too high for your budget. Period. However, condo association fees contribute to covering the costs for damages to the communal areas of your condo complex. For instance, if someone sprays graffiti on the outside walls of the building, there will be enough funds to have it painted. If there is damage to the parking lot, sidewalks, any common areas shared by all. As a condo owner, your main concern is what is inside your condo. But since you’ll be part of a community, you’ll want there to be funds to take care of the rest of the property. Your condo association fees should go to those costs.
  4. DON’T sign any policy without reading the fine print. Yes, sometimes there is so much to read in contracts that you may be tempted to go ahead and sign. An insurance broker like the professionals at Zawada can help you to better understand your policy before you sign anything. What’s most important is that you know what you’ll be responsible for and what your insurance covers. For instance, most condo insurance policies cover situations like burglary, but you’ll want to make sure that’s included. Personal property coverage is usually required to cover the cost of personal belongings that have been stolen, such as jewelry and other valuables. You’re your policy so you’ll know if that’s included. Also, liability insurance will protect you if someone is injured inside your condo. It will cover medical costs if someone has fallen on your tile floor or other type of injury.
  5. DON’T ignore the cost of your policy or the deductible. This is the biggest mistake you can make. Is your deductible too high for your budget? And what is considered a reasonable deductible for your particular property type and policy? Answering these questions is made easier when you consult with professionals who can tell you what IS and what ISN’T typical, so you’ll be alerted to any red flags. For example, your condo association’s master policy may have a $5,000 deductible. If there are only ten condo owners, you’d have to pay $500 to cover common property damage. If, however, there are twenty condo owners, each owner would only have to pay $250. Please note—deductibles can go as high as $50,000 in some cases. So know what the costs are before you buy! Also, condo insurance can vary from $100 to $400 a year, so make sure whatever you choose is within your budget.

For all your home, auto and other insurance needs, please contact Zawada Insurance Agency. We work to give you comprehensive coverage at a competitive price.

Zawada Insurance Agency, Inc. is a family-owned and operated independent insurance agency, located in Worcester, Massachusetts, serving central Massachusetts and beyond.

Master Condo Policies: What They Cover and What They Don’t

Congratulations! You’ve purchased a condominium. Now you need to make sure you have homeowners insurance just as you would if you owned a free-standing house. Usually homeowners insurance will cover loss and liability, as well as your personal items and the people inside the condo.

A master condo policy covers different things. The master policy should be paid for by your condo association fees. There are two types of master policies: “bare walls-in” and “all-in.”

Bare Walls-In

This type of policy will cover the property from the exterior framing inward, but doesn’t cover fixtures and installations within the actual condo unit itself. These include flooring, granite countertops, bath and kitchen fixtures, etc.

All-In

This covers everything including fixtures and interior additions—everything inside the walls of the condo unit.

Here are some other things the master condo policy should cover:

  1. Limited Common Elements

A condo’s master policy should treat you as part-owner of “limited common elements.” These include things on the exterior of the building, from the framing to the sidewalks, lawns, roads and other exterior elements. Through the policy, these areas should be insured against loss and liability.

  1. Ordinance and Law Coverage

This is good to have when repairs, renovations, or major projects like painting become necessary. The condo association will hire contractors to work on the renovations, and this will cover the cost. It will also cover costs due to repairs if the property should become damaged. Ordinance and Law Coverage protects you against weather events, such as hurricanes and tornadoes. Flood insurance may be mandated if you live in a flood zone. Otherwise, it’s an optional, but important, item to consider having in your policy.

  1. Inflation Coverage

This is designed to keep pace with inflation, should something in the exterior of the building need to be repaired. The cost that is covered shouldn’t be what the repair would have cost years ago, so this coverage keeps it up-to-date.

  1. Comprehensive General Liability

If someone trips and falls on the sidewalk of your condominium complex, this protects condo owners from legal liability in case of bodily or personal injury. It also covers property damage.

  1. Backup of Drain and Sewer

This gives you coverage for unforeseen accidents that could affect your personal property.

The master condo policy, or the condo association policy, should also cover those things that you, as the condo owner, may not even think about. A dishonest employee working in the mail room, for instance.

For your own protection, it’s a good idea, as a condo owner, to get personal property coverage. This will protect you from burglary if someone breaks in and steals your personal items inside your individual unit.

Last but not least, before you purchase a condo, make sure you know what the association deductible will be. For example, if an act of nature, such as a hurricane, should damage the building, every condo unit owner is expected to make a payment toward the association deductible. Make sure it’s not too expensive.

For all your home, auto and other insurance needs, please contact Zawada Insurance Agency. We work to give you comprehensive coverage at a competitive price.

Zawada Insurance Agency, Inc. is a family-owned and operated independent insurance agency, located in Worcester, Massachusetts, serving central Massachusetts and beyond.

Condo Association Insurance: Does Your Policy Include This?

A condo owner is responsible for insuring everything within the walls of his or her condominium. The rest of the building, everything that condo owners share, falls to the condo association to be insured. The purpose of a condo association is to represent the needs of the condo owners, as well as to protect the property as a whole. That is why it is necessary to have condo association insurance. There are many things that can’t always be anticipated, so you want your insurance to protect you in the event of such circumstances, even the ones you don’t think about.

There are basically two kinds of master policies for condo association insurance. Bare Walls-In covers the property from the exterior to the inside, but doesn’t cover kitchen and bathroom fixtures, granite countertops and other things within the condo unit. All-In is a policy that covers all interior fixtures, walls, floors and ceilings.

There are many things a condo association policy should cover, including:

Building Coverage. This relates to the master policy, providing coverage for the building structure and anything attached to it. This could be flooring, fixtures, cabinets, or architectural details, depending on which master policy you have. It also covers common buildings where condo owners may congregate, such as a lobby area, mailroom building or indoor pool building. Anything that is considered part of the property would be included in building coverage. Coverage for drain and sewer backups will pay for accidental damage at your building.

Liability. First, you need liability to protect from claims made against members of the association board. Comprehensive general liability helps protect you from legal issues caused by property damage, personal or bodily injury and other related things.

Protection from Dishonest Employees. This coverage is helpful in case an employee steals money or important documents.

Ordinance and Law Coverage becomes necessary if the condo association needs to hire contractors to work on renovations, painting or other services—this will cover the cost. It will also cover costs incurred for repairs in the event the property is damaged. You will also have protections against weather events, such as hurricanes and tornadoes. Flood insurance may be mandated if you live in a flood zone. Otherwise, it’s an optional, but important, item to consider having in your policy.

Replacement cost will pay for the cost of damaged property, depending on the policy limitations. You’ll want to make sure you have inflation coverage as well. This will increase the amount of insurance on your building and association’s property to keep up with inflation.

There are other coverages that should be included in your policy, including Loss of Income. Up to a year of lost income will be covered if the business can’t operate due to some accident or loss that the policy covers.

For all of your home, auto and other insurance needs, please contact Zawada Insurance Agency. We work to give you comprehensive coverage at a competitive price.

Zawada Insurance Agency, Inc. is a family-owned and operated independent insurance agency, located in Worcester, Massachusetts, serving central Massachusetts and beyond.

True or False: Insurance Quiz

Can you guess which of these 8 statements are true?

There are myths about insurance—auto, home, health—and they persist in spite of the facts. As we’ve said in other blogs, it’s important to get the facts straight before you purchase insurance of any kind. Here are eight true and false statements to see how well you understand insurance.

  1. Vehicles stored in your home or garage are covered under your Homeowner’s policy.

False. Cars and other vehicles should be covered by Auto Insurance. Garden tractors and other related items are part of what is covered by Homeowner’s Insurance.

  1. Commercial Liability Insurance provides coverage for your employees who are injured on the job.

False. Only Workers Compensation covers on-the-job injuries.

  1. Homeowner’s Insurance is based on the real estate market value of your house.

False. Your coverage is based on what it would cost to rebuild your home. This cost can vary, so an insurance agent can help you calculate these costs.

