Monthly Archives: August 2013

What Labor Day Means to Us

happy labor dayLabor Day weekend is upon us.  Labor Day  has always been the unofficial end of the Summer.  As the children head back to school, our Summer vacations have now come to an end.  We look forward to a change in weather, as the temperatures cool down with the approach of Fall. With the change in weather and seasons approaching we also look forward to the Fall foliage. Fall in New England is unmistakably one of the most beautiful times of year.

With change in seasons, we also need to look at preparing our homes for the upcoming changes in weather.  As the leaves start to fall, we will want to make sure we keep the gutters free of leaves to prevent issues with drainage.  Also take this time to cut back your hedges and any overgrown trees in and around your home to prevent any issues as we grow closer to winter.

Here are a few Fall maintenance tips for around your home.

  1. Check your roof/gutters and downspouts for debris
  2. Examine the grounds of your property- check walkways for cracks and loose paving material
  3. Change the filters in stove vents, clothes dryers, and heating systems
  4. Prepare your fireplace: as many have fireplaces for supplemental heating, this is the time to clean out dampers and have your chimney swept.
  5. Check your windows and doors for drafts.  Take advantage of the warmer weather and replace old cocking on doors and windows before the snow approaches.
  6. Seasonal furniture:  Once you have taken that last dip in the pool this summer, be sure to power wash all outdoor furniture and store away for the winter months.
  7. Outdoor power tools:  Have these all serviced and ready for the upcoming seasons.

Let’s not forget the real meaning we celebrate Labor Day.  Labor Day is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to social and economic achievements of the American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

We wish everyone a wonderful Labor Day weekend.  Get out there and enjoy the weather and stay safe.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job

Life Insurance Policy- Choosing the right one

This is a topic that is important to everyone, so we felt the need to discuss it.  This article written by Dale C. Roberson does a great job covering all you need to know about choosing the right Life Insurance Policy for you.

Choosing a Life Insurance Policy by drclawblog

Deciding which type of life insurance to purchase can be a confusing process. Term life? Variable life? Whole life? Universal life? What do these terms mean and which option is right for your situation? Here’s an introduction to the basic choices.

There are two main types of insurance: term and permanent. These two main alternatives differ on how long you are covered and whether or not the policy includes a cash value.

Term life insurance.  Term life insurance is the simplest type of insurance. You buy a policy for a set number of years and you have coverage for those years. In general, your premiums will remain level for the term. If you die within the term, your beneficiaries will receive a death benefit. However, once the term ends, your coverage ends. Some policies are “guaranteed renewable.” This means that you can renew the policy for another term without having another medical exam, but your premiums will probably increase. Some term policies also allow you to convert a term policy into permanent insurance.

Term insurance is usually purchased to cover a short- to medium-term need, such as a mortgage or a child’s education. You can purchase level term insurance where the premiums and death benefit remain the same, but there are other options. If your need for insurance will decrease over time, you can purchase deceasing term insurance in which your death benefit is reduced over the term. Conversely, if your need for insurance will increase over time, you can purchase increasing term insurance in which your premiums and death benefit rise over the term.

Permanent life insurance.  There are many different types of permanent life insurance (also called cash value insurance), but the four main types are whole life, universal life, variable life, and universal variable life. All permanent life insurance policies provide coverage for life (or for as long as you pay premiums). The other feature of permanent insurance is that in addition to paying a death benefit, the policy builds a cash value, which can be used as collateral for a loan or withdrawn from the account. A portion of your premium payments goes into a separate cash account that grows over time. Keep in mind, however, that loans or withdrawals will reduce your death benefit. You may have the option to add your cash value to your death benefit when you die, although you will probably have to pay more for this type of policy. In addition to the above, each of the following main types of permanent life insurance has its own specific features and variations:

Whole life insurance. With whole life insurance, you pay a set premium and receive a set death benefit. In addition, the cash value is guaranteed. Whole life insurance is a good option if you are looking for stability in premium payments, cash value, and death benefit.

Universal life insurance. Universal life insurance gives you the option of flexible premiums, cash value, and death benefit. The main feature of universal life insurance is that you can use any accumulated cash value to pay your premiums. You need to be careful, however, that you have enough cash value to skip premium payments or your policy will lapse. In addition, you can change the death benefit, although you may have to go through the insurability process again. Universal life insurance is a good option if you are worried about the ability to pay premiums in the future and want the ability to change your premiums and your death benefit.

