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“Small Business” Doesn’t Mean Small Cyber Risk


Data Breach SecurityFrom Home Depot and Target to Staples and K-Mart, it may seem like cyber criminals are only interested in hacking big business. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. A 2013 Verizon Data Break Investigations Report cites that 31% of all data breaches occur in companies with fewer than 100 employees.

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Fall Home Maintenance…Get to it while the weather is still good!


Fall-home-maintenance-tipsHere in New England, we’re (hopefully) all wise enough to know that the last thing you want to be dealing with in the middle of the winter is a dead furnace, chimney fire, or leaking roof. So here are a few key maintenance tasks to handle now, while the weather is still accommodating: Read the rest of this entry »

How to Get Your Free Credit Report


annual-credit-report-dot-comIt’s a wise idea to check your credit report every year to make sure that no one has set up credit using your name. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires that each of the nationwide credit reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — provide a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. Read the rest of this entry »

New mobile phone rules for commercial (CMV) drivers

commercial driver cell phone use banned


Efforts to reduce or eliminate distracted driving on our highways are not exclusively focused on passenger vehicles. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) have new published rules specifically prohibiting interstate truck and bus drivers and drivers who transport placardable quantities of hazardous materials from texting or using hand-held mobile phones while operating their vehicles. The joint rules are the latest actions by the U.S. Department of Transportation to end distracted driving. Violations can result in fines and/or driver disqualifications and will impact a motor carrier’s and/or driver’s Safety Measurement System results. Read the rest of this entry »

If you rent and don’t have renters insurance—what’s your excuse?


rentersOnly 37% of renters have renters insurance. And surveys indicate that most of the reasons are based on misconceptions about the insurance. Here are a few of those excuses (unfounded reasons):


Excuse #1: It costs too much:

Reality: renters insurance costs on average $15/month ($180/year, and it’s less than that if you have it with your car insurance company.) In a 2013 survey 60% thought it costs more than $250; 21% thought renters insurance costs more that $1000.

Compare $15/month to the $148/month that 2/3 of American workers spend on lunch…and it puts the value in perspective. Read the rest of this entry »

Moving? Watch Out for Rogue Moving Companies.


Moving truckMost moving companies are reputable. But as in any industry, you’ll find fraudulent operations—in this case, rogue movers—and there are a number of warning signs you should know in order to avoid falling for a scam. Read the rest of this entry »

Are You Sure You Have the Best Rate on Your Car Insurance?



We saved a client some significant money this past week. This wasn’t a one-time event; it happens regularly. But the specifics of the situation made us stop and think this presented a great opportunity to share some of the circumstances so you can check your own policy and see if they apply to you.

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How about the RIGHT insurance protection…in 15 minutes or less!


If you watch any television at all, you probably have seen the insurance company ads competing with each other over which one can save you the most time arranging your car insurance. Really….time? Let’s think about that for a minute: Read the rest of this entry »

Safety Around School Buses


School is back in session next week. That means kids walking to school, kids waiting at bus stops (excited to see their friends, and not necessarily thinking about you in your car) and on many occasions a slowed commute for you when you’re driving behind one of those buses that stops at what feels like every other house on the road. But if you find yourself there, take a deep breath. Being a few minutes late is nothing compared to the catastrophe that would ensue if you were to hit a child.


So before school starts again, here’s a quick refresher on the rules:



Bus-DangerZone2The accidents in which a child is struck by a car usually occur in what’s known as the “Danger Zone” which is the 10-foot area around all sides of the bus. According to School Transportation News, an average of 19 children are killed getting on and off the bus each year. Most are between 5 and 7 years of age. And 38% of those fatalities occur between 3 and 4pm rather than during the morning hours.





The Law

School buses are required to have bold signage directing you to stay 100 feet back. And you hopefully know that when the yellow flashing lights are on, you need to slow down in preparation to stop. When the red flashing lights are on and the STOP arm is extended, you must come to a complete stop and not proceed until the lights are turned off and the STOP arm is retracted.


Impact on your insurance

Hopefully, the greatest motivation to follow the law is to protect the lives of the children on the bus. But if you think of ignoring the rules because you’re really late…and that a child won’t appear out of nowhere at the last minute …think about the fact that (a) you’ll hopefully get an expensive ticket for your horrible driving judgment and (b) that will put points on your insurance (that last for 6 years). A double cost whammy.


Over 23 million children ride school buses to elementary and secondary school every year. And even though the system is one of the largest and safest, there are still around 17,000 children in emergency rooms each year from bus-related injuries. So think about that when you’re tempted to try to beat the yellow flashing lights before it turns to red, or driving forward before the bus driver has indicated that every child is safely out of harm’s way. Because there’s nothing more precious than our children.

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How to Avoid Common Home Buyer Mistakes


Family in front of homeYou’ve probably noticed this yourself recently – there are more houses on the market lately. With an increase in consumer confidence, the decrease in unemployment, and a built-up supply and demand, it’s not surprising.


If you find yourself in the market for a new house, here are a few key tips (courtesy of Trusted Choice) on mistakes to avoid in the process.

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