Pool Safety Tips for Summer

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What a beautiful warm summer day it is! With the family over, the barbecue fired up and the nice swimming pool right next to it… It is time for the first pool party of the year which signifies the start of summer. All of your friends have brought their pool toys and are ready for a very relaxing day swimming and lounging in the pool.

These summer leisure activities are what the season is all about. Just remember that if you are going to be playing outside you need to remember that safety comes first. I am going to give you some ways to make sure your swimming pool has the proper insurance and that the pool is following the latest standards and ordinances.

 

Pool Safety Tips to Consider

A swimming pool makes a great addition to any house. There are ordinances and building codes that must be met when having a swimming pool. One of the most important questions a home owner should ask themselves is, “is my pool safe?” There are hundreds and thousands of pool injuries and drowning incidents every year across the country. Many accidents can be prevented with the proper safety measures.

Does your pool have a fence or a pool cover? Investing in a pool cover could be very valuable when you are not using your pool. It could help prevent injuries and save lives. Installing a fence around the pool can help keep small children or animals out of the pool and to prevent further injury. The width of the fence is important to keep small children from squeezing through. Some fenceless neighborhoods will even require you to put up a lockable fence around your pool for liability reasons.

It is important to keep lifesaving flotation devices all throughout the area and a pool hook nearby to helping in a rescue situation. Always have a first aid kit on hand when children and adults are using the pool in case of an emergency. Always put in “No Diving” signs on the pool walls to prevent diving accidents in shallow water.

Another important thing is to remove all pool toys and devices at the end of the day so curious children do not go into the pool unsupervised. Remember to cover the pool and lock the fence at the end of the day.

 

By following these simple measures your family and friends will have an amazing summer with some very wonderful memories around the pool. So, if you follow a few of these suggestions you will have an summer splashing around in the comfort of your own backyard.

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Insuring All of your Toys in Time for Summer

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Imagine it’s the beginning of summer and you are having a huge house party on the lake. All your friends cannot wait to go on your boat or spend an afternoon on the jet skis.  One of your friend’s shouts from a distance, “All aboard!” The boat is ready for its first ride of the summer.

The boat and your jet skis are fueled up and ready to go! There’s even a line forming to use them when suddenly you realize the insurance policy on your boat and jet skis has expired! Now no one can use these fun summer toys unless your insurance agent is Jim Carrey from the Mask and can arrive in split second to renew your policy.

Today I am going to save you the embarrassment of this horrible situation and help save you some friendships along the way.  Here are some ways to save money on your insurance for your favorite summer toys like your boats, jet skis, swimming pools and even recreational vehicles.

 

Insuring Your Boat

If you are fortunate to have a boat, Homeowner’s or Renter’s insurance may provide all the coverage you need.  For larger boats or personal watercraft like jet skis you will need a separate watercraft.  Premiums depend on how avid of a boater you are.  Sailboats are less expensive to insure than speed boats.

Here’s an interesting fact: boat owners in Miami Florida pay the highest premiums because of hurricanes and year round use of boats.  In the Midwest and on the East coast, they pay lower premiums because they use their boats less.

 

Insuring Your Swimming Pool

It is always nice to take that first dip of the summer in your swimming pool.  Interestingly enough regular homeowner’s insurance may not be enough for you.  Swimming pools can be extremely dangerous and can also increase your liability risk because you stand a greater chance of being sued or having to pay someone’s medical expenses if they are injured using your swimming pool.

An interesting fact… According to US Consumer Product Safety Commission 400 children younger than 15 drown each year in swimming pools.  Just put your head around that figure. It is absolutely staggering.  If you do put in a new pool, it is best to get liability coverage.  It would be very advantageous to get an umbrella policy if available in your state.  It will increase your coverage beyond what you have on other policies. Also review the local standards and codes where you live. It might be mandatory in your area to have extra safety equipment such as fences and locks.

 

Insuring Your RV

RV stands for recreational vehicle. This can include everything from gigantic motorhomes with showers and slide out walls to your simple pop-up trailer. You will need a separate policy to cover these while out on the road. When an RV is parked in your driveway or garage many people out to have comprehensive coverage in the event that something damages the vehicle.

