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October Is Fire Prevention Month

October is officially Fire Prevention Month. As your insurance agency, this is an issue that is very important to us! Unfortunately, we’ve seen clients suffer from home fires, and we want to share some things you can do to prevent a disaster.

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Beyond basic fire prevention, like checking electrical cords and not leaving a pot unattended on the stove, there are several important things to do with your children or grandchildren to make sure they’re safe.

First, create a PLAN. When children know what to expect, they can remain calm, even during an emergency. Help your child know exactly what to do if a fire occurs.

Stress the importance of getting out of the house and to your family meeting spot.  Choose an area a safe distance from the house where children should go if making a fire escape. It could be a street light, mailbox, or neighbor’s tree.

If you have pets, tell your kids that your pets will find their own way out safely and that they should never go back to rescue the pet on their own.

As a family, go through each room of the house and discuss TWO different ways to get out if a fire occurs. Let children practice opening a latch and unlocking doors too.

Now host a fire drill! Make the practice drills fun and informative. Create sample scenarios and build up your kid’s confidence. They’ll be better prepared for a fire and you will too!

When it comes to any sort of emergency situation, people are what matter most. Take precautions to protect your loved ones and let your professional insurance agents take care of protecting your home and belongings! Call us for a free quote on your Homeowner’s Insurance today!

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August Home Maintenance Tasks

Regular home maintenance is important and frequently overlooked.  We tend to forget about our HVAC system until it quits working on a hot day!  That’s why, we’re providing a few simple tasks and reminders you can do each month to keep your home in tip top shape all year long.

Here’s where you can get started in August:

Do an energy audit.  Hot weather is a great time to find all the spots in your home where air may be sneaking in.  Plugging those leaks can save as much as 20% on your heating and cooling bills!

Look at every door and window area for places where you can see daylight through a crack or feel a draft.  Don’t forget the mail slot and fireplace too!  If you’d rather use a professional, contact your utility company for a recommendation on a home energy auditor.

Protect your patio furniture.  You probably have all of your nice outdoor furniture in use right now.  Make sure to take a few minutes to clean it each week (and protect it during storms) and it will last for many years.

Check the tags on pillows and cushions for specific cleaning instructions and regularly hose down the furniture itself. Remember, patio cushions are a favorite place for busy squirrels so try to keep them protected!

Save on Home Insurance.  If we don’t currently insure your home, call us for a quote today.  We’ll look for every possible discount without sacrificing important coverage.  Great insurance coverage is the best protection you can have!

June Tips

When summer arrives, many people leave the day-to-day routine behind and go on vacation in June.  Hopefully you’re planning a trip sometime soon too!

But what do you need to know before you hit the road? Consider these special situations:

Rental Cars  – If you choose to rent a car, make sure you understand how your insurance works. A rental car company will want to sell you special coverage to cover the car while you are driving it. The insurance will cost you a certain amount extra each day. But did you know that your current insurance will typically also cover you at no additional cost?

However, if you have a claim filed on your current policy, your rates could go up in the future.  And rental car companies could file a claim for very minor damage.

Obviously it is a risk either way, but make sure you know your options. And please contact us BEFORE renting a car to find out what is specifically covered on your policy.

Hosting A Barbecue  – It’s always fun to throw a summer barbecue. It’s even more fun when you aren’t worried about your insurance! Your homeowners and renters insurance covers you if someone is injured on your property due to your negligence. That means that if they trip on a step, fall on the patio, or cut their hand on a glass, you don’t have to worry.

But, as always, you need to discuss this with your agent and go over exactly what coverage you have. If you have a lot of assets, then you might need additional liability coverage too.

Notice a pattern here? The general rule is that you need a personal insurance agent who is looking out for your particular needs! There is not a “one size fits all” approach when it comes to protecting your family and your belongings.  Take just 5 minutes to give us a call today to discuss your policy!

Don’t Leave Home For Vacation Without Doing This…

Ready to head out of town on vacation?  Temperatures are climbing, school is ending, and everyone is eager for a break.  But there are a few things to keep in mind before you leave town in order to keep your possessions protected.

