Category Archives: Homeowners Insurance
For most of us, Labor Day means the end of summer. Whether you are a seasonal homeowner or a snowbird, now is the time to winterize your home. Proper planning can help avoid damage and expensive repairs in the spring. Develop a checklist which includes the following items.
- Prevent water damage – A water pipe that freezes and bursts can cause extensive damage. Turn off the water at the supply point and properly drain all systems including the pressure tank. Turn on faucets and leave them open. Flush toilets and remove water from the tanks. Shower and sink traps should be flushed. Add an RV/Marine anti-freeze made specifically for water plumbing systems to the toilet and sink traps.
- Furnace – keep the thermostat at about 58 degrees to help prevent freezing problems. If you turn the furnace off for the winter, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for winterizing the system.
- Appliances – Drain all appliances that hold water, including the water heater, washing machine, dishwasher, and ice maker. Clean and defrost the refrigerator and freezer and prop the doors open to prevent mold and mildew. Unplug all electrical items and shut off the valves for any gas appliances.
- Structural repairs – tightly cover the chimney and fill holes in the foundation to prevent animals from entering the home. Check the roof and siding to make sure it is secure and intact. Examine the exterior windows, doors, and any pipe openings and caulk areas that could let air, water, bugs or rodents into the house.
- Outdoor work – Clean gutters and mow the lawn. Trim branches over power lines and buildings. Prune back bushes from the home to make it harder for burglars to hide. Lock furniture and yard maintenance items in a shed or garage. Disconnect and drain hoses and cover outdoor faucets with insulation. Winterize all watercraft. Remove the entire dock from the water, including pipes, and store on shore away from the water.
- Indoor cleaning – Thoroughly clean the house before closing it for the winter to help prevent mold, mildew, insect and rodent problems. If leaving any boxed food, be sure to store the food in metal containers with tight lids. Remove cosmetics, cleaners, food and medicines that contain liquid. Put out several boxes of rodent poison if you feel it is necessary.
- Minimize chances of theft – Remove or hide electronics, TV’s or computers from plain sight so anyone looking in the windows can’t see them. Remember to forward or stop your mail and stop newspaper delivery. Make sure all windows and doors are closed and locked. Close the blinds and curtains. Set lights on automatic timers.
- Snow removal – arrange to keep your sidewalks and driveway clear of snow.
- Contact person – ask a friend, neighbor, or relative to be the contact person for your home. This person should have access to your home. It’s important to have someone check your home on a regular basis, remove sales flyers, be available in emergency situations and make repair appointments if necessary. Make sure your contact person knows how to get in touch with you.
Hire a professional if you are uncomfortable completing any of these tasks to winterize your home. Check with your insurance agent to determine if your home is properly covered. Seasonal homes often require a specialized policy that addresses the specific situation of a homeowner who only occupies a residence for part of the year. Snowbirds need to determine how extended absences may affect their homeowners insurance coverage.
As we mentioned in our previous post Protecting Yourself and Your Business from Spring Storms, in addition to protecting your personal and business assets, it is even more important to protect yourself and other people in the event of a severe storm or other dangerous weather event.
Three key actions you can take now to be prepared for severe weather at home and at work include keeping a Go Bag handy, having adequate survival supplies available at your home and place of business, and creating a communication plan for your family and employees.
Many people assume they have coverage on their homeowners policy for floods and earthquakes. However, homeowners, condo, and renters insurance policies do not provide coverage for damage caused by flooding and may not provide earthquake coverage.
Flood Insurance – Don’t find yourself floating down the river!
It’s been a long, cold winter this year, and with the frigid temperatures has come a significant increase in the risk of frozen pipes. Now that spring is upon us, most people assume the risk has passed completely, but that is unfortunately not the case.
Although we are thankfully beginning to experience warmer daytime temperatures, spring is still unpredictable when it comes to overnight temps and daytime fluctuations.
What if you’ve experienced the loss of some or all of your possessions, either through a theft, fire, or natural disaster? How can you file a homeowners insurance claim as quickly and easily as possible? Kemner-Iott Agency has some great tips to help you through this process.
Immediately Report the Incident to Authorities
Last week we discussed how to protect special Christmas gifts such as jewelry, furs, and antiques, but what if you’re still not sure if a gift you’ve purchased or received is properly covered under your current insurance policy? Our happy insurance elves at Kemner-Iott Agency will also help you keep all these other special items out of the hands of the Grinch this holiday season!
Christmas time is here, and you’re buzzing like a happy Who. Your house is decorated, your cookie jars are full, and there are piles of special gifts under your tree. But what if you aren’t sure how to keep those gifts protected? How can you keep the Grinches of theft, accident, or fire from stealing your Christmas?
For most of us, Labor Day means the end of summer. Whether you are a seasonal homeowner or a snowbird, now is the time to winterize your home. So before you head South or stay in your Michigan home, plan accordingly to avoid damage and expensive repairs in the spring.
To assist you in this process, here is a helpful checklist:
Getting ready for college is an exciting and stressful time in life for students and their parents. Undoubtedly you have several checklists to make sure nothing is forgotten. A conversation with your insurance agent should be on the list of tasks to make sure the college student, their family and the family’s assets are adequately protected in the event of serious injury or a liability claim.