3 Key Pool Safety Tips to Remember


Pool Safety Tips

The dog days of Summer are here, and if you’re like millions of other American families, you’ll be spending lots of time by the pool.

While pools offer a slice of paradise in your backyard – they can also be incredibly dangerous. Here’s 3 safety tips for you to keep in mind.

1) No swimming without an adult around

Drowning doesn’t look like what you see on TV. Don’t let children swim unsupervised, even if your kids are future Olympians. It’s always best to have an adult keeping an eye on things. At cook outs, it’s a great idea to have a rotating schedule of chaperones so every one can enjoy the party.

2) No running

This one is a no-brainer, but still critical to remember. Pool decks are slippery, and it only takes one fall for someone to get a nasty bruise (or worse!) Don’t take any chances. Walk, don’t run. The last thing you need is a trip to the hospital or a lawsuit.

3) No diving in the shallow end (or no diving at all)

Research of Spinal Cord Injury Statistics found that 57.2% of all pool diving accidents occur in water 4 feet deep or less, while only 4.8% of swimming pool diving accidents occur in water at least 8 feet deep. Experts recommend no diving at all in above-ground swimming pools.

Pool Rules

A “Pool Rules” sign is a great way for you to remind family, neighbors and friends to be cautious in and around your pool. Visual reminders are an excellent way to keep everyone thinking about safety as they enjoy a dip. Search for an affordable one online or consider creating a home made version with some plywood and paint. It can be a great Summer project for you and your kids, and creating the sign at home can even help your children memorize the rules.


Most insurers require a fence around a pool to qualify for coverage. But even if they weren’t required, it’s always recommended for safety. Children go outside to play in the Summer, and your pool should be inaccessible unless there’s an adult around to supervise.

Talk to your insurance agent about your Homeowners coverage to make sure you’re pool meets the minimum safety standards required by most insurers.

Reprinted from Renaissance Alliance – no usage without permission.

Spring Home Maintenance Tips


Spring is officially here, and as any homeowners knows, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and tackle some annual home maintenance tasks. Consumer Reports put this great list together last year. It includes tips for:

  • Cleaning household filters
  • De-griming countertop appliances
  • Washing windows
  • Prepping your lawn mower
  • Sprucing up your Lawn
  • Getting your gas grill ready
  • Pressure washing your deck (or porch)
  • Organizing your garage
  • Checking your tires

For a good year-round home maintenance checklist, the American Society of Home Inspectors has a comprehensive list of tasks and suggests as to whether they should be completed periodically, in the spring or in the fall.

We also like this cute springtime infographic from ReadyNest – see below or click on the image for the original.

inforgraohicspring home maintenance list Related posts

Garage door maintenance tips: A handy infographic

New homeowners: Build your home maintenance tool-kit

Deck maintenance tips & tools: Don’t risk a collapse!

Reprinted from Renaissance Alliance – no usage without permission.

Drunk Driving Simulator Show the Danger of Impaired Driving

drunk-driving-suit-largeHow impaired are you when driving under the influence? Ford’s Driving Skills For Life Program tested that theory out on teens using a drunk driving simulator suit that they developed to mimic the feeling and effects of inebriation. With weight pads, sound and goggles, they simulated the effects of drunkenness and had teens try driving while impaired.

“To impair coordination and balance, teens have a set of weights strapped to their body in different locations. For instance, one might be on the left ankle while others weight their shoulders and wrists down.

For a slower physical reaction time, trainers attach restrictive braces to both elbows and knees. Lastly and, perhaps, most challenging, the young participants don muffling headphones and vision-distorting goggles.”

This is a simulation, but the problem is real. While alcohol-related driving deaths have trended down since the 1990s, alcohol is still a factor in nearly one-third (31%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.

Every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes — that’s one person every 50 minutes. These deaths have fallen by a third in the last three decades; however, drunk-driving crashes claim more than 10,000 lives per year.  – NHTSA

Your BAC (Blood Alcohol Count) is a measure of the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream. You can learn about your BAC and how to get a rough calculation of your BAC, and what level of drinking will lead to impairment for your weight/sex. There are also a variety of BAC gauging apps that you can get for your phone. Learn more about the effects: The 6 stages of getting drunk.

