8 Signs That Your Car Has Pothole Damage


Great advice from our Business Partner Forty’s Carburetor & Auto Repair

Originally posted on Forty's Carburetor & Auto Repair:


A pothole can be your car’s worst enemy. These holes or pits on a road’s surface can seriously damage a vehicle’s ride-control system.

SUV vehicle sinks into the road after heavy rain in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China - 19 Jun 2012

If you do drive over a pothole, we recommend that you have your car’s shocks or struts checked to make sure they aren’t damaged.

Shocks and struts control how vehicles ride and handle. The shock absorbers, or struts as they are referred to on late-model vehicles, act as a cushion to dampen the bouncing action of a car’s springs. The springs absorb the road bumps; without them, the vehicle would continually bounce and bound down the road, making driving extremely difficult.


Shocks and struts also control spring and suspension movement to keep the tires in contact with the road. This affects steering, stability and braking. A broken shock or strut could alter the steering and handling of a vehicle and create driving dangers.

It’s important to be…

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Dont’ Miss the Full Lunar Eclipse

full lunar eclipse

photo credit Earthsky

April 14- 15th is the start to the series of four lunar eclipse’s.  According to Earthsky , “The April 2014 full moon will pass directly through Earth’s dark (umbral) shadow, to stage a total eclipse of the moon for nearly 1 and 1/3 hours, during the nighttime hours on April 14 or 15 (depending upon time zone). A partial umbral eclipse precedes totality by over an hour, and follows totality by over an hour, so the moon takes a little more than 3 and ½ hours to completely sweep through the Earth’s dark shadow. On eclipse night, the brilliant “star” near the April full moon is no star at all but the red planet Mars. They’ll be within each others vicinity all night long.”

The total eclipse on Tuesday is the start to four eclipse’s that will take place over 2014-2015. There will be another total eclipse this year on October 8, and also on April 4 and September 28 of 2015.

As the lunar eclipse takes place the moon will turn a burnt reddish color which is being called the “Blood Moon”

According to NASA, people in North and South America will be able to see the entire eclipse, while sky watchers in the western Pacific can catch only the last half. The moon will be setting in most of Europe and Africa during the eclipse, so residents there probably won’t see much.

So if you are a sky gazer this is your chance to catch this full lunar eclipse, but you’ll have to stay up late Monday night into Tuesday morning to catch this. NASA says around 2 am the heavenly curtain rises and the moon will start to slide into Earth’s shadow.

Hoping everyone has the chance to get this beautiful sight in the skies.  If you are able to get pictures, please feel free to share them with us.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job.




300th Blog Post

Wow, we’ve hit 300.  We’ve come a long way in two years of blogging.  300 may not seem much to many bloggers, but we have built a following and work hard to write a blog that is informative, but not boring. Writing an insurance blog can be a challenge. So we like to mix in some interesting and fun information as well. From giving you tips for your home, auto and business to covering local events happening.

We greatly appreciate all the feedback from all our followers and hope you will continue to do so.  We would love to hear from you now as well.  Let us know what you would like to see more of in our future blogs.

We are going to keep this blog short and sweet but leave you with a little Spring Inspiration with this great video we found on youtube.

Warmer weather is here…get out this weekend and enjoy it.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance


Simple ways to avoid a Loss of your property or home

homeowners insuranceThe thought of a loss of property or complete loss of your home can be devastating.  What’s even more difficult is when the loss was something avoidable.  Taking preventative measures in your home can help reduce the possibility of a future loss of your home or property.  These common causes below can be avoided and keep you and your home safe if you take the time to address them.

Kitchen Fires – one of the most common causes of a home loss starts in the kitchen.  This is due to food left unattended on the stove which many times can cause a grease fire.  If you have a grease fire, the best thing to use is baking soda or flour to put it out, never use water.

Candles – another common cause of home losses.  Never leave a candle burning near flammable materials. Always remember to snuff out your candles before leaving your home.

Smoking – smoking in your home not only leaves a film and smell in your home but can cause a house fire if a lit cigarette is left unattended in your home.  Make the effort to smoke outside your home to avoid this potential hazard

Dryer fires – when is the last time you cleaned out your dryer vent?  Built up lint in your dryer vent is another fire hazard for your home.  To avoid this hazard clean out your dryer vent at least once a month.

Property in your vehicle – don’t leave valuable items in your car, as this leads to the potential for theft

Washing machines – these are a common water loss claims.  At least once a year you should check your washing machine hoses to make sure they are not brittle, cracking or loose.  Typically you should replace your hoses every couple years.  Always remember to shut off the water to your washing machine when not in use.

Remember these few tips and avoid potential property or home losses. And to make sure you have the proper home and property coverage, contact Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job

Local events happening this weekend.

local eventsLooking for something to do with the family this weekend.  Here are some options happening locally.

Town-wide tag sales will be held in Mansfield on Saturday, April 12th from 8am-1pm. Maps to Mansfield’s Tag Sale Trail will be provided at the Mansfield Community Center and online at www.mansfieldcc.com starting at 5:30am on Saturday, April 12th, 2014. Stop by to pick up your map and visit the vendors selling from the community center gymnasium!

The Mansfield Tag Sale trail is hosted by Mansfield Parks and Recreation. 860-429-3015

The Town of Mansfield and Mansfield Parks and Recreation are not responsible for any of the products or sales agreements made by private parties on the Tag Sale Trail.