  1. The Affordable Care Act prohibits health insurance companies from basing rates on pre-existing conditions.

True. Health insurance companies used to raise the rates for people with a pre-existing condition. Not anymore. For those who have medical conditions such as high blood pressure, asthma and other chronic, pre-existing medical issues, this is a big relief. In addition, insurance companies can’t charge different amounts for men and women, either.

  1. It’s not necessary to have Other Structures coverage in your Homeowner’s policy.

False. But this is a trick question. It depends on you, the homeowner. Your Homeowner’s policy, at least 10% of it at least, is devoted to Other Structures. These include any buildings or structures not attached to your house—sheds, barns (not used for business), detached garages, driveways and fencing. You can always add to your Other Structures coverage if you need more. But it is important to keep it as part of your policy in the event of some unfortunate occurrence.

  1. If you get a speeding ticket in another state, it WILL follow you home.

True. Not only will it follow you, but it will also affect your insurance rates.

  1. Homeowner’s policies cover flood, earthquake and other natural disasters.

True. . .and False. They don’t automatically cover these things. Make sure you have it, or add it to your policy. The majority of policies exclude types of water damage.

  1. If your boat is hitched to the back of your vehicle on the highway and you back into someone, your Auto Insurance will cover it.

True. However, it will be limited to the coverage that your Auto Insurance provides, so it may not pay for property damage, injury or loss of life.

Keep checking our blog for more tips and advice about all types of insurance.

For all your home, auto, boat and other insurance needs, please contact Zawada Insurance Agency, Inc. We’re a family-owned and operated independent insurance agency, located in Worcester, Massachusetts, serving central Massachusetts and beyond.

Condo Insurance 101: 4 Basics You Need to Know

Before you purchase your condominium, you need to think about condo insurance. This requires taking a different approach than you would for a single-family home. For example, someone who owns a house would consider the cost of the entire structure and everything inside in case of a natural disaster or fire. For a condo, you need to think more in terms of what’s inside—your furniture, electronics, etc. Because as a condo owner, you’re part of a larger condominium community; and therefore, you’re usually not responsible for everything on the outside of the complex.

Here we break down the four biggest considerations for getting the right amount of coverage for your condominium.

  1. Know what you own.

What are YOU responsible for, and what is the condo association responsible for? You’ll need to know this up front.

You also need to understand what condo insurance is. Condo insurance provides coverage for anything not already covered in the condo association’s master policy. This includes protecting your personal belongings in the event of things like fire or burglary, as well as protecting you against liability claims if you’re responsible for someone else’s injury while in your condo.

NOTE—To make sure you’re protected from theft or burglary, your insurance must include personal property coverage.

The master policy, also known as an HOA policy, typically covers common areas shared by condo owners—lawn areas, walkways, pool, fitness center, exterior elements, parking areas, etc. As a condo owner, you can expect to pay association fees, which go toward maintaining these common areas. These fees also help to insure these areas. You should be able to see what the condo association’s master policy covers—including what areas are covered through association fees, and what areas are not.

There are two kinds of master policies: “bare walls-in” and “all-in.” Bare walls-in will cover the property from the exterior framing inward, but doesn’t cover fixtures and installations within the actual condo unit itself. These include flooring, granite countertops, bath and kitchen fixtures, etc. All-in will cover these fixtures and interior additions—everything inside the walls of the condo unit.

What does this mean to you? If your master policy is a bare walls-in type, you’ll need to get more condo coverage to protect yourself. If the master policy is an all-in type, you won’t need as much coverage, as the majority of important things will already be covered.

  1. Know your deductible.

Before buying a condo, you should know how expensive the association deductible will be. If there should be a hurricane, for instance, and there is severe damage to the condo buildings, the association would file a claim to be covered for this damage. Keeping this in mind, there would be a deductible, which is assessed against all unit owners. For example, if the master policy has a $5,000 deductible, and there are 20 unit owners, each owner would have to pay $250. There has been a trend toward more expensive deductibles, and it can range from $5,000 all the way up to $50,000. So please do your research first, so you won’t be hit with a huge surprise bill later on.

