The months of August and September means back to school for most of us. Maybe you’re wondering what back to school has to do with insurance, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
Good Grades – Do you have a teenage driver in the house (or one on the way)? Many policies allow discounts for students with good grades. Don’t forget to talk to your kids about the importance of keeping those grades up! These discounts can apply to college students too.
Moving To The Dorm – Is your college student living in the dorm this semester? Your Homeowners Insurance may cover their belongings without additional coverage being needed. This is called Property Off Premises coverage. Remember, any claims would be subject to your deductible which is usually higher on home policies! Let us review your policy to check for the specific amounts of coverage included.
Moving To An Apartment – Let’s say your college student has graduated from the dorms and moved on to an apartment. In this case, your Homeowners Insurance may not cover their belongings and they would need their own Renters Insurance policy. Renters Insurance is very affordable and covers all of the contents of the property. It also provides liability insurance if someone were injured in the property or if the student caused a fire, etc. By making sure they are properly insured, you are also protecting yourself.
Coverage without a car at school- If your student will continue to drive while at home on school breaks, you should keep him/her listed on your auto policy. Fortunately, if your child is attending school far away from your home, over 100 miles away, you may qualify for a distant student discount.
Coverage with a car at school- Typically, a car registered to parents and listed on their policy will be covered if used by a listed student away at school. However, you should make sure that your insurance carrier writes coverage where the college is located, and understand that a change in the vehicle’s principal location could result in a change in premium.
Driving a friend’s car at school - Students will generally be covered while driving a friend’s car if the students are listed on their parents’ auto policy and do not have regular use of the vehicle.
As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.
Cold Temperatures and Pipe Breaks Go Together
One thing is for sure, our weather is crazy. Remember the Polar Vortex? With temperatures shifting from the 60's to the 20's and snow expected this week, we need to be prepared and keep a close eye on our properties.
Temperature shifts of just 10 degrees can cause contraction and expansion of pipe material, which can cause water lines to break. Also, when the air temperature is at or below freezing, the ground above a pipe freezes, causing stress on the pipe. Since the drop in water temperature lags behind air temperature changes, water pipe breaks usually occur one to two days after a cold spell. During and after freezing temperature periods, keep an eye out for pooling water near your building or for low water pressure from faucets.
Prevention of Pipe Breaks
Pipe breaks can be devastating, so anything you can do to minimize the risk is extremely helpful. As with most systems and parts of your property prevention is by far the best solution, below are several key things you can do:
What To Do If You have a Pipe Break
No matter the prevention taken sometimes burst pipes happen. What you do when you discover one will make the difference between an inconvenience or a total disaster. You cannot always see a broken pipe. Below are some tips to help you spot them:
November 2014: Well, it looks like winter has arrived early and could be here to stay. Below are some tips to prepare your home for the winter weather and help prevent unwanted losses:
•Check the seals on all windows, doors and attic spaces. Good insulation will conserve heat and prevent frozen pipes.
•Wrap pipes located on outside walls with insulation, as they are subject to freezing.
•Keep gutters clean and ask your contractor about gutter shields and snow shields. These can help prevent ice dams and water entering under the eaves.
•Keep trees near your house pruned. Wind and ice can cause them to fall on your house and power lines.
•Seasonally check heating system. Check for proper heat flow to all rooms.
•If you have a generator test it periodically and keep it maintained properly. If you don't have a generator, consider one.
•When leaving your home for a period of days do not lower the heat too much. It leaves very little margin should the heat fail before a pipe can freeze.
•Do not leave your home unattended. Have a responsible party walk through the home at least once a day.
•To limit possible frozen pipe damage or heat failure consider leak detection and water cut-off devices as well as low temperature alarms.
•Test sump pumps to avoid flooding from rapidly melting snow or heavy rains.
•In the event of power loss do not attempt to heat your home by stoves or ovens.
•Make sure all fireplaces have protective screens.
•Keep salt and sand handy for driveways and sidewalks. Have snow removed promptly for emergency vehicle access.
•Know your insurance company and policy numbers.
It's Cold Outside!
January 2014: Following is our Winter Weather Checklist to help you be proactive to avoid damage to your property during the winter months: