Home safety - 2/6 - Spencer Insurance Agency, Inc

Are the offers from my water company necessary?

FAQ: I receive mailings from my water company to purchase coverage to replace or repair my water supply line and sewer line from the street to my house if they break or leak.  Is this covered by my homeowner’s insurance?

A: The Sewer water line from the street to your meter is your responsibility and not your Water Company’s responsibility.  You must pay for repairs or replacement should it leak.  Homeowner’s coverage does not pay for any plumbing work or replacement of pipes.  This is considered wear and tear of the house and is excluded under your policy.  The excavation to uncover the pipes is also excluded in most cases.

I would suggest you read over the offer from your water company and then make a decision as to its merits. You may want to take into account the age of the pipes.  If the water company is doing work on your street it may put stress on old pipes and cause them to break.  You may want to consider replacing the pipe to avoid a cracked pipe and service disruption in the future.

Call us at 215-885-2200 if you have any questions.

 

Daylight Saving Time ends and some Fall Home Mainenance Tips. . .

clocks back for DST end

 

Daylight Savings Time ends this weekend.  Don’t forget to set back your clocks so you can enjoy that extra hour of sleep.

Now that you are rested take action to protect your family by replacing all the batteries in your home’s smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  How many times do we hear about a row home in Philadelphia that caught fire and someone died in the fire?  There were no working smoke detectors. Go out, buy a bunch of batteries and replace them now.  It could end up being the best money you spent.

Here are some Fall home maintenance tips to help you avoid possible claims.  Even if you have the proper protection, filing a claim is still an inconvenience.  Plus most homeowner’s insurance deductibles are $1,000.  So take these steps now to prevent the loss:

  •  Clear all leaves from your gutters and nearby storm drains to prevent water backup
  • Inspect your roof for damage or loose shingles
  • Trim trees and bushes that are rubbing against your house or roof.
  • Turn off all your outside faucets and hose connections to prevent pipes freezing and bursting.
  • Have a professional tune up your furnace, wood stove and chimney to prevent explosions, fires and puff-backs.
  • Test your sump pump to make sure the battery is working.  Consider a battery back-up if you do not have one.  Google “how to test a sump pump.”
  • Winterize the lawn mower so it works next Spring.
  • Get ready for winter
    • Make sure you have enough shovels and ice melt
    • Put your snow removers and ice scrappers in the car.
    • Tune up the snow blower before you need it.
    • Check out this website for more winter tips.

At Spencer Insurance Agency we want to help you with ways to reduce your insurance costs.  Regular home maintenance is one of the best ways to save on Homeowner’s Insurance.  For more tips on saving money on your homeowner’s insurance check out our report: Spencer’s Tips: How to Save Money And what you need to know about your Homeowner’s Insurance.

 

Remember, The True Cost of Insurance includes what you need to pay out of pocket because you did not have the right protection.

Protect your Home-Based Business!

According to a survey by the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers (IA&B), one in ten U.S. households operates some type of full-time or part-time home-based business.  Unfortunately, many of these home-based business owners assume their homeowner’s policy provides coverage for their business exposure.  The survey indicates that 58% of the owners of home based businesses have not purchased additional insurance for their business and that 87% of those business owners did not realize that additional insurance was needed.

Are you one of the uninsured?  Call us today to review your need for business insurance.  Many of our clients realize that Spencer Insurance provides home, auto and life insurance, but did you know we can provide coverage for your business too?  If Spencer Insurance cannot place your insurance we can help you find someone who can.

Most insurance companies use The Insurance Services Office (ISO) Homeowner’s 3 – Special Form.  This homeowner’s policy has several exclusions and limitations that apply to your business property and operation.

Coverage is excluded for any other structure on the residence premises used for any business purpose (there are some exceptions).  This means if you operate your business out of a detached building like a garage, that structure is not covered on your homeowner’s policy.  Your homeowner’s policy also limits the amount of business property located at your home to $2,500 and even less if your business property is away from your home.

Think that is bad?  Well listen to this. . .   Your homeowner’s policy excludes liability arising out of the conduct of the business!  You have no coverage if you get sued for activities related to your home-based business.

Is there a solution?

