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Inflation In Insurance

Consumers are experiencing increased rates on most of the goods and services they purchase, and the
insurance industry has been in line with this trend as well. With higher costs to repair vehicles and
homes, there is no wonder why many companies are raising their rates. That’s why our customers love
that we shop their policies around for them! Now more than ever, it’s important to compare different
companies, try bundling your different policies, and checking that you’re getting every discount you’re
eligible for! At each renewal, our office automatically shops around your car insurance to see if any of
our other companies can offer you a better price for the same coverage! We will also check on your
discounts or packaging eligibility and answer any questions you may have on your coverage options. Let
us show you how valuable working with a broker can be… it might just mean more money in your
pocket and less calls on your to-do list!

Insurance Needs in the Spring

Spring has finally sprung! Does the change in season change your insurance needs? We’re here to help. We handle insurance for all your nice weather activities:

  • Motorcycle
  • Boat
  • RV

Give us a call today for a free quote to cover all your insurance needs.
This way you can get out there and adventure with a peace of mind!
Call 516-377-0100 or stop by our local office in the heart of Baldwin.

Are You Paying Too Much in Insurance Each Month Without Even Realizing It?

Homeowners insurance is a big expense in New York, but some people don’t know how much their policy costs. The majority of new owners have their homeowner insurance escrowed through their mortgage, meaning part of your monthly mortgage payment goes toward an escrow account to pay insurance and taxes on your behalf. It’s simple to overlook the true cost of insurance when it’s rolled into your monthly payment and the bank is writing the check for you each year — but it also means that shopping for your home insurance can lower your monthly mortgage payment!

It’s important to not only get the best value, but the right coverage as well — your home is one of your biggest assets. Let us help you save while protecting what matters most.

We pride ourselves on having competitive rates & trusted service for over 24 years!

Safe Winter Driving Tips

Presented by Travelers Insurance Company

Prepare for the hazards of winter, the time of year when auto accident claims increase in frequency. Snow storms and icy conditions present a particular set of driving hazards. Below are just a few of our recommendations to avoid an accident during the cold winter months:

Be prepared before a storm hits: 

  • Have a mechanic check your car’s battery, brakes, fluid levels (antifreeze, windshield washer fluid and oil), as well as the heating and exhaust systems to ensure that your car is in good, safe working condition. 
  • Try to keep your gas tank full during the winter months. Don’t allow the gas to go below half a tank. Not only will this prevent damage from freezing, you’ll avoid running out of gas if you’re stuck in a traffic jam during the dead of winter. 
  • Install snow tires or all-weather radials with adequate treads. 
  • Prepare for an emergency. Keep blankets, flares, a sack of sand for traction, shovel, windshield scraper and brush, tool kit, towrope, booster cables and a flashlight with extra batteries in your trunk. You should also stock your car with material for survival, such as waterproof matches to melt snow for drinking water, a first aid kit, dry clothing and a brightly colored cloth (to tie to the antenna). 

When driving under adverse winter conditions: 

  • Take care pulling out of streets blocked by mountains of snow. It’s often difficult to see who or what is coming. 
  • Be aware of joggers on the street. Often sidewalks are impassable and die-hard joggers venture onto the street for a clearer path. Unfortunately, they may not see icy spots or other hazards hidden below the slush. 
  • When waiting to make a left-hand turn, keep wheels pointed straight ahead.  If wheels are turned to the left in anticipation of making the turn and you’re rear-ended, your car will be pushed into the path of oncoming traffic, which could result in a head-on collision. 
  • If your car does not have anti-lock brakes and you start skidding on the ice, try not to slam on your brakes. Gently pump your brakes to maintain better control and prevent your wheels from locking. 
  • If your car does have anti-lock brakes, slam on your brakes when skidding on the ice. Pumping your brakes prevents the anti-lock system from taking over. 

If you must travel during a severe storm:

  • Don’t travel alone. Notify someone of your estimated time of arrival as well as your primary and alternate travel routes. 
  • If stuck, stay in the car and wait for help. Run the engine and heater sparingly. Also make sure your exhaust pipe is clear of snow and ventilate your car so that carbon monoxide fumes won’t poison you.


We have many clients who have switched from big companies where they are just a policy number dialing into a call center and here’s a few of the top reasons we hear that they end up preferring a broker

We do the shopping for you! Insurance rates are constantly changing – many companies take at least one rate change annually and with so many large, reputable companies out there it makes sense for you to shop around for savings. However this is a very time consuming task – leading to endless call backs from pushy salespeople and possibly guessing at your current information for a true comparison. Here at Insurance Express, at each renewal we shop around your new rate automatically (no need to ask!) to see if we can switch you to another company we represent and save you money. That’s more money in your pocket without the leg work!!

