Personal Property Inventory

November 19, 2015 at 3:06 PM | Posted in Event Planning, Home, Insurance Claims, Insurance Policy, Personal Insurance, Personal Property, Safety Tips, Specialty Policy | Leave a comment
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Why is taking inventory of your Personal Property so important?

If your home was destroyed, or a theft occurred, could you compile a complete list of your personal property from memory?  Most people couldn’t; WHY? Maybe because they’d be too devastated by the loss itself to be able to write down all that was destroyed. Or maybe because after a lot of years, it’s hard to keep track of what one owns! Compiling a complete list is something you’d be asked to do at the time of filing your claim.

We know that putting a dollar value on possessions you’ve accumulated over many years is difficult and that only you can decide the extent of your insurance needs. However, if the unthinkable happened, would you have enough coverage for everything?  Your Personal Property Inventory serves two important functions:

  • as a valuable record of your possessions
  • as a way for you to judge the adequacy of your present coverage – do you have enough?

The inventory list should be stored somewhere safe, preferably away from your home. Our suggestion would be to take a video of each room in your home and store that video off premises – a relative’s home, safety deposit box, etc. Then if the worst happened, it would be available at the time you report your loss.

 

Benefits of a Home Inventory

Obtaining a comprehensive home inventory:

  • Ensures you have the necessary amount of insurance coverage.
  • Identifies items—such as jewelry, coins, antiques, artwork, and silverware—that have limited coverage on a home or tenant policy and helps to determine if additional insurance is needed for those items.

The decision can then be made to purchase additional coverage (known as a “rider”) so the items will be insured for their full value. This then…

  • Allows an evaluation on whether to insure your property and contents at “replacement cost” or “actual cash value.” Replacement cost is the amount it takes to replace or repair your home and possessions with materials of similar quality. Actual cash value is a lower amount that consists of replacement cost less depreciation.
  • Verifies the condition of your assets before moving or placing them in storage in case of loss or damage.

So break out your camera and say action!cinematographer marker

Don’t be caught “underinsured” and/or unable to remember what you own. Call us today to discuss your homeowners or renters insurance policy, and find out what you need to ensure you’re protected in case of loss at our toll free number: 888-850-9400.

 

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It’s That Time of Year to Start Preparing Your Home for Winter

October 22, 2015 at 8:26 AM | Posted in Home, Insurance Claims, Insurance Policy, Personal Insurance, Personal Property, Reminders, Safety Tips, Seasonal | Leave a comment
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Beautiful New England foliage is at its peak and the leaves are falling, along with the temperature. Last winter was brutal – who knows what Mother Nature has in store for us this year?? We came up with a list of things for you to consider before winter sets in:

  • Tune Up Time – Snow blowers and generators should be tuned up; check to make sure they’re running correctly.
  • Shovels & Sand– Stock an adequate supply of both.
  • Tree Maintenance – Trim branches away from power lines, your roof and gutters.
  • Heating System & Chimneys – Have these items professionally cleaned before the heating season starts.
  • Clean the Gutters – If your gutters are full of debris, water can back up against the house and damage your roof, siding, and wood trim, and also lead to leaks and ice dams.
  • Inspect Your Roof & Attic– Look for damaged, loose or missing shingles that may cause leaks, especially if you had icicles hanging off your roof last winter, or even worse, suffered from ice dams. Make sure you take preventative measures to fix any air leaks and ensure you have adequate insulation in your attic. Making sure these things are taken care of will prevent any snow melting and leaking into your attic, causing potential water damage to the inside of your house.
  • Divert Water Spouts– add extensions onto your downspouts to divert water away from your foundation to prevent ground water seepage into your basement.
  • Shut-Off Exterior Water Faucets – Drain water from pipes and hoses to prevent them from freezing and bursting.
  • Space Heaters – Inspect all heating appliances thoroughly before using them. Make sure you’re up-to-date on Space Heater safety.
  • Emergency Supplies – Replace and restock before/after power outages. Include batteries, flashlights, non-perishable food supplies, and blankets.

