Vargas & Vargas Insurance

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Dorchester, MA 02124

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Prepare Before Hurricane Season: Tips from Vargas & Vargas Insurance

Hurricane season, runs from June 1st to November 30th, can be pretty daunting with all the strong winds and heavy rains. Each year, there are about ten to sixteen named storms, including four to eight hurricanes, and some with winds over 155 mph! Preparing your house and family for these storms is super important, so here’s a guide to help you get ready and stay safe.

Stock Up Early and Keep Supplies Handy

Before the hurricane season kicks off, it’s a great idea to gather all the essentials. Stock up on non-perishable food, water, medications, and other supplies like flashlights and batteries. Keeping these items in an easily accessible emergency kit means you won’t be scrambling to find them when you really need them.

Prepare Your Home

Make sure your home is as strong as it can be before the storms hit. Start by trimming trees and shrubbery; loose branches can fly like missiles during a hurricane. Secure your windows and doors, and if you have storm shutters, make sure they’re properly installed. You might also want to reinforce your garage door and secure loose items around your property to minimize damage.

Unplug and Protect

Electrical surges are common during hurricanes, consider plugging your devices into surge protector outlets like this one or unplug your electronics to protect them from damage. This simple step can save you a lot of trouble later.

Plan for Power Outages

Hurricanes can knock out power for a long time. Having a backup generator can be a lifesaver, ensuring you have electricity even when the grid is down. Installing a battery backup for your sump pump is also smart to prevent flooding in your home. Fill up your bathtubs with water in case you lose access later

Know Your Evacuation Plan

Understanding where to go and how to get there can save precious time during an evacuation. Plan your routes to a safe location, perhaps a friend’s house outside of flood-prone areas. Remember to have a strategy for your pets and check local options for emergency transportation if you don’t have a vehicle.

Review and Update Your Insurance

Before the storm season gets too intense, take a moment to check your insurance coverage. It’s crucial to have the right amount to rebuild your home if the worst happens. You might want to check if you need specific flood coverage, as it’s not included in standard home and renters policies. Vargas & Vargas Insurance, one of the premier local independent insurance agencies, can help you customize your coverage to fit your needs. For an insurance check-up or more information about the National Flood Insurance Program, call us at 617-298-0655.

Digital Safeguards

Creating digital backups of important documents like insurance policies, identification, and property records can be lifesaving if physical copies are lost during a storm.

How We Can Help

Vargas & Vargas Insurance works for our clients, not the insurance company. We’re here to tailor your insurance coverage to your specific needs and help answer any questions you might have. Contact us today to ensure you’re fully protected this hurricane season.

By taking these steps, you can ensure that when the wind starts howling, your home and family will be safe and secure. Don’t wait until it’s too late—start preparing now to stay safe and protected during hurricane season. Call Vargas & Vargas Insurance at 617-298-0655 for all your coverage needs. Stay prepared and peace of mind will follow!

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7 Ways to Protect Your Vehicle During the Winter

Auto insurance can play a critical role during the winter months. From frozen and slippery roads to white-outs during a snowstorm, you want to have coverage in the event something happens.

However, insurance can only go so far. Your policy isn’t going to cover wear and tear or issues that happen from poor maintenance. While there are several ways you can winterize your car before it snows, what about during the middle of winter?

Let’s take a look at seven ways to help protect your car in the winter aside from proper insurance coverage.

1. Maintain the Battery During Winter Months

The colder months put quite a strain on vehicle batteries. First of all, low temperatures lead to less of an electrochemical reaction within the unit. This means the battery will perform worse during the winter.

It’s vital that you test your battery regularly and replace it before you find yourself stranded somewhere.

2. Keep Timely with Oil and Fluid Changes

Low temperatures cause liquids of all kinds to move slower. This means that any fluids that are dirty, contaminated, or at low levels will hurt the performance of your vehicle more so when it’s freezing outside.

Driving around in the winter while you’re several thousand miles past an oil change increases the strain on the motor.

3. Watch the Radiator and Hoses

Antifreeze is a crucial element for many cars on the road today. And if you’re levels are low or contain more water than actual antifreeze, your radiator and hoses can freeze up.

Frozen lines can lead to splitting, which then results in the engine overheating.

4. Make Sure Belts Are Not Worn

The last thing you want to experience is a belt snapping while driving on the freeway during a snowstorm. Never underestimate how much wear and tear your belts go through on any given day.

Be aware of any kind of fraying or worn-out sections of the belts that keep the motor turning. Just make sure your car isn’t running before you check them.

5. Keep an Eye on the Tire Tread in Winter

Snow, slush, and mud are common road hazards during winter months. You want to make sure your tire tread is apt to take on what nature throws your way.

This is one of the biggest reasons why many people have a separate set of snow tires available for the winter months.

6. Check Your Bulbs and Replace if Needed

Bulbs for your car are usually not that expensive. And depending on the make and model of your vehicle, they are very easy to replace. Make sure your headlights and brake lights are visible to everyone during a storm.

Also, pay close attention to any condensation within the bulb housing. If the bulbs are getting wet, you’ll need to find the leak and seal it before your new bulbs blow out.

7. Use a Car Cover

Car covers, while a bit inconvenient to put on and off in the winter, can save you a lot of trouble. They protect the car from a plethora of weather types. Not to mention some may even alleviate frost buildup on the windshield.

You can find a lot of car covers for less than $100, and they’ll probably save you more than that throughout the year in maintenance expenses. Especially if you spend a lot of money keeping the vehicle clean.

Car covers are a great option if you don’t have a garage.

Winter Months Can Wreak Havoc on Autos

Depending on where you live, the winter months are some of the most strenuous for an automobile. And if you break down on the side of a snowy freeway, it’ll be incredibly strenuous for you.

In the event something does happen, though, you want to make sure you’re properly covered. At Vargas & Vargas Insurance, we’ll help you find the best policies for your auto regardless of the weather. Contact us today to see how we can help you save money while keeping your auto covered during the coldest months of the year.

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13 Easy Weatherproofing Ideas for Your Home and Auto

As each summer gets hotter than the last, we have to do what we can to reduce the damage brought on by excessive heat. Not only does weatherproofing prolong the lifespan of certain things for the home and auto, but many of them can also save you quite a bit of money.

Today, let’s take a look at several ways you can prevent high temperatures from wreaking havoc on your property.

Weatherproofing Your Home

From a financial standpoint, weatherproofing your home is always a good idea. Not only does it reduce the onset of certain kinds of damage, but it can have an immediate impact on your monthly bills.

A few ideas that can reduce the cooling of your home include:

  • Using aluminum foil on the windows to reflect heat.
  • Using blackout curtains to block heat and light if you don’t like the appearance of aluminum.
  • Replacing insulation and sealing holes and cracks in your walls, windows, and doors.
  • Adding window awnings to provide shade from direct sunlight.
  • Cleaning ducts to allow better airflow.
  • Replacing air filters of your HVAC system every 90 days.

The best part is that most of these ideas cost very little to implement. Nonetheless, they can save you a great deal of money in the long term.

For example, simply keeping the ductwork clean allows for better airflow, which results in the HVAC system having to work less to keep the home cool or heated. This means less wear and tear on the unit itself.

In other words, that $10 filter could save you hundreds of dollars in energy bills and repair costs.

Weatherproofing Your Car

Not everyone thinks about weatherproofing the car or truck. However, they can benefit in much the same way as your home. Well, actually it is you who benefits as it will save you quite a bit in repair costs when the temperature spikes.

Keep in mind that electronics are more susceptible to failure when the ambient temperatures are higher. As there are a lot of electronic devices in vehicles today, it’s imperative to do what you can to reduce the impact of those high temperatures.

A few things you can do to protect your auto include:

  • Keeping the tires properly inflated, as heat can weaken the rubber and reduce elasticity. This can lead to cracking.
  • Making sure all fluids are at proper levels as lubricants are more vital during times of excessive heat.
  • Replacing the battery before it fails, especially those that are exceptionally older.
  • Using window coverings to keep the heat out. It’s more comfortable and prevents damage to things inside the vehicle.

Just like the home, weatherproofing your vehicle now can save you on future repair costs. Not to mention reducing the likelihood of breaking down on the side of the road with temperatures in excess of 100 degrees.

Leave Nothing to Chance

Although there are plenty of ways for weatherproofing your car and home to save money, Vargas & Vargas insurance can help you take the savings to that extra level. Contact us today to find out how we can customize your policy to accommodate your lifestyle.

From protecting your property from the ravages of heat waves to giving peace of mind throughout the winter months, we can help you.

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