Uncategorized | Boizelle Insurance Partnership

How to Protect Yourself During a Windstorm

 

How Do I Protect Myself During Periods of High Winds?

Get yourself indoors

Your safety is what’s most important during a storm. A home and a car can always be repaired or replaced. You can’t be. As tempting as it may be to be close to the storm for a good viewing, elect to at least stay a safe distance away from any windows if you want to watch the storm.

Take shelter

If for any reason you are unable to get indoors, try to find a place that has cover like a parking garage or overhang. Do not stand next to roadways.

Pull over

If you’re in the unfortunate situation of driving during a storm, slow down and keep both of your hands firmly on the steering wheel to maintain control. If possible, create more space between your car and cars around you. For example, if you’re in the middle lane and there is a car to your left in the left lane, move your car over to the right lane. As always, check your rearview and side mirrors before changing lanes. If the rain is too heavy to the point where you feel unsafe to continue driving, pull over and turn on your hazard lights so that other cars on the road can see you. Park away from trees or other objects that could fall and hurt you or damage your vehicle.

How Do I Protect My Home From High Winds?

Trim your trees

Dead trees and loose branches can pose a serious threat to your home. Make sure you remove any dead trees and trim any loose branches because they can scratch or dent your car as well as damage the siding of your home. You also don’t want any broken windows. Better to be safe than sorry. Make sure trees and branches are also a safe distance away from any power lines.

Secure shutters and gutters

Frequently inspect your shutters, gutters, and siding of your home. Repair them before the storm hits.

Protect windows and doors

Storm shutters may prove to be a healthy, wise investment if you live in area that is prone to have a lot of storms and high winds.

Store outdoor furniture and other items

Pool furniture like tables and chairs should be properly stowed out of harms way. High winds have the ability to pick up furniture, pillows, and trash cans.

Have your roof professionally inspected

Consider hiring a professional to inspect your roof. Their skills in identifying problem areas will prove to be extremely helpful to you. They can advise you on what your next steps should be, whether it’s to replace to loose shingles or to have the entire roof replaced. They can also help you through the insurance claim process.

Call us!

Most homeowners are not thoroughly familiar with everything that is listed in their insurance policy. Much like some legal documents, insurance policies contain language that may seem confusing to some. Our experienced insurance professionals will be happy to answer any and all questions you may have related to your insurance needs. It’s important to remember that once a storm has been identified, it’s too late to add any additional coverage you might need to protect yourself from a storm. It’s better to already have that coverage in place on your policy. That way, you know you’re covered.

How Do I Protect My Vehicle During High Winds?

Find covered parking

Parking your car in a garage is the safest way for your protect your car during a storm. If you do not have a garage and are out and about during a storm, consider parking at a shopping mall to wait out the storm.

Use a car cover

If you do not have access to covered parking or a garage, use a car cover to protect your car from flying debris during a storm. Be sure to park away from trees.

Obtain comprehensive insurance coverage

There are two types of insurance when it comes to auto insurance: collision coverage and comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage is anything other than a collision with another vehicle and is the only coverage that it optional for you to obtain. However, we do highly recommend it. During periods with high winds, flying debris can dent or scratch your car. The only way to cover this kind of damage is by having comprehensive coverage.

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How Does the Inventory Shortage Affect Car Repair and Maintenance?

All of us have been affected by the COVID pandemic in one way or another. One industry in particular that has had something of a domino effect that has taken a toll on consumers is the automotive industry. As you pass car dealerships, you may see fewer cars on the lots. That’s only one obvious difference. Something a little more impactful is the effect on repair shops and aftermarket parts industries. These industries have been faced with parts and labor shortages, shipping delays, and an increase in wait times as well as rising repair costs. Naturally, this has frustrated both those working in these industries as well as the consumers who depend on them.

Services being most affected by supply shortages are ones involving electronics. Supplies needed to regulate temperature, onboard computers i.e. powertrain control modules, body control modules) and heated seats are some of the most difficult to find. Additionally, the supply of oil filters and brake rotors are taking a hit; before the pandemic, repair shops were in healthy supply of these items. The most common delay in parts that repair shops are facing are brake pads, brake rotors, batteries, filters, and some tires. As a consumer in need of immediate help, this can be quite frustrating. That is why it is a good idea to plan ahead.

If you’re looking to purchase a used car, it might to be a wise decision to delay that purchase, at least for now. This is especially true for those who do not have a car to trade in. For those who do have a car to trade in, the value of the car being traded in can be applied to the purchase of your newly obtained vehicle.

With the current state of the used car market, vehicle owners are actually more willing to hold on to their current cars due to the fact that the prices of used cars has skyrocketed. Repair costs have gone up because the cost for the replacements parts also went up.

