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The holiday season is filled to the brink with shopping from Black Friday through Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, the holiday season is also ripe with identity theft. With all of that credit card swiping, it’s extra important to know the tips to protect your identity.

Pay With Cash

Card skimming is popular during the holidays and skimmers can be attached to credit card readers or ATMs. If you’re able to do some of your shopping with cash, that’s your safest bet. Go into your bank to withdraw money from the teller instead of using the ATM.

Use Your Credit Card

Instead of using your debit card for holiday shopping transactions, use your credit card. You’ll get more protection from your credit card and it won’t pull your own money straight from your account. Most credit cards have full protection from fraud so long as you report it within 90 days. Make sure to read your credit card guidelines carefully before starting your holiday shopping.

Shop Online Safely

Don’t shop online using a public WiFi network, like the one you’d use at a coffee shop. Criminals can access your credit card or bank information if you enter it online. This goes for the transactions you do on your laptop as well as those you do on your mobile devices, like your tablet or phone.

Freeze Your Card

If you think that you may have been hacked, call your credit card company or bank to freeze your card. Just make sure that your automatic payments won’t be affected, like your automobile insurance coverage or your homeowners insurance coverage. It’s a good idea to do all of your shopping with a separate card so that things like your automated utility payments and insurance coverage payments won’t bounce.

Save Your Energy!

December 10th, 2015 | Posted by Brenda Snow in Homeowners Insurance - (0 Comments)

Reduce Home Energy Costs throughout the Holidays

The busy holiday season can lead to an increase in home energy costs unless you prepare ahead of time. One of the main reasons for excessive energy usage during the winter holidays is because temperatures begin to drop, and you must have a home’s furnace working throughout the day and night.

Keep Doors Closed

You may have relatives and friends entering and leaving your home for holiday parties, and this leads to a home’s doors opening and closing frequently. As doors open and close, cold air enters and climate-controlled air leaves. You will notice that a furnace is turning on and off more often or feel cold drafts inside a home.

Buy New Lights

To keep a home warmer in the winter, urge guests to open and close doors quickly and firmly by posting a sign on each door. Saving on home energy costs is also possible when buying holiday lights for the exterior of a home and a Christmas tree. There are solar-powered lights that shine brightly each evening to provide a decorative holiday ambience.

Close Window Draperies

If you need to use holiday lights further away from windows, then choose light-emitting diode bulbs to reduce home energy costs. At night, make sure to close your home’s draperies to prevent heat loss and turn off holiday lights until the next evening.

Check Your Homeowners Insurance Coverage Policy

Saving on home energy costs in the kitchen is also possible during the holidays by baking all of your cookies, cupcakes and pies at the same time and freezing the foods for use later comparaison prix cialis. With all of the money you are saving on home energy costs, it is easy for you to increase insurance coverage to protect your family from catastrophic events.

Understanding home fireplace safety is vitally important during the winter months to avoid dangerous situations that can occur. One of the most important ways to protect a family’s finances is having homeowner’s insurance coverage in case a catastrophic event does happen.

Fireplace Safety Tip One: A Yearly Inspection

At least once a year, a homeowner should have a fireplace and its chimney inspected by technicians. This service call includes having the interior of the chimney stack cleaned from top to bottom to remove greasy creosote that can lead to flames.

Fireplace Safety Tip Two: Protect Furniture and Carpets from Sparks

Protect furniture and carpets near the fire pit from sparks with a fireproof stone floor. Homeowners should also place a metal fire screen in front of the flames after the logs begin burning.

Fireplace Safety Tip Three: Understand How to Build a Fire

Make sure to understand how to build a fire properly with kindling wood before placing larger logs on top. Do not use chemicals such as gasoline to start a fire faster. Always check the fireplace’s damper to make sure it is open to permit smoke to escape.

Fireplace Safety Tip Four: Keep Children and Pets Away from the Fireplace

Teach children to stay away from a fireplace all of the time, and keep pets caged to avoid an accidental burn that can lead to a dangerous fire in a home.

Fireplace Safety Tip Five: Keep Clothing and Hair Away from Flames

While starting a fire, adding logs or cooking food, tie back long hair and roll up long sleeves to avoid catching these items on fire. Never leave a fire unattended to avoid accidental flames that can cause property damage, but if it does occur, then insurance coverage helps to pay for the repairs.

Consider Home Safety

Families need to think about home safety, including preventing break-ins or accidental fires that can occur. Of course, everyone should have homeowner’s insurance coverage to pay for the expense of the repairs to a home after vandalism happens or flames damage a structure. However, the most important thing to consider is fire safety for yourself and relatives to avoid personal injuries or death from smoke inhalation or burns.

