Monthly Archives: April 2014

Is Your Business Prepared for An Emergency?

small business preparedness planYou never know when an emergency might arise.  Has your business made a plan if one was to happen?  Do your employees know what to do if there was an emergency?  It’s not something we often stop to consider, but we all should have an emergency preparedness plan for our businesses.

According to there are five steps in developing a preparedness program.

  • Program Management
    • Organize, develop and administer your preparedness program
    • Identify regulations that establish minimum requirements for your program
  • Planning
    • Gather information about hazards and assess risks
    • Conduct a business impact analysis (BIA)
    • Examine ways to prevent hazards and reduce risks
  • Implementation
    Write a preparedness plan addressing:

    • Resource management
    • Emergency response
    • Crisis communications
    • Business continuity
    • Information technology
    • Employee assistance
    • Incident management
    • Training
  • Testing and Exercises
    • Test and evaluate your plan
    • Define different types of exercises
    • Learn how to conduct exercises
    • Use exercise results to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan
  • Program Improvement
    • Identify when the preparedness program needs to be reviewed
    • Discover methods to evaluate the preparedness program
    • Utilize the review to make necessary changes and plan improvements

For more information on how to prepare your business for any emergency check out Want to make sure you have the proper insurance coverage for your business?  Give Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance a call.  We are happy to sit down with you and go over what insurance fits your businesses needs.

Protecting YOU is our Job

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Most expensive and least expensive insurance rates across the country

We’ve heard it a million times, the New England States have the highest insurance rates in the country. So we decided to do a little research to see if this was just a myth or really the truth. It turns out that even though the a couple of the New England states do have some of the highest insurance rates, not of of them are. The rates we found are based on an average monthly cost.

New Jersey holds the lead with having the highest insurance rates through the country at an average of $1,1157.30

Second to New Jersey is District of Columbia coming in at $1,133.87, with Louisiana coming in third at $1,121.46. Fourth leads us back to New York at $1,078.88.  Now as you can see in the chart below only two of the New England states come in under the top 10 most expensive, with Rhode Island and Connecticut coming in at number seven and eight. Maine falling into the the number five slot of the least expensive. As you can see it turns out South Dakota has the least expensive auto insurance throughout the country at $525.16.

insurance rates


So when we look at the country overall, in comparison our insurance rates in New England maybe a bit higher but we definitely don’t have the highest insurance rates throughout the whole country. We can consider ourselves lucky that we don’t live in New Jersey or Louisiana. So the next time you hear someone say, New England is the most expensive for insurance rates, remind them what they would be if they lived in New Jersey, Florida or New York.

Don’t forget if you’re looking to get a quote for your auto insurance, give Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance a call. We will be happy to assist you.  With over 30 carriers available we can get you the best rates possible.

Protecting YOU is our Job.


Home Remodeling Projects this Spring?

home insuranceSpring for many people is a time when we start thinking about remodeling our homes.  From remodels as simple as changing the wall color, to putting in new floors. Then there are the extensive remodels that may include replacing a roof, siding on your home, putting in a new kitchen, adding a deck or addition to your home.

You want to make sure you have the proper insurance coverage for any new additions you add to your home. Don’t wait till the project is complete to call your insurance agent to increase coverage on the structure of your home.

Some other things to keep in mind when remodeling your home.  If you have a contractor doing the work for you, you’ll want to make sure you see a copy of their general liability insurance and if they have employees or subcontractors, their worker’s compensation policy. If their workers or subcontractors are injured on the job they could end up suing you for medical or rehabilitation expenses if they are not covered properly.

General Liability Insurance covers negligence or omissions that could damage your property or injure people. Another coverage your contractor should have is builder’s risk. This insurance covers damage to your home and building supplies, including materials not yet installed.

Once the project has been completed the value of your home will more than likely have increased. You’ll want to talk to your insurance agent to discuss this so they can recalculate the replacement value on your home an adjust your coverage accordingly.

Once last thing to consider is coverage for your personal belongings.  During the remodel you may have purchased new furniture or electronic equipment.  You’ll want to advise your insurance agent of these changes as well to make sure you have the proper insurance coverage for these new items in your home.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job



Travel Season is Here: Essential travel tips

vacation, phh insuranceWe all look forward to the warmer weather, knowing travel season is upon us.  Whether you are traveling by car or plane, staying local or across the country, these travel tips can help make your travel a little more enjoyable.

