Insurance Blog
Wednesday, 31 July 2019 19:49

Grilling Safety Tips

You may be the kind of person who fires up the grill all year long at tailgating parties, or maybe you wait for a warm summer day and a backyard full of friends before you put on your apron. Either way, grilling can be one of life’s simple pleasures.

Unfortunately, where there is fun there is also the potential for safety issues. For example, did you know that leaving the grill unattended, not cleaning grease or fat build up properly, or placing the grill too close to combustible siding can cause injuries, fires, and property damage?

 

Charcoal or Gas?

Nearly 9,000 home fires a year involve grills, according to a National Fire Protection Association report. Of all the home fires involving grills, gas-fueled grills accounted for four out of five fires, while 16% involved charcoal or other solid-fueled grills.¹ Gas and charcoal grills each have ardent advocates, who praise the convenience of gas or the flavor of charcoal. Whichever your preferred grilling method, follow these important safety considerations.

You’ve decided it's time to replace your outdoor deck and you’re ready to take it on as a DIY project, or you’ve decided to work with a licensed and bonded contractor for the heavy lifting. Before you start on such a critical project, it’s important to know that decking options have grown over the last several years, bringing new choices in composite plastic and wood products from which to construct your deck.

While they often cost more than wood, composite materials offer the promise of greater durability and less maintenance. Wood is still the most common choice for deck material,1 but it doesn't last forever. Composites may be more durable, but they might lack the natural look and color you are looking for. 

In June 2016, CBS News reported that while wood products still have a command on the market, composites are growing in popularity. Synthetic wood commands about 16 percent of the $7 billion-per-year deck market and appears to be gaining some traction.2

From cost to maintenance and durability to look, there are many things to think about as you decide between composite or wood for your next deck. Here are some pros and cons to consider before you decide which product to buy.

Thursday, 27 June 2019 14:40

Massachusetts Cooling-Off Periods

Many consumers who call our hotline mistakenly believe that after they purchase a product they have a “cooling-off period” during which they can cancel the contract.  THIS IS NOT TRUE.  Massachusetts law only provides for cooling-off periods in extremely limited situations.

1. Door-to-door sales: if you make a purchase of goods or services for over $25 at a place other than a
merchant’s usual place of business, you have three days to cancel the contract.  This does not include purchases made completely online, by mail or phone.  It also does not apply to sales for emergency home repairs, or for real estate, insurance or securities.

To cancel the contract, you must notify the seller in writing no later than midnight of the third business day after you signed the contract.  The seller must return your payment within ten business days after receipt of your cancellation notice.  You must allow the seller to pick up the goods at your house, or if the seller requests and you agree, you may ship them at the seller’s expense and risk.

2. Health club contracts: you also have three business days to cancel a health club contract no matter where it was signed.  Health spas, sports clubs, weight control centers, and martial arts schools are all considered health clubs.

The health club must include a notice of your right to cancel in the written contract.  Deliver or mail your written notice to the club within three business days of signing the contract.  The club must refund your money within 15 business days of receiving your letter.

3. Time shares: you have three days to cancel a contract for a time share.

Send a notice of cancellation to the seller no later than three business days after signing the contract.  If you paid by check, a refund must be made immediately, as long as the check was not yet deposited into the seller’s account.  If the check has been deposited, it must be refunded within seven days.  If you paid by credit card, a credit must be made to your account immediately.

4. Credit repair organizations: you may cancel the contract until midnight of the third business day after signing it.  Your payment must be returned within ten days of the organization receiving your cancellation notice.

To be sure the seller received your cancellation notice we suggest you send the notice by certified mail.  And remember, if you buy a good at the retailer’s store or on the internet there is no cooling-off period.

 

For more information on your shopping rights, click here.


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