Review the Rules

Young children learn about fire safety in the home while in elementary school, but it is easy to forget the suggested rules after becoming an adult. One of the best things that families can do is to have home safety meetings occasionally to review the rules to prevent fires from occurring. To help everyone to remember the fire safety rules, it is a good idea to create a written list to keep in the kitchen of a home.

Watch Food Cooking

The kitchens of homes are the most frequent place where accidental fires start because that is where most appliances are located. In addition, fires typically begin while someone is preparing a meal using a stove. One of the most important rules to remember while using a stove is to remain in the kitchen while cooking to avoid having a pan boil dry or food catch on fire.

Have Insurance Coverage

Additional tips while cooking over a stove’s flames is to push up long sleeves to avoid catching clothing on fire, and it is essential to have a fire extinguisher in a kitchen to use in case something such as pot holders near the stove get to close to a burner and begin to burn. To avoid financial losses, contact an agent today to learn about insurance coverage for medical bills and a home.

Fall Home Improvement Options

 

The fall is the ideal season for home improvements. The weather has gotten a little cooler and people are ready for change! Before you make any improvements to your residence, check to see whether they’ll affect your homeowners insurance coverage. They could potentially increase your insurance coverage.

 

There several easy ways to enjoy home improvement for the autumn. If you’re looking for great ideas for home improvements for fall, begin by considering window replacement. This can be a great way to prevent the discomfort of upcoming unpleasant winter chills in your residence. Think about replacing your windows with glass that’s equipped with filler gasses, spaces or several panes. Not only can this type of window replacement make you feel cozier all fall and winter long, but it can also minimize your monthly heating costs.

 

Extensive carpet cleaning is another excellent fall home improvement project. The fall months are smack dab in the middle of the muggy summertime and the frigid wintertime, after all. After you deep clean your carpets, open your windows to encourage ventilation. This should make drying go a lot more quickly.

 

Exterior painting is a terrific fall home improvement option, as well. When it’s the fall, there are still days that are sufficiently warm for outdoor painting jobs. If you give the exterior painting of your residence a swift touch-up, you can keep its trim and siding in good condition for much longer. It can also be good to put sealer or new paint on surfaces that may be concealed under layers of snow in the following months. Stairs and wood floors are just two examples of these kinds of surfaces.

 

Roof repair, last but not least, is a superb fall home improvement idea. Since the winter months exacerbate roofs that have leaks, the fall is a wonderful time to take care of these problems.

Smart DIY Safety Gear

October 1st, 2015 | Posted by Brenda Snow in Homeowners Insurance - (0 Comments)

Accidents can occur during DIY projects at home. However, there are easy ways to home improvement. If you use the proper gear, you can avoid a costly hospital bill.

 

Safety Goggles

 

Safety goggles will shield your eyes whenever you use a tool to cut or saw through wood. Some eyewear can also provide protection against toxic solvents, such as polishes and varnishes. When shopping for goggles, test each pair in the store. Good eye gear should fit over your face snugly and securely.

 

Earmuffs and Earplugs

 

If you own loud power tools, earplugs or earmuffs should be worn because your ear drums are very sensitive. According to doctors, when the ear drums are exposed to 85 decibels for an extended length of time, noise-induced hearing loss could occur. To fully protect your ears, you should wear earplugs and earmuffs together.

 

Gloves

 

Gloves will keep your hands safe when you handle sharp items or heavy furniture. Because there are so many kinds of gloves, you must choose a pair that suits your preference. Typically, tight-fitting gloves provide better grip during heavy lifting tasks. Cotton gloves are ideal for light projects because they offer less protection.

 

Mats and Kneepads

 

Without kneepads or a mat, your knees will bruise whenever you tackle a time-consuming repair project underneath the sink. A mat should be considered if you plan to tackle repairs continuously in one spot. If a project will require constant movement, kneepads are a better choice.

By using these safety accessories, you can tackle all of your projects without any major risks. To protect your home, consider investing in insurance coverage. To learn more about your options, contact a local company and request homeowners insurance coverage.

5 Quick and Easy Ways to Upgrade to Green

Going green isn’t just a popular idea; it can save you money on your insurance coverage and your utility bills. These quick and easy upgrades to having a green home can reduce the amount you pay for your homeowners insurance coverage and brighten your home.

 

5 Ways to Upgrade What You Have

 

Going green starts with using what you have on hand more efficiently. Try these five ideas to use less energy.

1. Clean light fixtures.

Using compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) saves energy; but if the fixtures are dirty, you may be using more light than necessary. Keeping the dust off of light fixtures allows more light into the room with lower wattage and fewer bulbs.

2. Use power strips.

Anything that’s plugged into the wall is using power even when it’s not in use. Using power strips for kitchen appliances as well as computers and televisions stops the flow of energy when appliances aren’t in use.

