Winter is Coming: 3 S’s of Protecting Your Home

Power outages, flooding, and fallen trees: it’s that time of the year again. Rainy weather is up ahead, and Claims Journal is already warning homeowners everywhere of what’s to be expected, especially considering the effect that El Nino is having on the weather. According to the report, AIR World noted that two tornadoes in Mississippi were the result of the storm that affected 20 states, with wind gusts growing stronger until they reached the level and power of a hurricane.

The article further adds that this year’s weather conditions might mean a rise in incidents like flooding as well as power outages. Combine that with problems common to homes during the season—and you have a problem on your hands.

Available data says that a mere 27 percent of power outages happen during the first three months of the year. But El Nino is likely to increase those numbers.

Preparing for Winter

Given these predictions, it’s smart to take the necessary precautions to make sure you and your home are safe throughout the season. Here are the 3 S’s you’ll want to keep in mind:

  • Seasonal Maintenance: It’s hugely important to have maintenance work done on your HVAC systems regularly, as this will prevent issues in the case of an emergency when it comes to heating or air conditioning. In the case of storms that bring heavy rains and flooding, be sure that you’re prepped for the possibility of water infiltration or damage. And after the storm, don’t hesitate to call for any necessary repairs to your roof. You should also clear your gutters of debris to make sure the drains are clear, says the Insurance Information Institute. Trim your trees and clear branches that might […]
By |2016-02-03T16:31:18-04:00February 24th, 2016|Insurance|0 Comments

Way to Prevent CO Leaks in Your Home

One of the most important things you need to stay on top of as a homeowner is keeping your home protected against carbon monoxide leaks. Carbon monoxide, or CO, is gas that’s colorless, tasteless, and odorless, making it tough to detect. It’s the result of burning fuel such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood or charcoal, and so can come from any fuel-burning sources around your home, including your furnace, fireplace, space heaters, central heating system, stove and car.

Of course, these are all designed to avoid the emission of harmful levels of CO, but in the event of a malfunction, it’s possible that CO levels might grow toxic to you and your family’s health, and in extreme cases, even fatal.

Alarm.org notes the deadly effects of CO on the body:

  • Your red blood cells will absorb carbon monoxide faster than they will oxygen.
  • Too much CO in your blood will prevent the oxygen from getting into your body, resulting in headaches, dizziness and weakness.
  • Nausea and vomiting along with chest pains and confusion are common signs of CO poisoning as well.
  • In extreme cases, it can result in death.

What to Know

Don’t let all that unpleasantness happen by taking the necessary steps to protect your home. To make sure you and your family aren’t subjected to CO exposure, heed these tips:

  • Install heating appliances. Follow manufacturer’s guides in using them to guarantee maximum level of success
  • Get gases out of your home with chimneys and vents. Great ventilation is crucial in effectively releasing gases from home
  • Considering how important your heating system, chimneys, and vents are, it’s wise to have them regularly inspected and checked for possible repairs.
  • Hire a qualified heating contractor to take care of your heating system as well. Don’t attempt […]
By |2016-02-02T15:22:16-04:00February 17th, 2016|Insurance|0 Comments

Rooted Issues: Can My Insurance Cover Me When a Tree Falls on My Home?

So you wake up on Monday morning after a long and restful weekend, ready to greet the world with a bright demeanor and a big smile after that storm passed the night before… only to have your spouse tell you that while you were asleep, a tree came crashing down upon your family car. Or worse yet, it’s not your spouse who wakes you, but the tree itself, denting your roof late at night.

Trees can be beautiful and timeless additions to any backyard, but they’re less welcomed when they become an incredibly heavy pillar of wood pressing down on your property. It’s not too uncommon – in fact, the most common insurance claims for automobiles are fallen tree branches, according to Nationwide. And according to the Insurance Information Institute, wind is the most common cause.

Damages from falling trees can be quite extensive – but believe it or not, there’s a good amount of nuance that goes into determining whether or not you’re actually eligible for an insurance claim on your home if a tree collapses onto it. The criteria, you ask? 

Is the Tree Yours?

The rule is very simple: whoever bears the damages, pays the costs. Or in your case, the insurance company pays the costs. Meaning, even if the tree was your neighbor’s, your company is paying for your damages, and vice-versa. So if your tree fell on your neighbor’s home, their insurance company pays for the damages. It works the same way if your own tree falls on your home – your insurance will still cover the damages.

There is an important exception, however. 

What Was the Condition of the Tree?

If your tree was a verifiable danger to the state of your home […]

By |2018-06-09T09:47:46-04:00February 9th, 2016|Insurance|0 Comments

Do You Own a Home? You Could Be Saving More Money

Usually when a New Year kicks in, it kicks in with changes in tax schemes and insurance policies. Often, companies (and the IRS) wait until the New Year to implement planned changes because, well, it’s the New Year, and it gives us, the car owners, home owners and taxpayers, time to prepare and research.

And as it turns out, this year has come with a couple presents. Most specifically, homeowners now have new tools in their repertoire to help themselves save up a good chunk of cash each year in the form of tax deductibles and discounts, but only if they do the math and remember to include these deductibles in their tax reports.

Nothing is more painful than coming to the slow realization that you just missed the opportunity to save thousands of dollars on a tax deduction that you didn’t know existed, so let’s go through some of the few chances you have at saving money this year. Apart from some of the mortgage interest deductions, as Bankrate explains, you have a couple other important tax deductions to consider this year:

Do You Work from Home?

If you run a business from home or have a dedicated office set up at home, then you can deduct from the expenses required to build that office – specifically an increased heating bill and electricity bill, as well as the cost of renovations, additions, and phone lines. Any increase in property taxes, mortgage interest and insurance costs are up for tax deduction. As the IRS says, there are a couple rules to consider for this to be valid:

  • You must use a part of your home exclusively for business. This part is your office – and it’s […]
By |2018-06-09T09:47:47-04:00February 3rd, 2016|Insurance|0 Comments