We have a personal relationship with our clients—you’re not just a number here! At our family owned business, we enjoy getting to know our clients and that means that we you get personalized policy reviews and people that truly take care of monitoring your policy. Instead of just the generic mailing that companies are required to do, if there is an issue with your policy that could lead to increased rates or even your insurance canceling we will continue to contact you/work with you to get it resolved! We even send text reminders for overdue bills!

We are professionals with a lot of experience in the insurance industry. No need to panic or search the internet about your issue—we are here for every question, piece of advice, or concern that may arise. In today’s world of complex DMV requirements and ever-changing insurance, there are endless benefits to letting someone handle the details for you!


Most of us can’t get through the day without our cell phones so we’re expanding our insurance services to protect all the things you love.

Through the below link, you can get no deductible, no commitment insurance on your cell phone that’s typically much cheaper than what your phone provider is selling you.

You can bundle a bunch of your valuables or just create a policy for one item – the options are endless! Jewelry, instruments, electronics, and more are eligible – follow the URL below for a free quote!


Ever notice how your furnace seems most likely to break on the coldest day of the year? Your roof leaks just after a severe snowstorm? And just as you’re pulling out the down comforter to take cover from the night’s chill, your plumbing bursts? Some home systems are just more likely to break down during winter. Not only is this inconvenient because winter is the time you need them most, but they’re also more of a nuisance to repair during the coldest months of the year.

The good news is that this means a little pre-season prep can go a long way toward warding off winter woes. We’ve compiled a list of the home systems most likely to break during winter, as well as the best ways for homeowners to prepare their homes to avoid catastrophe.

Winter Strikes: Home Systems Most Likely to Break

With a little planning and preparation, you can avoid the most common winter home pitfalls.

1. Water and Drain Lines

A frozen pipe has the potential to wreak havoc on a house, particularly if you’re not at home when the damage occurs. Think about a burst pipe that floods your basement. Damage could include ruined carpets, soaked drywall, soggy furniture and even lost memories (in the form of damaged photos and home videos). If not caught immediately, sitting water could further increase your repair bills by creating a nasty mold problem.

Most likely to freeze are the water and sewage pipes in the uninsulated areas of your home—like the basement or attic—as well as those that run along an exterior wall. To protect those pipes from freezing, wrap them with foam or self-adhesive insulating tape, suggests Peter Duncanson, director of systems development at ServiceMaster Restore. It’s a matter of spending either $3 on a six-inch section of pipe insulation foam or thousands of dollars in water-related damage.

The pipes under the kitchen and bathroom cabinets are also at risk, since the closed cabinet doors create confined spaces that don’t allow air to circulate well. The solution: just leave your cabinet doors open if the air under them feels cold. This will allow warmer air from the room to circulate into your cabinets and around your pipes. Another tip to avoid freezing, said Duncanson, is to allow kitchen and bathroom faucets to run slowly. And, he adds, if you’re going out of town, don’t set your thermostat any lower than 55 degrees.

Outside your home, it’s often the hose bibs that freeze, which is fairly simple to prevent. Either install frost-proof hose bibs or take a few minutes to winterize them before cold weather hits.

“Once the temperature starts to drop, just remove your garden hose and turn off the water valve that feeds the hose bib,” said Justin Ake, home inspector with Helping Solutions in Altoona, Pennsylvania. Then, bleed any remaining water from the pipes, either by unscrewing the bleeder cap inside the house or by allowing any remaining water to flow through the outside faucet. “Then you can just leave it open until spring,” added Ake.

2. Furnace and Hot Water Heater

No one wants to wake up on the coldest morning of the year to find out they don’t have heat or hot water.

“Not only will you freeze, but your pipes will, too,” explains Duncanson. To avoid this, schedule a professional furnace and hot water heater check-up before the cold weather season begins. Pros run a battery of tests on your systems to identify any weak spots, so you can take care of them before emergency strikes. Why do this before you have any known issues? As temperatures cool down, the HVAC companies’ schedules heat up because winter is when furnaces are most likely to break.

Not only will you have a harder time getting a professional out to your house in the winter, but you’ll also likely have to pay more. Their time is most precious in the winter months, so that’s when these professionals often charge a hefty premium for an emergency call. The lesson? It can be far less expensive to plan ahead.

3. Propane Tank

Most propane providers suggest keeping your tank above 20 percent capacity at all times. If you heat your home with propane, make sure the tank is properly filled—not just because you could run out of propane when temperatures drop. Empty tanks can be penetrated by air and moisture, which often creates rust build-up inside the tank. This is hazardous because when rust mixes with propane, it decreases its odor making it more difficult to smell a dangerous leak. Also, if you run out of gas, the pilot lights on your appliances could go out. And an undetected propane leak in the house could create a fire or even an explosion when you relight the pilots.

