Friday, January 16, 2015

Schedule a Care Review of Your Home and Auto Policies for Better Financial Health

When’s the last time you scheduled a review of your insurance policies with one of our customer service representatives? For the time it would take to shuffle a load of laundry, you can have the peace of mind that your policies are fully up-to-date and ready for anything that comes your way in 2015.

What does a care review include? Let’s touch on a few items we review to make sure your home and auto insurance policies are up to speed with your life.

Homeowners policies – We’ll review your personal belongings list and ensure they’re covered under your policy, and check your liability coverage for the proper amount. In the event of a disaster or theft, items not inventoried will be difficult to compensate for. If you’ve made any changes to your home – such as remodeling or additions – the review process will make sure your policy includes them.

Feel like your rate may need to be adjusted? Updating your policy can save you money, even if it means increasing your deductible. You may even catch new offers and lower rates if your policy is updated in a timely fashion.

Also, now is a good time for home inspections, too. Having a home inspection conducted now might reduce your rates in the near future.

Automobile policies – When we perform a care review of your auto policy we look for several things that may alter the amount of your investment. Have you added a vehicle or do you plan to do so soon? When you insure more than one vehicle, you typically pay a lower rate.

If you and/or the other drivers in your home are “good drivers” – that is, haven't had an accident in the past three to five years – your policy may be affected by good driver discounts. Or, does your current vehicle have safety equipment your previous vehicle didn’t? Discounts are available for cars with air bags, anti-lock brake systems, anti-theft systems and daytime running lights.

Good student discounts are big money savers, too. If your child didn't qualify last time around you can add it now!

Call us today at 386-738-2000 or email Sean at to discuss how your policy can be customized to account for all the discounts available to you.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Make your home safer while you're away on vacation

You packed the car. You loaded the bags. You made a plan for the dog. What can you do to keep your home safe while you're away on vacation this holiday season?

Here are 13 things you can do to secure your home before you leave for vacation:

1. Let your friendly neighbors know your plans. Ask a neighbor you trust to keep an eye on your home while you're away and empower them to contact the police if necessary. (Nosy neighbors are particularly helpful to deterring theft, too.)

2. Hire a house sitter. Having a trusted relative or friend spend the night in your home while you are away is an effective deterrent for overnight theft.

3. Double check that all of your doors and windows are locked. Enough said.

4. Turnoff and or unplug any appliances that could affect your electricity bills. Plugged-in appliances draw power! Switch off surge protectors as well.

5. Put your lights on automatic timers. Having interior lights come on and off in different rooms of your home during the evening is a smart move. Timers are available for purchase at home improvement stores and typically cost less than $10 each.

6. Turn off the main water supply. A major leak could be catastrophic when no one is around to fix it immediately.

7. Turn down your thermostat, but not completely off. You want to keep the air in your home circulating, and keep humidity down as well.

8. Store jewelry in a safe hiding place or off-site in a safe deposit box.

9. Remove your spare key.

10. Advise the newspaper and mail carriers to stop delivery. What's more of a giveaway than a house is empty than a pile of newspapers at the end of a driveway?

11. Have you updated your home inventory lately? Read our blog post, and if you have time before you leave on your vacation, use the guide as you review each room in your house and create a list of your possessions.

12. You wouldn't put an “Out of Home” message on your answering machine, would you? Of course you wouldn’t.

13. Don't be too social on media until you return. Consider posting about your vacation after you return home. Don't broadcast on the Internet that you will be away or are away.