Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Uber Insurance Gap That Could Cost You Big as a Driver or Passenger


As many of you already know,  Uber is a smartphone app that pairs riders with people who will give them a ride, similar to a taxi. These drivers are registered and have to maintain a score of 4.6/5 to keep their status as a driver, and often provide perks like free bottled water, cell phone chargers, and don’t accept tips. Uber rates differ from cabs in that the rates fluctuate depending on demand, and often geography.
This novel business model has seen a number of issues that have arisen since the conception of Uber, and it’s competitor lyft, including complaints from well-established cab groups nationwide, safety concerns and plain old skepticism at the introduction of an arguably newer and better mousetrap.

While those issues have made headlines, a lesser know issue has been lurking; Insurance coverage.

Is your Uber driver covered?

Is your Uber driver covered?

In his blog post “The Insurance Secret Uber Doesn’t Want You to Know“, Adam Cecil says:
“Consider this insurance horror story:

Someone pulls up an app on their phone, types in the address of where they need to go, and orders your car. You turn around and drive to pick them up.

While you’re driving, you look over to your phone to make sure you’re still heading in the right direction. While you’re looking the other way, you hit a car. It’s not a big accident (luckily), but it’s bad enough that the other driver calls the police (and you have to cancel your pick-up).

The police get there, they take down all of your info, including the fact that you were driving for a company called “Uber.” You submit your claim to your auto insurance company and go about your life.

A few days later, your insurance company calls you. Unfortunately, your claim has been denied because you were performing a business activity. You’re now on the hook not only for your own car repairs, but the other driver’s, too. Oh, and by the way: your car insurance policy has been canceled.

You contact Uber to see if their insurance policy is going to cover the damages. Nope, says the woman on the other end of the phone. Since you didn’t have a passenger in the car, they’re not liable. Consider yourself lucky you didn’t hurt anyone.

auto crashes

You can see from just this brief excerpt that both Uber drivers and passengers straddle several areas while participating in the sometimes-called “ride share” program, making coverage for this new industry murky to say the least.

Companies like Uber and Lyft, on their end, maintain that they are not transportation services despite hiring drivers (with little or no screening), connecting drivers with clients, and performing many other tasks we would associate with a taxi service in an attempt to sidestep some of the expensive liabilities associated with the transportation for hire industries.

To fill this gap, a few states have introduced insurance products, as shown in the graphic below.

In those states, companies like Geico have stepped up to offer products to cover this for as little as $6-$8 a month.

Unfortunately, for those of us living in New England, there are currently no available insurance products that will cover these situations. As both a driver and a rider, you are better off using traditional livery, or car-for-hire services unless and until there is insurance coverage.
While that may be less convenient at the moment, companies across the country are working to develop products to cover you and you can count on Penny Hanley and Howley to be there, letting you know what is available, and when!

Spring Clean Stafford Springs

As you may have noticed, when the record breaking snows melted they revealed an excess of litter on many of the area roads.

We spotted a post in the Stafford Springs Community Bulletin Board on Facebook showing three year old twins, Aiden and Ian with the bags they had filled with trash picked up from the side of the road in their neighborhood here in town. After recovering from cuteness overload, we knew we had to get in touch with them to get the story behind the picture.

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The picture was taken by the twins’ Grandma, local resident Kathy Cooley, who accompanies the boys on regular walks. “We go on frequent walks in my neighborhood, and have always picked up the garbage we see on the side of the road”, she says, “They always seem surprised that people would throw things out of car windows!” The twins, as well as their 18 month old younger brother (Who offers moral support from his stroller) have been helping clean up their neighborhood for awhile, but after seeing repeated posts online about the trash issue in town, Kathy decided it was time to post the picture looking to encourage other citizens to do their part to keep the area clean. “My hope is more people will get involved.”

So has seeing their hard word inspired you? Great, because it’s inspired us too! We’re holding a contest for the next month where everyone who posts a picture of themselves with trash they’ve picked up or in the act of cleaning up the town will be entered in a raffle to win a $50 gift card to a local restaurant of your choice! There are so many great places around here, we think you should choose one you love, or maybe try something altogether new.

Please post your pictures to our facebook page Penny Hanley and Howley and tag yourself in the photo to enter. Entries must be posted by June 16th 2015 at midnight EST to be eligible. Winner will be chosen at random from all eligible entries.

Stafford Pride

Spring Cleaning for Savings!

By Elizabeth Caddy
When the weather finally warms up and the days are longer, we almost instinctively open the windows, and freshen up the house. Did you know that adding a few more things to your Spring Cleaning regimen can actually save you money whether you are a renter or a homeowner?

Switch Your Fans–  Make sure your ceiling fans are going counter clockwise in the warmer weather.  This will help rooms feel cooler than they are, helping you get the best mileage out of your AC.