Don’t Advertise That You’ll Be Out Of Town
Think about the things that happen around your home on a daily basis, so that your home doesn’t look empty when you leave.

First, contact the Post Office (and the newspaper) and put your services on hold.  A full mailbox and a driveway full of newspapers are a sign to thieves that you’re an easy target!

Can you put a few lights on a timer so that your home isn’t dark all night?  Even leaving on a few lamps will help.  Motion sensitive lights on your porch and driveway are a great idea too.

Do you have a neighbor that you trust?  Let them know of your plans, share your contact number, and consider leaving a spare key just in case.

What if a severe thunderstorm hits while you’re out of town?  It could knock out power or even cause a tree in your yard to fall.  Your neighbor can make sure that your freezer is back on when the power restores or verify that there aren’t any leaks in the roof from the storm damage!  This can help prevent some bad surprises when you get home. Here at our agency we call this YOUR Key Neighbor. Your Key Neighbor should also have our office phone number should any emergency claims arise.

When You’re On The Road
The biggest tip I share with my clients is to avoid leaving valuables in the car! 

Many people believe that their belongings are covered by car insurance, but that is not the case.  The only coverage for your luggage and computer would be on your Homeowners Insurance and it’s subject to your deductible and possibly other limits.

Also, most policies offer coverage for road side assistance and towing.  This can be invaluable when you are stranded (or accidentally lock your keys in the car in an unfamiliar town).  This coverage is inexpensive and quick to add to your policy. Just call 1-800-435-7764 or 800-FARM TOW.

Have questions about your insurance before your next trip?  Give us a call anytime to discuss your policy or to get a quote!

March Home Maintenance Tips

What do you need to do this month to keep your home running smoothly and your family protected?  Read below to find out! 

Change Batteries In Smoke Detectors – When the time changes, it’s a great idea to change the batteries in all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  This way you always know that they are working and in good order!

Make A Severe Weather Plan – Designate a safe place in your home in case of bad weather.  Stock it with basic emergency supplies and throw in an extra flashlight and batteries too!

Check Your Credit Report – March is Credit Education Month.  When was the last time you checked to see that your credit reports were accurate?  If it’s been over a year, stop by www.annualcreditreport.com and order a free copy today.

Review Your Insurance Discounts – Are you getting all the discounts you qualify for?  Call us to review your policy and see if there are any changes that need to be made.

 

And as always, give us a call if you have any questions or need assistance with auto, home, business, or life insurance. 

February Home Maintenance and Tasks

Each month in 2015, we’ll be sharing a short list of tasks that you can do to help take care of your home, vehicle, and family.  Consider them a helpful reminder of what needs to get accomplished throughout the month to keep your important items protected.

Here’s what’s on the list for February:

Purchase A Fire Extinguisher – If you don’t have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen, now is the time to get at least one.  Plan a family meeting and teach everyone in the household when and how to use it.  It’s an easy way to prevent a small kitchen fire from getting out of hand.

Schedule High-Value Jewelry On Your Insurance Policy – Did your Valentine surprise you with a new piece of jewelry?  Make sure it’s covered!  While your Homeowners or Renters policy will cover jewelry, there are some limitations.  Get an appraisal and bring it in so we can discuss the best course of action.  (This also applies to artwork, guns, and other collectibles or antiques.)

Seal Up Drafty Windows – Feel cool air blowing in around windows or doors?  Seal them up now!  You’ll be glad you did when those summer air conditioning bills arrive.

Newlywed Insurance Review – Did you get married this month?  Call us to schedule a newlywed insurance review!  We’ll look at your individual policies and discuss how best to combine them for your new household.

Show The Love! – There is no better way to show your family how much you love them, then with the proper amount of life insurance!  We can give you a quote on an affordable term policy and help you get this important coverage in place quickly.

 

We LOVE our clients!  Let us know if we can assist you in any way with your auto, home, business, or life insurance.