Archive by Author | Jon Olson

Procrastination Never hurts….

I heard some terrible news today from a friend and it’s just another reminder why insurance, and having the right insurance is so important.
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Have you ever tried to buy an auto policy after your carrier already told you your rates are going up because of an accident?
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Have you ever tried to buy homeowners or flood insurance when the hurricane is already en route to your house?
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Have you ever tried to buy health insurance after you were diagnosed with a life changing illness?
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Have you ever tried to buy life insurance after a heart attack or catastrophic diagnosis?
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Today I was told by a friend of mine that someone was three days away from the period of time it would take for their life insurance policy to pay out, three days.
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Did you know that if you try to buy life insurance when you have cancer sometimes you have to buy a policy with a “graded death benefit?”
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That means if you die within what’s usually the first two years, all you get back is your premiums or maybe all the premiums you paid back at 110%.
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However if you buy an insurance policy BEFORE something happens, maybe even a convertible term policy while you’re still health you won’t be in that situation.
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Convertible term allows you to purchase based on your health TODAY and then in five or ten years (usually when your income has increased or you’ve paid off your debts) you can convert all or a portion of that policy into Whole Life or a more permanent insurance policy.
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Want to know more about this?
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We can talk about when you have time.
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However you don’t want to wait until AFTER you’ve been diagnosed to make a decision, and have to deal with much higher premiums and much more limited options.
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Let me help you find peace of mind.
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Or answer any questions you may have.
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Click the link below to get your own coverage, today.
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https://farmerskc.wufoo.com/forms/zfmqeo81f1s9l6/

 

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Have you heard of Umbrella Liability Coverage? Here’s a couple of reasons why you might want to purchase a policy-

There is a large difference between “Having Insurance” and “Being Insured”
In each of these scenarios, a person’s “normal insurance coverage” would have been exhausted and they would have been forced to liquidate bank accounts and other assets to pay for the damages awarded.

5 Actual Claims On A Personal Umbrella Policy

Example Claim # 1: A babysitter left a 5 month old infant unattended in a walker. The infant toppled the walker, struck her head on the floor and suffered brain damage. The parents of the infant sued the teenage babysitter and her parents. The court awarded the infant’s parents $11,000,000.
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Example Claim # 2: An insured’s daughter hated math class as well as the teacher. The daughter made several “disparaging” and false remarks about her teacher online. The teacher sued the parents for personal injury and $750,000 was paid.
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Example Claim # 3: The insured’s 18 year old son was driving the insured’s car on a short trip to the store with his girlfriend. He lost control of the car and struck a tree. The insured’s son told the police that a vehicle cut him off, but there were no witnesses and no evidence of any impact with another car. His girlfriend, a 19 year old college student, was hospitalized for over a month with multiple fractures and internal injuries. She was in a wheelchair but is now able to walk with crutches and continues with physical therapy. She has a right drop foot as a result of the injuries. The insured’s personal umbrella policy limit of $2,000,000 was paid.
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Example Claim # 4: A 28-year old engineer dove into a friend’s above ground swimming pool struck his head on the bottom and, as a result became a quadriplegic. He sued both the homeowner and the pool manufacturer. The court found the homeowner to be 60 percent responsible and the pool manufacturer to be 40 percent responsible, and awarded $10,000,000.
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Example Claim # 5: The insured’s tenant claims she became ill from carbon monoxide poisoning resulting from a faulty furnace. The tenant claimed permanent brain damage and demanded $750,000.

Spring Rain. IS YOUR HOME READY??

Spring is finally here and so are the spring rains.

So far, the rainfall has come at a slow and steady pace, rather than a lot of rain in a short time.

We’re Off To A Good Start

This is a good way to start the spring rainy season!

Why?

Because of our dry winter, the soil along the foundation has probably contracted and shrunk, leaving a lot of large cracks. This makes it easy for heavy rains to run straight towards your foundation, basement walls, and footings.

What To Be Looking For Before Storms Start Pouring Rain: 

#1 – Is Your Sump Pump Working Properly?

Your sump pump is the most important part of your home’s waterproofing system. But is has to be properly maintained!

 

The impeller should be connected to the sump pump with bolts and may need a thorough cleaning to work properly.

To test your sump pump read 5 easy steps in our previous blog here: 

#2 – Is There Water in Your Basement?

Pay attention to any water in your basement or other signs of leaks.

Usually this is a sign of problems in other places, often on the outside of your foundation walls.

Which leads to the next question…..

#3 – Do You See Water “Ponding” in Your Yard?

Watch where the water flows in your yard, and pay special attention to any place you see standing water.

If there are pools of water close to your foundation, it could mean there’s a problem.

Check your gutters or downspouts to make sure they are cleaned out and working properly.

Also check the location of your discharge for your downspouts and your sump pump. We recommend these discharge at least 10 feet away from your property.

And make sure your landscape slopes away from your foundation. It’s common for the soil near the foundation to settle over the season, which could cause water to pool in any low spots.

What To Do If You Find a Problem

If you see any problems, you should get them checked out right away. Contact a local, reputable foundation repair or engineering firm for an inspection.