Vacuum the Coils Behind the Refrigerator– As dust, dirt, and pet hair build up on the coils behind the fridge, it runs in a less efficient (read: more expensive) way. Vacuuming away this stuff annually is a good way to increase the efficiency of an appliance that one of the biggest energy draws in the kitchen!

Dryer Vent Clean Out– It is important to clean out the dryer exhaust (the robot arm looking, flexi-pipe thing that comes out of the back of the dryer) twice a year. Dryer lint and a surprising assortment of dryer stuff ends up in there and it impedes air flow, which causes that dryer to work harder. Clearing this away allows the dryer to work better, saving you money, and maybe even more importantly can help prevent a dryer fire.
Clearing this vent is a little more complex than vacuuming the back of the fridge so here is a wikihow Cleaning a Dryer Exhaust  as well as a youtube video How to Clean a Dryer Vent 

Dust- I cast thee out! Take some time to clear dust off of electronic devices and any household vents. You may need to break out the vacuum for this task, but it’s worth it.
Many electronic devices have a fan inside keeping them cool, which means they have an air intake, which means there is a little area probably caked with dust on there somewhere. Clearing this away allows the machines to run cooler and, you guessed it, more efficiently. Taking the time to do this may also prolong the life of your devices!

Program Your Thermostat Many thermostats allow for programming based on the time of day and the day of the week. Consider setting your thermostat a little higher when you know people will be away or at night. Experts recommend setting the temperature to 78 degrees F during the summer months, allowing for comfort while preventing your AC from running excessively. This combined with your counter clockwise ceiling fans may even feel cooler than that.

Change Your Filters (no, not your Instagram Filters) If you’re an average person with a busy life, it’s probably time to change your whole house filter. The often forgotten, rarely changed (is that just in my house??) HVAC filter plays an important role in the air quality in the house and the efficiency of the HVAC system. Regular changing of the filter allows for unimpeded air flow and can cut down on the amount of pollen and other allergens in the air. Spring, with it’s rush of pollen, is a good time to change the filters and give everyone a breath of fresh air.

Check out this graphic made by AMBITENERGY that covers the above and more.

Health is Wealth– Cleaning a house is a big job and we are taught to reach for harsh cleaners that are often filled with chemicals, fragrances and other toxins. This year consider cleaning with some very effective, non-toxic cleaners that you can make yourself for MUCH cheaper than the cleaners you have already been using.

Wellness Mama is a great blog for information about homemade cleaners. Here is a link to her blog post on Natural Cleaning

Her blog has suggestions, recipes,  and tips for cleaning everything from the staples like floor and glass cleaner to things like laundry stain treaters and ways to clean urine (parents and pet owners!)

STAY TUNED FOR THE PARTNER POST TO THIS: Spring Home Maintenance for Savings!

Snow Day Fun

iStock_000036305654_Large

istock photo

Winter is in full swing and snow is everywhere lately! While we might want to cuddle up inside where it is warm until spring, as parents, we know that being cooped up in the house with the kids can get…..out of hand!

We’ve scoured Pinterest and the internet to come up with some great ideas to keep the kids busy in the snow, and then hopefully very tired when they come back in!

Snow Obstacle Course

There’s nothing like a competition to get kids moving! This blog shows some great tips for setting up a fun, challenging course  http://theinspiredtreehouse.com/snowy-obstacle-course-kids/#_a5y_p=2974398

As an added bonus you could make a throne out of snow for the winner to sit in!

Tic-Tac-SNOW!

photo: Kindra Clineff

Parents Magazine (http://www.parents.com/fun/activities/outdoor/snow-activities-kids/?viewAll=true&page=4#page=4 ) Has some great ideas in this article from Tic Tac Snow, to some really cute “Snow Creatures”. There are also directions for making a bird feeder out of an orange and some sticks!

photo: Heather Weston

Snow Sensory Bin

indoorsnow

If there’s snow on the ground, and you really can’t get out, consider making a sensory bin with the snow. This blog http://www.growingajeweledrose.com/2012/01/warm-way-to-play-with-sonw.html gives lots of great ideas for keeping kids entertained with the snow while YOU stay warm.

Some of my favorites include the Snow Mr and Mrs Potato Head. There is even a science experiment!

This is also nice for younger children who can’t play for very long outside in the cold.

Enjoy the snow day!
Be sure to follow our blog, and stay tuned for a complimentary post with fun activities for when you can’t go out and play.

Resources for Getting Kids Involved with Building

pulling nails

Ella B removes some old nails. Great job remembering your safety gear!

Way to Go, Girls!
We are so excited to see what you’ve been up to. From raking leaves and tearing down drywall to laying tile and doing fantastically on our Tools Quiz !