  1. Know your coverage.

When deciding on the amount of coverage you’ll need, you’ll want to imagine what the cost would be to replace items that are damaged by a fire or flood (more about flood insurance later). There are two basic categories for this kind of coverage: cash value and replacement cost. The latter is clearly better, and here’s why: If you only have cash-value coverage, and your appliances are ruined, you’ll receive a check for what they were worth when you bought them, possibly three years ago and lots of wear and tear later. With replacement cost, you’ll get back enough to replace the appliance with a brand new one. So the five-year-old TV can be replaced with a nice, new flat screen. Replacement cost is the way to go, so you won’t lose money.

The U.S. government offers flood insurance to every homeowner. Often this coverage may be optional, unless you live in a designated flood zone. If this is the case, you may need additional personal flood insurance, because the association’s flood insurance won’t cover your personal items or the interior structure of your unit.

  1. Know the cost of your condo insurance.

The cost of condo insurance varies. It ranges from $100 to $400 a year, but this depends on the value of your property and the type and amount of coverage you carry. If you own jewelry and fine art, you’ll have more expensive insurance to cover that. You should also know that condo insurance is not tax deductible. However, if you should rent your condo to someone else, you might be able to deduct the cost of your condo insurance. You may also do this if you run a business out of your condominium.

Of course, there is so much more to cover on this subject, so keep checking our blog for more helpful information, including things to watch out for.

For all your home, auto and other insurance needs, please contact Zawada Insurance Agency. We work to give you comprehensive coverage at a competitive price.

Zawada Insurance Agency, Inc. is a family-owned and operated independent insurance agency, located in Worcester, Massachusetts, serving central Massachusetts and beyond.

Keeping Your Home Secure

The Central Massachusetts area has seen a sharp increase in break-ins over the past several months. Whether you live in the heart of Worcester, or in the suburbs, everyone wants to keep their home safe from burglars or intruders. However, not everyone wants to have an alarm system installed. Whether you are nervous about the costs associated with an alarm system, or prefer the do-it-yourself route, there are more options than ever when it comes to home security.

We at Zawada Insurance want to help you sort through some of those options, many of which require little or no cost

 

Do-it-yourself options

The widespread availability of electronic tools means that homeowners can set up their own monitoring systems if they choose, without the help of a home-security company.

  • Cameras: Smaller and more inexpensive than ever, cameras can be placed nearly anywhere on the exterior of your home and monitored from inside wirelessly — or set to record footage for review later. Available software even allows you to point your laptop camera in a particular direction (say, at the front door) and check the images from a remote location.
  • Lights: Motion-detecting floodlights are an excellent deterrent to thieves, because they don’t want to be seen. Make sure they’re installed near entryways, and that they aren’t easily reached from the ground. And using timers and/or ‘smart light bulbs’ for interior lights is a good way to give the appearance that your home is occupied.
  • Alarms: Vibration alarms are available for windows, alerting you if someone is trying to get in. Similarly, other monitors can be installed near doors and programmed to sound if a person comes within a set distance. Some even emit barking sounds to make it appear that a dog is in the house.

Even if you aren’t interested in installing security equipment around your home, there are a number of things you can do to increase safety:

  • Keep your home locked. According to FBI statistics, over 33% of home burglaries are committed with the thieves walking through an unlocked door or window. Avoid becoming a statistic! You should also make sure that sliding doors and windows have extra security, such as a track lock or dowel in the track.
  • Don’t leave a key outside. If you need to provide access to your home while you’re away, leave your key with a trusted neighbor or friend.
  • Watch the landscaping and snow piles. Thick shrubs and bushes around your porch or yard can give thieves a good place to hide. Keep them well-trimmed and ensure that problematic areas can be illuminated with your outdoor lighting. You can run into the same issues in the winter with large snow piles.
  • Use common sense. If you’re going away on vacation, cancel your newspaper and other deliveries. Ask a neighbor to keep watch, and park a car out front. Don’t post publicly on social media or leave a message on your answering machine or voicemail indicating that you’ll be away for an extended period.