It’s very important to know your state laws and BAC limits: Find your state’s drunk driving laws

Most states have administrative license suspension (ALS) on the first offense. ALS allows law enforcement to confiscate a driver’s license for a period of time if he fails a chemical test.

DUI and Insurance

If you have a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) license suspension or a DUI-related accident, it will be reflected in your state driving record and you should expect it to have an impact on your insurance. As a “high risk driver,” your insurance company could cancel your policy or decide to drop you when it is up for renewal. At the very least, expect limited options and a huge hike in the price you pay to secure coverage. In some states, an insurance company may deny coverage of personal injuries or property damage related to a DUI-related accident.

A DUI conviction may also have a big effect on Life Insurance rates. Some companies may decline coverage entirely for a number of years after a conviction.

Reprinted from Renaissance Alliance – no usage without permission.

Driving safety tips for expectant mothers

During pregnancy, expectant mothers often have questions about the best way to stay safe while driving. Common questions include whether seat belts are safe, how to best position the steering wheel, and if airbags are safe or if they should be disabled. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to the rescue – they answer these and other questions in a downloadable quick guide: If You’re Pregnant: Seat Belt Recommendations for Drivers and Passengers

We’ve excerpted a few of the NHTSA graphics and compiled bullet points below.


  • Always wear a lap and shoulder belt when driving. It’s also important to wear seat belts if you are a passenger. AAA says that seat belts reduce traffic fatalities of front-seat passengers by 45%.
  • Put the belt below – not across – your belly. It should be snug across your hips and pelvic bones. Seat belt straps should never go directly across your stomach.
  • Don’t put the shoulder belt under your arm or behind your back – not only does wearing the shoulder belt help restrain you and prevent injuries in a collision, wearing it incorrectly could cause injuries in a collision.
  • Tighten belts to remove any slack. They should lie flat and fit snugly.

infographi showing the right way for pregnant women to wear a car seat belt. (Tips text in article)


  • Airbags are designed to work with seat belts, not replace them.
  • Don’t disable airbags. Air bags reduce the risk of injury for expectant mothers and don’t increase the risk of injury for unborn babies.

Steering wheel

  • Keep at least 10-12 inches of distance between you and the steering wheel.
  • As your belly grows, you may need to adjust the seat to sit as far back as you can while still reaching the pedals.
  • If the car has a tilt steering wheel, angle it toward your breastbone, not your head or your belly.
  • Avoid letting your belly touch the steering wheel.

AAA has a good related reference article: Car Safety Tips for Expecting and New Parents. In addition to tips for expectant mothers, they offer info for new parents on topics of shopping for a car seat, types of car seats, car seat installation, and registering your car seat to be notified of any recalls.


Reprinted from Renaissance Alliance – no usage without permission.

Spanish Speaking Insurance Agent Worcester, MA

There are many Spanish speaking people in the Worcester, Mass area.

We want our Spanish speaking neighbors to all know we speak Spanish here at Universal Insurance Agency.

We always make sure you get credit for your driving experience in your country of origin. If your date first licensed was in another country we will work to get you the credit.

We have many Spanish speaking Business Insurance customers that come to us for their Workers Comp Insurance and their General Liability Insurance. Many are hard working small business owners that look to us to help them with the right coverage.

They also have trucks and cars they use in their businesses.We have many fine companies like Progressive and Pilgrim for Business Auto policies.

We have a large Spanish speaking population here in Worcester and surrounding towns. Many are taking advantage of the American Dream and we commend these hardworking people. Call us for your Business and Personal Insurance needs.

Hispanic or Latino and racehispanic population graph

So as you see it is a great need here in Worcester to serve the Spanish speaking population for their car, home and business insurance.

Can I Buy A Car Or Insurance With My Learner’s Permit?

We thought this was a great question to share.

Can I buy car insurance with my learner’s permit? Because I want to buy a car  and I haven’t got my driver license yet.

