DIY Home Improvements Safety Tips

We can’t resist the lure of the free—nor of something on sale. Getting a good deal and saving more than a few shekels in the process feels great. This is also one of the reasons why plenty of people want to do their own home improvement projects. With a little time and effort, you can save a lot. Sound great, right? However, before you start on your own project, here are a few DIY home improvement safety tips you should keep in mind.

  • Do your research. According to the Craft Pro Contracting site, one way to ensure your safety is to make sure you’ve done the proper research. Are you prepared for the job? You should know what materials you’re going to use and how to use them. If the process involves tools, learn how to use them before you start. For anything that has you dealing with pumping and electrical repairs, don’t go into it blind. Ask a consultant for help.
  • Everything off. Make sure the power is turned off before you start. According to an article from How Stuff Works, electrical repairs must always be “approached with extreme caution.” So if you’re working on a ceiling fan or light, make sure you turn off the switch, first thing. To be extra certain, you might want to turn off the master switch for the entire house.
  • When in doubt, hire a professional. When dealing with electrical repairs yourself, hire a professional if you have to extend or replace a circuit. This is dangerous work and no matter how clear the instructions look on that video you downloaded, a single misstep could get you electrocuted or lead to a fire that could burn the […]
By |2018-06-09T09:47:50-04:00February 25th, 2015|Insurance|0 Comments

Pests that Affect Your Homeowners Insurance

When pests like mice, moths, rats, beetles, woodworms and termites come, they don’t just leave holes in your home, they leave plenty of that in your pockets, too. Having any of these in your home means you’ll have to shell out more for the right insurance.

Curious? Here’s some of the most common pests around that could be lying in wait in your property right now:

Termites. When it comes to annual property damage, these pests can cause more than $5 billion in charges. The worst thing about the termites, though, is that these are also incredibly hard to find, or their colony, until it’s too late. Hence the term “silent destroyers.” One way to make sure they stay away from your home is to eliminate humid spots, especially those that don’t get regular exposure to light. The inside of cabinets and dark corners are common breeding grounds so make sure to always check these areas for termites.

Mice and rats. In a report by the Pest World Organization, the estimated number of homes invaded by mice and rats, in the US alone, has reached 21 million. The numbers peak during the winter when rat and mice infestations run higher in homes because they’re trying to look for food and shelter. With these pests, real estate damage isn’t the only worry. Since the Dark Ages, when mice were carriers of the Bubonic plague, humanity has recognized rats and mice as carriers of potentially fatal diseases. In addition, some attribute 25 percent of house fires to be the handiwork of rodents, as they tend to bite through electrical wires.

Cockroaches. These pests are not exactly on the same league as rodents and termites. After all, they don’t cause […]

By |2015-02-18T08:30:17-04:00February 18th, 2015|Insurance|0 Comments

Citizens Takeouts: a Few Points

As changes in the take-out/transfer program of Citizens Property Insurance Corp. push home owners into making a choice between “opting-out” or “clearing out,” many are still left in the dark, unsure of the possible consequences either choice might have.

Citizens Depopulation Program

In 2014, state-run Citizens announced its goal to reduce its policies, shrinking from 930,000 to around 700,000. Intended to minimize risk for the state, the move opened the door for many private insurers as these companies sought to take over thousands of Citizen’s policyholders.

Regulators allowed more than 1.1 million policies to be taken out by private insurers. By November of last year, policies of around 185,405 were taken out, according to the Tampa Bay Times. From 1.5 million policies in 2012, Citizens went to about 727,000 in 2014, by November’s end.

Customers Reject Take-Out Offers

Policyholders can exercise their right to say no, of course. Since 2008, Citizens customers have, in fact, been declining the takeout offers.

Things haven’t been easy for customers on this end, though. Unless they formally decline the offer by returning an opt-out form, the take-over automatically pushes through. Customers then end up having to talk to Citizens, the new company and their agent to straighten everything out. It all falls on the customers to follow through and make sure their wishes are met.

Opt-out or Automatic Takeout

Despite warnings by Citizens of heavy surcharges, many are opting-out. Customers who opt out of leaving Citizens take their chances with the clearinghouse.

Under the clearinghouse, customers can only be transferred to another private insurer if the rates offered are equal or lower than those offered by Citizens. If anything happens in the first three years—the company drops the customer or goes bankrupt—they are free to go […]

By |2015-02-11T08:47:08-04:00February 11th, 2015|Insurance|0 Comments