Checking off this list and being prepared for the winter months will help ensure you have a worry free and claim free season. Please feel free to call us with any questions about your coverage and how to best keep yourself protected at 888.852.8500.

Take Preventive Measures Against Ice Dams Before Winter

September 24, 2015 at 11:41 AM | Posted in Home, Insurance Claims, Insurance Policy, Personal Insurance, Personal Property, Reminders, Safety Tips, Seasonal | Leave a comment
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With the colder weather approaching, now is the time to start thinking about getting your home ready for the winter; particularly your roof. A roof catches all of the precipitation winter has to offer, and if unprepared, winter can break through its protective barrier and damage your home, using ice dams as its main weapon. Ice dams are a home owner’s nightmare, but taking preventative measures, and educating yourself on how they occur, can help keep your roof secure.

Cycles of warm and cold air closest to the roof are the primary cause of ice dams. Keeping warm air out of your attic, and cold air circulating in, is critical to minimize the warming of the underside of your roof. As a homeowner, there are steps that you can take ahead of time to avoid water damage from ice dams.

  • Insulate the attic floor and put weather stripping around pull-down stairs
  • Increase ventilation in attics by installing eave, soffit, ridge and gable vents
  • Install water and ice shield on the entire roof
  • Install heating coils on the roof

Water damage to the contents in your home resulting from ice dams is not covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy unless you purchase “All Risk on Contents” coverage. If you do not have this type of coverage, or are unsure if you do and would like to discuss more about insuring your home against ice dams, call us at 1 (800) 850-9400.

Back to School – Make Sure Your Kids Know Bus & Bus Stop Safety

August 20, 2015 at 10:11 AM | Posted in back to school, Reminders, Safety Tips, Seasonal | Leave a comment
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It’s time for sending the kids back to school again! If your child(ren) take the bus or walk to school, it is important you review some basic rules with them:

If Your Child Walks…

  • make sure to choose a safe route
  • Stay alert and watch for cars; you may see them, but they may not see you.
  • Wear bright-colored clothes or reflective gear.
  • Always look left, right, left and behind you and in front for any oncoming traffic before crossing the street
  • walk with an adult or develop a buddy system
  • stay away from the street, no pushing or shoving
  • Never talk to or hitch a ride from strangers

If Your Child Takes the Bus…

  • Behave while waiting for the bus stop
  • Wait until the bus fully stops and the door opens before proceeding towards the bus
  • Wait for the bus to fully stop before getting up from your seat
  • If you need to cross in front of the bus, make sure you are far enough from the bus that the driver can see you and signal you that it is OK to cross the street.

Keeping these tips in mind, and sharing them with your child(ren), can help to ensure you both have a safe and happy school year!

SNOW REMOVAL SAFETY TIPS

January 28, 2015 at 11:16 AM | Posted in Safety Tips | Leave a comment
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Removing snow and ice from your property is an important winter safety activity. How you remove the snow and ice is also very important. The following tips may help you properly maintain your home while preventing injuries to yourself and others:

  1. To prevent injuring yourself, warm up by doing ten minutes of stretches or light exercises. Dress in layers so that you can remove clothing if you become too hot. Wear waterproof boots with slip-resistant soles. Take a bottle of water with you and drink regularly so that you don’t become dehydrated. To avoid back strain while lifting shovels of snow, keep your back straight while bending your knees and squatting down with your legs apart. Carry the shovels of snow to where you want to place the snow instead of throwing it over your shoulder or to the side. Keep your arms close to your body rather than outstretched when carrying the snow.
  2. To prevent injuries to others, keep your driveway and walkways clear. Once the snow has been removed apply salt/sand to provide traction and help melt away any ice. Remove any hanging icicles from roof edges and gutters so that they don’t fall on anyone.
  3. To avoid traffic fines, be sure to remove snow and ice completely from your vehicle – including the roof – you’ll be protecting not only yourself but other motorists driving near you.
  4. To prevent home leaks and ice dams remove snow from your roof. The safest way to do this is from ground level using a rake. Don’t stand directly below the area that you are working on to avoid pulling the snow down on top of yourself. If you must go onto the roof to deal with the snow, get someone to act as a spotter. Wear boots with good traction or add boot chains and use a harness or rope for extra security.
  5. To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, clear snow away from the vents around your home.