Yes, call us today at 215-885-2200 to discuss your home-based business or any business you operate.  We will discuss your coverage options with you to make sure you have the proper protection at a very competitive price.  As an Independent Insurance Agency, Spencer Insurance represents many high quality insurance companies.  We will review your needs and match your business with an insurance company that will provide you the best coverage at a competitive price.  At Spencer Insurance we realize the your “True Cost of Insurance” can be much higher if you do not have the proper protection.  Don’t delay, call us today!

This Sunday is National No Housework Day!

life-family

It’s time to kick back and put the feet up.  This Sunday April 7th is National No Housework Day!

So put aside the laundry let the dishes pile up and leave the vacuum cleaner off.  Sit back and enjoy yourself.  Spend the day with your family or alone at the Spa, enjoying your hobby or just reading a good book.

Don’t forget the guys!  This applies to them too and put the “Honey do” list away for the day.

Let us know how you will spend the day.  Just comment below.

Reminder:  Okay, now the bad news.  This is a one day holiday.   Make sure you keep maintaining your home.  Proper maintenance and timely repairs can avoid a homeowner’s claim.  Avoiding homeowner’s claims will save you time and money.  You will not have to put out your deductible and spend your time on unnecessary clean up.  Call us if you have any questions about your Homeowner’s Policy.

Carbon Monoxide Detector Offer – Protect your family today!

Trav carbon monoxide offer

Travelers Insurance has a special offer for a half price Carbon Monoxide Detector.  If you have a Travelers’ policy you are eligible to purchase a First Alert Carbon Monoxide Detector at half price.  Go to your personalTravelers website  and sign in. You will have to register on the site if you have not done so before.

After you log in to the site you will see an offer for a First Alert Carbon Monoxide Detector.  Click on this link and order up to two First Alert Carbon Monoxide Detectors.  Make sure you use the coupon code Umbrella1 when you check out so you get them at half price.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning is the leading cause of unintentional poisoning deaths in the United States.  Protect your family now by purchasing a Carbon Monoxide Detector.  Let Travelers pay half the cost for you!

Order today before this offer expires.  I did!

Call our office at 215-885-2200 if you have any questions or need help with the site.

At Spencer Insurance Agency, “Your Protection and Peace of Mind is our only Business.”

Check out Restaurant Impossible on the Food Network

Congratulations to one of our clients, Bill Ferst of First Place Painting who will appear on the Food Network’s Restaurant Impossible on March 10th.  Bill is the painting contractor selected in the restaurant’s makeover.  Bill will appear on the show in the background doing his thing!

Congrats to Bill from all of us at Spencer Insurance Agency.

Time to Spring Ahead. . .

Just  a quick reminder that Daylight Savings Time begins at 2:00 am Sunday, March 10th.

So, Saturday night, don’t forget to move your clocks forward an hour so you’ll be on time for your Sunday activities.  Use that extra hour to change the batteries in your smoke alarms and flashlights.

Don’t forget the importance of a Carbon Monoxide Detector.  Learn more about the importance of Carbon Monoxide Detectors.

Spring is coming.  You can smell the flowers (especially at the Flower Show).  Soon we will be planting our gardens and enjoying the new blooms.

Protect your family, remember you can’t smell carbon monoxide so get that detector today!

Stay safe and enjoy all that Spring offers!

Can we find you when there is an Emergency?

floodHopefully your agent has an Emergency Contact Program in place.

What is an Emergency Contact Program?  Imagine this.  Disaster strikes – and we don’t know how to find you.

Here are just a few examples of how the Emergency Contact Program can prevent or help resolve disasters:

  • A mother and two young children were in an automobile accident.  The mother was unconscious, but the two children were only bruised.  The police found our card in her wallet and called.  We contacted the mother’s Emergency Contact – an aunt, who immediately went to the hospital and got the children.
  • A client’s home was badly damaged by fire while they were on vacation.  The Emergency contact contacted us.  We got the claim going immediately and the windows were boarded up before five that afternoon.
  • A client’s small business was broken into one Friday evening.  His business-neighbor, an Emergency Contact saw the damage to the front door and called us.  We contacted our client and had the claim going before the client arrived.

Unfortunately, the list of things that can go wrong goes on and on.  We want to do everything we can to make these easier when they do.