Variable life insurance. Variable life insurance gives you the ability to invest your cash value. Your premium payments are level, but you can direct your cash value payments into subaccounts that are similar to mutual funds. Your cash value and your death benefit will vary depending on the performance of the accounts, although some policies may contain a guaranteed minimum for each. Variable life insurance is appropriate if you are using the policy as an investment and want to control your investment options. It is usually better for younger buyers who can afford to take more risks.

Variable universal life insurance. As the name suggests, variable universal life insurance combines the flexible premiums of universal life insurance with the investment choices of variable life insurance. There is no guaranteed minimum cash value, but most policies have a minimum guaranteed death benefit provided you pay the premiums for a set number of years. Like universal life insurance, you may be able to change your death benefit, but you will have to go through the insurability process again. Variable universal life insurance is a good option for young purchasers.

For questions regarding Life Insurance give Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance a call at 860-684-2721


Golf Cart use and laws in Connecticut

golf cart insurance

Recently we were asked what the current laws were in relation to Golf Cart use on the road in Connecticut.  So we did a little digging and found the information regarding this new change as of 2009.

The General Assembly in 2009, passed new legislation authorizing towns to allow golf carts on local streets, with certain restrictions.

Under the new legislation, local traffic authorities will enforce regulations for the golf carts on roads with a speed limit of 25 mph or lower.

In addition, the carts cannot be driven at night and operators must have a driver’s license.

According to officials, the penalty for violating these regulations is $35 under state law, but that could increase in the future.  Cart drivers must also obey the normal traffic regulations that apply to any motor vehicle.

Liability Insurance is needed for all golf carts that are ridden on the road and off your personal property.  In most cases your homeowners insurance will cover your golf cart if it is being used for maintenance of your property.

Here is the actual language of the legislation that was passed.

Sec. 27. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) The traffic authority of any

city, town or borough is authorized to permit the operation of golf

carts, during daylight hours only, on any street or highway within the

limits of, and under the jurisdiction of, such traffic authority, provided:

(1) Each such golf cart shall be equipped with an operable horn in

accordance with the requirements of subsection (e) of section 14-80 of

the general statutes; (2) each such golf cart shall be equipped with a

flag that is positioned to assist operators of motor vehicles in observing

the location and operation of such golf cart; (3) no such authorization

shall be granted for operation on any street or highway the posted

speed limit of which is more than twenty-five miles per hour; and (4)

the operator of any such golf cart shall carry a valid Connecticut motor

vehicle operator’s license while operating such golf cart. Any person

who operates a golf cart in violation of any provision of this

subsection, any insurance requirement established in accordance with

subsection (b) of this section, or any other conditions or limitations

established by the traffic authority for the operation of golf carts shall

have committed an infraction.

(b) The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles may establish, by

regulations adopted in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 of

the general statutes, insurance requirements for the operation of golf

carts in accordance with subsection (a) of this section.


The act authorizes any local traffic authority to permit the operation of golf carts, during daylight hours, on any road under its jurisdiction. A golf cart must be equipped with an operable horn meeting the requirements of state law and a flag positioned to assist other drivers to see it. The traffic authority must limit cart operation to roads with a posted speed limit of 25 miles per hour or less. The operator must carry a valid Connecticut driver’s license when operating a cart. Violations of these requirements are infractions.

The act authorizes the DMV commissioner to establish insurance requirements for golf carts by regulation.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

So remember to contact Penny Hanley & Howley for all your off-road vehicle insurance needs.

Protecting YOU is our Job

Connecticut Laws for Mopeds and Scooters

scooter insuranceAs the gas prices continue to raise more and more people are turning to an alternative forms of transportation.  Specifically mopeds and motor scooters.  They are less expensive to purchase and run, with the average gas mileage being 80 miles to the gallon.

But it’s import to know the rules and regulations that come with owning either a moped or motor scooter.  Here is some information we found from that will be helpful to you if you are looking to purchase either in the near future.

