Summer Grill Safety Tips

No summer is complete without at least one cookout. Whether you’re attending one or hosting your own, make sure to brush up on your grill safety so that you can keep your family and friends safe. Here are a few things that you should know before you attend your first cookout:

  • The grill should be placed in a safe location – at least ten feet from any structures or trees.
  • Make sure all grilling tools are within reach before heating up.
  • Speaking of grilling equipment, make sure that there is always a spray bottle of water within arm’s reach in case of a flare-up.
  • If kids are present, the grill should be supervised by an adult at all times, and a “No kids” perimeter should be set up around the grill. For small kids, create a physical “Do not cross” line with some jump ropes or pool noodles.
  • Practice food safety techniques by thoroughly washing anything that comes in contact with raw meat, and not leaving meat at room (or outdoor) temperatures for extended periods.
  • As always, have a first aid kit handy in case there is an accident that requires medical care. If someone gets seriously injured, douse the grill immediately and get them the proper medical attention.

When you begin preparing to host your first cookout of the summer, first call Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency at 617-298-0655 to have an experienced Massachusetts insurance agent check over your home insurance policy. You never know when an accident will occur, so be ready for anything with our superior protection.

Fear Is My Motivation

 

I hope that you are getting ready for your long weekend!

Here are a few words of wisdom to ponder over the next 3 days:

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.
-Eleanor Roosevelt

Growing up, school dances were a significant source of anxiety for me. When I was 14, I had no idea how to talk to girls, much less ask them out. What would I say? What if she says no, or already has a date? Where would I run if I bombed or froze up? Those were legitimate fears of mine – after all, isn’t rejection a teenager’s worst enemy.

I know I’m not alone in this. No matter how suave and smooth you may be, putting yourself out there is scary. Everyone’s had that moment where they had to psych themselves up to approach a member of the opposite sex… And the longer you wait, the more anxiety you feel. Then the fear sets in. If I were a braver soul, I would write a whole book about fear.

We’ve all been told not to give in to fear. And more so constantly if you’re a male in our culture. Fear is somehow a bad thing. So is failure. At least, that’s what we’re told. Well, that is a lie!

If you dwell on fear, you get a mental block and stop working effectively toward your goal. If I wrote a book about fear, would you read it? Maybe you won’t read this message.  You’ll skip it because maybe you’re worried (more fear!) that I’ll make you feel guilty.

Fear is a powerful and useful tool. But, just like fire, you have to respect it, and you have to choose to use it that way. Fire is necessary for human survival (cooking food, purifying water, cauterizing wounds), but it can burn a house down just as easily. Fear is the same. It can burn your mental house down.

I use fear to get informed, I am motivated by fear, but I never let it guide me. How about you? Do you feel fear, and are you moving forward? It’s simple, but it’s not easy. Just remember, your excuses will never be as interesting as the story of how you got it done.

I’ll tell you a few more secrets about fear, if you’re interested:

  • Fear without knowledge is amplified.
  • Fear without a plan is debilitating.
  • Fear without a goal is endless

“Fear will crush and dominate more dreams than failure ever will.”

What fixes it all?

  • Fear without knowledge is amplifiedso I seek knowledge of what I needed to do.
  • Fear without a plan is debilitatingso I have a plan to keep me moving forward.
  • Fear without a goal is endlessso I put a simple goal in place.

I create a purpose so I can grab a hold of fear and keep my business (and life) on a simple track.

If you find this interesting, let’s grab a coffee soon. I would love to learn all about you and your business and see if I can be of help, or just learn about you and hear your story.

Remember, I’m always here to help you and your clients win. It’s what I LOVE to do.

Now, go DOMINATE your week!

Carlos

Insuring a Vacant or Unoccupied Home

 

In today’s world, more and more properties are vacant or unoccupied. This happened for many different reasons, including dividing time between a primary residence and vacation home, leaving a property while it is being renovated or is on the market to be sold, a rental property being between tenants, and more.

Vacant and unoccupied properties present a risk to insurance providers – whether the unit in question is a home, apartment, or condominium. Vacant and unoccupied properties can attract vandals and thieves, and accidents are more likely to occur and have serious repercussions. Just consider this scenario – you leave your home unoccupied while you are on an extended vacation and a pipe bursts. The damage is likely to be substantial because there is no one in residence to notice and remedy the issue. This makes it easy to see why insurance companies have limits and provisions for these situations.

Oftentimes, a short trip away from your home is not enough for it to be considered vacant. Most insurance providers will require a place of residence to be unoccupied for 30 consecutive days before they begin to drop coverage.

Many insurance policies contain a vacancy provision. Two similar terms—vacant and unoccupied—have specific meanings in the language of insurance and are specifically defined in some policies. A vacant building contains little or no furniture or other personal property.

