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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.

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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.

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

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.

 

Insurance Tip-Act NOW!

INSURANCE TIP__
Just a reminder to disconnect your garden hoses if you haven’t already! The Weather Service predicts lows in the single digits so to prevent freeze damage to your hose spigot, disconnect the garden hose so the spigot can drain properly. If the spigot does freeze and burst the pipe, you may not be aware of it until next spring when you use the hose again. A ruptured pipe can do significant damage in a very short period of time. An ounce of prevention can save thousands of gallons of water in your basement! We want you to keep your deductible and not spend it on home repairs!
Regards and stay warm!

–How to avoid freezing pipes–

Unoccupied buildings are susceptible to damage especially when Mother Nature sends an unpredictable wave of frigid air across the country.
freezing-pipes-2We usually associate freezing pipes with cold climate states, but temperatures low enough to freeze or damage pipes can happen anywhere in the country.  The water damage can be more severe when pipes burst in areas considered to be “warm” because proper precautions and action plans are not in place.

Here are some tips to aid policyholders in protecting their properties:

  • Turn on the heat to keep the entire building warm.
  • Confirm cracks or wall penetrations are sealed, and doors and windows are securely closed.
  • Install devices to shut off water in the event a pipe leaks and water is flowing.
  • Inspect/replace appliances and water supply lines as recommended by the manufacturer, and when damage is observed.
  • Insulate or apply heat tape to water pipes, including wet sprinkler system pipes.
  • Install a monitoring system for building temperature.
  • Heat sprinkler control valve/fire pump rooms with UL approved devices.
  • Develop a plan and locate all water shut-off valves so quick action can be taken for a leak.
  • Use a qualified service or individual for interior inspections during weather events or any extended unoccupied periods to confirm the security of the property.

When small problems go undetected, they become big problems.  Business and rental property owners should prepare for events or seasons when buildings may go unoccupied for a planned or unplanned period of time.

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For your auto and home insurance coverage, should you go through an agent or online?

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For many people, the convenience of buying insurance online from the provider or from an 800 number is appealing; but when a CRISIS hits, it is in YOUR BEST INTEREST to have an agent who is LOCAL, whom you know personally and can serve as a liaison between yourself and the insurance carrier. It is always most beneficial to have your auto-home-life insurance, all with the same company.

At our agency, we know YOU personally, you never have to confirm your name, address, or give a policy number when you call. We take the time to meet and sit down with our clients and to do a review of all their policies. If you talk with an “800 Insurance Company” you’ll never speak to the same person twice and they have no idea who you are as a person and what coverage you need. If there is a serious claim, it’s doubtful that you could ever find the employee of the “800 Insurance Company” to ask them why they sold you the coverage that they did.

In times of trouble, our agency goes to bat for you. We help file the claim, we can speak the adjusters, and help out with any unforeseen situations related to the claim. This is especially important, especially with weather-related incidents where there can be quite a large area off affected clients. We’re here to be an advocate YOU, if something is not being addressed promptly or if there is a communication issue, we’ll help you resolve it quickly and get you back where you belong.

Another great attribute of having Farmers Insurance is that we only work with our own adjusters, meaning  the adjuster inspecting the damage is someone who is knowledgeable with Farmers Insurance policies. Many online insurers (as well as independent insurance agencies) use independent adjusters, who may not be as familiar with each insurer’s claims. This can cause larges delays as well as unfavorable outcomes when you have a claim.

For a review of your coverage, give us a call anytime 816-795-5977.

Claims, Claims, Claims-What your agent did NOT tell you.

In last month or so, I’ve had 2 vastly difference scenarios with 2 different insurance carriers, both “name brands.”  I’ve changed the name to protect the guilty!  It’s sad that the scenario happened, but the claims service you receive from your insurance carrier can be vastly different from one carrier to another.

Insurance Company A-Client files a home claim Oct 5. They drag their feet and finally send out an adjuster on Oct 31. However this adjuster is not an employee of Brand A, they are a ‘independent adjuster’ who is not allowed to bring the claim to completion (and submit payment to the insured). They are allowed (by law) to take 10 days to complete the claim after inspection. The took the entire 10 days to process the claim and the check. Claim closed Nov 9
**Process time from claim filing to claim closed—-
**35(THIRTY FIVE DAYS)

Farmers client (my insured). Files home claim Nov 8th. Due to high claims volume from the Liberty hail storms 2 weeks ago, our adjuster (who is a FARMERS employee), works OVERTIME on a SUNDAY. Client gets their check in hand before the adjuster leaves their home on Sunday Nov 13.
**Process time from claim filing to claim closed—-
**5 (FIVE) DAYS.

If you know of someone who has had a claims ‘runaround’ those are great referrals for me. We are proud of our company, offer great service, take care of our clients, and most importantly proud of our claims service. #WeAreFarmers 

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