First, it’s important to understand the definitions in Connecticut for the following terms:

  • Moped: A “bicycle with helper motor” (also known as a moped or noped) includes all vehicles propelled by the person riding the same by foot, or by hand power, or a helper motor having a capacity of less than fifty cubic centimeters piston displacement and not rated more than two brake horsepower and capable of a maximum speed of no more than thirty miles per hour and equipped with automatic transmission. The bicycle with helper motor is prohibited from operation on sidewalks under Connecticut State Law Title 14 Sec. 14-286.
  • Motor scooter: Many motor scooters are motorcycles and would require a registration and motorcycle operator’s license to operate on the road. Some motor scooters fall under the definition of a “bicycle with helper motor” (moped) as found in Connecticut State Law Title 14 Sec. 14-286. A “bicycle with a helper motor” would not be required to be registered, however, it would require that the operator have a valid driver’s license to operate on the road. The legal age to obtain a driver’s license in Connecticut is 16 years of age.In order for any scooter to be operated on the street it must have all the statutory equipment such as brakes, lights, horn and mirrors. Motorcycle class motor scooters are motor vehicles which are prohibited from sidewalks under the provisions of Connecticut State Law Title 14 Sec. 14-250a.

Is a scooter driver’s license required? Yes, any 2-wheeled vehicle with at least a “helper motor” requires a driver’s license, but only those classified as motorcycles need a motorcycle endorsement in Connecticut.

Is there a limitation as to size of scooter and license? Yes, vehicles classified as motor-driven cycles need only a driver’s license, while larger vehicles (most scooters of 50cc or more) require a motorcycle endorsement + a driver’s license.

If a license is required, how do you get it? Do you need to take a written test? What about a skills test? Connecticut scooter licensing regs require you to take both a written test AND a driving skills test to qualify for a motorcycle endorsement.

Is there any requirement for a skills class? Yes, scooter drivers under the age of 18 must complete a novice motorcycle-training course approved by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Connecticut Rider Education Program meets these requirements, as do certain privately operated courses. For additional information concerning the Connecticut Rider Education Program, call 1-800-USA-RIDE (1-800-872-7433) or visit the Web site at Additional information concerning other approved courses can be obtained from the DMV Web site at

Does the scooter have to be registered? If your scooter has at least a 50cc engine size, it must be registered and display a license plate in Connecticut. Scooters with 49cc motors are actually considered mopeds and do not need to be registered, though you still need a driver’s license to operate them.

Is scooter insurance required? Yes, motorcycle/scooter insurance is required in Connecticut.

Is there a yearly inspection regulation? At this time, there is only a yearly emissions test required for 4-wheeled motor vehicles.

Source info:

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job

National Waffle Day – August 24th

national waffle dayNational Waffle Day (August 24) is the anniversary of the first U.S. patent for a waffle iron. Cornelius Swarthout of Troy, New York received his patent for a “device to bake waffles” in 1869. His early waffle iron was used in conjunction with coal stoves, consisted of a griddle and a cover and required flipping of the device to cook both sides of the waffle. At present, National Waffle Day is at best a “bizarre” or “unique” holiday” – the fluff stuff of radio DJ commentary. Waffle promotions at some restaurant chains have helped to keep the holiday alive, if only barely.

A Quick Waffle History Lesson
13th Century A.C. – Ancient Greeks cook flat cakes between two metal plates. These early waffles were called obleios and were primarily savory in nature, prepared with cheeses and herbs.

1620 – The pilgrims bring Dutch “wafles” to America.

1735 – The word “waffle” – with two “f”s – appears in English print for the first time.

Late 1800’s – Thomas Jefferson returns to the U.S. from France with a long handled, patterned waffle iron.

1869 – Cornelius Swarthout patents the first U.S. Waffle Iron.

1953 – Frank Dorsa’s Eggo Frozen Waffles are sold in Supermarkets for the first time.

1964-65 – Brussels restaurateur Maurice Vermersch brings his wife’s Brussels Waffle recipe to the World’s Fair in New York. The fluffy yeast-infused waffle becomes a huge hit and becomes known as the Belgium waffle.

Source info: written by

We hope you enjoyed this fun little history fact about waffles.

What’s your favorite way to eat waffles.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job

Do you have the proper Condo Insurance?

Condominium insurance is unique. Your condo insurance policy covers your personal property and liability, as well as any additions, alterations and improvements you make to your unit that are your responsibility based on the condo association agreement.

