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Renters Insurance

What Protection Does Renters Insurance Offer?

Just because your landlord has coverage doesn’t mean that you do, too. In most cases, your landlord’s insurance policy covers only structural damage to the building itself. If the structure goes up in flames, your landlord’s coverage would include repairs to the building, but not reimburse you for your possessions.

Renters insurance provides protection against both property loss and liability in the event that you cause injury or property damage.

Property Protection

Renters insurance covers your possessions against damage for things such as fire, smoke, lightning, vandalism, theft and water damage—but not flooding—to name a few. It also extends beyond on-premise theft and hazards, covering property that is stolen from your car, or lost or damaged anywhere you happen to be. There are two personal property coverage options to choose from: replacement cost value or actual cash value. We recommend insuring your personal property for its replacement cost value so that you can replace yesterday’s purchases at today’s prices.

Liability Coverage

In addition to protecting your personal property, renters insurance also protects you in the event that you are responsible for injury or property damage to others. That means you’ll likely be protected if someone slips and sprains their ankle at your annual birthday bash. Liability also provides coverage for legal defense costs and judgments in a lawsuit, whether the incident occurred within your rented residence, or elsewhere.

Is Renters Insurance Coverage Affordable?

Because renters insurance covers only the value of your belongings, not the building, the premium is relatively inexpensive. For about the same cost as going to the movies once a month, you can gain peace of mind, regardless of life’s unexpected mishaps.

We’re Here to Help!

Contact us at (703) 359- 5910 to learn more about all of our personal risk management and insurance solutions for your home, auto, and life.

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.

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.

There’s nothing like a flame-broiled steak, hamburger or hot dog right off the grill on a summer evening. In fact, many backyard gatherings are centered around the grill and the family’s resident chef who is creating all the enticing aromas.

In spite of how great grilled foods taste, gas and charcoal grills account for an average of 10 deaths, 100 injuries and $40 million in property loss each year, according to the United States Fire Administration.

To avoid becoming a grilling mishap statistic, we’ve cooked up the following safety precautions:

  • Do not let children and pets play near the grilling area when cooking until the grill is completely cool and you have a chance to put it away in its designated spot.
  • Place your grill at least three feet away from other objects including your house, trees and outdoor seating.
  • Use starter fluid for barbecue grills that use charcoal only. Do not use starter fluid for gas grills.
  • Check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel line to make sure it is not leaking and is working properly before using a gas grill.
  • If you suspect that your gas grill is leaking, turn off the gas and get the unit fixed before lighting. Never use a match to check for leaks.
  • Do not bring your grill into an unventilated or enclosed space such as the garage or inside of your home. This is not only a major fire hazard; it is also a carbon monoxide hazard.

Safety First:

Not only can grills start fires, they can also cause burns. Exercise caution as you flip foods on the grill to ensure that your hands and arms do not get burned.

We may specialize in insurance, but promoting safety is a top priority, too.

Contact us today to learn more about all of our claims reduction strategies and insurance solutions for your auto, home and life.

 

It’s an unfortunate fact that accidents happen—and it’s not uncommon for jury awards and out-of court settlements to run into the millions. While it’s difficult to pinpoint the monetary consequences of the risks you and your family take each day, are you certain your current liability insurance offers you enough protection? (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.

 

 

Having an up-to-date home inventory will help you:

  • Purchase enough insurance to replace the things you own.
  • Get your insurance claims settled faster.
  • Substantiate losses for your income tax return.

You can always simply make a list in a notebook and save receipts and photos in a file. There are also free software programs to help you. Here are just a couple that we might suggest: (more…)

If you receive an expensive gem or a new Valentine’s Day bauble, make sure you have the necessary insurance. “Most homeowners and renters insurance policies include coverage for expensive personal belongings like jewelry,” says Terry McConnell, vice president and manager of ERIE®’s Personal Lines Underwriting Department. “But many policies limit the dollar amount for theft so you may have to purchase an additional rider on the policy.   (more…)