Monthly Archives: June 2014

Lightning Safety For Your Home and Business

lighting safety

courtesy of google images

Damage caused by lightning, such as fire, is covered by standard homeowners and business insurance policies. Some home and business insurance policies provide coverage for power surges that are the direct result of lightning striking a home or business. 

The I.I.I. offers the following tips to protect homes and businesses against power surges and lightning strikes:

1. Install a lightning protection system. A lightning protection system supplies structural protection by providing a specified path on which lightning can travel. When a building is equipped with a lightning protection system, the destructive power of the lightning strike is directed safely into the ground, leaving the structure and its contents undamaged. The system includes a lightning rod or air terminals at the top of the house that can be disguised to look like a weather vane and wires to carry the current down to grounding rods at the bottom of the house. According to the Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), the lightning protection system needs to be securely anchored to the roof; otherwise it may whip around in a storm and damage the building. So make sure to have a licensed electrician install your lightning rod and protection system.

2. Use surge protectors. Today’s sensitive electronic equipment is particularly vulnerable to lightning. To assure the highest level of protection, UL-listed surge arrestors should be installed on electrical service panels. Installations typically include surge arrestors for the main electric panel, as well as incoming phone, cable, satellite and data lines. Surge arrestors protect against damaging electrical surges that can enter a structure via power transmission lines. By filtering and dissipating the harmful surges, arrestors prevent electrical fires and protect against electrical discharges that can damage a building’s electrical system, computers, appliances and other systems. UL-listed transient voltage surge suppressors can also be installed to protect specific pieces of electronic equipment. Keep in mind that power strips offer little protection from electrical power surges.

3. Unplug expensive electronic equipment. As an added precaution, unplug expensive electronic equipment such as TVs, computers and the like if you know a storm is approaching.

Do’s and Don’ts for Lightning Safety

1. When Thunder Roars…GO INDOORS! Take shelter in a home, large building or substantial fully enclosed building, preferably protected with a lightning protection system. Hard topped-vehicles are generally safe shelters, as well.

2. Avoid areas where you will be the highest object. If you are caught in an open field with no nearby shelter, and your hair begins to stand on end (an indication that lightning is about to strike) drop down and crouch with hands on knees, rocking up on the balls of your feet. (The idea is to make as little contact with the ground as possible.) Never lie down flat or place your hands on the ground.

3. Certain locations are extremely hazardous during thunderstorms. Avoid lakes, beaches or open water, fishing from a boat or dock, riding on golf carts, farm equipment, motor cycles or bicycles. Take shelter in tunnels, subways, even ditches or caves if necessary—but never under a tree!

4. If caught on high ground or in an open area, seek shelter in a low area and stay away from trees. A small grove of bushes or shrubs is preferable to lone trees.

5. To avoid side flashes (voltage from a nearby struck object) stay clear of fences or isolated trees. Keep away from telephone poles, power lines, pipelines or other electrically conductive objects.

6. Stay off the telephone! In your home, don’t stand near open windows, doorways or metal piping. Stay away from the TV, plumbing, sinks, tubs, radiators and stoves. Avoid contact with small electric appliances such as radios, toasters and hairdryers.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job

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Is Your Wedding Covered?

wedding insuranceSummer is a wonderful time to get married.  This is your special day you’ve been dreaming about, you shouldn’t have any worries.  But, sometimes things happen such as the venue you choose goes out of business or your caterer backs out. Don’t worry though, Wedding Insurance can help safeguard your wedding.

34 percent of wedding insurance claims as of 2013, according to Travelers were related to problems with the venue. One average a couple spends $29,858 on their wedding. With an investment of that size you need to make sure you are covered properly with Wedding Insurance.

Wedding Insurance can cover the following things:

  • Cancellation or postponement
  • Additional expenses
  • Wedding photographs/videos
  • Wedding gifts
  • Special jewelry
  • Lost deposits
  • Liquor liability insurance (optional)

On average a wedding insurance policy will only cost around $160.  Nothing compared to the price of your wedding and having the security knowing that your are covered.

Take this quiz from Travelers to find out if wedding insurance makes sense for you.

Need more information on Wedding Insurance, give one of our agents a call and we’ll be happy to help you.  Your wedding is the most important day of your life.  We want to you to enjoy it and not worry.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job







Tips for Summer Heat

summer heat tipsIt’s early in the season, and we haven’t hit the height of the summer heat yet, but it’s coming.  We look forward to the summer season, but sometimes forget that we also need to make sure we take care of ourselves and homes during this weather.  Here are some great tips to keep yourself and your home cool from the summer heat.

For You:

  • Be sure to keep sunblock handy and apply regularly
  • Wearing a hat can help avoid sunburn and heatstroke
  • Keep bottled water on you at all times when you are planning extended outdoor activities
  • Avoid midday sun, usually from noon to 2pm
  • Wear cotton fabric and light colors to keep you cool in the heat
  • Babies under 9 months should be kept out of direct sunlight
  • During hot summer days, head to your nearest lake or pond to take a dip and cool down

For Your Home:

  • Keep shades drawn during the day to keep out the heat
  • Open windows in the evening to allow cooler air in
  • Avoid using your stove/oven during the summer months.  Cook outside, it always taste better on the grill anyway.
  • Make sure your ceiling fans are running counter clockwise to circulate cooler air
  • Insulate your windows to keep warm air out and cool air from escaping

Summer is a great time of year that we all look forward to, just remember to follow these tips to stay safe and cool during the heat of the summer.  Enjoy!  Happy Summer!

