November, 2022 | Boizelle Insurance Partnership

How to Keep Cold Air From Out of Your Home

When it’s freezing outside, what is the first thing you want to do? Don’t you want to get inside your warm home as quickly as possible? Here are some easy ways to seal off drafts to keep your home warm throughout the winter.


  1. Windows: Secure the sash locks along all of the windows in your home to clamp them down as much as possible. Another way to seal windows is by caulking.


  1. Exterior Doors: Install a door sweep along exterior doors in order to help keep cold air from entering your home.


  1. Curtains: Put up extra thick curtain. Consider buying ones that have thermal lining for extra insulation.


  1. Weather stripping: Seal gaps between doors and side jambs with long pieces of weather stripping.


  1. Chimney: Invest in a chimney balloon if you have a fireplace that you don’t use often. They don’t cost much and will definitely help you with preventing cold air from coming into your home. They also prevent warm air from escaping. Be sure to remove them before you build your next fire.


  1. Interior rooms: Close the doors on unused or rarely used rooms.



  1. Floors: Throw a rug on bare floors. By doing this, you can prevent as much as 10% of a heat from escaping your home.


  1. Cracks: Squirt some silicon-based filler between any cracks or gaps in your flooring.


  1. Insulation: Insulate attics and lofts with foam insulation. This is very affordable and is a great way to keep your pipes from freezing. If you prefer to do this yourself, be sure to wear protective gear such as a facemask, goggles, and protective clothing.


  1. Air Conditioning: Place plastic covers over air conditioning ducts.


  1. Vents: Check to make sure there are flaps over clothes dryer and bathroom fan vents. Without them, you are leaving a significant hole that is constantly allowing cold air to enter your home. Also, when you are looking over your dryer, check to see if any lint is trapped. Remove it. Lint has the potential to cause fires.


  1. Exterior walls: Put up pictures or a mirror on exterior walls. Doing this can help insulate walls from any outside air.


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Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe During Winter

Winter is approaching fast. While we all want to keep ourselves warm, let us not forget about our furry friends! Dry air and freezing temperatures can present certain dangers to your pets. Here are some tips to keep your four-legged furry family members safe and warm until spring arrives.

  1. Add some layers. While our furry friends do have fur to help them battle through cold weather conditions, the Humane Society warms that windchill can still be perilous for pets. Exposed skin on their ears, nose, and paws is at risk for frostbite and hypothermia. Please don’t forget to add a jacket or a sweater before letting them go outside to explore.


  1. Protect their paws. Rock salts and other chemicals can irritate your pet’s paws as well as their stomachs if they decide to lick their paws after a recent walk. Add some booties to their winter wardrobe or be sure to check and wipe their paws off after each walk in order to remove the salt. Petroleum jelly can be effective in limiting salt pickup.


  1. Throw on the humidifier. Just like with us, out pet’s skin can become dry and flaky in the winter. By turning on the humidifier, you are adding some extra moisture to the air. Your furry friend will thank you for it! You can also add some moisturizing shampoo into their bath-time routine.



  1. Skip the haircut. While regular grooming is essential in maintaining your pets health and comfort, an extra layer of fur is helpful during this particular time of year.


  1. Keep poisons out of reach. Antifreeze is dangerous if ingested, so be sure to keep that and other harmful chemicals and poisons far away from your pet. Cleaning products should always be properly stored away from your pet. If you spill any chemicals on your kitchen floor, don’t neglect them and say you will clean them up later. Do it now, so your pet can’t get hurt!



  1. Take extra care during the holidays. We are certainly not saying that you shouldn’t decorate your house during the holidays. However, when you put up any holiday decorations in and around your house, just know that anything sharp could potentially injure your pet. Make sure your pet stays a safe distance away from any sharp objects and electrical wires.


  1. Let them exercise! Because it’s frigidly cold this time of year, consider buying your pet some extra toys to play with inside! Rubber toys are far more durable than anything containing foam or cotton, so consider purchasing those if you don’t want to have to make frequent visits to your local pet store or your favorite online website!



  1. Take shelter. Depending on where you live, you could be charged with a criminal offense if you leave your pets outside in extreme temperatures. Before you leave your house, make sure your pet is safe and warm inside.


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What Is Roadside Service and Why Should I Have It?

What Is Roadside Service?