Preventive Maintenance for your Sump Pump.

5 Steps for DIY Sump Pump Inspections

Before you start, make sure to unplug any electrical power leading to your sump pump.

Check for Debris in Sump Basin

Make sure the sump pump pit is free from debris. You might be surprised a the kinds of things that can end up here as part of typical home live – children’s toys, items stored nearby that fall in, etc.

Anything that falls into the basis can get into the sump pump unit and interfere with moving parts, particularly the float mechanism. The float mechanism has a key role in sump pump operation, so be sure there is nothing interfering with it.

Test the Float

Fill the sump pump pit with water and make sure the float starts and stops the sump pump as designed.

Inspect the Check Valve

The check valves ensure that when the sump pump shuts off, no water will go back into the sump pump pit. However, sometimes these are improperly installed.

There is an arrow on the check valve that points in the direction the water is supposed to flow, which should not be towards the sump pump.

Clean the Weep Hole

Some sump pumps have a “weep hole” between the sump pump and the check valve. You can clean this with a toothpick or other tiny object. Be careful not to break anything into the weep hole.

Clean the Impeller

The impeller is a small filter that can become clogged. If your sump pump has stopped running suddenly or is making a whining noise, this could be the problem.

If you are not mechanically minded, call a reputable local foundation expert or contractor to test your sump pump for you.

Storm Season–Hail NO!

HailIt’s storm season here in KC. A couple of things to remember when it comes to roof damage/home claims.

1. It’s still fraud to not pay the deductible on your home.
2. The only way the roofer can make a profit without getting the deductible from you is to inflate the claim amount.
3. Inflated claims means your premiums are going to continue to be inflated each year.

Think about these items if you have a claims scenario. Reach out if you have any questions or if we can help.

Power Outage Food Safety

Food Safety Picture

On the heels of the last weekend’s storms and wide power outages in and around #KansasCity, here are some food safety tips from Duane Daugherty (MrDoggity, the Safety guy)

Most modern refrigerators will hold temp in a power outage for about four to six hours if the door isn’t opened. Nearly all refrigerated foods will withstand a few hours out of range. However, if your power is out more than six to eight hours, even with a high efficiency rating, and nobody opening the door, you’ll need to toss some stuff – but NOT everything!

Here’s a handy guide:
Foods to Pitch:
Soups, Stews, Casseroles, any Pre-cooked leftovers
Meat, Poultry, and Seafood: Cooked, uncooked, or any other foods like casseroles that contain these things
Cheese: cream cheese, shredded soft cheese or anything “low-fat”
Dairy: Milk, cream, yogurt, sour cream, buttermilk, evaporated milk, canned whipped cream
Soy and Nut Milks or products made from these oils (tofu, hummus)
Eggs: Cooked, uncooked, and any foods containing eggs
Fruit: Cut fruit
Condiments: Fish sauce, oyster sauce, creamy dressings, spaghetti sauce, salsa, mayonnaise (if 8 hours or more)
Breads: Refrigerator biscuits, any unbaked canned dough, cookie dough
Pasta: Cooked pasta, salads
Sweets: Cheesecake, cream or custard pies, cream-filled pastries and pies
Vegetables: Pre-washed greens, cooked vegetables, vegetable juice, garlic in oil, anything made with cooked beans.

Foods to Keep:
Cheese: Hard, processed, grated hard cheeses like Parmesan and Romano, wrapped block cheeses (may require trimming), processed cheeses like “American singles” or “Velveeta”
Dairy: Butter and margarine
Fruit: Fruit juice, canned fruit, fresh whole (uncut) fruits, dried fruits
Condiments: Peanut butter, jams, jellies, ketchup, olives, pickles, mustard, hot sauce, BBQ sauce, relish, vinegar-based dressings, Worcestershire, soy sauce, hoisin sauce
Breads: Bread, rolls, cakes, muffins, quick breads, tortillas, bagels, waffles, pancakes
Sweets: Fruit pies
Vegetables: Raw
Herbs: dried or unwilted

Freezers will usually keep food safely frozen for 24 to 48 hours. The more food you have in the freezer, the longer it will keep. Check your ice tray and your ground meats. If your ice tray has loose ice to the bottom and your ground meat is solid, you’re fine. Any meats that have some “give” to them in the freezer should be cooked within a few days, and can be refrozen once cooked. NEVER refreeze raw meats that have begun to thaw.

RULE OF THUMB: IF YOU’RE IN DOUBT – PITCH IT OUT!
I am an environmentalist, too, and I don’t believe in wasting food. But nothing is worth making yourself or your family sick.

If you’re a homeowner and think you have damage from a storm, be sure to remember these tips–

 
» Call your insurance company as soon as possible if you see or suspect damage.
 
» When considering contractors, do your research and get multiple bids.
 
» Be EXTREMELY cautious of door-to-door solicitors offering free inspections. Some might be reliable local companies, but be sure to check online reviews.
 
» NEVER pay a contractor in cash or before work is completed.
 
»Keep a record of transactions, including bid proposals (revisions) from contractors and conversations with the insurance claims representatives.