 

If you are planning on leaving your home, apartment, or condo vacant or unoccupied in the future, call your local insurance agent to ask about how to make sure that you stay covered by your Massachusetts insurance policy. Depending on your insurance provider, you may only need to pay a small fee to ensure that your current protection continues. In other cases, you may be required to purchase a special policy tailored specifically to a vacant or unoccupied property. For more information, call Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency at 617-298-0655 today.

Is It Smart To Fight A Ticket In Dorchester?

Here’s the first thing to know about fighting a ticket: If you’re not one hundred percent certain that you shouldn’t have gotten a ticket, don’t bother fighting it. The cops have dashboard cams, they file extensive reports, and they have backups to confirm their version of the events. If you think maybe you can stretch the truth or leave out a few details, you’re just going to feel foolish when you get caught doing it. If you think there’s something the police didn’t notice, they probably noticed, and they probably didn’t bring it up because they had enough evidence to serve you with a ticket anyway.

Don’t fight a ticket because you think you can maybe sweet talk the judge, fight a ticket because it was an abuse of authority to issue it in the first place. Don’t fight a ticket because you weren’t the only one speeding, fight a ticket because you weren’t speeding at all.

There is such a thing as an unjust ticket, but the circumstances where a ticket should be fought are actually quite rare, and the circumstances where a ticket has been overturned in Dorchester, MA are even scarcer.

The question is: can you prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you should not have been given the ticket? If not, you’re going to spend more time and money fighting it than you would be paying it.

The good news is that any damage a ticket can do can usually be undone. A defensive driving course, for instance, can strike points from your record as if they never happened, and even keep you in good stance with your insurance policy. Fight a ticket if you think you can win, but be realistic about whether or not that’s a possibility.

To make sure you are in a good position with your auto insurance, contact our agents at Vargas & Vargas Insurance in Dorchester, MA. Our agents are ready to answer any insurance questions you may have and can provide you with a policy that fits all your needs. Contact the Vargas & Vargas Insurance office today!

Is Buying a Condo the Right Choice for You?

Here in the great city of Boston, we have many choices when it comes to where to live. You can rent an apartment, buy a home, or anything in between. Sometimes, though, people tend to skip over one of the options – buying a condominium. If you’re looking to find the perfect place for you and your family, consider these reasons to buy a condo:

  • You don’t have to handle any of the outside work. Mowing the grass, shoveling snow, gardening, and more will be taken care of by the condo association. Costs for these services are shared by the owners in the development.
  • Unlike homes, condos often have amenities. Some will offer a pool, theater room, gym, tennis court, party room, or many other possible perks.
  • When you’re renting, your customization options are typically quite limited. A condo, however, you can customize to your heart’s content, since you own your unit.
  • Oftentimes, working with a reliable real estate agent or broker can save you time, effort and disappointments, we work with many very experienced real estate agents and brokers, and we can connect you with one of them.
  • You may find a condo with a smaller price tag than a comparable traditional house. This makes condo living a great option, as long as you consider the monthly fees

If you have considered all of these reasons and decide that condo living is a perfect fit for your lifestyle, (it has been for Kathy and me) remember to call Vargas and Vargas Insurance for your Massachusetts condo insurance needs (even if you are told that you do not need unit owners coverage). We are experts at writing personal condo insurance policies, Condominium Master Insurance policies and we can make sure that all of your belongings are covered, in addition to making sure that your policy contains enough personal liability coverage for your needs. Call 617-298-0655 for a free quote today!

Massachusetts Bicycle Safety

Biking is a great way to get around here in the Greater Boston Area. Whether you’re an experienced cyclist, or are thinking of purchasing your first bike, we have some tips that you should know so that you can be as safe as possible when you hit the pavement:

  • Every bike ride should start with putting on a helmet. Make sure that yours fits properly for maximum protection. Riders 16 years old and younger are required to wear a helmet according to Massachusetts bike laws.
  • If you’re going on a long ride, make sure to take along water to stay hydrated.
  • Ride on public roads, streets, and bikeways. Sidewalk riding is permitted outside of business districts. Always ride with traffic – on the right-hand side of the road.
  • When riding, it’s important that your whole focus is on the road. For this reason, you should avoid the use of music players and cell phones while you cycle.
  • Make sure that your bike is kept in good shape with regular maintenance. Brakes should be able to stop a bike going 15mph within 30 feet.
  • If you are riding 30 minutes after sunset or 30 minutes before sunrise, your bike must have a white headlight and a red taillight or reflector, I use these lights on my bike.

If you are looking for more help with your bicycle, or if you are in the market for a new pair of wheels, call on our friend Jack at Ashmont Cycles in Dorchester. And if you’re looking to get more our of your cycling around the area, check out Boston Cyclists Union, and stay healthy (after all, your bicycle is a great way to get some exercise) let your Massachusetts insurance agent know – we can make sure that your Boston health insurance policy is up-to-date and ready for anything!

Carlos