Burglars really do consider deterrents such as alarms, cameras, dogs, etc., when looking at targets, according to a study released by the University of North Carolina. So a small investment in security can make a big difference!

Sidebar:

It’s a great time for a home inventory

If your home was burglarized, would you know what was missing? A home inventory is a crucial tool to help replace everything that was lost. And we can help you do one! Give us a call at (508) 831-0133 or visit our website at www.zawadagroup.com to learn more.

Contact Us!

At Zawada Insurance, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at (508) 831-0133, we want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Content provided by Safeco Insurance

 

4 Quick Things to do Before Your Family Vacation

With summer right around the corner, many families in Worcester and the surrounding area are planning to spend some time away from home for a change of scenery. This can be a fun and exciting time, but make sure that you’re prepared so that your trip goes as smoothly as possible.

 

4. Make sure your bills are paid

Late payments hurt your credit score. To avoid unnecessary damage, prepay any bills that you have due during your vacation. You could also consider setting up automatic payments from your bank account so that you won’t be caught off guard by one that you’ve forgotten. This is especially important for your utilities; you don’t want those to be shut off while you’re gone!

3. Protect against burglers

First on this list is something that everyone thinks about. Criminals love targeting empty homes, so you want to make sure that your possessions are as secure as possible before you take an extended vacation. Consider putting your small valuables such as jewelry in a safety deposit box before you go. Before you leave, make sure all of your doors and windows are locked and your alarm system is working properly.

2. Clean house BEFORE you leave!

No one wants to come home from vacation to a mess. Before you go, make sure you take care of any chores that need to be finished and remove any food from your refrigerator that will go bad while you are gone.

 1. Let your Bank and Credit Card companies know you are leaving

This is especially important if you’ve had fraudulent activity on your account in the past, or if your vacation is somewhere outside of the country. As a way of protecting themselves, your bank or credit card company may shut off access to your finances if they see strange activity occurring (like being used in a country you don’t actually live in!). To avoid this, simply tell the bank you will be on vacation so they don’t shut your card off. On that note, it also doesn’t hurt to carry cash with you when you’re traveling in case you do end up in a situation where your credit cards are being declined. 

Summer vacation can be a lot of fun, but in order to make sure you have a great time, you have to prepare properly! Follow these steps and you’ll be sure that you’re in for a great time and a relaxing return home at the end of your stay.

 

Make Your House a Haven for Trick-or-Treaters

Halloween is one of the fall season’s most treasured holidays. Kids love to dress up, get together with friends, and go door-to-door in search of the biggest and best goodies.

If your neighborhood tends to be teeming with little ghosts, goblins, superheroes and princesses, you’ll want to be sure your yard and stoop are safe and welcoming. A little pre-planning can prevent unfortunate accidents that could turn out to be tragic for kids and trying for you.

Here are some pointers for ensuring your house is a safe place for trick-or-treaters on Oct. 31.

Pets first. Many dogs, cats, and other furry family companions get scared when oddly dressed strangers approach their door in droves. Make sure your pet is in a safe and comfortable space or take them to a secure, relaxing offsite location for the evening.

Clean it up. If your yard gathers stuff – like toys, rakes and other yard tools, hoses, tree branches, you name it – take the time to clean it up. Make sure your yard is free of potential hazards and create a clutter-free walking path well before dusk falls this Halloween.

Light it up. Make sure you offer a well-lit path. You can do this using any type of yard lights, from solar, string, LED, existing outdoor lighting or glow-in-the-dark.

Turn it off. When you’re done for the night, make it obvious by turning any and all inviting lights off. However, if you’re still offering candy in a bowl outside, do make sure to keep the path well-lit until your sweet treats are tucked away inside the house.

At Zawada Insurance, we hope you enjoy a safe Halloween devoid of tricks and full of treats!

Contact Us!

At Zawada Insurance, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at (508)831-0133 or send us a note at azawada@zawadagroup.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Content provided by Safeco Insurance