With an RV policy, you will not only receive coverage on the vehicle itself but you can opt-in for Replacement Cost of Personal Belongings. This includes any personal belongings that are inside the vehicle that are damaged in the event of an accident.

Two important things to note… Make sure that you suspend collision coverage on your recreational vehicle while it’s in storage and always opt-in for emergency expenses. These expenses can protect you in the event that your vehicle breaks down. You will be covered for things like lodging, meals and travel back home.

 

Remember before that first beautiful summer day to  look over your boat, jet ski, swimming pool and any other policies you have.  Make sure each policy is active. The time you spend now lining up your policies will only make that first boat ride all the more sweet.  Get insured and get ready to enjoy all the fun that summer brings.

 

 

 

In the Path of Destruction Will You be Covered?

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A sweet spring breeze blows through the empty branches of an oak tree as the blue skies above begin to melt into a shadowy overcast. What was once a breeze is now a gusting wind with light drizzle that descends down from dark clouds. Off in the distance is the quiet rumble of thunder. The precipitation evolves into a downpour that seems to intensify with each minute. Tree branches now bounce around in the storm as a garbage can tumbles down the street. Then there is a sound like the shriek of the undead coming from every direction.

Touchdown… The tornado hits the ground and begins to zig-zag through a small downtown. The storefronts shake under the pressure of the beast. Trees are ripped from their roots bringing up with them chunks of pavement. The asphalt shingles on the roofs tear off one by one and disappear into the sky. The beast makes a sharp turn and heads into a nearby neighborhood. Several houses have no chance as it continues on its journey. Three minutes pass. Eventually the terror ends and the beast disappears into the darkened skies.

All is quiet. The madness has ended. A tornado has struck your town devastating everything from the corner coffee shop to your fancy steak house. The path of destruction is nonsensical. Some things are perfectly intact. Your family is safe. The basement was smartest place to wait out the storm. Unfortunately, the final stop on the tornados path was your front yard and there is serious damage to your home.

The Facts on Tornados

  • The most powerful tornados happen in the United States.
  • A typical tornado only lasts a few minutes.
  • Tornados have been reported in every U.S. state and in every season.
  • A tornado can occur at any time.

Tornados and severe thunderstorms are the one of the top causes of insured losses from natural catastrophes in the United States. Hurricanes and earthquakes have become more prevalent in the past decade but tornados and storms remain key culprits in causing damage to homes.

Tornado damage is covered under your Homeowner’s Insurance unlike earthquake, flood, and even hurricanes.  If you own a home then you by law are required to carry insurance on it and, therefore, you are protected in the event of a tornado.

Damage to your home from a tornado can range from a gutter hanging off the roof to the catastrophic loss of your entire property. More often than not tornados cause wind damage to your property. This can mean that your roof is ripped open a rain gets in damaging the contact inside your home.

Knowing You Coverage

It’s always a good idea to know the in’s and out of your insurance policies. You have insurance to protect you and it’s important to know how you will be covered in any situation. Remember to keep a budget for your insurance that works for you. A higher deductible will always make a premium cheaper, but it’s not always a great idea. If you have a high deductible then it will need to be paid out in full in the event of catastrophic loss.

Not just your house can be damaged in a storm. Take inventory of what you have in your home. Taking pictures of your valuables and keeping detailed lists will help you in the event that you have a loss. Make sure to keep these pictures and lists in a safe place like a fireproof safe, a security deposit box, or even a relative’s house that lives in a different county.

*Keep a copy of your insurance policy and the contact info of your insurance company with your important documents.

Also, consider a rider on your insurance policy that will cover the more expensive items like jewelry or fine art. And having comprehensive coverage on your vehicle will allow you to receive coverage in the event that it is damaged during the storm. This is especially true if the vehicle is parked inside your garage.

Another important thing to ask your insurer is if your Homeowner’s policy will cover emergency living expenses while your home is being fixed.  Many insurers will cover expenses for a family while they are living in a hotel or pay for rent while you are living in temporary housing.

We have insurance in the event that if we ever need to be covered then we are. It’s the safety blanket that helps us sleep at night and gives it us peace of mind during the day. Understanding your coverage, keeping it on an affordable budget and knowing what to do in the event of a loss are integral of being a responsible homeowner. And remember to stay in touch with your insurance agent. They are an ever flowing river of knowledge and information that can help you.

