Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Avoiding Hail Damage

There is a lot of information available about how to repair hail damage. However, as everyone can agree, it’s always better to prevent the damage from happening in the first place.

Preventing hail damage, of course, begins with your roof. If your home’s roof features shingles without a Class 4 Rating, it’s at risk. This rating, issued by the Underwriters Laboratories organization, is given only to shingles that, during testing, were not cracked when hit by a large, steel ball. Though not a perfect testing method, there’s a pretty good chance that Class 4 rated shingles can withstand most hail storms.   

Once your roof is protected- even if that means installing new shingles- there are things you can do on your own to reduce the risk of hail damage. You should always close curtains, blinds, and/or shades during or before a hail storm. That way, if hail does break your window, the hail and the broken glass aren’t likely to make it inside and do further damage.   

And, of course, remember that you are more important than your home or your possessions. Keep yourself safe by staying indoors when possible during a hailstorm; if you get caught outdoors, take shelter immediately, and once secured, stay away from windows and other glass structures.

If you can follow these tips, you and your home can greatly increase the chances of staying safe and undamaged during a hail storm.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Understanding Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage are very important types of coverage that, unfortunately, a lot of people don’t have. Some of these people get lucky and never need or miss not having this coverage. Others, however, get into an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist and quickly wish that they had opted-in when this coverage option was offered. 

As the name implies, these coverages protect you and others in the car in the event that you are involved in an accident with a person without insurance or without adequate insurance. In most cases, as long as the uninsured/underinsured person had some degree of fault in the accident, this coverage kicks in.
With so many uninsured or underinsured drivers out there, it just makes sense to have this coverage, which acts like the other driver’s insurance and pays for damages and injuries up to the policy amount. Still not convinced this coverage is important? Consider the fact that the Insurance Information Institute says that as many as 14% of drivers on the road have no liability insurance. Furthermore, people from other states may have lower required amounts of insurance than you. What would you do if their insurance wasn’t enough to cover your costs? If you had this coverage, you’d be okay, but if you didn’t, you’d be footing the bill out of pocket.

Obviously, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is important. If you’re taking the risk of driving without it, stop! Contact your insurance provider to get covered today.

Monday, July 6, 2015

The Benefits of Direct Repair Membership

Whether you’ve gotten into a car accident, have broken down on the side of the road, or have run into some other problem, chances are you’ve been left with a non-working vehicle before. When that happens, it can be difficult to know exactly what to do, though there are quite a few different options at your disposal.  

One of the best options, if you have it, is to make use of a Direct Repair and/or Roadside Assistance Program. These types of programs typically require you to pay a monthly fee but will often come to your aid whenever and wherever you need. They also have several shops and other service facilities in their network, which can provide you with service no matter where you happen to be.

Direct repair services typically offer many other benefits as well, including:

l  All repair technicians/ facilities held to the same high standards
l  Often offers a limited lifetime warranty on products and services, and the guarantee is typically honored by insurance companies
l  Member shops and warehouses offer priority service to direct repair service members
l  Rental cars can typically be provided for alternate transportation

With so many excellent advantages, it’s easy to see why being a member of a direct repair service is smart. It’s a lot smarter than waiting on a friend to come get you or having to rely on the closest repair service. To experience these advantages, find a direct repair service to meet your needs as soon as possible.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Documenting Your Possessions

If you’re like most people, your home is probably full of stuff! And, some of that stuff is likely quite expensive. All of your items, expensive or not, mean something to you, and unfortunately, all of them are at risk of being stolen or damaged in a property crime, such as a burglary.

The good news is that your homeowner’s insurance can cover the value of any damaged or stolen long as you have documented proof that you owned them in the first place.

The easiest way to get that proof is to take a date-stamped video at least once a year, or better yet, every six months. A video will show exactly what items you had, that they were in your home, and when you had them, making the burden of proof easy on you.

If you’re new to taking insurance videos, follow the simple tips below:  

l  Tape the contents of each room in the home
l  Zoom in on bar codes/serial numbers and other identifying information
l  Tape the landscape and exterior of your home in case these are damaged
l  Create a backup copy of the video and keep it somewhere outside of the home

If you follow these tips, your video should be of great help to you and your insurance provider. The easier the process of pricing your items and determining what you are owed, the sooner you can get reimbursed for your losses.