Staying Safe and Healthy During the Summer

Summer brings us together (and outside) to enjoy longer days and fun-filled memories. But with the joys of summer come the hazards, too.

At Acentria Insurance, we want to help you enjoy this season – while staying safe and healthy. Let’s dive into some common summer scenes and learn how to mitigate the risks surrounding them.

Scenario 1: An Outdoor Picnic or Barbeque

Outdoor gatherings over a meal are a great way to enjoy one another’s company while taking in the warmer weather. But with higher temps comes an increased risk of foodborne illnesses. The CDC estimates that 48 million people get sick every year from foodborne illnesses.

Follow these tips to make your next get-together memorable – for all the right reasons:

  • Maintain proper temperature: With ongoing conversations and late grazers, it’s easy to let food sit out for too long during an outdoor gathering. Make sure perishable food doesn’t sit out for more than two hours – or one hour if it’s hotter than 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Chill correctly: Pack your coolers well, particularly in regard to meat, poultry and seafood. Keep your refrigerated food separated by category (such as fruits, drinks and meat) to avoid cross-contamination. To keep your contents colder longer, keep your coolers closed when you’re not using them.
  • Keep your hands clean: If you have access to soap and water, wash your hands regularly – especially after handling raw meat or before eating. No sink? All that hand sanitizer you collected during 2020 comes in handy.
  • Wash your produce: Rinse all fruits and veggies with running water, scrubbing if needed. You can skip this step if you buy pre-packaged produce that’s labeled “washed” or “ready to eat.”
  • Serve your guests well: Avoid re-using plates and dishes that you used with raw meat, as the bacteria from the raw meat can contaminate food. Serve all food on clean platters and with fresh silverware.

Scenario 2: An Afternoon Drive or Summer Road Trip

Whether you’re driving to a destination or enjoying a leisurely ride through your neighborhood, it’s important to exercise all safety precautions. According to the CDC, traffic crashes are the leading cause of death in the US for people under the age of 55. In addition to securing a proper auto insurance policy (we can help you out with that), you should exercise the following precautions:

Watch for Animals

Over 260,000 road collisions occur between drivers and animals each year. Stay alert, watch your speed and use your brights at night to provide better vision. Wildlife warning signs are typically displayed in areas with a heavier wildlife population, allowing you to better prepare.

If an animal does cross the road, use your brakes and don’t swerve, especially if there are other cars around. If you do hit a large animal like a deer, find a safe spot to pull over – then call the police.

Keep Your Children Safe

Proper installation of car seats and booster seats is crucial to protecting your child – and potentially saving his/her life. Children who are properly restrained in child seats have a lower risk of fatal injury during a car accident. Unfortunately, car seats are often installed wrong or not used properly. Always follow instructions when installing these seats, check before use – and abide by these tips:

    • Infants (0-2 years old): Use an infant-only or convertible rear-facing seat and place it in the back seat only. Select a specific seat based on the baby’s age and weight. Secure the seat by the seat belts or by the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system. The seat should recline at a 45-degree angle and harness straps should fit snugly, sitting at or below the baby’s shoulders.
    • Toddlers (2-4 years old, 20-40 pounds): Toddlers should sit forward in a proper car seat that’s secured by seat belts or the LATCH system. They should always sit in the back seat. Harness straps should fit tightly, sit at/above the shoulders, and the clip should be at armpit level.
    • Young Children (4-12 years old or shorter than 4’9” tall): Put these children in a belt-positioning booster base or a high-back, belt-positioning booster that is used with lap and shoulder belts (never with lap-only belts). Children should continue to sit in the back seat and maintain proper seatbelt use (the belt fitting tightly across the chest, never behind their arms, etc.).

Scenario 3: Swimming in a Backyard Pool

Installing a pool at your home is a great way to stay cool while having a good time. But safety comes first when it comes to swimming.

First, remember that as a homeowner, you could be held responsible for accidents that occur at your pool. Protect yourself (and your assets) with a homeowners insurance policy and possibly personal umbrella insurance. Reach out to one of our Acentria agents to learn more!

You should also take safety precautions ahead of any swimming dates. Consider a fence with a latch that you keep closed when the pool is not in use. Ensure the area around your pool is a nonslip surface. And keep your pool clean with filters and chemicals (just be sure these chemicals are kept out of reach and in a safe spot).

Children can be especially vulnerable around pools, particularly younger ones. Make sure any kids using your pool can properly swim or have a guardian accompany them. Keep a first-aid kit handy in case of an accident and ensure you know how to properly respond in an emergency. Here are some additional tips about keeping kids safe around pools.

Mitigate Summer Risks with Acentria

Regardless of where your summer adventures take you, it’s important to make sure you’re protected by an insurance policy that covers all of you and your family’s needs. Contact Acentria to obtain a free quote today.

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Rob Wagner

Executive Vice President
Southwest Florida Region

Jason Cruse

Executive Vice President
Central Florida Sales

Mitch Weinstein

Partner

As partner of Acentria Insurance, Mitch plays an integral role in mergers & acquisitions. He focuses on seeking out strategic like-minded partners and agencies, across the southeastern United States, to partner and join the Acentria family.

Mitch has over 42 years of business leadership experience that ranges from law enforcement to the finance, healthcare and insurance industries. He was instrumental in developing the nation’s first “at-risk” managed care network for physical and occupational therapy serving the worker’s compensation industry. This network paved the way for a new managed care system, based on incentives.

Mitch is passionate about giving back to the youth of his community. He is an active supporter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Polk County and believes in helping all young people reach their full potential. He is also the founder of Fallen First Reserve which is a non-profit organization dedicated to financially assisting those family members of First Responders killed in the line of duty and military members killed in action. Mitch also serves on the board for Fund the First.

Mary Lawless

President & Chief Operating Officer

As President and Chief Operating Officer, Mary brings over three decades of industry expertise to Acentria Insurance. With a strong focus on Mergers & Acquisitions, Mary is passionate about partnering with new agencies and leaders to continue the overall upward growth of Acentria. She works in conjunction with the CEO to lead and deliver specialized sales products, services and industry leading capabilities while implementing business and sales strategies to the Acentria sales team and carrier partners. Mary has direct oversight of all operational leaders throughout the entire organizational footprint and is responsible for operational financials and budgets.

She empowers her team members and because of it, is well respected by her peers and those she leads. Since her time with Acentria, Mary’s leadership has contributed to the agency’s exponential growth from 15 to well over 50 locations, increasing employment to over 700 team members, across the southeastern United States. Due to her leadership and contributions to the insurance industry, she has been nationally recognized as one of Insurance Business America magazine’s Elite Women and serves as a valuable member on the Executive Committee for Foundation Risk Partners, Acentria’s parent company. Prior to joining Acentria Insurance, Mary led operations for another national broker. Throughout her tenure, she has held a variety of management positions in Personal Lines, Select Business and Employee Benefits. Mary specializes in agency operations, partnerships and acquisitions and is truly passionate about developing team members to become great leaders.

When not shaping the future industry leaders at Acentria Insurance, Mary enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband, Pat and their family and friends.

Kendall McEachern

Co-Founder

Kendall was a fundamental part of Acentria Insurance. As a co-founder, he brought more than 30 years of industry expertise to Acentria, helping transform the organization into a leading insurance provider. Beloved by team members, carrier partners and clients, he oversaw more than 400,000 insured multi-family units with property values greater than $22 billion, and over four million square feet of commercial office space and real estate buildings. Kendall has received numerous industry awards to include being recognized as a National Top Producer and Agent of the Year by both Insurance Business America and Insurance Journal. Away from the office, he served as chairman for the American Heart Association, actively participated in his church and golfing, watching sports and spending time with his family. Kendall passed away in January of 2021, leaving a lasting legacy on Acentria’s culture, success, industry-wide reputation – and on all of us fortunate to have worked alongside him.

Liz Bevelacqua

Senior Vice President
Personal Lines Sales

Doreen Castro

Senior Vice President
Personal Lines Operations

Jessica Davis

Senior Vice President
Marketing & Branding

Jackie Shaw

Senior Vice President
Commercial Lines

Nathan Marks

Executive Vice President
Northwest Florida and Tallahassee

Alan Florez

Executive Vice President, National Sales

Alan leads new business growth strategies and expansion, guides the development of resources and training for Sales Producers and their partnerships with Carriers. With over 15 years of industry experience, Alan also leads the Acentria Public Risk divisions working with municipalities and government entities for their coverage needs. He was appointed to the Halifax Health Board of Commissioners December 2020 and also serves as an Executive Committee member for our parent company, Foundation Risk Partners.

Previously, Alan served as Governor Jeb Bush’s Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs and Special Assistant. He is a former member of the University of Central Florida Board of Trustees and currently volunteers his time with the Florida Council of 100, Futures Foundation of Volusia County Schools and the Community Foundation of Flagler and Volusia. Alan holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Central Florida.

Brian Stanton

Executive Vice President
West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Florida Keys

Chris Tolland

Executive Vice President
Northeast Florida Sales

Luke Wolkers

Executive Vice President
Benefits

Eric Austin

Operations Lead
Port St. Lucie & West Palm Beach

Alex Doberstein

Vice President
Benefits Resource Leader

Teresa Fillmon

Vice President
Small Business Unit

Anne Kraus

Vice President
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Kevin Mason

Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder

As Chief Executive Office of Acentria Insurance, Kevin focuses on developing insurance solutions that strengthen Acentria’s presence in the market and its commitment to client-relationships and exceptional service. With over 35 years of industry experience, he specializes in the overall growth of Acentria as is passionate about bringing new talent to the organization both organically and through mergers and acquisitions. Through his leadership and the support of the Executive Leadership team, Acentria Insurance instills a positive corporate culture which has led the agency in being recognized as a leader within our industry as a Top 100 Workplace, Employer of Choice, Best Agency to Work For and several other national and regional accolades.

Before co-founding Acentria Insurance, Kevin served as Branch Manager for another national broker. Kevin holds the prestigious title as an Agent of the Year and five-time National Top Producer. He is also a key member of the Foundation Risk Partners Executive Committee, which is the parent company of Acentria Insurance, while also serving as the National Director for Carrier Relations. In addition, Kevin oversees the Sales Leadership Council, which encompasses sales leaders across the entire FRP footprint in an effort to develop and refine shared resources while offering producer training and development programs.

Kevin received a Bachelor’s Degree in Management from the University of West Florida. He is very active in his community and served over a decade on the Board of Directors of Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation and remains as a trustee, which funds over 14 children’s charities along the Florida Panhandle. He is also a member of the Destin Chamber of Commerce, Community Association Institute and Florida Association of Insurance Agents. In his spare time, Kevin enjoys golfing, tennis, boating and spending time with his wife Laura, and their children.