Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: How to Prevent the Silent Killer

According to the National Safety Council, more than 400 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning each year.  Carbon monoxide is called the silent killer because it’s odorless, colorless, tasteless, and can easily go undetected. When the cold temperatures start to hit, what’s the first thing we do? We turn on our furnaces to heat our home and tightly seal our windows. If your furnace is emitting poisonous gases, you are trapping them in your house. Here are a few things you do to help prevent this silent and deadly killer.

First, it’s important to have your furnace inspected and serviced annually. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests we install battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors near every area in the home used for sleeping and be checked regularly to be sure they are working correctly [2].

The CDC shares additional ways to prevent carbon monoxide exposure [Read More]

Don’t Let Cyber Criminals Outsmart Your Smart Technology

cyber securityFor a number of years, businesses have had the option to purchase cyber liability insurance. This type of coverage protects them against threats like malware attacks, cyber extortion, online fraud, and data breaches. In fact, this coverage continues to be one of the most discussed areas of commercial insurance, as business owners realize no matter the size of their business – or the type of business they operate – all business are vulnerable to cyber attacks.

But what about individuals and families? [READ MORE]

Renting? Don’t Assume the Landlord Has You Covered

renters insurance

Whether you are a returning college student, a proud college graduate who just received your first job offer, or simply starting fresh in a new city, if you are renting an apartment or even a house, don’t overlook the importance of renters insurance.

The Insurance Information Institute found “only 41% of renters actually have renters insurance.” [3] Many choose to not purchase renters insurance because they believe they are covered under the landlords’ insurance, it won’t actually provide coverage they need, or that it is too expensive. The landlords’ insurance policy will cover damage to the dwelling but not the tenants’ personal property in the event of a loss. Renters insurance offers many benefits including coverage for theft, fire, water damage, vandalism, and more. The landlords’ insurance policy will cover damage to the dwelling but not the tenants’ personal property inside in the event of a loss. Compared to the price of homeowners insurance, renters insurance is very reasonably priced. In fact, the “average renter’s insurance policy only costs around $187 a year.” [READ MORE]

liability insuranceWhen discussing and rating homeowner insurance policies, personal liability coverage is often an afterthought. Insurance companies and insurance agents don’t always take the time to explain what it is and what it covers. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking personal liability coverage isn’t important. It most certainly is!

For starters, let’s look at the types of claims that are potentially covered by this part of the homeowner insurance policy: bodily injury claims and property damage liability claims. It is quite common to see personal injury coverage added to personal liability coverage via endorsement, as well. For the sake of discussion, we will include personal injury coverage with the other liability coverages we mention.

So, what exactly does this cover? [READ MORE]

Do Not Disturb: The Dangers of Distracted Driving

distracted drivingNine. A relatively small number until you put it into context. Every day, nine lives are lost due to distracted driving.  Driving is something that many of us do each day without putting in much thought or energy, almost like being on autopilot. Instead of using driving as a time to unwind, focusing on the road and getting to our destination safely, we are now consumed by distractions. Fortunately, you have the power to turn those distractions off…but will you?

According to TeenSafe, “there are 3,287 deaths each day due to fatal car crashes. On average, nine of these daily fatalities are related to distracted driving.” [1] That’s nine lives that could have been saved from distractions that are completely and unarguably avoidable. Every time you get behind the wheel you are taking a risk but it’s a risk over which you have some control. [READ MORE]

Prepare for the Loss of Special Possessions

jewelryNew Year, new outlook. Many of us have been busy writing down goals for 2018 and looking forward to starting off the New Year with a fresh perspective. I’ve always loved hearing the variety of resolutions from my family and friends and the different ideas they bring to the New Year. Of course, you hear the most common resolutions of “watch what I eat,” “go to the gym more,” “save money,” etc. But this year, I’ve heard a new resolution; “be more prepared.” This got me thinking: am I prepared for the unexpected and how can I help others be more prepared? In the insurance world specifically, there are many unexpected situations that can take place, but there are also many ways to be more prepared

Did you know that many homeowners’ policies have special limits of coverage for certain types of property? Do you own any valuable jewelry? If so, did you know that many insurance policies only cover theft of jewelry up to $1,500?

[Read More]

The Beauty of Winter Can Bring a Blizzard of Problems

winterWhen I was in 2nd grade my mother helped me write a poem that ended up being published in our school newsletter.

I saw a little snowflake all dressed in white,
it landed on my windowsill just the other night.
The night I saw the snowflake I went to tell my mother,
when we got back, guess what, there came another.

I often think about this as we enter the winter season.  It’s funny how your childhood memories carry so much meaning in your adult life.

Most of us have endured a snowstorm in our lifetime. It can be thrilling, scary, or even inconvenient depending upon where you live, what your past experiences have been, and what impact it has on you at that moment.  When I wrote the poem above, I was thrilled by a snowstorm.  It meant a day at home to watch TV, go sleighing, and drink hot cocoa – all better options than going to school. As we get older, our experiences influence our responses to many things including snow storms. The thrills of youth become the anxiety of old.  Keeping yourself, your family, and your home safe are most important.  You should always pay attention to driving conditions, whether you have a 4-wheel drive vehicle, or one that you may be most vulnerable in.

[Read More]

Renters Insurance: Why It’s Important for Landlords

rental insuranceAnyone who has ever rented a residence (or is currently considering renting a residence) has most likely heard about the importance of having renters insurance in place. We all know that our “stuff” is important and needs protecting. We also know that these types of policies provide liability coverage, but we may or may not fully understand what that means.

But what if you’re a landlord? Should your tenants have renters insurance?

Absolutely! Your house, condo, or apartment is just as valuable as your tenant’s “stuff,” correct? Here’s why it shouldn’t only be suggested but required by the terms of your lease.

[Read More]