As always, it’s best to play it safe and hire a professional to remove snow around your home. However, if you have to do this task yourself, these tips may help keep you, your home, and others safe.

Preparing Your Home & Auto for the Changing Seasons

September 17, 2014 at 9:22 AM | Posted in Auto, Home, Reminders, Seasonal | Leave a comment
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The change of season brings in colder weather ~ like it or not. As warm summer days give way to the cooler air, we know the winter months aren’t far behind. While enjoying autumn’s changing weather, take a moment to pay full attention to the following items before the cold winter temperatures take hold:

Vehicles

  • Car Batteries – Cold weather drains a battery quickly make sure yours is charging at full capacity
  • Antifreeze – Make sure you have the levels required to handle low temperatures
  • Wipers and Windshield Washer Fluid – Check for proper working order and appropriate levels
  • Oil – Replace with winter grade oil
  • Tires – Make sure you have the adequate tread to handle the snow and ice
  • Ice Scrapers & Snow Brush – Stock your car with these essential snow and ice removal tools
  • Emergency Kit – Be sure to includes a shovel, blankets, flashlights, matches, food, and water

Home

  • Tune Up Time – Snow blowers and generators should be running correctly and currently tuned up
  • Shovels and Sand – Stock an adequate supply of both
  • Tree Maintenance – Trim branches away from power lines and your roof and gutters
  • Furnace & Chimneys – Have these items professionally cleaned before the heating season starts
  • Space Heaters – Inspect all heating appliances thoroughly before using them
  • Emergency Supplies – Replace and Restock before power outages. Include batteries, flashlights, non-perishable food supplies, and blankets
  • Medication – Always keep an emergency supply accessible to cover a few extra days in case you become stranded

Being prepared provides you the reassurance and comfort that will enable you to enjoy the changing seasons and the unexpected weather that is inevitable!

Home Maintenance Checklist

July 30, 2014 at 9:00 AM | Posted in Home | Leave a comment
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Household claims are on the rise, and the causes are not what you would typically expect. These types of claims are the result of circumstances within the home that you wouldn’t think of until it happens to you.

Three common appliances require simple home maintenance checks that could help you avoid unusual losses:

  1. Refrigerators – Clean under and around your refrigerator to help it operate at its peak efficiency during these hot summer days, and check the hose if you have an ice maker. A lot of refrigerators have built-in ice makers and the hose runs from the plumbing in the sink to the back of the freezer. These hoses should be checked or replaced on a regular basis to keep them in good working order and protect against unexpected leaks or damage to your home.
  2. Washing Machines – Check your washing machine hoses. The hoses from the water valve to the back of your washer have a life expectancy. Before they burst they might get a big goose egg in the weak spot that is getting ready to burst. If you have hoses that are wrapped in metal meshing, you should be okay. Check the hoses on the back of your washer to see if they are bulging or cracked. Get in the habit of checking them periodically or better yet shut off the water valve when you are not using the washer.
  3. Clothes Dryers – Remove the lint from your dryer using a lint brush to clean deep within the trap and vacuum the back of the dryer to eliminate as much lint as you can to prevent fire. Consider hiring a professional appliance repair company to perform routine cleanings to keep it working efficiently.

