Back-to-School Insurance Checklist

As the back-to-school season approaches, it’s not just school supplies and textbooks that you need to prepare. Ensuring your family’s safety and security should also be a top priority. From auto insurance to cybersecurity protection, safeguarding your family, home, and assets with the right insurance coverage is essential for a worry-free school year.

Auto Insurance

Ensure your child’s well-being and financial stability for the new school year. Enroll them in a safe driving course and thoroughly assess your auto insurance for complete coverage. Modify policies for unused vehicles and explore comprehensive collision coverage for college-bound drivers. By taking these proactive measures, you can provide essential protection and peace of mind while they focus on their education and new experiences ahead.

Cybersecurity Insurance

Investing in identity theft protection is a prudent decision in this age of technology and prevalent online platforms. Look for plans offering comprehensive features such as credit monitoring, fraud alerts, and assistance in identity theft. By taking these precautionary steps, you can safeguard your personal information and mitigate the risks associated with identity theft, ensuring a safer digital experience.

Health Insurance

Safeguard your family’s well-being and enjoy peace of mind by securing the right health insurance coverage, especially if your child is heading off to college. Ensure they have a comprehensive plan that extends its protection to wherever they are studying, protecting their health and safety regardless of the distance. Taking this essential step will provide you with the confidence that your loved ones are adequately cared for, even when they are away from home pursuing their educational journey.

Home/Renters Insurance

Ensure your home/renter’s insurance covers laptops, tablets, and valuables adequately by reviewing and increasing limits as needed. Keep a documented inventory for seamless claims processing. College students should strongly consider renters insurance for off-campus living, while also taking security precautions such as locking their rooms and leaving high-value items at home. These measures will protect your family’s belongings and provide peace of mind during the college years.

Liability Insurance

If your child is living in a rental property or off-campus, it’s highly advisable to secure renter’s insurance that includes liability coverage. This essential coverage will protect them in the event of accidents or damages to the property they are renting, offering valuable peace of mind and financial security during their living arrangements.

Smooth Sailing: 10 Essential Tips for Safe Boating with Dogs

27 Jul 2023 Articles

Warm weather calls for enjoyable boating adventures with your whole family, furry members included. Prioritizing everyone’s safety is paramount for a fun-filled and worry-free experience. Here are 10 essential water safety tips to keep in mind when boating with your dogs:

1.  Swim Training

Not all dogs are natural swimmers, so acclimate them gradually to water in a controlled environment like a baby pool. Encourage them with floating toys, but never force them to swim if they seem uncomfortable.

2.  Familiarize Your Dog with the Boat

Before setting sail, take your dog on a tour of the boat to help them get accustomed to their surroundings.

3.  Provide a Shady Sanctuary

Secure a crate in a shady spot on the boat where your dog can take breaks from the sun or seek shelter during rough waters. Remember that sunstroke can happen quickly, so keep your pet cool and safe.

4.  Plan for Frequent Pit Stops

Allow your dog to relieve themselves during the trip, and designate an area on the boat with puppy pads or familiar material for bathroom breaks.

5.  Pack Cleaning Supplies

Just like humans, dogs can get seasick. Be prepared with cleaning materials to ensure a comfortable journey for your pet.

6. Carry Pet Identification and Records

Bring pictures of you with your dog and a copy of their vaccination records for any destination requirements.

7. Bring Essential Supplies

Pack food, treats, fresh water, and extra collars and leashes. Avoid letting them drink from natural bodies of water, as it may contain harmful elements.

8. Use Pet Sunscreen

Protect dogs with light-colored coats or noses from the sun’s rays using FDA-compliant pet sunscreen.

9. Bathe Your Pet After Water Activities

Check for any hidden pests in your dog’s fur after a day in the water.

10.  Invest in a Canine Flotation Device (CFD)

Even if your dog is a good swimmer, a CFD can provide extra support and safety. Look for bright colors, a snug fit, handles, D-rings, and quality materials when choosing a CFD.

Additional Tips to Remember

Ensure a safe boating experience with your furry friends: carry a pet first aid kit, use dog-friendly boat ramps, watch for water intoxication, and travel with a friend for added safety. Consider insuring your boat for pet injury coverage in select states. Create cherished memories on the water with your pets!

Navigating Rising Insurance Rates

Have you noticed a fluctuation in your insurance rates, despite making any policy changes? These changes can occur due to labor costs, economic changes, shifting weather patterns, and other external factors. Discover why your insurance rates have changed and how to save on your Premiums.

