McCurdy Group - Insurance and Financial Consultants

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Make Sure You Give Correct Information to Your Insurance Agent

When you get your new or renewal auto policy, do you look through it to make sure that all the information is correct? You should. Simple things like having the wrong address for your garaging (where do you sleep at night?) or missing an operator could lead to trouble down the road if you have a claim. Even if you think that your insurance premium may increase if you correctly list that you live in Springfield as opposed to Holland, make sure the correct information is reflected on your policy.  And verify that the person with the high number of points is not “accidentally” forgotten.  It doesn’t pay to save a little on your premiums if you have a claim which gets denied because the information on your policy is incorrect. If you have a new driver, make sure that you add them to your policy as soon as you can get to your phone. The most common reasons for denial of claims are because the policy holder neglected to give the correct location of garaging or listing an inexperienced operator.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fire Extinguisher Safety

A portable fire extinguisher is great to have in every home to prevent a house fire from spreading and causing devastating damage.  But they have limitations that all consumers need to be aware of. The standard, all purpose fire extinguisher is meant for small fires that are confined to a small area and not spreading rapidly, such as a fire in a waste basket.  If a fire is growing quickly, it’s safest for the residents to get out of the house immediately and call 911 and not try to battle the fire themselves.

All homes should have an all purpose extinguisher that is light enough for the users to be able to use easily. Also make sure that the extinguisher carries the label of an independent testing laboratory to make sure that it’s up to code. Make sure to read the instructions before you have a fire so that you’re familiar with how to use it. Local fire departments and fire equipment distributors offer demonstrations on how to use fire extinguishers but if that isn’t feasible, remember the word PASS:

  - Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle
    pointing away from you, and release the locking
  - Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
  - Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
  - Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wood and Pellet Stove Safety

The heating season is here and it’s time to think about wood and pellet stove safety. Woodstove and pellet stoves need to be cleaned every year or when there’s 1/4” creosote buildup on the chimney walls. The more often you use the stove, the more often you’ll have to clean it. Make sure to clean the ash and dispose of it in a fire-proof container before each use. Also be aware of the fuel limitations of your stove. Most wood stoves are meant to burn wood only. Do not burn driftwood, trash, treated wood, artificial logs, or any product containing zinc, sulfur, lead, or plastics as they will damage the catalytic combustor. Burning trash in a wood stove is dangerous for its potential to start a chimney fire, and also because the trash could contain plastics or other elements which emit harmful gases.

If you’re thinking about installing a wood or pellet stove for the first time, make sure to have a professional install it.  Also make sure that it’s inspected and you get proof of that inspection certifying that the stove is up to code and safe for your family. If you would like more information on this matter, go to the National Ag Safety Database at

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Think twice before you Switch!

 We hear it all the time on the radio and television, “Big savings on your auto and home insurance.”  In these difficult economic times, we’re all looking for ways to save money and insurance is a place to start.  But there are some things that we need to consider… Just because we can get a lower rate with another carrie doesn’t mean that changing companies is a good idea.  Do you have the same coverages or did the new company give you lower limits of insurance?  We also need to consider company loyalty because the longer you are with a particular company, the more likely you are to receive a credit for being with them a long time. And if you’ve been with one company for years, they are more likely to stay on your policy if you’ve had a loss or two (remember those tornadoes, snow storms, and ice storms that we had back-to–back in our area a few years ago?). If you are considering changing insurance companies, please discuss your concerns with your Insurance Agent before you make any changes that could affect your future.