Arts of Tolland is excited to be hosting our 11th Annual Juried Art Show! Be among the first to browse the exhibit at the Opening Reception Sunday, April 13, from 1 to 4 p.m. with the awards ceremony at 2:00 p.m. The Juried Show gets better every year, and it is such a thrill to view the wide variety of artwork on display. Whether you like pastels, watercolors, oils, pencil, or other media, we guarantee there will be something that appeals. Exhibit hours are every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday (closed Easter Sunday) from April 13 until May 4, 2014 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at 22 Tolland Green, Tolland, CT 06084. Arts Center of Tolland is handicapped accessible and a nonprofit arts organization based in Tolland, Connecticut.

THE MAGICAL SEED: A Tolland Youth Garden Workshop for ages 5 – 10 Saturday, April 12, 2014, 10:30 AM

We’ll explore garden magic where it begins – with seeds and soil.! Learn to make your own potting soil and seed starting pots. Pick from a variety of seeds to plant: flowers, herbs, vegetables. You can plant sunflower seeds for the GREAT SUNFLOWER PROJECT (see related post on the Tolland Youth Garden Blog). Take your seedling home and watch it grow! Instructor: Kurt Werner, TYG member and CT Master Gardener candidate.

To register contact Sandie 860-872-4830 or tgpyouthgarden@comcast.net

There is no fee for this event.

We hope you and your family have a great weekend.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance


Sewer backup in your home

sewer back up insuranceSewer backups in your home are something none of us want to even think about.  The havoc it can cause on your home is unthinkable. It can cause thousands of dollars in damage.  This article from the Insurance Information Institute does a good job covering the information regarding causes of sewer backups. 


Aging Sewer Systems: The Civil Engineering Research Foundation reports that the number of backed up sewers is increasing at an alarming rate of about 3 percent annually. In addition, a recent report from the American Society of Civil Engineers indicates that the nation’s 500,000-plus miles of sewer lines are on average over thirty years old. The increase in the number of homes connected to already aging sewage systems has also contributed to rapid increases in sanitary sewer backups, flooded basements and overflows.

Combined Pipelines: Problems also arise in systems that combine storm water and raw sewage into the same pipeline. During many rain storms, the systems are exposed to more volume than they can handle, and the result is a sewage backup situation that allows sewage to spew out into basements and other low lying drains.

Blockages Due to Tree Roots: Shrubs and trees seeking moisture will make their way into sewer line cracks. These roots can cause extensive damage. They may start out small, getting into a small crack in the pipe; but as the tree or shrub continues to grow, so does the root. Tree roots can enter the service pipe at joints and cause blockages. Tree roots can travel a long way, and roots from different types of trees act differently. If city trees are suspected, your plumber can contact the city, and samples of the roots will be used to help identify the trees and who is responsible for cleanup. Sometimes the blockage is a result of a combination of city and private trees. In this case costs are split between the city and the property owner.

Sanitary Main: A blockage can occur in a city sanitary main. If the blockage is not detected in time, sewage from the main can back up into homes and businesses through floor drains. Usually this happens slowly, giving the owner time to call a licensed plumber to assess the damage. If water is entering into your basement at a rapid rate, call the city public works office and report the problem immediately.

Water in Basement: Most basement flooding is not related to the sanitary sewer system. In many cases, soil settles adjacent to the building and, if not corrected, leads to rainwater flowing towards the building and down the outside of the foundation wall. This is particularly true in older buildings, where cracks may have developed in the foundation or floor slab that allow water to enter the basement. The cement floor and basement walls of these structures may have deteriorated to the point that they are no longer waterproof. In these cases, water can show up in a basement that has never had a water problem. This will usually happen after a number of rain storms, when the ground is saturated. Drainage can be improved by making sure that water drains away from the building. Owners may also be able to prevent flooding by water sealing the basement.

Most homeowners may not realize that they are responsible for the maintenance and repair of their house or sewer lateral—the pipeline between the city sanitary sewer main, usually located in the street—and the building. The sewer lateral is owned and maintained by the property owner including any part that extends into the street or public right of way. A cracked or deteriorated lateral or one filled with tree roots can allow groundwater to seep into the system, contributing to the problem.

Remember if you encounter this problem, be sure to contact your insurance agent.  Also remember to take before and after photos of the areas affected by the sewer backup and itemize and property lose.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job

When we hear the sounds of motorcycles, we know spring is here

motorcycle insuranceMost motorcycle owners are thrilled that winter has finally come to an end.  Time to get that bike out of the shed, clean it up and get out on the open road.  After the winter we had, we sure good use a good ride.  We need to make sure we are safe and protected while on the road.  From having the proper motorcycle insurance to having the proper gear to protect yourself.  Accidents happen unfortunately, but if you take extra precautions such as wearing a helmet and protective gear you have a better chance of less injury. Even though a helmet is not required over 18 in the state of Connecticut it is good practice to wear one for your own safety. As a family member of a motorcycle rider, I am ever more cautious to paying attention to the motorcycles on the road.  Leave a safe distant between you and the motorcycle in front of you as normal practice.  Be more attentive to your surroundings and the motorcycles on the road.

Here are the Connecticut State Laws for review regarding Motorcycles

  • Daytime Use of Headlight-Required by state law for vehicles manufactured during or after 1980
  • Eye Protection-Required by law unless equipped with windscreen
  • Handlebar Height-Prohibited above the height of operator’s shoulders
  • Mirror Left(L) Right(R)-One required by law
  • Muffler-Muffler required, baffles required, no cut-outs or straight pipes
  • Passenger Footrest-Required if carrying a passenger
  • Safety Helmet-Required by law under age 18, required for instructional permit holders
  • State Insurance Requirements-Compulsory Liability (Minimum Limits)(20/40/10) – 10% insurance discount for graduates of motorcycle rider education program
  • Turn Signals-Not required

We want you to get out there and enjoy this warm weather and not have to be concerned about whether you are properly insured or safe on the road. Give us a call to make sure you have your motorcycle properly covered. Drive safe and enjoy.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job




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