Read Reviews: With the ability to access everything online these days make use of this. People write reviews and post them on line all the time.  Whether it’s a review on a hotel or restaurant, it’s good practice to read these to help you choose the best places to go.  A great site to check reviews is

Find a blogger: Blogging is very popular as you know and everyone has one.  Find a local blogger in the location where you are planning to visit.  A simple google search will find you a blogger that covers the area you are visiting and you may find some great tips just reading through these blogs.  From the most popular food spots, to local attractions and best places to stay.

Social networking: Make use of your friends on social networks.  Ask anyone if they’ve visited the areas you are planning to visit.  I bet someone has and will have some really great suggestions on places to check out.

The Bus: That’s right the bus, it’s not as unconventional as it may seem.  If you are looking to save some money and don’t want to drive yourself, then consider taking the bus to your destination. From the Bolt bus to the Megabus.  They are all new buses with perks including wi-fi.  Give it a chance you might just enjoy the change.

Use Your Miles: There is no sense holding on to these forever.  Typically most miles expire within 18 mths.  So why not make use of these on your next trip and save yourself some cash.  The cash you would have spent can now be used towards you vacation.

Travel Insurance: Travel Insurance is worth purchasing for big-ticket trips that are largely non-refundable. The typical plan will cover emergency medical expenses and baggage loss and delay, and recover at least some of the cost of your trip if your vacation has to be canceled or cut short.

5 Must Haves: Every traveler should have these 5 items when traveling.  A durable, lightweight bag on wheels, plastic ziplock bags, duck tape, your passport, and a slim digital camera.

Hopefully these tips will be helpful for your next vacation.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job




Small Business Tips: Networking

phh insuranceNetworking as you know is a vital part of growing your business.  I know you’re thinking, when do I have time for this among the everyday grind of running my business.  Yes we are all very busy just trying to keep things going, but taking one hour a month out of your time can be very helpful to growing your business.  There are a variety of networking meetings in every state.  Whether you belong to a local Chamber of Commerce or a community business association, there is a meeting that will fit your needs.  Another option is to look at meetup groups in your area as well.

We have attended several types of networking meeting ourselves and have met a variety of people and businesses. Making these connections not only allows you to meet new prospects for your business, but you may find valuable services that will help your business as well.

Another option that can help in spreading the word about your business would be to make use of those business cards.  Keep a large stack of them on you at all times.  You will find many shops that have bulletin boards where you can leave a handful of business cards.  Also look for community bulletin boards where you can leave them as well. Focus on your community first, your local coffee shop, breakfast diner or restaurant.  Many times they have a place to leave business cards.  Consider doing the same in your business.  Put up a bulletin board where people can leave their business cards. Share the love.

You never know who you’ll run into in your travels, keeping those business cards with you will always allow you a chance to spread the word about your business to others.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve run into people and had those business cards on me and proved to be a great connection.

This may seem almost too simple, but sometimes it’s the simple things that can help grow your business best.

Remember for all your small business insurance needs give us a call.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job

Do you really understand your insurance policy?

connecticut home insuranceWhen’s the last time you looked over your insurance policy.  Do you know if you have the proper coverage if a loss were to occur?  Have your reviewed your insurance policy within the last year?  If you answered know to any these questions your not alone.  According to a recent article from CNBC and a study done by Trusted Choice many people don’t know.  Trusted Choice did a phone survey of 1,000 people. Respondents answered questions about their personal insurance policies. The results were alarming, indicating a stunning lack of knowledge by consumers of their own insurance coverage.

The results were as follows:

  • Almost 40 percent of respondents weren’t confident they have adequate coverage.
  • About 40 percent said they don’t know what’s in their policies.
  • Only about 60 percent of those surveyed said they do any research before buying insurance.

Those results are very alarming. It’s no wonder so many people make mistakes when purchasing insurance. These mistakes can be costly.

Not knowing your limits is one such issue. What if you got hit by an uninsured driver?  Did you know that 1 and 7 drivers on the road don’t have auto insuranceNot having high enough limits yourself can leave you in real financial distress, especially if you were severely injured. In such a case, your policy will pay, but only up to your limits.

There are ways to avoid these issues.  Periodically touch base with your insurance agent to review your current insurance policy.  Let your insurance agent know if there has been any major lifestyle changes that also make effect your coverage. Also take the time to read through your policy when you renew it each year.  Make sure you have the coverage you want for your assets.

Have any questions regarding your current policy give one our agents at Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance.  We are always here to assist you.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job


8 Signs That Your Car Has Pothole Damage

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

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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