Optional loss assessment coverage is also available to protect you against certain assessments that may be levied by the association. You would be compensated for additional living expenses incurred should you need to vacate your condo after a covered loss.

Connecticut – What you need to know about condo insurance

Condo insurance provides coverage for your personal property and much more. For a few more dollars, you can elect to carry Full Value Personal Property which ensures that you are reimbursed full replacement value without regard for depreciation after a covered loss.

If you have upgraded cabinets or put in hardwood floors, condo building item coverage protects these investments. Be sure to consult your HOA agreement to determine what the Association policy covers and what you are responsible for. If common areas are damaged, your condo association may levy assessments against all the owners to pay the deductible on their association policy.

Various limits of loss assessment coverage are available. Be sure to consult the HOA agreement to determine the potential for such assessments

Protect yourself and your guests

Your condo insurance policy protects you and your family members against bodily injury and property damage liability claims and any litigation that may result subject to the limits you select. In addition, you can select medical payments coverage which will pay for medical expenses incurred by a visitor who is injured at your residence regardless of fault. Various limits are available.

Extra coverage doesn’t have to cost a lot

Many people supplement their condo insurance coverage with personal umbrella liability insurance for broader protection. If you have special valuable items such as jewelry, art, antiques or collectibles, ask about our Valuable Articles option which provides broader coverage and no deductible in the event of a covered loss.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance can help you determine your coverage needs to make sure you’re properly covered. Call us at 860-684-2721 or online at

Small Business Marketing Tips: 8 Tips to Content Marketing

connecticut small business insurance8 Tips to Content Marketing

This week’s small business tips come from a great article we recently found written by Deborah Shane.  We thought we’d share this great advice to help you with marketing your small business.



1) Make a Commitment

Whatever you decide is the best content strategy for you and your business, make a commitment to doing it. Don’t overwhelm yourself with big, lofty, long term goals. Best to keep them SMART, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.

The key here is achievable and realistic, which could mean a few content activities in short term blocks, like 3 months.

2) Be Consistent

Turn your commitment into a consistent activity. Daily content is the high end of the scale and not for everyone. If you can create and publish a few times a week or even a month, then stick to that and it will build traction for you.

It’s amazing how even moderate activity gets picked up when it’s consistent, key worded and relevant.

3) Focus Your Content

What expertise, values and affiliations do you want to be known for?  Whatever that is, is what you should be creating content around. From food, fashion, business and technology to medical, money, manners and fun, your blog, books, social media posts, Web copy and videos should focus on your knowledge, perspective and experience.

4) Customize Your Content

One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to content medias and tactics. Match your content to your community and the media you are on. LinkedIn and Twitter are more professional platforms. Facebook, blogs and eMarketing can be more personable platforms where you can show more personality, have more fun and post pictures.

Watch, study and emulate others that are active and getting engagement.

5) Be Strategic

Plan, develop and be very strategic about articulating the focus of your brand, what you do and stand for. With the massive barrage of information we get hourly and daily, “being strategic” gives you the best chance of standing out and being remembered.

Less is more, so focus on a few strong ideas, aspects and takes that you want people to take away.

 6) 60/20/20 – Educate, Inspire, Sell

Sales and selling still rank high on the process and results scale, but we are doing this very differently today. Yes, asking for the business is important but building relationships is what paves the way for asking.

The biggest mistakes people are making today are sending mass spam sales emails or social media posts trying to sell with no relationship. Please, don’t do this.

7) Show Heart and Kindness

Professional fundamentals blended with personal fundamentals drive the “why.” People do business with people – not companies. Big or small, it still comes down to personal relationships.

Show people who you are and they will remember you for how you make them feel.

8) Use Words That Convey Trust

I registered the hashtag #trusthewhy as my synonym for the importance of relevance, solid fundamentals and values on all levels.  The WHY is about being prepared for change, making transition a way of life, being current, following best practices and being authentic. Much of the content I publish is about those things and this hashtag now aggregates my content when I include it. Do you have a hashtag that represents your fundamentals and values? Create one and start adding it to your social media, so people will find you.

What content marketing practices work best for you and have powered your impact?

For all your small business insurance needs, Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance is here to assist you.