TV Tip Overs: Parents of small children take note!

Most parents go to great lengths to childproof their homes, but there’s one danger that is all too often overlooked. According to Safe Kids, “Every 3 weeks a child dies from a television tipping over. Over the past 10 years, a child visited the emergency room every 45 minutes because of a TV tipping over.”

This is an easy thing to fix once parents are alert to the danger. Check out this short video and the infographic below for more info on how to prevent this tragedy. There’s also more information tip-over prevention at Safe Kids.


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Supporting local philanthropy: Belle of the Ball

z-belle-of-the-ballAs part of our Caring Company initiative, we recognize local clients and Renaissance Alliance members who give back to the New England community. There’s no better embodiment of generosity of spirit than Anton’s Cleaners, currently embarked on their 11th Annual Belle of the Ball, which is collecting prom gowns now through April 5, 2015.

Belle of the Ball cleans and distributes prom dresses and provides related accessories at no charge to high school junior and senior girls who could not otherwise afford to attend their school’s prom. Unlike other prom gown collection drives, this program culminates with a day-long boutique where deserving girls are invited for a day of personal shopping and pampering. The program has grown to hosting more than 400 young ladies for an indulgent day of prom “shopping,” beauty tips, and prizes.

Here are places that you can donate a dress, along with other ways you can support Belle of the Ball.

Behind the scenes: the film industry is risky business

Insuring FilmsWhen the Academy Awards take place this weekend, it’s unlikely that any of the winning actors or producers will be thanking their insurers from the podium – yet insurance is a vital behind-the-scenes component in the business of making successful films. It’s one of the key factors in ensuring that “the show must go on.”

At a film industry event last year, a Lloyds’ panel spoke about insuring film and television productions, noting that the industry requires insurance to protect against production delays, damaged equipment, accidents and natural disasters, to name a few common risks. Lloyds’ panelists identified the biggest risk:

“The majority of claims come from cast or crew non-appearance, according to Elliot. The financial cost of losing a lead actor or director can be enormous. Elliot cites the case of a film production in Europe where the director suffered an illness during the production and post-production phases resulting in an insurance claim of around $2.3m.”

At Fireman’s Fund Insurance 150-year mark, Richard Verrier of the Los Angeles Times looked at the insurer’s century of work in the film industry, and how the company helped keep the cameras rolling.

“Fireman’s Fund covers about 80% to 85% of the $200 million or more in policies Hollywood spends each year to insure movies and TV shows. Premiums range from 1% to 4% of a movie’s budget, meaning that a $200-million movie may spend at least $2 million on insurance coverage.”

The company said that in 2012, the average claim paid to a film or TV producer in 2012 was $60,651, But some were substantially more:

“When Audrey Hepburn fell from a horse while making “The Unforgiven,” her resulting back injury delayed filming of the 1960 John Houston movie. Fireman’s Fund paid more than $240,000 to cover the losses.

“Spartacus” was more costly for the insurer, which paid $245,000 for delays caused by an emergency operation for actress Jean Simmons, $53,000 for star Kirk Douglas’ viral infection and $335,000 for co-star Tony Curtis’ severed Achilles tendon.

But its most expensive claim was for “Wagons East.” Fireman’s Fund paid about $15 million when star John Candy died in 1994 during production in Durango, Mexico.

The insurer paid a $7-million claim after Patrick Swayze fell off a horse and broke his legs during filming of the 1998 crime movie “Letters From a Killer,” Diaz said.”

Enjoy the Academy Awards this weekend. Insurance nerds who miss the recognition of the behind-the-scenes role their industry plays might enjoy some of these insurance related films:

Winter fire safety: a few quick reminders

It’s peak season for home fires. While cooking is the leading cause of home fires year round, heating-related fires are a close second during the winter months – think space heaters, wood stoves and fireplaces. Use of inappropriate and unsafe materials during power outages can also lead to winter fires – relying on candles for lights, using a gas range for heat or a portable grill for cooking. The latter can also result in carbon monoxide poisoning, as can running a generator in or too close to the home.

Here are some short videos from FEMA that offer quick reminders about fire safety.

And with all this snow, don’t forget to dig out your nearest fire hydrant – a mere few minutes can make the difference when it comes to fire.

Warm thoughts for a chilly Valentine’s Day


With Valentine’s Day looming, we’re definitely in need of some hugs here in New England — for the warmth if nothing else! It’s been a tough few weeks and if the weather reports are true, it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

Hard to remember, but New England is famous for more than just snow. One of our famous creations is distributed in the millions at this time of the year: the ever popular candy conversation hearts were invented in Massachusetts at the Necco factory, where they are still being produced today. But there’s one modern twist: they’ve added a few new conversation phrases for 2015:

The five other new conversation hearts for 2015 are: “BFF,” “TE AMO,” which is “I love you” in Spanish, “JE T’AIME,” which is “I love you” in French, a picture of a smiley face, and a picture of a handlebar mustache.

Learn more about the The History of the Conversation Heart. And you can even make your own personal jpg version to use on your blog or website at ACME Heart Maker. Here’s ours:


Here are a few cute Valentine clips to get you in a heartfelt spirit. Thanks to one of our favorite sites, Neatorma, for the links