You have 3 weeks left to participate and we thought you could use a little inspiration!
Here is a collection of links that outline some great skills to learn, and examples of age-appropriate projects.

Workshop Safety for Kids

5 Do-It-Yourself Skills That Every Child Should Have

DIY for Kids

It’s never too early to build the skills of future DIYers!

 

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Mya L. helps to lay some tile. Nice work, Mya!



Official Rules for Frozen on Ice Tickets Contest

PHH Family 5 Pack to Frozen on Ice in Boston Complete Rules 

  1. ENTRY:  No purchase necessary to enter or win. Participants can obtain an entry three ways
    a) compile a tool box as specified on our blog and send photo tocontest@pennyhanley.necoxmail.com
  2. b) Pass with a grade of 70% or higher the Tools Knowledge Quiz on our blog   com
    c) send us a photo or video at contest@pennyhanley.necoxmail.com showing the completion of a repair skill from the official list on our blog. Entries are limited to 100 entries per household. Each household may only receive entries for the compilation of toolboxes for children living in the house. Tool ID quiz may be submitted for an entry only once per person.
  3. ELIGIBILITY: This contest is open only to legal CT. residents, over the age of 2. Employees of Penny-Hanley and Howley (along with its contractors, affiliates and subsidiaries) and their families are not eligible. Void where prohibited by law.  Contestants residing in those areas where the contest is void may participate in the contest but may not win any prizes. All participants MUST complete and Submit an Email for the Household Naming Contestants with a valid CT address and working phone number. When you submit photos and videos, be sure to put this same information in the email so your household is credited!
    *Eligible entries are those completed by a participant who has registered via email with valid CT address and working phone number from 12:01amEST October 24th-11:59pm EST December 5, 2014
  1. WINNER SELECTION:  A winner will be randomly drawn from eligible entries on December 14 and announced via our blog December 15th. Top 5 Fan Favorite Frozen Themed submissions will be voted on from December 15 until December 20th at 11:59 p.m. Results will be posted on our blog Sunday December 21st.
  2. PRIZES: Grand Prize (1) Family 5 Pack of Tickets to the February 14th ,11am performance of Disney Presents Frozen on Ice at the TD Garden in Boston
    Fan Favorite Prize pack (1) Containing a variety of Frozen Merch not to exceed $40.00 in value

    5. WINNER NOTIFICATION: Winners will be notified within 5 days after the determination date.  Inability to contact a winner may result in disqualification and selection of an alternate winner. If we can not get ahold of you within 7 days of notification, we will choose another winner.

  3. GENERAL CONDITIONS:
  4. Participants hereby grant PHH Insurance a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide license to broadcast, publish, store, reproduce, distribute, syndicate, and otherwise use and exhibit the Submission (along with their names, voices, performance and/or likenesses) in all media now known and later come into being for purposes of trade or advertising without further compensation. Participants represent and warrant that they have full legal right, power and authority to grant PHH the foregoing license and if applicable, have secured all necessary rights from any participants in, and contributors to, their Submission in order to grant such a license.
  1. Penny-Hanley and Howley is under no obligation to use any Submission or return the Submissions to participants.
  1. Winners will be required to execute and return a Certificate of Eligibility, Consent and General Release form within 14 days of notification. Non-compliance within this time period may result in disqualification and selection of an alternate winner.  Any income tax liability is the sole responsibility of the winner.
  1. USE OF CONTEST INFORMATION: All entries become the property of Penny-Hanley and Howley Insurance. Penny-Hanley and Howley Insurance reserves the right to use any and all information related to the contest, including submissions provided by the contestants, for editorial, marketing and any other purpose, unless prohibited by law.
  1. NOT ENDORSED BY FACEBOOK: By participating in this contest, you acknowledge that this contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook and release Facebook from any and all liability arising from or related to this contest. The information you are providing for this contest is being provided to Penny-Hanley and Howley Insurance and not to Facebook, and will be used to notify you if you have won, and to inform you about special offers from Penny-Hanley and Howley Insurance and our trusted partners.
  1. CONDUCT: All contest participants agree to be bound by these Official Rules.  Penny-Hanley and Howley Insurance in its sole discretion, reserves the right to disqualify any person it finds to be tampering with the entry process, the operation of its web site or is otherwise in violation of these rules.
  2. LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY: Penny-Hanley and Howley Insurance is not responsible for late, lost or misdirected email or for any computer, online, telephone or technical malfunctions that may occur.  If for any reason, the contest is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention or technical failures of any sort, Penny-Hanley and Howley Insurance may cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the contest.  Entrants further agree to release Penny-Hanley and Howley Insurance from any liability resulting from, or related to participation in the contest.