Sources:

http://tornado-facts.com/

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/insurance/home-insurance-tornado.aspx

5 Real Ways to Save on Home Insurance

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We all think it’s a wonderful thing to have a child like MacGyver who’s an absolute whiz with gadgets… Until the day you find out that he has been playing with the circuits in your house and has rewired your entire electrical system! The resulting phone call to your insurance agent letting them know you’ve updated the wiring in your home will end with a heavy sigh and a slim chance of you getting that discount you’re looking for.

Today I am going to teach you 5 Real Ways to save big on Home Insurance, so put on your Sherlock Holmes hat and be prepared to do a little investigative work around your house as we explore ways to save you money.

  1. Installing New Wiring

Owning a home is a great thing, but not if you don’t have an updated electrical system. Just think about it. Homes with older wiring have a much higher risk of fires occurring due to electrical accidents. When was your wiring last updated… 1984? Odds are is that they’ve made some nice advancements in electrical engineering over 30 years.

“According to the U.S. Fire Administration, in a typical year, home electrical problems result in 67,800 home fires, 485 deaths and $868 million in property losses, according to a 2006 report. The USFA estimates that home wiring causes twice as many fires as electrical appliances.”

With an updated electrical system and new wiring, your home will be a lot safer with less outages and much less risk of fires.

  1. Making Home Renovations

If your neighbors think you are a clone of Bob Villa it will be you who reap the savings and benefits on your Homeowners Insurance.  Everyone loves a good home renovation project, but what many people don’t realize is that by installing that new plumbing or having a new roof put on they are not only making their home more beautiful, they are making it safer. “Safe” is always the key word when thinking about lowering your insurance premiums.

As a leaky faucet is replaced by a new shiny one or an old furnace is replaced with a new energy efficient model, homeowners are creating a home in which they may never need to file a claim for things like fires or water damage.

  1. Being Non-Smoker

This one is pretty self-explanatory. If you smoke in your home you are not only creating a fire hazard, but you are ingesting pollutants into your walls, carpet and ceilings. Over time this will wreak havoc on your home as you will not be able to get the cigarette damage out without removing wallpaper and recarpeting entire rooms.

“According to the U.S. Fire Administration, smoking caused 18,900 residential fires in 2007, killing 595, injuring 1,200 and causing $327 million in residential property loss.”

Now you’re not going to get a low rate just for being a non-smoker, but kicking the habit is just another way to save money on your premium.

  1. Staying Claims Free

Have you gone a while without filing a claim in regards to your home? A new policy that insurance companies have been instituting is a Claims Free Discount. This means that homeowners that have spent years living in a home without having to file an insurance claim may be eligible.

This discount is very similar to the Accident Free discount you see on your Auto Insurance. If you go for a long time without an accident then you are eligible for Safety Discounts. (There’s that word again) See our previous article “5 Real Ways to Save on Auto Insurance” for more information.

  1. Deadbolts, Alarm Systems and Wood Burning Stoves

There are a multitude of simple things that homeowners over look when thinking about discounts. How many fire extinguishers do you have readily available? How far away do you live from a fire hydrant? Here’s just a few ideas to get you started…

  • Deadbolts – “A locking mechanism distinct from a spring bolt lock because a deadbolt cannot be moved to the open position except by rotating the lock cylinder.” In other words, if you don’t have these then you should probably get them.
  • Alarm Systems – Alarms are a great way to save money and protect your home. Centrally Monitored Alarm Systems are not just for burglars trying to get into your home but can also be installed to notify emergency units in case of fires on your property.
  • Wood Burning Stoves – If your primary source of heat in your home is a wood burning stove then you may want to consider upgrading to natural gas if possible. Insurance companies definitely do not want their customers to have open sources of fire in their homes at any point in time.

Remember that SAFER is always BETTER! The safer your house is from fires, burglars and claims in general, the better deal you’ll be getting. So, when your agent applauds your investigative work around the house and asks how you came up with such great discounts you can take off your Sherlock Holmes cap with pride and tell the agent that it’s simply “Elementary, my dear Watson.”