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You and your family probably spend a considerable amount of time in your home, playing in the backyard and driving to school or work in your car. Your house and automobile are two of the most valuable purchases you’ve made, and it makes sense that you want to protect your home and automobile with insurance coverage.

Download the attached PDF to learn more.

There is a growing trend in the number of motorcycle fatalities and accidents each year, making motorcycle safety a real concern for riders.

Download the attached PDF for some basic tips to help you arrive at your destination…safely.

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You may have little or no time to protect your valuables in a flood, earthquake or other disaster. By taking simple steps now, you can safeguard your treasured belongings and information from damage or loss.

The first step is to identify what you have.

Go through your home to find your treasures. Download the checklist to begin taking stock of your valuables.

We thank you for your business and appreciate your feedback. Please take a moment to Review Us.

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The limited coverage provided in your homeowners policy may not be sufficient to cover your valuables in the event of a loss. Adding an endorsement or floater policy to the coverage you have ensures that you’ll be reimbursed for these items. Download the attached PDF or contact Preferred Insurance Services, Inc. today to find out more.

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The limited coverage provided in your homeowners policy may not be sufficient to cover your valuables in the event of a loss. Adding an endorsement or floater policy to the coverage you have ensures that you’ll be reimbursed for these items. Download the attached PDF or contact Preferred Insurance Services, Inc. today to find out more.

preventing_frozen_pipes

Frozen pipes not only disrupt daily life, they can also be expensive to repair. Water expands as it freezes, and when combined with extreme pressure, can cause pipes to burst. Generally, pipes that are exposed to outdoor temperatures freeze more readily, such as hose bibs, swimming pool lines and water sprinkler lines. Pipes that run along exterior walls in the home with minimal insulation also tend to freeze more easily. Read on and download the Keep Your Pipes From Freezing flyer for some hints to help keep your pipes from freezing.

Before the Temperature Drops

You can take precautions to prevent frozen pipes in your home before the temperature drops outside and during frigid months of the year. Use the following recommendations:

  • Insulate pipes in unheated interior areas, such as crawl spaces and attics.
  • Wrap pipes in heat tape or thermostatically-controlled heat cables.
  • Open cabinet doors to expose pipes to warm air.
  • Seal any leaks with caulk or insulation.
  • Disconnect outdoor items such as hoses and faucets.
  • Shut off these items completely using an indoor valve and allow the excess water to drain out.
  • Do not use antifreeze on these items, as it is environmentally harmful.
  • Trickle a little water out of your faucets periodically to keep water moving within the pipes.
  • Keep your garage door closed if there is a water supply in there.
  • Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during the day and night. If you lower the temperature of your home at night, you risk freezing your pipes, even though your heating bills may be a bit higher.
  • Do not set your thermostat lower than 55° F when going on vacation. Ask someone to periodically check the temperature in your home while you are away.
  • We’re here to help make sure you’re covered for all of life’s mishaps. To learn about the ways we can help you protect your home, contact us today.

Safety First:

If you turn on a faucet and no water or only a trickle comes out, your pipes may be frozen. Turn off the main water valve and keep the faucet on. Apply heat to the pipe by using an electric heating pad, hair dryer or portable space heater, or by wrapping the pipe in towels soaked in hot water. You should apply heat until you regain water pressure. If this does not solve the problem, contact a licensed plumber to inspect your pipes.

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Your valuables are important to you and insuring them is equally important to prevent serious loss in the event of damage or theft. Whether it’s a diamond ring or silverware set, we can help you insure the things you value most.

Learn more about how you can protect the finer things in life with additional coverage options by downloading the attached Insuring Valuables Flyer.

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Helping You Build Security
When undertaking a remodeling project, people often forget to review their insurance needs, too. Whether your addition budget is large or small, you are adding both the value of your home and your exposure to risk. To ensure that your project goes smoothly and that you have the coverage you need, here’s what you need to know.

Working with General Contractors
The best way to minimize your renovation risk is to hire a reputable general contractor for the job. As part of the biding process, ask the general contractor to provide a Certificate of Insurance and/or copies of the policies. Specifically, check for coverage for the following:
Workers’ Compensation: Verify that he/she has workers’ compensation coverage in the event that an employee or subcontractor gets hurt on the job.

Workers’ Compensation: Verify that he/she has workers’ compensation coverage in the event that an employee or subcontractor gets hurt on the job.
General Liability: Ask if the contractor has liability insurance, which covers losses due to negligence and errors or omission, which results in property damage. Also ask that you are added as an “Additional Insured.”

