WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2020
Well this year has been one for the books! Covid 19 certainly changed so many everyday things in our lives - from having newly coined phrases like “the new norm” and “you’re on mute!” to experiencing major life events such as losing your job and finding a new way to bring in income to the family.
We’ve also seen changes such as working from home, teaching from home, and, for this writer - Constantly. Being. At. Home.
Being home all the time has been good for your homeowners insurance in some ways. Certain exposures have decreased. Families spending more time at home means that there are fewer break-ins and fires and a higher likelihood of catching leaks before damage is caused.
Some of us have experienced other changes that may cause gaps in our coverage such as finding new sources of income, renovating our home or…Constantly. Being. At. Home.
Here's some examples of changes; changes you may need to discuss with your insurance agent to make sure you are properly covered:
Am I at home or am I at work?
Many of us are now working from home. This can be a game changer when it comes to homeowners insurance.
Do you now have additional office equipment to work from home? The homeowners policy has limitations on business personal property and you may need to increase your coverage or add an endorsement to your policy to make sure you’re property covered.
Did you start a home business? Are you a hairdresser or barber that is now having people come to your home for a new do? Americans looked to new and inventive ways of doing business and securing an income from our kitchen tables and living rooms.
If you are making products, shipping or receiving products or personal information, insurance companies have endorsements that you can add for increased incidental business property and business contents coverage. You may even need a commercial policy especially If you have customers coming to your home.
Did you move? Many people are lucky enough to have a second residence at the beach or in the mountains and have chosen to spend the pandemic there. If you’re going to have to be at home why not your vacation home?! Well, guess what? The vacation home may now be your primary home and your primary home may now be your secondary home and the home that was occupied is now vacant. Did you get that? Insurance Companies may insure your primary home and your secondary home differently. Contact your agent to let them know which is which so that you have the proper coverage on all of them.
Many of us, stuck in the house, have built decks, painted our walls and tackled other repairs.
Did you finish the basement, build a new deck, or upgrade your kitchen counters to marble? If so, you’ve probably increased the replacement cost of your home. The replacement cost is the cost of labor and materials to rebuild your home and the coverage that your homeowners insurance is mostly based upon. Review the replacement cost with your insurance agent – they will guide you to determining the correct amount. Don’t find yourself underinsured if a catastrophe occurs.
Did you put on a new roof or upgrade your electric or plumbing? Call your agent. May carriers give discounts for these upgrades. You may even qualify for a better rating tier!
How did your life change? Like I said, call your agent and tell them about changes you’ve made in your life…that’s the only way we can insure you properly.
Stay safe. Stay healthy. And stay in contact with your insurance agent.
p.s. Don't forget to tell your agent if you're using your car less or if you've take a defensive driving class. Discounts on your auto insurance always make life a little bit better.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2020
Green Bean Casserole Bundles
Looking to switch up your Thanksgiving menu, but don't want to upset any of traditionalists? Look no further than these green bean casserole bundles. We took our favorite green bean casserole and then wrapped individual portions in bacon. It's genius, really.
Running out of oven space? No problem! We've included an easy way to make these in the air fryer!
Yields: 20 Servings
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 50 Minutes
1 c. cream of mushroom soup
1/2 c. milk
1/2 tsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2/3 c. French's fried onions
3 1/2 c. trimmed green beans, blanched and cooled
1 package bacon
1. Preheat oven to 350° and grease a 9"-x-13" baking dish.
2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together soup, milk, soy sauce, pepper, and French's fried onions. Add green beans and toss to combine.
3. Grab small bundles of green beans and wrap with a strip of bacon, placing each in the baking dish snugly, seam side down.
4. Cover with foil and bake until the bacon is fully cooked, 37 to 40 minutes.
For Air Fryer
1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together soup, milk, soy sauce, pepper, and French's fried onions. Add green beans and toss to combine.
2. Grab small bundles of green beans and wrap with a strip of bacon.
3. Working in batches, place bundles, seam side down, in basket of an Air Fryer. Cook at 375° for 12-13 min, or until bacon is crispy.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2020
A standard homeowners policy includes coverage for jewelry and other precious items such as watches and furs. These items are covered for losses caused by all the perils included in your policy such as fire, windstorm, theft and vandalism.
However, there are special limits of liability for certain items, meaning that the insurer will not pay more than the amount specified in the policy. One important limit is for the theft of jewelry. To keep coverage affordable because jewelry can be easily stolen, the standard policy has a relatively low limit of liability for theft, generally $1,500.