Roadside assistance refers to coverage you have the option to add to your current auto insurance policy. It can help you when you find yourself stranded due to unexpected car trouble i.e. a flat tire. Car trouble can happen at any time; when you’re at work, out running errands, or even when you’re lounging at home.

What Does Roadside Assistance Cover?

Over the course of a lifetime, there’s a good possibility that you or someone you know will be faced with some kind of car trouble. Whether it’s getting a flat tire, running out of gas, or facing a mechanical issue, none of these situations are fun and can result in you being stranded on the side of the road, hopefully not a busy highway. If you have Roadside Assistance Coverage on your auto policy, at least you can rest assured that someone will come to your rescue. All you have to do is pick up the phone and call ERIE’s roadside service at 1-800-FOR-ERIE and select Option 2 to be connected to Agero, ERIE’s partner for nationwide roadside assistance.

Roadside Service coverage through ERIE can help you in situations where you are locked out of your car, flat tires, mechanical breakdowns, dead batteries, and even if you run out of gas. If you need to pull your car out of a ditch or snow, you are covered as long as you are within 10 feet of a highway. If not, there may be an out-of-pocket expense. Coverage provides towing service to the nearest garage plus 20 additional miles. Any distance beyond this must be paid out of pocket.

What Is the Cost of Roadside Service?

Adding this coverage to your policy will cost you about $5 per vehicle per year. It is available with a purchase of either comprehensive or collision coverage. In addition, you can also purchase this type of coverage with ERIE’s Roadside & Rentals bundle, which includes rental car expense coverage.

What Types of Vehicles Are Eligible for Coverage?

Cars, light trucks, and motorcycles are eligible for this coverage. Service also includes horse, livestock and other trailers that are pulled by vehicles that ERIE insures.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call us at (301) 948-2010 and ask to speak with one of our experienced insurance professionals.

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Do This to Ensure Your Packages Aren’t Stolen

In today’s day and age, it’s not uncommon to see multiple package on someone’s doorstep at any given time. That’s because many consumers are electing to buy products online instead of going to their local malls, stores, and shops. With this new convenience also comes an unfortunate reality. Many people have their items stolen from their front porches. In fact, according to a 2021 Consumer Reports survey, 11% of Americans have had at least one package from their front porch.

One factor that determined whether or not you were likely to have your package stolen was socio-demographic variables. It was found that package theft was most commonly found in multi-family dwellings than single-family homes, as well as in urban areas (16%) than in suburban areas (9%) and rural areas (8%). Package theft was also reported to have occurred among younger individuals and lower-income households, with 21% of affected respondents making less than $30,000 per year and being within the 18-29 age range.

There are ways to protect yourself, however. If you order from Amazon, consider granting inside access. Amazon Prime members in certain areas can sign up for something called Amazon Key: a service that grants Amazon delivery drivers to access a certain secure area of your home.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, this meant that a driver could leave a package in your home, garage, car, or behind a motorized gate. Amazon decided to pause its in-home and in-car delivery services, however, when the COVID-19 outbreak began. It may be useful to know that this particular service is still available for in-garage and in-gate delivery.

If you want in-garage delivery, you’ll need what’s called a Chamberlain MyQ Smart Garage Control. You can get this for $30. Pair this internet-connected device with your garage door motor to allow the Amazon employee to open and close your garage door for the delivery.

You are also able to control your garage door from the Amazon Key smartphone app. Other options include connecting a Ring video doorbell ($100 - $350); Ring security camera, $60 - $250, or a MyQ security camera, $150) These items allow you to capture video footage of the delivery itself.

You can also monitor your front porch with a security camera or video doorbell.

Keep tabs on your packages by signing up for alerts. These notifications can be sent to your email address or cell phone by text message.

Requiring a signature is another safe way to ensure you receive your package because it means they aren’t simply dropped off at your front door. The one downside to this is you have to be home.

If your package is stolen, consider contacting the retailer. Although retailers may have different policies regarding lost or stolen packages, it never hurts to notify them.

Contact the shipping company. Shippers usually require the sender to initiate a claim. It’s important to take this step as quickly as possible because there is a time limit for when this step is allowed.

Check your insurance. If the item is worth more than your insurance deductible, unfortunately, this will not help you. But, it never hurts to check.

Consider involving the police. If you’re making a claim with a retailer, shipper, a credit card company, or an insurance company, you’ll need to file a police report.

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