3. Check insulation.

Insulation regulates the temperature and air quality in your home. Checking the insulation in walls and attic spaces allows you to catch leaks and mold before costly repairs have to be made. Proper insulation also reduces utility costs.

4. Move the refrigerator away from the wall.

Many homeowners try to save space by pushing the refrigerator close to the wall. Moving the refrigerator just a few inches further away from the wall increases air flow and uses less power.

5. Take advantage of south facing windows.

You don’t have to have solar panels to take advantage of solar energy. Opening the shades on south facing windows provides passive solar heat to your home generic cialis express. In the winter, this free heat saves you money on your heating bills.

Using these simple tips saves you money, time and resources so you can enjoy your home more.

Tips on Detached Garage Security & Safety

When a garage is separate from the house, it is at higher risk for burglaries and vandalism than one that attaches to the home is, for the most part. Often, homeowners believe that obtaining the proper insurance coverage for their residence is the only security and safety measure that they need to take to protect their detached garage, but this only replaces loss. A smarter plan is to prevent the loss from theft and vandalism from happening in the first place. Learn some valuable information from the tips below on what preventative measures you need to take to accomplish detached garage security.

1. Secure Your Garage Door

You should always lock your garage door when it is not in use during the day or at night. A security measure, such as this, holds true for both manual and automatic doors. In addition, you may also add a padlock to the inside latch when you are out of town for an additional safeguard. Most of the thieves want burglary jobs to be quick and easy not difficult and time consuming.

2. Add Window Coverings and Security Bars

Do not allow the burglar or vandal an easy view of what is inside your garage. Cover the windows with shades or curtains. On top of this, install security bars on the windows to make it next to impossible for unscrupulous people to enter the garage through one of them.

3. Include the Detached Garage in Your House’s Security System

Include your home detached garage in your home’s overall security system. Install an alarm and a CCTV camera on it. Post signs around the garage to alert all who approach it that you are watching.

As a homeowner, you should always carry enough homeowners insurance coverage to replace your home, detached garage and all your belongings in case of theft and vandalism. Play it smart, though, by preventing crime as much as possible with the above tips.

Moving to a new home can be an exciting time for a family. It can also be stressful and hectic if things are not planned out and some simple thing are kept in mind. There are a few tips for moving to a new home that will make the transition smooth and enjoyable.

The first consideration would be moving costs and the family budget. This can vary greatly depending on the circumstances. Variables would include the distance of the move, any company compensation, and the extent which moving companies are used.

A moving budget should be set up in the early stages of the transition. If the move is for a new job or a relocation, check to see if some if not all of the costs can be payed for by the employer.

The use of a moving company is a large expense, but is often quite necessary depending on the amount of household items to be moved and the timeline for the family. It may be appealing to save some money and do all of the moving with friends and family, but consider the time and physical effort involved in this undertaking. There are many levels of service when it comes to the use of a moving company.

Finally, insurance coverage needs to be clarified with any move. Some existing homeowners insurance policies will protect a family during the transition into the new home. Some policies may have gaps in this area. Be sure to clarify what the exact coverage is during this time of transition and make certain there are no gaps.

With some basic planning and a moving budget, a transition to the new home can be a smooth and a joyful time. The work prior to such a move will prove to be very beneficial.

Fire pits 101

Backyard fire pits are one of the top design features in backyards, and for good reason. A fire pit is an inexpensive and attractive way to extend the use of your yard into the colder fall and winter months. If you’ve decided that a fire pit is right for you, here are a few things you need to know first.

INSURANCE COVERAGE

 

In areas of the country that are prone to wild fire, your policy may require you to disclose your fire pit to your insurance agent, so your first step should be to contact your personal agent and ask how a pit affects your homeowners insurance coverage.

 

TYPES OF FIRE PITS

 

Next, you need to find the right pit for you. Wood burning pits can be either built-in or portable, and are the most common. The main drawback is that wood burning pits are fairly high maintenance. You need a steady supply of wood and a place to store the wood to keep it dry.

Propane fire pits are generally easy to maintain, but they will need a constant supply of propane, and are usually larger than wood burning pits, requiring more space. Similarly, natural gas pits require a gas line to be run, and are permanently installed in one location.

 

FIRE PIT SAFETY

 

Finally, make sure to your pit is in a safe location. A fire pit should be located at least 10 feet away from fences, buildings, and trees. Place the pit on gravel or stone slabs, that extend at least 2 feet beyond the perimeter of the fire, with debris such as twigs and leaves cleared an additional 5 feet. Also, be certain to not place the pit under low-hanging branches or a covered deck.

 

Properly used, fire pits are an excellent addition to any backyard.

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