Raffles, Bingo and Tag Sales..Oh My!

Posted August 20, 2010 by Ross Insurance
Categories: Community Events, Miscellaneous

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Looking for a fun and cheap place to beat the heat this summer and enjoy delicious and affordable Polish-American cuisine? Mater Dolorosa Parish located on 67 ST. Kolbe Drive in Holyoke MA is hosting their annual summer festival August 21st and 22nd of 2010. Every year this parish puts together a festival and raises money to give back to the parish through creative games of chance, a giant tag sale, raffles with $1,000 cash prize, a super 50/50 raffle and entertainment for all ages. From growing up in the Holyoke area, many employees from our office have attended and continue to return with raving reviews of the event. The large tag sale extends all around the parish hall and offers something for everyone. The children’s games are perfect for keeping their attention, and cost less than a dollar to participate. A continuing Bingo game is what draws in most visitors, but it’s the Polish-American dishes that keep the visitors lingering around for hours with their traditional golumbke’s, pierogies and kielbasa. American food is offered as well for those favoring hot dogs and hamburgers. Having gone to this event on more than several occasions, we assure you that this festival is a one of a kind experience with inexpensive costs. Volunteers from the parish help to run the events and sales, and offer a warm welcome to all that pass through the doors. The event will take place this year from 11am-7pm and there is plenty of parking for visitors. This establishment is suitable for all ages, handicap accessible and even air conditioned. Come and try your chances at the Mater Dolorosa Parish and enjoy some good fun for a great cause!

Are You Prepared For A Hurricane?

Posted August 19, 2010 by Ross Insurance
Categories: Flood Insurance, Homeowner's Insurance, Miscellaneous, Outdoor Activities

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With the summer season making its way out there more people are looking forward to the fall season, however one season that most do not think of is hurricane season and it is currently in its peak. Hurricane Season is a period of time where tropical cyclones are likely to form in the Atlantic Ocean and usually begins June 1st and will continue on to November 30th. These dates signify a history of when tropical cyclones, or hurricanes, were more likely to occur. With the 5th Anniversary of the Hurricane Katrina approaching it is important to prepare in the event of a hurricane before it approaches.  Hurricane Katrina which occurred August 23 of 2005, was the costliest natural disaster in the history of the United States and one of five deadliest. Forecasts are predicting that 2010 could be a big year for hurricanes and reminding everyone to keep a close watch on the weather. Hurricanes usually only affect the coasts, which is why areas such as Haiti and U.S. Coasts including New Orleans and Texas should be especially watchful of what this years hurricane season may consist of. There are however a few ways to protect yourself this year.

Get all important papers or pictures in order and secure them in water resistant bags. Identification cards and papers are hard to replace and are extremely important in a time of need so get together all diplomas, permits, social security cards, deeds, titles and any other important information.

Take pictures and videos of your property– This will help you later when dealing with your insurance and what claims for damage you may need to file.

Try and stay with an out of town relative. If you or someone you know is living in a hurricane zone, find another place to stay until the storm passes over. It’s important to consider safety at all times and if staying with a relative is not an option consider booking a room at a hotel.

Create a hurricane kit– Include extra cash, generator, flash lights, battery operated radio, bottles of water, toilet paper, non perishable foods like crackers or canned goods, candles and any over the counter medications that you need. Make sure that there are more than enough supplies when packing so that nobody in your family has to go without in this time of need.

Those who were living in New Orleans when the levee broke and did not have flood insurance, were responsible for their own replacement costs and were not insured for flood damages. This is why purchasing flood insurance can ultimately save you from having to deal with the costs of repairing your home due to flood damages. Contact our agents or visit our Virtual Insurance Office and learn more about how you can ensure that your property is prepared for a hurricane.

Come One Come All To MA Tax-Free Weekend!

Posted August 13, 2010 by Ross Insurance
Categories: Community Events, Homeowner's Insurance, Miscellaneous, Outdoor Activities

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This weekend happens to be one of the most anticipated holiday’s that Massachusetts has to offer, it is Tax-Free Weekend! Thanks to Governor Deval Patrick, who has signed the bill deeming this weekend, August 14th – 15th 2010 tax free! This means that when purchasing any items costing $2,500 or less, you will not have to pay the 6.25% sales tax. It’s a great time to make those bigger purchases that you may have been holding off on. Have your eye on a new 3D television? Or has your washer and dryer completely failed you and your in the market for a new one? Feel that extra push into the buying direction knowing that you will benefit from the Tax-Free weekend. Also, consider keeping your insurance agent in the know with whatever luxury purchases you will be making. In order to get the broadest coverage for your items, we suggest that you schedule them onto your homeowner policy. With original receipt or an appraisal of your items, you can schedule items onto your policy and feel confident in knowing that if you lose your items due to theft, you will be covered in full. Scheduling items will also extend your coverage beyond the basic homeowner policy for things like the stones falling out of your ring, or if you lose your jewelry. Now is the perfect opportunity to look for those items this weekend, and if nothing else feel proud that living in MA has its benefits, at least once a year!

Get The Lunch Boxes Ready, School Is Almost In Session!