Replacing a damaged propane tank—and rebuilding after a fire or explosion—can cost a pretty penny, but a few minutes of due diligence can save you thousands of bucks.

4. The Roof

When inclement weather strikes, large chunks of ice can form around the gutters and eaves of your home. This ice slowly builds up as it prevents more water from running into your gutter system. As a result, explains Ake, “ice dams” form under your shingles and can damage the sheathing.

One way to help prevent ice dams is to make sure your attic’s insulation is adequate and uniform. Say a part of your roof becomes warm enough to melt snow. If that water then flows down your roof’s slope and later encounters a cold patch, that water can turn back to ice. Now you have an ice dam.

“In severe cases, it can even make its way into the living space through the ceiling,” he warns. Of course, the more water that enters your home, the more damage you’ll have to contend with and the more expensive the repair.

When insulating the attic, Ake prefers cellulose which “works off the principle of density, so as it condenses with time it actually becomes a little bit more efficient.” As blown-in fiberglass, settles, meanwhile, it can lose some of its insulation value, making it less efficient.

If you neglect your insulation and end up with damage, you may have to wait until spring to call in the repair. Asphalt roofing shingles get brittle in sub-freezing temperatures, according to the Canadian Asphalt Shingles Manufacturers Association. Put too much pressure on them—like when a contractor walks on them while making a repair—and they can crack or break apart, causing more damage than if you’d held off and waited for milder days.

5. Gutters

Clean out your rain gutters before Old Man Winter comes to town. Leaves and debris left over from fall can cause rainwater to get stuck. When temperatures drop this trapped water freezes and can damage your gutter and roof. Then as the ice melts, it has an easier path to the interior of your home. If you’re unable to, a handyman can clean gutters for just a few hundred bucks when the weather is mild. That’s a small price to pay compared to the potential cost of structural damage to the siding or framing of your house.

Finally, ensure that your gutter rainspouts are directed away from your house. Otherwise water can accumulate under your house and cause foundation and mold problems. Both are expensive and cumbersome to fix.

6. Fireplace and Chimney

A wood burning fireplace adds ambiance and warmth during the coldest months of the year. If not properly maintained, however, it can also increase the chances of house fire. Over time the chimney flue can become clogged with debris or lined with creosote, either of which can cause smoke to build up and flood back into your home. Those conditions could even spark a chimney fire, which can quickly spread throughout your home. Avoid an expensive catastrophe by burning a $15 chimney log once a year to clear soot build-up and then having a pro thoroughly sweep the cavity once every few years.

7. Swimming Pool

If you have an in-ground swimming pool, a little preventative work at the end of swimming season can help you avoid hundreds to thousands of dollars in unneeded repairs. For example, if you keep the water level too high tiles often crack, which can cost $500 or more to repair, said Michael Kern of MGK Pool Service in Lowell, Massachusetts.

And tiles may be the least of your worries. “Lower the water line too much and the pool cover—which can easily cost $2,000—can rip and fall in,” Kern warns. “I’ve even seen the cover fall in and tear the pool liner, which then drained the whole pool. The bottom line was over $10,000 in damages.”

Also ensure that you properly winterize your pool’s pump and filter, which can cost thousands of dollars to repair if damaged. “Pool owners usually have no problem clearing the skimmer line, but few have the equipment or knowledge to properly blowout the main drain line,” added Kern.

In short, shelling out a couple hundred bucks to have a pro close your pool at the end of the season could save you a bundle when the weather turns cold.

When to Call in a Pro

If you’re not sure how to identify potential problems on your own, you don’t have to go at it alone. You can call in a professional to vet your home for you.

For a few hundred bucks, a plumber can check your home’s interior and exterior pipe lines to check for proper insulation and inspect sewer vents. For a more thorough analysis of your home’s systems, call in a risk management professional who, for a few thousand, can perform an in depth inspection of your home’s internal and external systems to identify any potential problems.

When it comes to laying your home’s winter groundwork, that old Ben Franklin adage is worth remembering— an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure. That’s true whether you DIY or outsource your prep. Even the little things, like making sure you have sand, salt, flashlights, and snow shovels readily available, can be the difference between silently suffering and weathering the storm.

Bottom line? Putting in a little upfront time and effort can save you a whole lot of money—and hassle!—later, when Old Man Winter blows into town.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to perform a check on your homeowner’s insurance. No one wants to wait until after their home has suffered damage to find out they’re improperly covered for mold or water back-ups.