May 2011 Newsletter


Planning a summer vacation? If so, take measures to protect your home from
intruders. Many break-ins can be easily prevented by following a simple
guideline: Make it look like you aren’t gone.

Use this checklist to minimize evidence of your absence:

• Install automatic timers on lights.

• Cover your garage windows.

• Ask a neighbor to take in your mail and paper.

• Have home phone calls forwarded.

• Ask a neighbor to use your trash bins and take them out.

• Trim landscaping to eliminate hiding places.

• Install motion-detector lights.

• Use a security system with a loud alarm and/or flashing lights.

• Don’t hide a spare key in your yard. Rather, give it to a trusted

• Move valuable items that could entice a burglary away from plain view of
windows and doors.

Home Inventory Online Tool

You’ve been told that a home inventory is an essential piece of rebuilding
your life if a fire, windstorm, theft or other peril destroys your

But conducting a home inventory can be overwhelming if you don’t know where
to start. Fortunately, there are tools available to make the process easier,
more efficient and safer. Some vendors offer online inventory programs. One such
tool, offered by the Insurance Information Institute, is free. This program will
help you create a home inventory and make it simple for you to keep it

Tools such as these are essential in helping your insurance company’s claims
adjuster expedite your claim and get you reimbursed for as much of what you lost
as possible. By using secure online storage of your inventory, you will always
be able to access it.

To review the Insurance Information Institute’s free home inventory program,

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Leading Cause of Residential
The leading cause of home fires and home-fire injuries is cooking, according
to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Cooking-equipment fires
cause the highest number of home structure fires and associated injuries.
Cooking equipment was involved in two of every five (41%) reported home fires,
with ranges accounting for 59% of such incidents and ovens cited as the source
of 16%.Human error or negligence can be blamed for most cooking fires. Unattended
cooking is by far the leading contributing factor. Frying poses the greatest
risk.Injuries from cooking fires are often attributable to bad decisions.
Fifty-nine percent of reported, non-fatal home-cooking fire injuries occurred
when the victims tried to fight the fire themselves. Clothing was the item first
ignited in less than 1% of these fires, but these incidents accounted for 15% of
the cooking fire deaths.

Do you know how to deal with a cooking fire in your home? Proper use and the
location of fire extinguishers should be understood by everyone old enough to
use them, but even more important is attentiveness and

or Renting Watercraft

Will your trip to the lake or beach this summer find your family at the
counter of a jet ski, motorboat or other watercraft rental agency? Or are you
considering borrowing such a “toy” from a friend? If so, it’s important to know
how your homeowners insurance will apply if you damage the non-owned

Most homeowners insurance policies significantly limit or exclude property
damage to or liability arising from the use of watercraft. It’s true that some
policies include a small amount of coverage for these vehicles, but such an
amount may be limited to $1,000. Further, liability caused by the watercraft’s
use may apply only if the vehicle falls below a specific size/horsepower.

Before using rented or borrowed watercraft, check your policy and give us a
call if you have any questions. We can help you determine if any coverage is
already included in your policy or if additional coverage is

Graduation Parties Carry Some Risk
A family’s proudest moments call for celebration. When sons, daughters and
other family members graduate college, parties strike up in backyards and
meeting halls everywhere. If your party plans call for renting a facility and
something unexpected causes damage to the facility or injury to a guest, will
your homeowners insurance pay?The good news is that your homeowners insurance will cover your liability for
both damages and injuries. But how much will it pay, and what kind of insurance
does the facility you rent carry? You might have to sign a contract with
liability language in it. In that case, you need to consider carefully what you
are agreeing to pay for in the event of damage or injury.If you hire help for the party, such as caterers or a set-up/clean-up crew,
know that many homeowners policies will not extend liability for damage caused
by them. You’ll need to make sure your hired help carries adequate liability

If you are worried that the coverage under your homeowners policy is not
sufficient to cover the potential liability of the event, consider purchasing a
special event policy that will be in effect during the event only. These
policies are designed to be affordable and offer a level of comfort that your
personal assets won’t be at risk if something unfortunate and costly occurs.
Call us for more information.

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