Holiday fun – cats, dogs, sugar plum fairies & egg nog


Since it’s the holiday season, we thought we’d bring you a few of our favorite seasonal clips. Best wishes to you and yours over the holiday – and be safe – be sure not to drive if you have any spiked egg nog!

Straight No Chaser – Who Spiked The Eggnog?

Cat Christmas Tree Disaster

Freshpet Holiday Feast – 13 Dogs and 1 Cat Eating with Human Hands

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy – Pentatonix

Holiday mishaps & how to avoid them


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Even the best laid plans can run into snags or unforeseen problems. That’s what insurance is all about for – having financial protection when we encounter one of life’s costly problems. The folks at NAIC have compiled a list of potential holiday mishaps – and what insurance policy would provide coverage. Take a quick look.

Of course, we hope you won’t have any problems. We’ve looked in our archives for some seasonal safety tips to help you minimize risk for common holiday problems.

Don’t lose money on prepaid debit cards!

Holiday alert: Be on guard for identity theft

Take these quizzes to see how safe you are online

Dangerous toy alert

Insurance tips to protect expensive electronic gifts

Burglary prevention when you are traveling

Hiding your valuables

Burglar Secrets: Expert advice on how to protect your home

Terrifying Carbon Monoxide Incidents Should Be a Reminder

Have you watered your Christmas tree today?

Candle and decoration safety

Holiday decorations: fire prevention; keeping kids & pets safe


Have a happy New Year: Plan to party safely

Survey: Most homeowners unaware of holiday liabilities

Remember, if you do suffer a loss, your local independent agent can help. Learn more about the benefits of working with your local independent insurance agent

Get the Santa Tracker App


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For more than 50 years, NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa’s flight. They deploy the latest technologies to track Santa, including radar, satellites SantaCams and jet fighters.

You can visit NORAD’s website to download the Santa app to track his progress via a countdown clock, explore Santa’s village in the North Pole, play games and more.

When asked about what route Santa travels, NORAD says, “Santa usually starts at the International Date Line in the Pacific Ocean and travels west. So, historically, Santa visits the South Pacific first, then New Zealand and Australia. After that, he shoots up to Japan, over to Asia, across to Africa, then onto Western Europe, Canada, the United States, Mexico and Central and South America. Keep in mind, Santa’s route can be affected by weather, so it’s really unpredictable. NORAD coordinates with Santa’s Elf Launch Staff to confirm his launch time, but from that point on, Santa calls the shots. We just track him!”

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Consumer groups issue dangerous toy alerts


Santa probably already knows these things, but if you have children on your holiday shopping list, you should take a few minutes to review the year’s most dangerous toys, as identified by two consumer watchdog groups.

Trouble in Toyland highlights 24 potentially hazardous toys and includes tips for keeping children safe from the toys you already own. They note that these toys are only examples and that other hazards may exist. This report is issued annually by US PIRG – see the full Trouble in Toyland report.

PIRG

10 toys to avoid this holiday season – The World Against Toys Causing Harm (W.A.T.C.H.) unveiled its 42nd annual list of nominees for the 10 Worst Toys of 2014 for this holiday season (also see video clip below)

Staying Safe – Tips & Resources
U.S. PIRG issues the following safety tips for avoiding dangerous toys

CPCS offer a good Toy Safety Tip Sheet – also in Spanish

Learn more about toy recalls and see recent product recalls

Sign up to get toy and other consumer product recalls

Research the chemical content of toys

Prior related post: Two common household items that are very dangerous to your kids

Distracted driving – 5 seconds is all it takes


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Distracted driving is a major factor in car crashes — many leading to fatalities. And distraction is a matter of seconds – if you are traveling at 55 mph, a mere five seconds will carry you the length of a football field. The public service video spot below shows just how quickly something can go terribly wrong.

Today, the emphasis is all on texting. While texting is indeed a major culprit (it’s involved in 18% of all distraction-related fatalities), there are many other forms of distraction.

Distraction falls in three main categories
Manual – taking your hands off the wheel
Visual – taking your eyes off the road
Cognitive – taking your mind off driving

Here’s a list of common distracting activities:

  • Texting
  • Using a cell phone or smartphone
  • Eating and drinking
  • Lighting a cigarette
  • Talking to passengers
  • Turning to kids in the backseat
  • Grooming
  • Reading, including maps
  • Reaching to the glove compartment
  • Using a navigation system
  • Watching a video
  • Pets that are unsecured in the car
  • Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player
  • External distractions

Learn more about driver distractions at distraction.gov.

Need an auto insurer? Check with one of our New England Independent Agents.

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