Posted August 11, 2010 by Ross Insurance
Categories: Community Events, Miscellaneous

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The time has come where those three words all children dread fill up every shop window, back to school. It’s a time when children get their last summer hoorah’s in and pick out their new clothes for the beginning of yet another year of school. It’s also a time when the heat begins to die down and the crisp breeze of fall passes through where stale hot air once resided. Getting your child ready for their trip to the classroom means getting some essentials. Here are a few things that will help when switching out of your summer gears and into school mode:

  • Stationary–  Some schools offer paper and pencils, but to ensure that your child is prepared for whatever their class might need, a good old fashioned notebook with an array of writing tools will be sure to help jumpstart their learning experience. A binder to keep folders and loose leaf paper will help to keep them organized, and letting them pick out the color or design offers them the ability to create something of their own.
  • Backpacks- Book bags are a school staple and are essential in helping your child carry around their books and bagged lunches. Some newer models have wheels on the bottom so the heavy load of reading materials don’t weigh down your youngster.
  • School Clothes/School uniforms- Not all schools require that your student wears a uniform but if your child does attend a school where they need a uniform, be sure to buy these materials before school actually starts. Checking thrift stores and consignment shops may help you to find solid color polo shirts and dress pants or skirts for your child. When buying your child back to school clothes, keep your eye on the price. Most retail stores run good bargains in the summer for school clothes, and even better bargains for summer clothes. Remember that the beginning months of the school year can still be hot, so appropriate lengths and cuts are things to consider when shopping in the markdown bin for summer clothes that your child will still get wear out of.
  • Lunch boxes– Investing in a lunch box will help cut down the cost of brown bagging lunches and letting your child choose their lunch box lets them feel involved, and dare we say excited about the new school year! Using a brown bag is still not a bad option to take, and depending on the age of your child, jazzing these bags up with stickers or drawings can get the same effect.

Public and Private schools still have a few weeks left until they begin, so take these last few summer opportunities to do something with your children. Pretty soon their schedules will be filled with practices and homework, so try getting one last family fun activity in before the school year starts.

    Social Media: Friend or Foe?

    Posted August 6, 2010 by Ross Insurance
    Categories: Community Events, Miscellaneous

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    The time has come that more people are incorporating social media into their daily lives. Whether it’s a quick “tweet” here or there, or uploading your vacation photos on Facebook, social media networks are rapidly expanding with new users. As you may have noticed, Ross Insurance has also decided to jump on the social media train and see where broadening our social horizons can take us :). However, there are certain scenarios that all social media users should be aware of before they release too much information over the internet. For example, if you were to post that they were looking forward to going on vacation this weekend at Hampton Beach, NH and one of your Facebook friends commented “Have Fun”, all of their Facebook friends would then see that you were going away on vacation.You can control which friends that you have, but you cannot control the extended friends of your current Facebook friends, which is where trouble can start to boil. This means that any one who saw your Facebook status about going away for the weekend, can assume that your home will be unattended, and through the use of search engines they could use your Facebook display name to find your home address. You can easily change your privacy settings to that when you make a post you can control who gets a chance to see it. This way you can limit it to friends only, you can choose “all with the exception of”, or keep it private just for yourself to view.

    What people are also starting to find out is that material that they are posting on social networks, are affecting their ability to get a job. For instance, say that your child in college has attended a few parties and their friends decide to tag your child in a couple of photos that they put online ( tagging is just a way of matching a face in the picture to a user of Facebook). Someone that your child may not know could comment something that may not be appropriate for all audiences. Your child later goes to apply for a new office job, and after the business receives your child’s application, they might search them out on Facebook or Myspace to see what type of conversations, pictures or videos they have that may represent what type of person that your child is. Depending on the privacy setting that your child has created, this potential business has access to content that could jeopardize your child’s future at this establishment. These types of things are happening more frequently and can be prevented with just a few tweaks in your privacy settings for any social media network. It is very important to monitor what you are posting or revealing yourself through social media because it is a representation of who you are and what you are doing. Talking about privacy settings with your family and friends is recommended for all social media networks. If you are unfamiliar with how to set privacy settings, check here for 10 privacy tips that all Facebook users should know. We think that social media is a great way to connect with anyone, but we do advise that you understand the risks involved with content you release.

    WARNING: Your Computer May Be At Risk

    Posted August 5, 2010 by Ross Insurance
    Categories: Miscellaneous

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    When it comes to protecting yourself and the ones that you care about you take whatever measures are necessary to ensure safety. Setting the alarm on your house when you leave and locking the doors are often times a part of any daily routine. What people are discovering however is that they are overlooking an identity theft hot spot that can be accessed even thousands of miles away from your home, home computer systems. It might not sound very threatening, but how many of you opt to save passwords on your home computer to allow you to login with ease? What about storing your personal banking information on your hard drive in case your wallet or purse was stolen? How many of you are big “online shoppers” and save your credit card information through a website so that you don’t have to reach for your wallet each time you want to make a purchase? It is human nature to try and make things simple but the problem being raised is that someone can break into your computer even millions of miles away. If you are unfamiliar with the technique, it is called computer hacking and it is growing by the second. Computer savvy users are learning ways around security questions and login information to access the information that you have stored in your computer, your email and any sites that you may have visited that still hold your credit card information. There are ways around someone accessing your information directly through your computer such as implementing a firewall, installing anti virus software, keeping your operating systems up to date and remembering not to save any login information. Before saving any information on your computer, think about if someone were to steal your computer how easy it would be to access your personal information.

    Ross Insurance Agency Video

    Posted July 30, 2010 by Ross Insurance
    Categories: Community Events, Miscellaneous

    Ross Insurance has been around since 1925, and as the times are changing we are finding ourselves adapting to the environment around us. We realize that people often have a stereotype of insurance agents being straight laced and all business. We’d like to think that we are doing a great job breaking those stereo types as we move forward with new technology while still holding true to our tradition. We offer coverage for every need, while giving our clients convenient and reliable service. Why not let our video do the talking for us. Take a look at where we’ve come from to better understand where we can take you via Ross Insurance Agency.