Month: November 2012
Black Friday Can Give You the Blues
“Black Friday”, the day after Thanksgiving Day is the kick-off to the holiday shopping season- it is also the start of what we like to call “fender bender frenzy”. Folks get caught up inthe hustle and bustle of holiday shopping and “crash”, you’ve been in an accident! It can really deflate your holiday spirit to come out to your car in the parking lot only to find that some other motorist has left their mark…a dent in the fender, a scrape along the door panel, or broken taillights…..not the holiday gift you were hoping for.
Don’t be a victim of “fender bender frenzy” by getting caught without the proper insurance coverage. Generally, even hit-and-run accidents are covered by your MA AutoInsurance policy under the Collision coverage. If when an unknown motorist inflicts damage, your car insurance policy typically covers the cost ofthe loss subject to your chosen deductible.
The best way to make sure you will be covered is to review your auto insurance policy with your agent. Your agent can confirm that you have all the necessary coverages you need to be properly insured. Vargas & Vargas suggests automobile drivers carry a $500 deductibles on their collision coverages. Call us today at 877.550.0025 and shop with confidence this holiday season!
Prepare Your Motorcycle for a Winter’s Nap
The autumn leaves are falling; the days are shorter, and there is a chill in the air all the preludes to the entrance of winter. Some of us have already experienced the first few flakes of snow! The time has come for preparing your motorcycle for winter storage. Of course, getting your bike ready for winter is more than just parking it in the corner of the garage and throwing a tarp over it till next spring. Experts suggest that you take the time to do a proper motorcycle winter maintenance program to maintain your bike’s peak performance. The following are some helpful tips in prepping your ride for a long winter’s nap; however you should always refer the bike’s maintenance and repair manual for the manufacturer’s suggestions.
First clean and wax your motorcycle. This will keep all painted surface and chrome parts protected from dust and moisture.
When you park the bike you should put pieces of plywood under each tire, Make sure that the entire bottom of the tires are sitting on the wood, store your bike on a stand if possible. This will protect the rubber from cracking or rotting. Don’t forget to check the tire pressure and if any tires are low inflate to the proper pressure.
Next, drain the oil and flush the crankcase. This will keep the corrosive deposits from building up over the years. Now is the time to also replace the oil filter. So too can old gasoline damage your bike’s engine. The sediments in old gasoline can plug carburetors and fuel lines. Avoid this by either draining all fuel from the tank, carburetors and the fuel lines.
Inspect the wiring by sliding you fingers along all the wiring you can see, and feel for cracks or breaks in the insulation. If you find any damaged casings repair or replace them. Make sure all the connectors are tight and all are free of corrosion. Disconnect and remove the battery and store it in a warm vented place sitting on a piece of plywood to catch any acid leaks. The battery will discharge over the winter months and this can cause the battery to freeze and crack. Clean the battery post and the battery cables. Use fine steel wool or a battery cleaning tool. Once the posts are clean apply petroleum jelly. This will not affect the cable connections when you hook up the battery in the spring.
Prevent rust from forming on the chain or the shaft drive by lubricating with the manufacture recommended oils. Before you lube it, make sure the chain is clean. Any dirt left on the chain will cause the chain to wear faster and speed up the wearing of the sprockets
Take a look at the brakes for any wear or damage to the pads or the rotors. Make sure you top up the brake reservoir. Replace the air filter and wipe out the container it fits in if it has one.
Before covering your bike, make sure you plug the intake and exhaust so critters cannot get in and set up house!
Most insurance carriers offer special rates for winter storage of your motorcycle so remember to let your insurance agent know your bike is off the road for winter.
Take care to prepare your bike for winter storage and as soon as the snow melts in spring, she will take care of you on the open road!
And when it comes to all of your insurance needs, whether automobile insurance, homeowners insurance, business or life insurance, Vargas & Vargas Insurance is always available to answer any of your questions.
Have a Stress-Free Thanksgiving
First things first:
- Confirm you guest list, and any weekend house guests
- Determine what recipes you are going to bemaking. Some important things to consider, or remember: Do your dishes gowell together, flavor-wise? What dishes can be prepared ahead?
- Can you cook all the dishes in your stove/oven? Run through thecooking process, noting when things are on the stove, or in the oven (and atcwhat temperature), and that you have space for it all.