Sometimes the most common household conveniences cause the most inconvenient hassles once you neglect simple routine maintenance. Benjamin Franklin (the founder of American insurance) said himself: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Keep Your Vacation Worry Free:

July 23, 2014 at 9:00 AM | Posted in Home, Reminders | Leave a comment
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These final summer months whisk many people away from their homes on vacations or on day trips to enjoy the weather. This checklist will help you protect your home from potential theft or damage while you are away:

  • View your home as a burglar would. Identify the easiest points of entry, and implement diversions to make a break-in more difficult.
  • Look in to your home from your own windows, and move any valuable items out of plain view from a window.
  • Keep access to your home visible by trimming trees and shrubs away from doors and windows.
  • Mount exterior motion detector lights around your home and property.
  • Leave shades, curtains, and blinds in their usual position.
  • Discontinue deliveries, or arrange to have a friend or neighbor pick up newspapers and mail.
  • Use automatic timers to turn lights on and off in different areas of your home.
  • If you will be away for an extended period of time notify your local police department.
  • Never leave your house key hidden outside your home.
  • Unplug major appliances, televisions, and computers in case of a power surge.
  • Turn off the water valves to your washing machine and other water sources not being used while you are away.

Our summers are short ~ spend the time to safeguard your home so you can leave it, relax, and enjoy your vacation!

Swimming Safety

June 11, 2014 at 9:01 AM | Posted in Personal Property, Safety Tips, Seasonal | Leave a comment
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It’s official — pool season is here!  During the warm, humid weather it is lots of fun to go swimming, but make sure you don’t throw caution to the wind when cooling off in the water. Here are some tips to keep you and your family safe:

  • Become CPR certified.
  • Always swim with a buddy – never swim alone.
  • When in a public pool or lake, only swim in designated areas that are supervised by lifeguards.
  • Maintain constant supervision, especially for children.
  • Keep a swimming emergency kit handy that consists of: first aid kit, floatation device, charged cell phone, and a pair of scissors to cut hair, clothing, or a pool cover if needed.
  • Make sure everyone in your family learns to swim well and learns what to do in the case of rip tides.
  • Make sure anyone that is not a strong swimmer wears a life jacket.
  • Make sure the appropriate safe guards are installed in your home pool such as door alarms, window guards, and locking pool gates.
  • Make sure your pool or spa is in good working order and has the proper drain covers.
  • If a child goes missing, check the water first!
  • Protect your skin with a good sunscreen and re-apply frequently throughout the day.

Whether your summer includes swimming in your backyard pool, at the local swimming hole, or the town pool make sure you and your loved ones stay safe. Most swimming-related accidents are preventable.

Your Vehicle’s Winter Survival Tips

January 29, 2014 at 10:55 AM | Posted in Auto, Reminders, Safety Tips, Seasonal | Leave a comment
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New England’s winter weather can be harsh on our homes, ourselves, and extremely hard on our cars.

The following are some tips that may help your vehicle survive winter’s toll:

  • Check your anti-freeze regularly – with temperatures dropping, you want to make sure the mixture of anti-freeze in your vehicle will handle the extreme cold.
  • Have your oil checked – Consider using winter weight oils to help your vehicle turn over more easily during cold weather.
  • Car Batteries should be checked – Cold temperatures can drain the life of a battery quickly.
  • Inspect your tires – and don’t forget the spare – at least once a month. Make sure tire pressure is filled to the manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure. Check the age of your tires, because structural integrity of a tire can degrade over time.  Note the identification number located on the sidewall that begins with the letters DOT. The last four digits represent the week and year the tire was manufactured.  Some vehicle manufacturers recommend that tires be replaced every six years regardless of use. Remember to look at the tire treads. According to most states’ laws, tires are legally worn out when they have worn down to 2/32″ of remaining tread depth. Treads need to be adequate to have the traction needed for your safety, especially in inclement weather.
  • Install heavy-duty winter windshield wipers and fill your windshield wiper fluid reservoir regularly.  Keep extra in your vehicle in case it runs dry while you are on the road.
  • Carry a shovel and sand in your trunk. If you get stuck, it will help in getting your vehicle out.
  • Reduce your speed and maintain a safe distance from sand trucks and snow plows. Flying sand and snow could damage windshields as well as your paint job.
  • Washing your car periodically throughout the winter and keeping the undercarriage clean will prevent the salt from eating away at your vehicle.

Soon spring will return and it will be time to get your vehicle ready for the summer heat.
Until then, Protector Group asks you to keep this in mind when you take to the winter roads:
Ice and Snow, Take it Slow!

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