To combat the changes in the repairs market, consumers should plan ahead and anticipate when maintenance or repairs will need to be made. To do this, put an amount of money aside every month strictly for this purpose. Schedule your maintenance appointments far in advance and mark them on a calendar, so that you can hold yourself accountable. Always pay attention to the road and cars around you while you are operating a motor vehicle. Do not text while driving.

Finally, if you are in need of repairs to your vehicle, it is suggested that you stick with the repair shop of which you are most familiar. Being a regular customer of a shop may give you a leg up in terms of service in both the amount of time it takes to make the repair and the overall level of customer service you receive.

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Top 5 Threats to Your House

Water Damage

It is a common misconception that most water damage to homes is caused by hurricanes and heavy rains. However, it is non-weather water damage that usually takes the bulk of home insurance claims. Problems related to plumbing, such as pipes bursting, and drains and valves malfunctioning, as well as appliance issues are considered non-weather.

Weather-Related Roof/Flashing Damage

Wind, hail, falling objects i.e. branches and limbs, heavy snow, and freezing rain can potentially cause catastrophic damage to your home. Taking preventative measures before storms occur is a good way to minimize any damage. Inspect your trees and trim and loose branches as they could spell a threat to your home’s siding or any cars you have parked outside. Remove ice dams in order to prevent costly home insurance claims during winter.

Frozen Pipe Damage

During winter, frozen pipes may be the one threat to your home that could spell doom for your wallet. Of course, it’s always important to have enough home insurance coverage, but what may be even more important is to take the necessary steps to prevent a disaster from occurring in the first place. In the winter time, consider leaving a slight drip in your faucets. The continuous flow of water can help prevent your pipes from freezing. Additionally, consider installing a smart thermostat that can notify you if the temperature outside reaches a frigid level.

Theft

Unfortunately, there are people out there who, if presented with opportunity, will steal from you. To minimize the threat of theft from your home, consider installing outdoor lighting and create the appearance of you being home if you’re actually not. Lights that are set to timers are a good way to create the illusion of presence when it actually isn’t so. Any steps you can take to deter thieves are smart moves on your part.

Fire

Fires can not only pose a threat to your home, but also your own personal safety. Cooking, overloaded circuits, or not using a wooden stove properly are among leading causes of home fires. If you start a fire in a fireplace, never leave it unattended. Before leaving a room, make sure that fire is put out.

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Why Should I Get a Roof Inspection?

Having a roof over our heads is something that all human beings long for and, quite honestly, need. When we buy a home, one of the most important steps we take before purchasing our new home is getting the home inspected. This way, before we sign on that dotted line, we can go back to the seller and discuss any and all repairs or replacements we would like to have addressed before the sale of the home is completed. Just as an inspection of the interior and exterior of the home is important, so too is a roof inspection. After all, a strong, well-constructed roof is what protects us from the elements of nature i.e. water, wind, falling objects, etc. The key to maintaining a healthy home is being proactive when it comes to maintenance and inspections.

Avoid Costly Repairs By Getting a Professional Roof Inspection

Having a professional conduct an inspection of your roof can help you avoid all sorts of expensive problems down the road. These problems are as expensive as they are time-consuming. A good inspector knows what to look for when it comes to problem areas of your roof and will happily address those concerns with you, so that you can fix the problem before it reaches catastrophic levels. Taking the time to find a reputable roof inspector will protect both your bank account as well as give you peace of mind knowing that your roof is in solid shape for years to come.

Inspections Are Necessary At Least Once A Year

While we cannot control the weather, we can make educated guesses as to what mother nature has in store for us, at least weekly. It is a good idea to pay attention to the weather forecast, so that you can be proactive in protecting your home and your car from potential damaging storms. A well-trained roof inspector has the knowledge and ability to pinpoint problem areas you need to address and how to address them. The idea here is to prevent catastrophic expenses out of your own pocket. While it is of paramount importance to have home insurance coverage, it is equally as important to make sure you roof is in good condition, so that the limits of your home insurance policy become exhausted due to a violent storm. Remember, your insurance policies are in place to protect you, but can only do so up to your policy’s limits. Any outstanding dollar amounts will have to come out of your own pocket.

Legitimate Roofer Will Not Charge For a Roof Inspection

You should never pay for a roof inspection. Professional roofers will provide an expert inspection as a part of their own services.

Make Insurance Claims Easier

Most homeowners do not spend the time to read every line of their insurance policies, nor do they understand some of the language within the policy. Professional roofers are available to conduct inspections and can help you prepare an insurance claim if a problem is seen.

Peace of Mind

Would you use a hand surgeon to perform brain surgery? We would hope not. Hiring someone who is equipped with expert knowledge of their craft will undoubtedly give you the peace of mind you deserve, knowing you and your home are safe from harsh winds, heavy rain and snow, and other elements.

 

 
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