Fireworks Safety

For most of us, the Fourth of July is a time to enjoy the company of family and friends, having fun and creating memories – whether at home or away.  But for some families, the holiday can turn into nightmare.  Homes each year in New York are damaged by wayward fireworks, and thousands of people are injured in accidents.

At Shults Insurance Agency, we want your holiday to be happy, but also safe.  Here are some tips to help you protect yourself and your property on the Fourth.

Protecting yourself (and others)

  • To minimize the risk of injury, don’t use consumer fireworks. Attend a public display conducted by professionals.
  • If using consumer fireworks, always follow instructions. Do not attempt to re-light “duds” or create homemade fireworks.
  • Never let children handle or light fireworks. Even sparklers, which burn at more than 1,000 degrees, can cause third-degree burns. Kids under the age of 15 account for approximately 40% of fireworks injuries, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.
  • A responsible adult should always be present when children – even teenagers – are around fireworks. More than half of fireworks injuries happen to those younger than 20 years old.

Protecting your home

  • According to the National Fire Protection Association, the best way to protect your home is to not use fireworks at home.
  • Remember, fireworks can cause grass fires and other types of blazes as well. Make sure you light fireworks in a safe area, away from homes and buildings, as well as other combustible material. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergency.
  • Look out for tree limbs or bushes that could catch fire. Trimming vegetation to keep it away from your home is a good idea anyway, but it could save you from a catastrophic fire on the Fourth of July.
  • If your gutters have accumulated leaves, pine needles or other flammable material, clean them before using fireworks near your home.
  • Finally, if you won’t be home on the holiday, ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your house if others in your neighborhood will be using fireworks.

With some common sense and planning, the Fourth of July can be both safe and enjoyable for everyone. We hope you have a wonderful time celebrating our independence!

Frequently Asked Questions About Commercial Insurance

There are many insurance products that people are quite familiar with. This includes home, auto, and life insurance. However, there are other types that people are not so familiar with. This may include commercial insurance. If you own a business, you may be interested in learning more about commercial insurance in the greater Fort Plan, NY area and Shults Insurance Agency would love to help. Here are a few frequently asked questions that you may have about commercial insurance.

Is Commercial Insurance the Same as Business Insurance?

Yes. People use these terms interchangeably. Technically, there is no such thing as business insurance, so if you hear this term, it is safe to assume they are talking about commercial insurance.

Are You Required to Have Commercial Insurance?

Most people are not required to have commercial insurance. If you own a commercial building that is not paid off, are using cars in the course of your business, or are doing business in an area that requires it, you must have it. Otherwise, you are not required to.

Should I Have the Insurance If I’m Not Required To?

It is highly recommended that every business owner carries commercial insurance, even if it is not required of them. It can help to prevent you from having to pay or lose money if something catastrophic or unexpected happens. This can help your business to stay afloat at a time when you may otherwise have to shutter your doors.

If you have any more questions about commercial insurance, or you would like to obtain a quote, call Shults Insurance Agency, serving the greater Fort Plan, NY area. Our trained and friendly staff would love to answer any questions you may have and help you find the best policy for your needs.

Why Are Car Insurance Rates Increasing?

If you have recently renewed your car insurance, you may have seen an increase in your premium, even if your driving record hasn’t changed.  You’re not alone.  One reason for rate increases in recent years is the higher repair cost of new auto technology.

One of the most frequently damaged auto parts is the headlamp.  More and more, adaptive headlamps – which use sensors to cast their beam in the direction of a curve to ensure better visibility and more safety – are becoming standard equipment in new vehicles.

Here are three examples of the difference in repair costs for adaptive LED headlamps compared to non-adaptive headlamps*:

Toyota Camry:

  • Non-adaptive: $366.78
  • Adaptive: $940.89
  • ~2.5x more expensive

Mazda 6:

  • Non-adaptive: $526.56
  • Adaptive: $1,317.69
  • ~2.5x more expensive

BMW 740i:

  • Non-adaptive: $2,006.35
  • Adaptive: $3,274.15
  • ~1.5x more expensive

Other examples of rising repair costs include:

  • +$367: The increase in average repair cost from 2009 ($2,399) to 2015 ($2,766).*
  • ~2x the parts:  There are 23 parts in the front bumper of a 2015 Honda Accord LX compared to 13 parts in the 1996 model.*
  • ~$1,000:  The cost to repair a distance sensor in a 2016 Acura ILX- a part that wasn’t in the vehicle’s 2014 model.*

For more on rising insurance costs check out this article:


*2016 Certified Collateral Corporation Information Services, Inc.