- Once your menu has been finalized, determine what can be made inthe few days before Thanksgiving to save time, such as pies, casseroles, stuffing,even peeling the potatoes and leaving them to soak in a water bath.
- Next create a timeline/checklist for the day of Thanksgiving: whenthe turkey needs to go into the oven,the side dishes that still have to be made, and which ones that have been madeahead which need to be heated. The end goal of all the food being ready toserve, at the proper temperatures, at the same time.
- Consider the beverages you will serve. Will you offer a fullystocked bar, or simply just soft drinks, beer, and wines. Make sure you haveenough liquor, water, and mixers for the number of guests you’re expecting, andhave the proper utensils and ingredients – don’t forget cocktail napkins,lemons and limes!
2 weeks before:
- With your menu, go through your serving dishes and utensils. Marrytogether each recipe with the dish you want to serve it in and the utensil itwill be served with, labeling each set with a post-it. Do the same with yourcooking utensils, making sure you have a turkey baster and kitchen twine, andcheck to make sure you have enough containers/tin foil for storing leftovers.
- Consider your centerpieces and décor. Determine how you want toset each place: Dinner and salad plates? Bread and butter plates? How manypieces of flatware? Just a fork and knife, with a dessert spoon on top? Don’tforget about glassware: for water, white wine, red wine, mixed drinks, kidsdrinks.
- Make sure the dishware and glassware you are using is clean.Polish any silver that you may be using.
- For centerpieces, think about where you want to put candles, andwhat kind. Remember to never leave lit candles unattended!
- Make sure you have linens for the table(s) – not just the diningtable, but bar table(s), serving table(s), or tables of appetizers, whateveryou are using — and that they are clean and pressed. If not, you shouldarrange that now.
- Write up a shopping list based on your menu. Create a Grocery listdivided by department such as produce, dairy, spices, storage containers, kitchen tools, etc. Then have shopping listsfor any other errands you may have e.g. Liquor store. This will help to makeyour shopping trip less chaotic and overwhelm in
- Write up a shopping list based on your menu. Create a Grocery list divided by department such as produce, dairy, spices, storage containers, kitchen tools, etc. Then have shopping lists for any other errands you may have e.g. Liquor store. This will help to make your shopping trip less chaotic and overwhelming.
The week before:
- Remind your guests that you’re looking forward to sharingThanksgiving with them, and confirm when they will be arriving.
- Prepare! Is your bathroom organized and stocked? Do you have roomin the freezer for extra ice needed for drinks? Clear out the refrigerator tomake room for dishes. Straighten up around the house.
- Check your lists and what you have in your pantry. Do you havecocktail napkins, toothpicks, paper towels? Coffee, tea, milk and sugar toserve with dessert?
- Organize your bar and chill any beverages that need to be cold.
The Week of Thanksgiving
Monday and Tuesday:
- Begin defrosting your turkey if it is frozen.
- Make your pies, cranberry sauces, and other dishes that can hold forfour days.
- Set your table and decorate the spaces where yourguests will be.
- Begin chopping vegetables for cooking, and slicing lemons andlimes for the bar. Are your butter dishes ready, and salt and pepper shakersfull? If you are brining your turkey, you can make the brine, too.
- Continue chopping and prepping, assembling the stuffing and otherdishes that can be refrigerated overnight.
- Do a final run through of your lists, recipes, and check your pantrymaking a final grocery run if necessary.
- Determine when you need to get up in order to preheat the oven,and get the turkey in so it will be cooked at the proper time.
- Get a good night’s sleep.
- Do a final sweep of your set table and bar area, set the servingdishes in a place where they can all sit before being served, preparing acreamer and sugar for coffee and tea.
- Prepare your appetizers.
- Cook and enjoy the time with your family and friends!
Vargas & Vargas wishes you and yours a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving!
Is Your Vacant Property Covered?
Most insurance policies contain a vacancy provision, a Massachusetts homeowner’s policy does have a vacancy exclusion that typically applies after a home has been empty for 30 to 60 days when the policy starts removing coverage.
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For more information regarding coverage on your vacant or unoccupied properties call Vargas & Vargas Insurance Agency, your local independent insurance agent.