Builders Risk: This policy is designed to cover damage to your home and materials, including those not installed yet. We can help you verify whether you should require this from your contractor, based on your renovation project. If they don’t carry the proper coverage, they are not the right contractor for the job!

Advice for Do-it-Yourselfers
If you decide to do it alone and manage a renovation yourself, you assume all the risks. A review of your homeowners coverage for liability and property is prudent, as you are assuming more risks and exposures than contemplated by homeowners insurance.

Hiring bona fide subcontractors who can provide you with a Certificate of Insurance or copies of their policies showing their general liability and workers’ compensation coverage is mandatory for your legal protection. Otherwise, if you are hiring subcontractors or paying friends to do the work, you could be subject to workers’ compensation laws, should they become injured while working on your home. If a friend or relative helps out as a favor (no money changes hands) and gets injured, your homeowners insurance typically covers the cost of their injuries, up to your policy limits. It’s important to note that a homeowners policy is not designed to provide primary liability protection for these injuries. If a helper is seriously injured, the domino effect can be financially and emotionally difficult for all who are involved. For an extra layer of protection, it’s a good idea to also carry umbrella liability coverage, which kicks in to provide liability coverage above your homeowners limits.

Your Insurance Partner
Adding to your home is exciting, but poses financial risks. Contact Preferred Insurance Services, Inc. at (703) 359-5910 to learn more about all of our home, auto and life personal risk management solutions.

Top Ways to Save on Your Premium:

  • Consider raising your deductible
  • Invest in a home security system
  • Update exterior locks to dead bolts
  • Install smoke alarms
  • Select an automatic payment method
  • Monitor your credit rating
  • Ask about our multi-policy discounts

Insuring the Real Value of Your Home
Experts estimate that one-fourth of remodeling projects add at least 25 percent to the value of a home, yet often most homeowners forget to increase their coverage to protect their investment. Most homeowners insurance policies require 100 percent of the home’s replacement cost, so it’s important to raise your home’s policy limit before your project begins.

Keep in mind that you don’t need to increase your coverage by the same amount as the cost of renovation. Often, a major cost factor in a home improvement project is labor for tearing out something old. Determining this new replacement can be somewhat complex, so contact us for assistance. We have the latest technology available to assist with this process.

Protection for the Finer Things in Life

Your valuables are important to you – and insuring them is equally important to prevent serious loss in the event of damage or theft. Learn more about how you can protect the finer things in life with additional coverage options, highlighted below.

Coverage Options

Standard homeowners, condominium or renters insurance policies include a limited amount of coverage for jewelry and other valuable items. However, many policies limit the dollar amount of coverage for the theft or loss due to a covered peril of such items. To properly protect certain types of valuables, additional coverage is available through a policy endorsement or floater.

Endorsements

Endorsements are additions to your homeowners, condominium or renters insurance policy that change or add to the policy’s provisions. The endorsement can cover property otherwise excluded from a basic homeowners insurance policy, extend the number of perils included, or increase the amount paid for a covered loss. The items of value are “scheduled” on a list that includes a brief description and the item’s dollar value.

To determine each item’s value, an appraisal or sales receipt is typically required. This will help ensure that, in the event of a covered loss, the amount of insurance is enough to cover the repair, replacement or cash payment of the item. Items scheduled are typically not subject to the policy deductible.

Floaters 

A separate personal articles floater policy may be used to schedule your valuable property that is subject to special limits under basic homeowners coverage.

Once you have an endorsement or floater, it is important to periodically review your policy’s coverage limits to minimize the likelihood of being underinsured due to outdated appraisals and inadequate limits of insurance.

The Cost of Coverage 

The cost of coverage varies upon the item, but typically the fee is nominal. Our personal lines team of professionals can provide you with more information about coverage and an estimate for the cost of scheduling an item.

Before a thief steals your possessions or precious jewelry becomes lost, contact us to learn more about the affordable ways we can help you protect the things you value most.

Download this PDF to learn more.

Are you Prepared?

You may have little or no time to protect your valuables in a flood, earthquake or other disaster.  By taking simple steps now, you can safeguard your treasured belongings and information from damage or loss.

The first step is to identify what you have.  Go through your home to find your treasures.   Download our Safeguarding-Your-Valuables-Checklist  and begin taking stock of your valuables.