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Don’t Be “Cheap” when it comes to insurance coverage. The worst scenario is being under-insured when you have a large claim.

You pay a lot for insurance coverage; when you have a claim you want adequate coverage and not have to come out of pocket more then your deductible. 

One of the biggest fallacies is that consumers only care about getting better rates.
Here are things that you as a consumer should know:

  • Property prices are increasing and people want to protect their investments
  • Most properties in the California fires were under-insured, probably to reduce premiums
  • Clients WILL PAY more for better coverage. Often their current agent/company hasn’t reviewed their policies and the client has too little coverage
  • We will pointing out the facts to you while being professional and we will win your business

The mortgage industry lost trust of mortgage brokers after the 2008 mortgage crisis and many lost their jobs. We pledge not to this happen to the insurance industry! We will help you evaluate your risks and gives you an abundance of information to help you select the proper coverage, insure to value, and select appropriate premium.

Call, text, click or email for your personal or business insurance review today.
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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Dog Bites?

When you think of homeowners insurance your probably do not think of your pets harming a child or other animal, however this is a leading cause of liability claims under your homeowners policy.

Below is an excerpt from a local Lee’s Summit Dog Trainer’s Blog.  Follow Debra Murray for more info:

DOG BITE PREVENTION WEEK

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year. This number is especially disheartening since most dog bites are preventable. Dog awareness and advocacy, as well as responsible pet ownership, is where dog bite prevention begins.

1. Dog Awareness: That little phrase packs a lot of punch! Dog awareness starts with educating yourself on the basics of canine communication. It continues with seeking to be well-informed about our canine companions. If your knowledge comes from tv “experts”, your neighbor, and personal opinions, then you’ve got some more investigating to do. Dog behavior is a science. There are numerous myths and hypothetical postulations that have sadly spread like wildfire over the years. If you’re still in the dark ages believing dogs are trying to dominate their human families and be the pack leader, then that’s a good place to start looking into recent scientific discoveries. Everyone benefits from continuous growth in dog awareness.

2. Dog Advocacy: I hope you won’t be able to continue business as usual once you begin increasing your dog aware skills, and have a better understanding of man’s best friend. The humane thing to do is start advocating for, at the least, your own dog. When you recognize distress, fear, nervousness, anxiety, etc., then do your best to appropriately guide your dog. Don’t rely on their remarkable tolerance to prevent growls, snaps, snarls and bites. Kindly remove them, or the stressors that cause discomfort. You can go a step further and enlist a positive reinforcement trainer or veterinary behaviorist to guide you in improving your dog’s emotional responses.

3. Responsible Pet Ownership: This not only includes providing for the basic needs of your pet, but also forming realistic expectations. All dogs have teeth. All dogs can bite. Expecting your dog to tolerate consistent distressful situations without repercussion is irresponsible. Even our good family dogs can snap or bite when their tolerance levels are exceeded, combined, or overlooked. If you already have a dog that exhibits aggression, fearfulness, reactivity, etc., then you should take precautions to ensure the safety of your pet and others.

Pursuing the above goals will not only aid in the prevention of dog bites in your community, but also put us on a better path to becoming dogs’ best friends.

For the YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/nSPGLlLPJxY
For the full article:
https://www.smartypaws.net/blog/67-national-dog-bite-prevention-week-2018.html

 

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.

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.

freezing-pipes-3