#StormDamage #InsuranceTips #HomeownersInsurance #InsuranceKC

Summertime=HOT! Make sure your employees are protected.

Hot summer weather can lead to heat stroke for employees working outdoors
It’s getting hot outside!
Every year, dozens of workers die and thousands more become ill while working in extreme heat or humid conditions according to OSHA.

There are a range of heat illnesses that can affect anyone, regardless of age or physical condition.
If your commercial policyholders have employees working in extreme heat and high temperatures, a heat illness prevention program should be established.
 OSHA’s Occupational Exposure to Heat page explains what employers can do to keep workers safe. The page also includes resources for specific industries and OSHA workplace standards.
Business Insurance customers should educate workers and supervisors about the hazards of heat exposure and their prevention.
Topics should include:
  • How to recognize common signs and symptoms.
  • Heat-related illness prevention procedures.
  • Drinking small quantities of water often.
  • Importance of acclimatization.
  • Immediate reporting and responding to signs or symptoms.
Policyholders can also have vital safety information immediately available with the OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool.  This App allows them to calculate the heat index for their worksite, and, based on the heat index, displays a risk level to outdoor workers.
to download the app.
Already a Farmers Insurance Business Client?  Enhance your Safety Program? Register at www.MySafetyPoint.com

May Home Maintenance Tips

Things are starting to heat up in Kansas City! Is your home ready for the warm weather? We’ve got the top 6 things to put on your to-do list this month.

1. CLEAN YOUR GUTTERS 

Clean and inspect your gutters. Use a garden hose to flush your gutter out and make sure that your downspouts are directing water at least three feet away from your foundation. A clogged gutter can cause water issues that are potentially not covered under your home policy so it’s best to be proactive.

2. GET YOUR POOL READY

It’s time to get your pool ready for summer. Be sure to schedule your appointment with your preferred pool company, so you don’t get stuck with your first pool party and a pool that isn’t ready!

3. PEST CONTROL 

Pests love warm months. Now is the time to check for signs of pests. You want to especially pay attention to any signs of burrowing in wood. Keep cobwebs clear, make sure you don’t have any standing-water issues in or outside of your home. If you have a pest problem, have an expert check it out before it becomes an out-of-control problem. Treating a small problem is always better then waiting until it becomes a large problem.

3. PRESSURE-WASH YOUR HOME, DECK, AND WALKWAYS

Pressure washing not only gives your home a nice clean look, but it also protects it! Want to get rid of spider eggs? Pressure washing will take care of that. Dirt, mold, mildew, soot, airborne pollutants & other contaminants can also cause damage to the surface of your home if it’s not taken care of.

4. DUST CEILING FANS

Dust ceiling fan blades and reverses the blade rotation. In warm weather they should rotate counterclockwise.

5. PICK UP YOUR GARAGE

Garages tend to be neglected in the winter and spring. Keeping it clean will extend it’s life and help you use it for what it’s intended for. If you have run out of room, consider garage storage solutions or having a garage sale to declutter.

6. GET READY FOR MOVIES AND ENTERTAINING

Nothing says summer like blockbuster movies and outdoor entertainment! Are you ready to take your home audio or outdoor patio to the next level? Get it ready now.  If you have metal patio furniture, coat them in auto polish before setting them out to protect them. Be ready to host an impromptu party or invite your family and friends over for a Memorial Day gathering!

 

What to do in the event of a water loss

 Whether the water loss is a result of a broken pipe, a broken water heater, or flooding, there are actions you can take to prevent further damage to your home or business.

1. Stop the Water and Turn Off the Utilities. Shut off the water main valve immediately if the water is a result of something broken inside your home or business.  It is a good idea to make sure everyone in the household or designated employees within the business knows where the shutoff valve is located.  In case of a major water event, turning off the power or natural gas might be necessary to ensure the safety of yourself and your family or employees. Turning off the power will ensure the prevention of electrocution of any appliances that may be in the affected area. If the water event is minor, there may not be a need to shut off any utilities.

2. Get the Water Out Quickly and Use Fans to Circulate Air

Quickly cleaning up of as much water as possible can prevent further damage.  This can be done by mopping or using any available towels to wipe up the water.  If fans are available, strategically place them to circulate the area to assist in drying. This is extremely important immediately following the loss and within the first 24-48 hours.  A reputable restoration company can also assist in the extraction and drying of water damage. Call us for a referral.

3. Get Property to a Dry Location and Don’t Throw Anything Out

If possible, remove any area rugs to prevent any possible staining of the floor and move contents to a dry area. Put furniture on blocks or slide a square of aluminum foil under furniture legs to prevent any further damage to the furniture or the flooring that the furniture is sitting on.  This would be a good time to conduct an inventory of the damaged property.  Do not throw anything out until the claims adjuster has had an opportunity to inspect the scene.  Photos are also recommended.

4. Call us ASAP.

We are your liaison between yourself and Farmers. We will be able to give you advise on coverage as well as the claims process, including your deductible.  If it’s in your best interest to file the claim, we will help you submit the claim ASAP.  The claims team will provide you further direction as to what your next steps will be.