If you own valuable jewelry or other items that would be difficult to replace, there are two ways you can increase coverage: by raising the limit of liability or “scheduling” your individual pieces through the purchase of “floater” policies. Raising the limit of liability is the cheapest option; however, there may be a limit on the amount you can claim for the loss of any individual piece, say $2,000, when the overall limit is $5,000.
Scheduling each piece or item may cost more in premiums, but it offers broader protection because the floater covers losses of any type, including accidental losses—such as dropping your ring down the drain of the kitchen sink or leaving an expensive watch in a hotel room—that your homeowners insurance policy will not cover. Before purchasing a floater, the items covered may need to be professionally appraised. The cost of this service varies depending on where you live. Each insurance company has different requirements as to if the item needs to be appraised.
Please don't hesitate to give us a call for advice on insuring your high value items correctly.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2020
Set a place for La Niña Who Will Be Visiting the US this Winter!
Forecasters are predicting an 85% chance that La Niña could last through the winter and a 60% chance it could last through spring of 2021. This weather phenomenon is something that could contribute to increased chances of flooding.
What is La Niña?
La Niña occurs when the tropical ocean waters near the equator of South America are colder as a result of stronger than normal trade winds pushing the warm water west towards Asia. The cold waters from the deeper parts of the ocean flow upward and the jet stream moves further north than its normal path. When this happens, often the northern areas of the country could see colder temperatures with increased precipitation and snow.
La Niña FAQs
- La Niña typically peaks during the winter months in North America.
- La Niña episodes typically last nine to 12 months, but some prolonged events may last for years.
- While their frequency can be quite irregular, El Niño and La Niña events occur on average every two to seven years.
- Typically, El Niño occurs more frequently than La Niña.
- During a La Niña year, winter temperatures are warmer than normal in the Southeast and cooler than normal in the Northwest.
What does this mean for flooding?
The Midwest may also be at an increased risk of flooding during a La Niña year since it's anticipated to bring about more rain and snowfall in certain parts of the Midwest. Spring river flooding that is all too well-known in this part of the country could become more intense with La Niña.
|sources: Climate.gov, NOAA.gov
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2020
|More than three times as many home cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving Day as on a typical day of the year
That’s according to the latest U.S. Home Cooking Fires report recently released by the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA), which shows that there were 1,600 reported home cooking fires on Thanksgiving in 2017, reflecting a 238 percent increase over the daily average. Unattended cooking was the leading cause of these fires.
“With people preparing multiple dishes, often with lots of guests and other distractions in and around the kitchen, it’s easy to see why the number of home cooking fires increases so dramatically,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “Fortunately, the vast majority of cooking fires are highly preventable with a little added awareness, and by taking simple steps to minimize those risks.”
According to the NFPA report, cooking is the leading cause of home fires year-round, accounting for almost half of all US home fires (49 percent) and reported home fire injuries (45 percent). Cooking is the second-leading cause of home fire deaths, accounting for 22 percent of all fire deaths. The report also shows that less progress has been made in reducing deaths from home cooking fires than deaths from most other fire causes. There were more cooking fire deaths in 2013--2017 than in 1980–1984, despite total home fire deaths falling by 46 percent over the period.
Following are tips and recommendations from NFPA for cooking safely this Thanksgiving:
- Never leave the kitchen while cooking on the stovetop. Some types of cooking, especially those that involve frying or sautéing with oil, need continuous attention.
- When cooking a turkey, stay in your home and check on it regularly.
- Make use of timers to keep track of cooking times, particularly for foods that require longer cook times.
- Keep things that can catch fire like oven mitts, wooden utensils, food wrappers, and towels at least three feet away from the cooking area.
- Avoid long sleeves and hanging fabrics that could come in contact with a heat source.
- Always cook with a lid beside your pan. If you have a fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Do not remove the cover because the fire could start again. Let the pan cool for a long time. Never throw water or use a fire extinguisher on the fire.
- For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. Only open the door once you’re confident the fire is completely out, standing to the side as you do. If you have any doubts or concerns, contact the fire department for assistance.
- Keep children at least three feet away from the stove. Kids should also stay away from hot foods and liquids, as steam or splash from these items could cause severe burns.
In addition, NFPA strongly discourages the use of turkey fryers, as these can lead to severe burns, injuries, and property damage. For a safe alternative, NFPA recommends grocery stores, food retailers, and restaurants that sell deep-fried turkey.