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job




ATV Safety Tips

atv safety tipsWith the summer almost here many of us are not only heading out on our boats, but finding other outdoor activities to enjoy the summer.  Many of us enjoy taking our ATVs out and hitting some trails.  This can of course be a lot of fun, but you always need to remember to be safe.  Here are some great safety tips from

  • Take a hands-on safety training course
  • Always wear protective gear when riding ATVs-Many ATV injuries are head injuries. Wearing a helmet may reduce the severity of these injuries. Select a motorcycle or other motorized sports helmet and make sure the helmet is certified by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and/or the Snell Memorial Foundation.
  • Do not drive ATVs with a passenger or ride as a passenger- The majority of ATVs are designed to carry only one person. ATVs are designed for interactive riding – drivers must be able to shift their weight freely in all directions, depending on the situation and terrain.
  • Do not drive ATVs on paved roads
  • Do not permit children to drive or ride adult ATVs-Children are involved in about one-third of all ATV-related deaths and hospital emergency room injuries. Most of these deaths and injuries occur when a child is driving or riding on an adult ATV.
  • Do not drive ATVs whole under the influence of alcohol or drugs

State Laws for ATV use:

  • All ATVs must be registered except those used only on the owner’s private property. Registration is to be renewed every two years.
  • All operators using their ATVs on public lands must possess a safety training certificate from the Environmental Protection Commissioner.
  • ATV riders under age 18 must have completed a safety education course.
  • Youth ATVs may not be operated after dark.
  • No one may drive an ATV on paved roads and highways, except a licensed operator may cross these roads at a 90 degree angle only.
  • No one under 12 may operate an ATV on state-owned land.
  • Persons 12 to15 may not operate an ATV unless they have a safety training certificate and are under the direct supervision of an adult over 18 who has completed a safety training course.

Let’s not forget to make sure you have your ATV covered by insurance as most specialized vehicles are not covered under your standard auto or home insurance.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job



Hidden Hazards in Your Home

home insurance, phh insuranceHome is where the heart is, but it’s also where tons of health dangers dwell. What you breathe and touch could actually be making you sick.  Here are few of the top hazards in your home. Learn how to keep your family safe from these hazards.


Does your bathroom, closet or basement have an old musty odor?  Blame mold spores. They make themselves at home in damp spots.  “Mold can grow within 24-48 hours where there’s moisture and what they consider a food source,” says Jeff May, co-author of My House Is Killing Me! 

Complex heating and cooling systems can make mold matters worse, especially if you suffer from allergies or asthma. Mold spores can trigger asthma symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath, the Mayo Clinic reports.

Ways to remedy:

  • Use a dehumidifier to keep the humidity in mold-prone rooms below 50%.
  • Operate an oscillating fan in the bathroom after showering and fix leaks as soon as possible.
  • Keep rooms well ventilated.


Over-the-counter and prescription medications are tempting to toddlers and preschoolers because they look like candy.

Ways to remedy:

  • Store all drugs in a safe place where children cannot find them
  • Never leave meds within easy reach
  • Make sure all bottle have child-resistant caps
  • Put the number of your local Poison Control Center where you can easily find it in case of an emergency


They may keep your sweaters from resembling Swiss cheese, but moth balls are a danger.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “acute exposure through inhalation, ingestion and dermal contact is associated with anemia, damage to the liver, and, in infants, neurological damage.”

Ways to remedy:

  • Replace moth balls with natural moth repellants such as cedar blocks or chips or dried lavender.  It will smell better than a moth ball and ward off those moths.

Cleaning Products

You’ll find them all over our houses, usually under the cabinets. Because of bright colors and smells of many of the products, these too look appealing to children.

Ways to remedy:

  • Keep out of reach of children: don’t leave under the cabinets, look for a high spot to store
  • Put a danger or hazards mark on all cleaning products and teach your children what this means and to steer clear of these when they see them

We hope this information has been helpful and will allow you to find the dangers in your home and remedy them.  Keep you home and family safe.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job



You’ve Done It: Graduation is Here

class of 2014, graduationWow…you never thought this day would come.  You’re thinking to yourself, I’m really graduating from high school.  What an accomplishment, you should be so proud or yourselves.  It’s been a long time coming and well earned.  So what do you do next your thinking?  We’ll many of you have already been planning your next steps for a while, whether you are moving onto college in the fall or taking a year off to explore your options.  Either way this is a new chapter in your life you are starting.

This time can be scary for many new graduates, but that’s ok.  You’re an adult now and have to consider what your options are. If you’re headed to college in the fall, then take this summer to enjoy yourself.  Pick up a part-time job to make some extra money, or consider an internship at a local business in your field of study.  An internship will get you a head start in your field study, and could turn into a permanent position in the future. Look for a new hobby that interests you and give it a try this summer.

Regardless of what you decide to do, remember it’s ok to change your mind.  You might find that the field of study you choice for college turns out not to be the right path.  That’s ok, you can change that. You may decide college isn’t the best path for you either.  Look at all your options and find something that will make you happy.  Remember the career path you choose now, doesn’t always turn out to be what will be in the future.

Be proud of your accomplishments and hold your head high.  You’ve come this far and your future is out there waiting for you.

Congratulations to the class of 2014!!!

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurnace