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Insurance Lessons In Pequa

The trials and tribulations of being a homeowner; with the joys and comforts also come the expenses and difficulties. Among those latter attributes are the perils of insurance. It’s a complex subject to be sure, but luckily there’s help out there for who need it.

Deer Park resident Thomas DeMaio has been working in the insurance field for three years. An account executive at TCE Insurance Services, which has offices in Hauppauge and Staten Island, DeMaio said he started doing public seminars at libraries all over Long Island, including Massapequa, in order to help and inform the community about the different kinds of insurance out there.

“Nobody looks at their homeowner’s insurance, nobody knows what kind of deductibles they have,” he said. “These companies are paid countless dollars by their policy holders, and when the time comes to put in a claim, nobody knows what they have. My job is to inform people on the different kinds of insurance...homeowners, flood, HO1, HO2, and so on.”

DeMaio’s seminars, the latest of which was held at the Bar Harbour Branch of the Massapequa Public Library, go over the basics of how to properly insure your home, should the worst happen; afterward, he encourages participants to bring copies of their actual policies so that he can sit down with them and go over what kind of insurance they have...and where it may or may not be lacking.

One major pitfall that many homeowners fall into, according to DeMaio, is not being proactive and upgrading their insurance over the years as their home’s value increases.

“If I bought my house in 1950 for, say, $50, it would probably be worth maybe $400,000 or even $500,000,” he said. “If you haven’t upgraded your homeowner’s insurance to reflect that increase in value, your insurance might not cover that. As your house appreciates in value, you have to adjust your policy to reflect that. Your insurance company isn’t going to knock down your door to let you know that your insurance is under-valued.”

The services that DeMaio offers at his seminars are especially vital for Long Island residents in the wake of Superstorm Sandy; a terrible event that he said wasn’t quite as bad as it potentially could have been.

“Sandy was not a hurricane, and everyone thinks it was, but it was actually a tropical storm,” he said. “That makes a big difference, because if you had a hurricane, there would have been a bigger deductible. The average person has a five percent hurricane deducible...if your claim was $20,000, you’ve got to take five percent off of that. People have been devastated due to Sandy, and it wasn’t even a hurricane...imagine if it was.”

In addition, DeMaio stated that flood insurance can vary depending on your elevation, and whether or not you reside in a designated flood zone; however, he said, due to the recent re-mapping of the area, for all intents and purposes almost all of Long Island is a flood zone, which can make getting properly insured difficult at times.

Catherine Gaulrapp of Massapequa Park was attending DeMaio’s seminar because of an accident that recently happened to a neighbor on her property.

“Someone just fell in my driveway and broke an arm when we had that bad weather last week, and I’m getting a little static from my insurance company about liability because the driveway was icy,” she said. “They want to send someone to inspect my driveway and determine if I was at fault, so I wanted to come here today to have Mr. DeMaio look over my policy and make sure I’m covered correctly. He seems very knowledgeable.”  

Massapequa resident Bob Sewall and his wife Louise also took in the seminar; while their home was spared from the fury of Superstorm Sandy, they did lose a car to the flooding that occurred in its wake and needed to replace it, he said.

“We want to find out more about insurance and make sure we have adequate coverage,” he said. “I think I’m reasonably on top of my insurance — my wife can vouch for that — but it’s always safe to check with a professional as well, especially when it comes to our home. When Sandy hit, our house was surrounded by water, but thankfully none of it came in.”  

If you have questions for Thomas DeMaio about your homeowner’s insurance, you can contact him via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Two hundred business students from high schools across Nassau County, including Massapequa High School, competed for scholarships and cash awards—more than $33,000 in all—from various sponsors at Nassau County’s annual Comptroller’s Entrepreneurial Challenge.

The events on Sept. 11, 2001 had a profound effect on nearly all in the tri-state area, but for first responders, the effects were overwhelming. Long-time Massapequa resident Michael Smith, a member of the New York Fire Department, experienced those effects firsthand.

“While I’ve always been a person that could appreciate life, after 9/11 I became so distraught,” he said. “I realized I need to do something I want to do — something I love to do.”

A 30-year veteran of the fire department, Smith retired in 2002. He and his wife of 33 years, Teresa, began to look for a place they could enjoy life. This mindset brought them to the East End of Long Island, where they often went for day trips. They settled down in a home in Orient Point in 2004; in a home that needed quite a bit of work. And when it was time to landscape the property, a new idea took root — a vineyard.


Massapequa athletes recently received honors from their coaches at Kellenberg Memorial High School.

Each season, the coaches of all of the Kellenberg teams choose one member of their team who stands out as an athlete that has worked hard to improve themselves in their chosen sport.

The Farmingdale State women’s lacrosse team won the first game of their Spring Break trip to North Carolina with a victory over Greensboro College. In wet and muddy conditions, the Rams (8-1) held an 8-5 lead at the half and took the eventual 13-10 win.

In the first half and tied 2-2, the Pride (7-5) pulled ahead 4-2 with two unassisted goals by junior attack Nadya Fedun. Farmingdale State answered with four straight scores for a 6-4 advantage, on goals by juniors Alyssa Handel, Nicole Marzocca and Massapequan Jackie Kennedy.

Sophomore attack Ashlynn Parks put Greensboro within a goal at the 7:03 mark, but the Rams scored two more to lead 8-5 at the halftime break.


YES Fundraiser

Saturday, April 26

Massapequa Memories

Tuesday, April 29

Spring Fashion Show

Wednesday, April 30


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