Why do Insurance Rates Rise?

Policy Changes

Reporting increases in your home’s value or adjusting policy limits, can lead to higher premiums as it makes your home more expensive to insure, increasing your coverage responsibility.


Material Costs

The cost of building supplies can increase due to supply chain problems, inflation, or other economic factors, resulting in higher insurance costs when repairing or restoring your home or vehicle after a loss.


Labor Costs

As skilled laborers raise their rates, the cost of repairs also rises, contributing to the overall increase in insurance premiums.

Severe Accidents

Rising accident rates drive insurance premiums higher, regardless of your personal driving record. Living in areas with high accident rates also impacts premiums.



Relocating to areas with higher accident rates or increased traffic can influence insurance premiums based on location-based risk levels.


Uninsured Drivers

Accidents involving uninsured drivers can lead to more financial responsibility for you and your insurance provider, potentially resulting in rate hikes. These combined factors contribute to the overall increase in car insurance costs.

Bad Weather:

Severe weather significantly impacts insurance policies, covering incidents like tornadoes, hailstorms, and wildfires. The U.S. has witnessed 10 or more billion-dollar disasters annually for the past eight years, affecting both home and auto insurance rates. As climate changes continue, insurance premiums nationwide are adjusting to managing the rising risks associated with extreme weather events.

How to Save on Insurance Premiums

Review Your Policy

Update your policy to ensure appropriate coverage and avoid paying for unnecessary items.


Increase Your Deductible

A deductible is the amount you pay after a loss. By increasing your deductible, you take on more responsibility after an accident. However, it can lower your monthly insurance costs if you are a safe driver unlikely to cause at-fault accidents.


Prevent a Loss

Prevent insurance rate increases by installing safety features in your home and car. Consider safe driving devices and take a defensive driving course. Take proactive measures to reduce risks and potentially qualify you for insurance discounts.


Ask About Discounts

Insurance providers commonly offer discounts for safe driving, loyalty, and multi-vehicle policies. Speak with an agent to help you find and enroll in all available discounts.


Pay in Full

Save on auto insurance premiums by choosing payment options wisely. Insurance providers often offer discounts for paying in full upfront and setting up auto-pay can also lead to potential savings.


Bundle Your Policies

Save on insurance by bundling policies with one provider. Keeping homeowners, commercial, auto, and other coverage together rewards loyalty and simplifies claims while offering potential cost savings.

EFM&A Welcomes Kyle Tyrpak

Emerling Floss Murphy & Associates is pleased to announce that Kyle Tyrpak has joined EFM&A as a Commercial Lines Account Manager.

With 11 years of experience in the industry, Kyle brings a wealth of expertise in insurance knowledge, prompt service, and exceptional client assistance. He takes pride in being responsive to insureds’ needs, guiding them through the intricacies of insurance, and building strong client relationships. As a proud member of Big I Insurance, NextGen, he is committed to professional growth and development.

Outside of work, he enjoys playing golf, video games, basketball, and watching the Bills. He is getting married in October and cherishes spending time with family and friends.

Please join us in welcoming Kyle to the team!

EFM&A Welcomes Dawn Weitz

We are pleased to announce that Dawn Weitz has joined the EFM&A customer service team.

Dawn joins us as our new Director of First Impressions at our Clarence Branch. Dawn has received a lot of recognition for her excellent customer service throughout her career and even wrote a customer service training manual.

Please join us in welcoming Dawn to our team!

EFM&A Welcomes Karen Schulze

We are pleased to announce that Karen Schulze has joined the EFM&A team in customer service. With four years of experience at AAA Insurance, Karen brings valuable expertise as a Personal Lines Account Manager.

Please join us in warmly welcoming Karen to our team and look forward to her contributions.

EFM&A Welcomes Mathew Gugino

EFM&A is pleased to announce the hiring of Mathew Gugino as an Account Executive, bringing with him over 14 years of experience in the insurance and financial industry. Mr. Gugino previously worked for Allstate and Great Lakes and is certified in Personal, Commercial, and Life Insurance. Many of his original clients have continued with him at EFM&A.

Mathew was an award-winning agent with Allstate and a member of their Honor Ring. He also has experience working with first responders, including law enforcement professionals and the FBI. He recently decided to join Harris Hill Volunteer Fire Company as a fireman.

Please join us in welcoming Mathew.