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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Protect Your Home Series---Ice Dams

When do ice dams develop? • When there is snow and/or ice on the roof for an extended period of time and • The outside temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit for Several days and • There is heat inside the attic. What causes an ice dam? • Heat build-up in the attic due to improper ventilation warms the roof and melts the bottom layer of snow and ice. • The melted snow and ice runs downward under the snow layer until it reaches an area of the roof that is colder than 32 degrees Fahrenheit (usually at the caves or gutters). • The water freezes creating an ice buildup called an "ice dam." • Attic heat warming the roof surface melts the snow, creating a pool of water under the snow above the ice dam forcing water back up under the shingles causing water to leak into the building. How can I prevent an ice dam? • Keep the attic and roof cool by installing adequate insulation on the attic floor. • Ensure that there is proper ventilation by installing soffit vents that move air upward to a ridge vent or other venting near the roof ridge. • Wrap or insulate all heating ducts in the attic. • Seal all openings to the attic (e.g. light fixtures) • Keep gutters and downspouts clear of leaves and natural debris • Use a snow rake or soft broom to remove fresh snow from gutters. (Avoid using sharp tools to remove ice as this usually causes more damage.) Will ice shields and heating cables prevent ice dams? • Ice shields and heating cables do not prevent the formation of ice dams as they do not address the root cause of ice dams. • Only proper insulation and ventilation will reduce the probability of ice dams.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Cold Weather Tips for Home Protection

If the outside temperature approaches freezing, exposure to subzero air presents the greatest risk of pipe freezing. If you have lost power below are prevention tips to help safely prevent frozen pipes: • Turn off or unplug electrical appliances and lights to prevent a circuit overload when power is restored. • If you use a fuel space heater or generator, be aware of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. • Make sure the space heater is used with proper ventilation. • Never run a generator inside. Set the generator up outside and downwind from the living area. • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to help reduce food spoilage. If your home will remain unoccupied: • Shut off the water supply and drain the water supply system. • Consider draining the water heater and boiler. If you intend to occupy your home: • Water pipes located adjacent to exterior walls or within base-cabinets or in closets are susceptible to freezing. Leave the cabinet/closet doors open to allow air circulation around those pipes. • Let all faucets drip to prevent freezing of the water inside the pipe and if freezing does occur, to relieve pressure buildup in the pipes between the ice blockage and the faucet. The pressure buildup is the actual cause of bursting pipes. • Cracks or holes in outside walls should be sealed or otherwise blocked. • Exposed pipes, especially those on outside walls should be wrapped and insulated in some manner. If building insulation is unavailable, consider other materials. • If your house has a crawl space located under it, close all of the air vents located on the foundation wall. This will help protect the pipes located in that area. • Detach all hoses and shut off the water supply to outside faucets.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Roadside Service

Good HandsSM Roadside is free to join and gives every motorist in America free access to Allstate's nationwide, 24/7 network of reliable and reputable towing providers. So whether it's a flat tire, running out of gas or a dead battery, anyone, not just Allstate customers, can call (800) ALLSTATE (800-255-7828) and Allstate's Good HandsSM will be sent out to assist them in a roadside emergency. Consumers pay only when they use the service with a simple, flat-rate - $75 for a tow and $50 for all other services. Call our agency today to set up your free membership.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The best time to review your policy?

The best time to review your policy is right now. Don't wait for a claim to occur and then try to address it. At my agency we contact each client by Voice Broadcast, an automated call from me, as well as either an email or letter. This is in addition to another call if there has been any rate increase and in addition to contact by Allstate Corporate. All this contact is aimed at review of the policy or policies. Knowing what is covered and how it is covered is imperative for the client. The lives of our clients are so busy that sometimes this review never happens but, please, for your sake, take the time to even spend 15 minutes with us.

The uncooperative neighbor

Many of us are faced with exposure to loss that could easily be controlled except for the lack of cooperation from an interested party. Let's take the case of Mr. X, who has a huge dead tree overhanging our client's garage. Our Client, being a reasonable and prudent person, asks Mr. X if he would consider at least trimming back the tree. Our Client even takes it upon themselves to get quotes for him. However, Mr.X is not interested in cooperating. His take is let the insurance companies sort it out. Where damage could be avoided, the uncooperative neighbor simply doesn't care. What happens? Your insurance company handles it subject to your deductible and policy provisions.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Import Car Show

For enthusiasts that may have missed the show

Friday, April 22, 2011

Rental Reimbursement Helpful Tips

Driveable Vehicles
If a customer has purchased Rental Reimbursement coverage prior to a claim, and if the insured's vehicle is drivable after a loss, it is important that the insured understands that coverage starts the day the vehicle is taken to the garage for repairs. The number of rental days is based on the repair hours calculated at the time of vehicle inspection, and is displayed on the Allstate repair estimate. The insured's vehicle should not be taken to the shop before all the parts have arrived and the shop is prepared to start the repairs. It is also recommended that repairs start on a Monday, so that exposure to weekend time is minimized. Many shops are not openseven days a week.

Total Loss
When a vehicle is declared a total loss due to a covered loss, it is important that the insured locates the title to the vehicle immediately. The insured should begin the search for a replacement vehicle as soon as the vehicle is declared a total loss. This will allow the insured to purchase the replacement vehicle within a day or two after receiving the settlement check.
Not Driveable, Repairable
When a vehicle is not drivable as a result of a loss, but is repairable, rental will be covered for the estimated repair time of the vehicle, including one to two days for parts to arrive and the time for an Auto Technician to inspect the vehicle