Complete The Disaster Preventer, which asks for your most recent contact information, (just to make sure we have the latest numbers), and up to three Emergency Contacts.

We will hold your contacts name in confidence and will not solicit them as clients.

Can you please take a moment to complete it and return it to our office?  This way, if something happens to you or your property, we might be able to keep your situation from getting worse.  Make sure you give your agent your emergency contact information.

A Great Resource for Parents of Teen Drivers. . .

Spencer Insurance has long been an advocate for the Parents of Teen Drivers.  I wanted to put the spotlight on one resource we can provide that is very valuable to the parent of a teen driver.

Have you seen our “Safe Teen Driver Guide?”

Our Safe Teen Driver Guide is a must for parents who are getting started in training a teen to be a safe driver.  The guide provides parents a 16 Lesson Plan.  Each lesson can be the basis for a one hour driving session with your teen driver.  Some of the lessons include tips for teaching teens to drive at night, in bad weather, on city streets and country roads.  It also provides lessons on what to do when an accident happens and vehicle orientation and maintenance.

Lesson 12 is a very timely lesson: Driving in Bad Weather.  This time of year, with wet leaves and snow, provides a great opportunity for parents to help their teen practice to drive in bad conditions.  Many of us avoid taking our teens out in these conditions.  Eventually they will need to learn how to drive in these conditions so why not try it out in a controlled area like a parking lot?

The Guide starts with an introduction, instructions on obtaining a PA Learner’s Permit and the Top 5 Mistakes teen drivers make.

This Guide is available to our clients at no cost.  Just email or call us for your copy.  We will also send a copy to your friends and family.  Just pass the information on to them and have them call our office for their free copy.  Make sure they tell us you told them to call us.

A parent’s responsibility to teach their teen to drive does not stop when their teen gets their license.  Continue to drive with your teen and practice driving in all types of conditions.  Make sure they master these 16 lessons even if they are already licensed.  Remember, driving is a privilege not a right.  Discuss with your teen consequences of their actions which could lead to them losing this privilege.   Let us help you.  Call us today to learn how we can help.

Check out our website for more valuable tips for Parents of Teen Drivers!

What did you do to help your teen driver become a safer driver.  Share your stories with us.  Comment below.

Christmas Tree Safety Tips

For many people, decorating the Christmas tree is a favorite part of the holiday. We’d like to share some safety tips from the National Safety Council to make sure a mishap doesn’t spoil your holiday season.

Christmas Trees:

  • A real tree can add to the spirit of Christmas by filling your home with beauty and the scent of pine. But a real tree can also pose a fire hazard. Each year, more than 400 residential fires involve Christmas trees and tragically, nearly 40 deaths and 100 injuries result from those fires.
  • Try to select a fresh tree by looking for one that is green. The needles of pines and spruces should bend and not break and should be hard to pull off the branches. On fir species, a needle pulled from a fresh tree will snap when bent, much like a fresh carrot. Also,  look for a trunk sticky with sap.
  • Cut off about two inches of the trunk and put the tree  in a sturdy, water-holding stand. Keep the stand filled with water so the tree does not dry out quickly.
  • Stand your tree away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. Make sure the tree does not block foot traffic or doorways.
  • If you use an artificial tree, choose one that is tested and labeled as fire resistant. Artificial trees with built-in electrical systems should have the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label.
  • An average of 210 home structure fires begin with Christmas trees and result in 24 fire deaths, 27 fire injuries and $13.3 million in property damage.

Tree Lights:

  • Only use indoor lights indoors (and outdoor lights only outdoors). Look for the UL label. Check lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Replace or repair any damaged light sets.
  • Also, use no more than three light sets on any one extension cord. Extension cords should be placed against the wall to avoid tripping hazards, but do not run cords under rugs.
  • Turn off all lights on trees and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house.

Tree Ornaments:

  • Always use the proper step stool or ladder to reach high places.
  • Read labels before you use materials that come in jars, cans and spray cans.
  • Never place lighted candles on a tree or near any flammable materials.
  • Avoid placing breakable tree ornaments or ones with small, detachable parts on lower branches where small children or pets can  reach them.
  • Do not hang popcorn chains and candy canes on the tree when small children are present. They may think that other tree ornaments are also edible.

All of us at Spencer Insurance Agency, Inc. hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

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