ANSWER: You can own and insure a car in Mass but you must have a person to List besides yourself as a licensed Mass Driver. Not all companies will allow but we have one that will allow this.

Let me know if you want a quote.

I will need the person’s license number  who you will list as the licensed driver. You will notice once you inform the Insurance Agency or Company that you have obtained a Driver’s License the insurance premium will go up. This is because you are not a listed driver on the policy until you get your license. The experienced person you listed as the licensed driver was rated but now you as the new driver will be rated.

It is important to follow the rules:

  • The holder of a Learner’s Permit may operate a motor vehicle upon any way when accompanied by an operator duly licensed by his state of residence, is 21 years of age or over, who has had at least one year of driving experience and who is occupying a seat beside the driver.
  • A Permit holder who is under the age of 18 may not operate a motor vehicle between the hours of 12:00 a.m. (midnight) and 5:00 a.m. unless accompanied by his parent or legal guardian, who must be a licensed operator with at least one year of driving experience and whose license or right to operate is not revoked or suspended.
  • The holder of a Learner’s Permit may not operate in another state if it is in violation of that state’s law.
  • The holder of a motorcycle Learner’s Permit (Class M) may not carry passengers and may not operate after sunset or before sunrise.
  • The holder of a Learner’s Permit must be in physical possession of the Permit when operating a motor vehicle

5 Things To Teach Your Teen About Auto Insurance And Life

How can a parent help their teen realize being responsible can save boatloads of money especially in Auto Insurance? This bit of advice can set your child up for a successful start to accumulating money for good things like a down payment on a home instead of high cost insurance due to mistakes made by youthful indiscretion. At the end of this article is a link to visually show your child the difference over a lifetime including Mortgages, Car Loans and Credit Cards.

This does not even include the effect of higher Insurance cost on Home and Auto. What they need to see is without the insurance cost even in the calculation that Excellent credit was $406,367 over a life span and bad credit was $788,875. Add another $50,000 at least to difference in Insurance over a lifetime I would guess.

proverbs 10:1 image

1. Live by commitments, not by feelings.

Let’s look at a sober minded parentally coached new driver that committed to some agreements for the privilege of driving either a car their parent owns thus insures or maybe just helps pay for. He or she takes advice compared to one that knows it all and thinks they can speed, text while driving and break the rules.
Help your teen know what they do can change your life as a parent that is legally responsible in many ways for their actions.

A policy in Worcester, Mass for a driver with less than 3 years but has 5 points will cost an easy $5000 to $6000 a year until those points drop and the driver goes over 3 years and then 6 years with many companies.

2. Seeking wisdom—skill in everyday living. Knowing how to make good decisions.

If that young person lets their insurance lapse that is a black mark because the Insurance carriers see that as irresponsible thus they think this person is more likely to get in an accident, maybe be fraudulent or act in other foolish ways.
It would be a great help to help your young adult know they are judged on the way they handle their lives. This is from credit, to how they drive, to their grades. A good student is given credit on their policy if under 6 years driving by most companies either on their parents policy or their own.

3. Choices are yours to make and results are yours to experience.

a cartoon of a man cutting a branch

Do you see how irresponsibility makes it a tougher go? EVERYTHING costs more!
Your car loan, your mortgage, your insurance.

The young adult that pay attention, resists speeding, has the patience to stop at stop signs etc[ will see their insurance rates head down more and more over the years. On the other hand the example of the person that keeps getting tickets, accidents and cancellation notices is just going to continue to pay through the nose. They are proving themselves to be less responsible.

4. Keep your promises.

Before handing over the keys talk about some agreements. Talk about how peer pressure is really just a test of your backbone and resolve. When family identity is strong peer pressure is weak. Remember …teenagers do not rebel against authority they rebel against a lack of relationship.

5. Character is the basis of all leadership.

Good driving habits, obeying laws that are there for the safety of all,
paying your bills and handling money responsibly shows character.
A leader will carry the knowledge that good decisions are better for his or
her life. Giving in to any peer that pressures you to do anything that could
result in paying for years to come or your whole life is where the leader is
separated from the follower. See the Lifetime Cost To Debt Tool.