Juice Jacking

Juice Jacking

Juice Jacking is an invasion of your personal device by hackers as you are charging your battery. Criminals employ malware-injection and data extraction techniques through free chargers and public charging stations. Public places such as coffee shops, offices, airports, hotels and so many others offer public charging stations that most of us are often desperate to use them when our devices are low on power. This is where a new cyber attack vector called Juice Jacking comes into play.

The Protect yourself from Juice Jacking:

  • Carry a portable battery charger
  • Avoid USB-based charging stations in public spots and opt for an electrical outlet
  • If your only option is to use a public charging station, power off and lock your device

Reward Your Safe Driving Behavior

There seems to be a “smart device” for just about anything these days and the insurance industry is no different!  Insurance companies are offering safe driving monitoring systems to help reduce your automobile premiums.  Whether it be a plug in device, or a mobile application, your driving skills can be monitored over a period of time, typically over a 90 day period.  One vehicle or all your vehicles can participate in this program to maximize your total savings.  Discounts can range from 5%-30% reduction and you will have the capability to review your results along the way!

What driving habits are monitored:
-Time of day you drive.
-Amount of miles driven
-Hard Breaking & Rapid Acceleration

Give us a call to discuss so you can start rewarding your safe driving behavior!

What’s New in Car Safety Features

High-Tech Cars: What’s New In Car Safety Features by Travelers Insurance

High-tech cars are here to stay. Car safety technology is evolving quickly, bringing scores of often unpronounceable abbreviations for new systems that promise to keep us safer. Can a car read a street sign? Can the family wagon’s safety systems react to a sudden traffic change faster than a seasoned driver? Automakers say yes.

Established safety systems like Anti-Lock Braking Systems (ABS) and Traction Control  dates back to the late 1920’s when it was first developed for aircraft, although it wasn’t until 50 years later that this now nearly ubiquitous technology reached the highway. Technology is advancing faster now than ever before, bringing inventive new safety systems to your dashboard and automobile chassis. Let’s take a look under the hood of today’s high tech cars to see what some of the most intriguing new technologies offer and how they can make your commute safer and less stressful.

  • What Are Advanced Driver Assistance Systems? Often referred to as ADAS, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems offer a broad range of safety-enhancing features for vehicles. These systems range from sensors that can detect drowsiness in drivers to pedestrian detection and avoidance systems — or even onboard cameras that can read road signs, warning you about speed limit changes or stop signs via dash alerts.
  • Automatic Emergency Braking Systems (AEBS). Going a step beyond simpler and possibly distracting collision warning systems, AEBS puts the brakes on rear-end collisions. Sensors continually monitor the distance of vehicles in front of the car. If the system detects that a collision is imminent, it intervenes, assisting with braking if the driver is braking (but not hard enough) or automatically applying the vehicle’s brakes if the driver doesn’t respond. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that up to a third of police-reported crashes involve a rear-end collision.1
  • Lane Keeping Assist. Some of the leading reasons for lane-drift crashes are driver distraction, illness, and drivers who have drifted off themselves — and are sleeping at the wheel. Lane Keeping Assist raises the bar above Lane Departure Warning systems, which provide audible warnings and are often manually disabled by drivers, by taking corrective action to keep the vehicle centered in the lane.
  • Drowsiness Detection System. Building on the technology that powers Lane Departure Warning, Drowsiness Detection Systems monitor how often you drift from your lane, watching for changes in driving patterns that can indicate fatigue or microsleep, the type of sleeping that happens when you doze off momentarily. Microsleep in your recliner at home is safe. When driving, those seconds spent in slumber-land can be dangerous or even deadly. More advanced systems use sensors that watch the driver’s face and glance patterns for signs of drowsiness.
  • Pedestrian Automatic Emergency Braking. Warning systems that detect pedestrians (or bicycles) are becoming more prevalent but face the same challenge as many onboard warning systems. Audible warnings can be a distraction as you try to figure out what’s making that beeping sound — and why. More advanced systems use cameras or radar to detect pedestrians in your path and then automatically apply the brakes if you don’t respond quickly enough.
  • Traffic Sign Recognition. We’ve all had some moments of apprehension because we didn’t notice a stop sign or a street sign indicating a speed limit change. Fortunately, the new wave of high-tech cars remains ever attentive, and a growing number of vehicles can read the street signs that we might miss and then relay that information on the dash or head-up display.
  • Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication for High Tech Cars. The NHTSA is studying Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communication, specifically as it relates to two safety systems for cars: Left Turn Assist (LTA), which warns of oncoming traffic when turning left, and Intersection Movement Assist (IMA), which warns if it’s unsafe to enter an intersection.2 The NHTSA estimates that these safety systems, powered by cars that communicate with other cars on the road, could save over 1,000 lives per year.

Increased safety is the goal many of the advanced systems in cars now – and of those planned for the future. But the enhanced vehicle safety can pay dividends in other ways by helping to reduce accidents, sparing costly deductibles, while also keeping your driving record pristine. The safety features of today’s high-tech cars are as exciting as they are practical, and automakers are continually innovating to meet consumer demand. When it’s time to shop for a new car, ask about its ADAS features, for safety’s sake.

Insure Valentine’s Day Gifts

Buying something special for your valentine? If so, you may want to schedule it under your Homeowners Policy.

Although your Homeowners Policy provides some coverage for your gifts such as jewelry, paintings, and other collections, it limits how much you will receive for the item in the event of a loss. For example, if a valuable stone falls out of a jewelry item, there is no replacement coverage under the Homeowners Policy. For broader protection of your most valuable items, give us a call to discuss how you can protect their worth from unforeseen losses that may not be currently covered.

Super Bowl Sunday!

It is almost time for Super Bowl Sunday! Chances are you are probably planning on getting together to eat, drink and watch some Football (or just watch the commercials and half-time show)! If you are hosting we would like to help you have a fun and safe party.

  • Slips and falls are at the top of the list for the cause of accident at home. Clean your sidewalks and driveway of snow and ice.
  • Also, remember to rearrange the inside of your house to avoid someone tripping over rugs, furniture or cords that may usually stick out.
  • While you are at it you may want to relocate any memorabilia or collectibles that could possibly be damaged are not covered under your homeowners policy.

If you would like to know what is covered under your homeowners policy, or how we can help you protect your collectibles give us a call today!

Special Cyber Liability Alert!

We have been seeing an increasing number of claims involving cyber attacks, viruses, malware, phishing and other situations where electronic systems are being compromised both by directed effort and innocent mistake. These incidents can cause loss or damage to electronic data, forensic expenses, loss of income, network security and privacy lawsuits, extortion losses, notification costs, and damage to your business’ reputation.
Most standard commercial insurance policies provide only limited (if any) coverage for these types of claims, and something as simple the use of email in your business can expose you to the risk of a breach or cyber event. 
We strongly recommend that each of our commercial customers take advantage of our free cyber security assessment provided by our partners at Fifthwall. With a small amount of basic information, this free report will provide a snap-shot of what a cyber event could look like for your organization and provide a strong starting point to understand how these risks may threaten your business. 


Make it a point to be on the lookout for potholes. Know your surroundings before you swerve to avoid them. If a pothole cannot be avoided, reduce speed, being sure to check the rear view mirror before any abrupt braking. Hitting a pothole at higher speeds greatly increases the chance of damage to tires, wheels and suspension components. 
Depending on the impact of the hit and what part of your car is damaged, hitting a pothole can do serious damage to your wallet. Give us a call to discuss how your auto policy may cover the damage.


Terrie Todd – Leading The Way!

By Mary K. Grillo
Personal Lines Sales Representative

For the past 11 years, Terrie Todd has been employed with Christie Insurance Inc. in Pittsburgh, Pa., serving as personal lines manager for the past eight years. The agency has two locations, and Todd manages a staff of 12.
Her insurance experience began on the company side, with CNA, where she served for 16 years. Although holding various positions throughout  her employment, she was a commercial lines small business agency technology specialist for her last six years at CNA.