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Spring Home Inventory

By Everyday Living, Insurance

Have you begun the much-anticipated spring-cleaning? The winter holidays are over and your house could probably use a fresh start. As you weed through the nooks and crannies and dig out outdated items that could probably stand to be donated by now, you may just feel a weight you didn’t know was there start to lift off of your shoulders. The sun is starting to come through the windows and you need to make some space. You don’t necessarily have to rid your household of everything that doesn’t bring you joy, but maybe consider tossing the items that no longer function. If you are able to part with items, do so, and do it before you change your mind. If you’ve bought new furniture, donate the old furniture so someone else can enjoy endless movies nights with your pre-worn in the already loved couch. Once you’ve purged your house and renewed for the spring you’ll feel like a brand new you.

Do you know what you should do after a renewal; after you’ve just regrouped your entire house and switched up the contents a little? Can you guess?

That’s right!

You should update your home inventory! An up-to-date home inventory is vital in the event a major claim occurs. After the holidays, your household has probably acquired a few new things and you’ve probably just gotten rid of a few items. Updating in the spring is usually the easiest because it involves mostly removing items and maybe adding only one or two. Either way, you should definitely review your inventory and update as necessary, just in case.  Happy spring cleaning and get to that home inventory today!

Sump Pump Graphic

Sump Pumps: How Important Are They?

By Insurance

If you have a basement, chances are you have a sump pump. Unless you built your house yourself, it most likely just came with one and if you’re lucky, you’ve never had to use it. This unsung hero plays an important role in the first line of defense against a basement filling with water for whatever reason. As you think about it, you may think you don’t know much about them.

You may find yourself asking:

How do sump pumps work?

How important are they?

What happens if my sump pump fails?

Does my policy cover this?

There are great questions and you should know the answers so that you’re prepared in the event you either need to use the sump pump or your sump pump does not work.

How do sump pumps work?

Well, very simply actually. The pump is placed in a sump which is a pit or hole in the ground in your basement that is used to collect water filling your basement. Since it’s collecting the water in one location it’s easier to pump it up its line and out of the house.

How important are they?

Importance varies by many factors such as your location, house type, etc. If you already have a sump pump, you probably need one and you should maintain it. If you are building a house, check with a contractor about the importance of installing one in your home.

What happens if my sump pump fails?

Damage is possible. If your sump pump fails, you are at risk of suffering water damages in your basement to your dwelling and your personal property. It is important to maintain your sump pump and have it checked annually if not semi-annually.

Does my policy cover this?

In the event damages occur, it’s a good idea to have coverage. As always, speak with your agent about water backup and sump pump coverage. These coverages will have your back in the event your sump pump fails and damages occur. Your agent can go over what is and isn’t covered so that you’re knowledgeable and prepared for whatever may come. The key is getting the coverage. This is an optional endorsement and must be selected prior to damages occurring in order to take effect.

Next time you scoff at the eyesore in the corner that happens to be your sump pump, just remember, that little buddy is constantly on guard to keep your basement dry.

Flood Preparation Tips Graphic

Flood Preparation Tips

By Insurance, Safety & Maintenance Tips

Rain waters the crops, brings the flowers, and floods the rivers. Those things sound so pleasant but we’re missing one image – flooding. Rain is a necessity for life, but it can also cause disaster. Flooding is often thought to be a slow rising process similar to watching lava creeping along. However, flooding can occur almost instantly and thus the term flash flooding was coined. Even if it’s not raining in your area, rain in another area or previous rain can trigger flooding. Since it is impossible to stop the flood, the best option is to be prepared.

As with any major emergency, your household should have a flood plan. You should look to your local community for information on the flood risk to your area. You may even discover that your town has a local flood plan as well. Local authorities may be able to provide information about relocation routes and centers in flood prone areas.

You should also contact your insurance agent and sign up for flood insurance so that if/when disaster strikes, you’re not stuck paying 100% out of pocket trying to piece your home back together.  Here is a link to more information about flood insurance:

A great way to prepare for any emergency is to have an emergency kit. You can find a list of items for an emergency kit on this website:

If a flood is likely and you’ve been given advance notice to evacuate do so before the flood comes. It is very dangerous to drive through water across roadways. If you’d like to try and reduce damages to your property, you can move items to the highest point possible in your home, turn off gas, electricity, and water, and secure loose objects.

If you have animals, plan ahead for possible flood scenarios. Take care of yourself, your pets, and check on your neighbors. Floods can be devastating in a flash and many are underprepared when they occur.

Recovery after a flood is possible. Check with authorities before returning home to make sure that you take an approved route, and that it’s clear to return. Stay flood prepared and have a safe spring!

Theft Graphic

Theft – What to do if your home is burglarized

By Insurance, Safety & Maintenance Tips

As we go through life we collect an array of things. Many items hold sentimental value, some hold monetary value, some are just necessary for daily living, but they’re ours. Like birds that have carefully constructed the perfect nest, we have made our home our own and it is comforting to come back to it each day or night. You feel safe in your home. A bad day at work is alleviated by the comforts of your couch or favorite chair. What happens, when that comfort is invaded? According to, there are roughly 2.5 million burglaries a year, 66% of those being home break ins. Even the safest neighborhoods can be affected by theft.

Imagine with me:

You’ve been out to the movies. It’s been a great night complete with dinner, good company, and a hilarious movie. You’re quoting your favorite parts of the movie still laughing until your abs hurt as your pull up at home and see your door open. You freeze.

This moment alone is gut wrenching but what happens when you go inside?

You want to approach the house but you’re not sure if someone is still inside. Your friend grabs your arm and suggests calling the police first. A couple of minutes go by and a police cruiser pulls up and officers search the property to see if anyone is still inside. Your house has been completely ransacked. There is evidence of forced entry and the police begin an investigation as you stare in awe at the disaster that was once your place.

While having your home broken into is traumatic, it does not have to be life-altering. No amount of comfort will erase what has been done, but rebuilding and replacing is a step to healing. With insurance, you have the coverage to help in this process. Anytime a theft occurs follow these steps:

  1.      Notify the police immediately and obtain your report number.
  2.      Secure your property if damage created a hazard. *So fix that door if it was kicked in or secure that window if it was broken.
  3.      Create an inventory of any missing items to document your loss.
  4.      Take photos of any damage.
  5.      Contact your agent so the claim process can begin.

Your adjuster will assist you throughout the entire process. There will be a time where you can feel safe and comfortable in your home again and even be more prepared for situations in the future. Hopefully, you’ll never experience a theft but if you do, it’s better to be prepared.

Home Inventory Graphic

Home Inventory – Why You Need One

By Insurance

Think about all of the belongings in your house.  Could you list them all? Probably not. Take your bedroom for instance.  Do you know how many pieces of clothing you own? What about just one drawer in your dresser – do you know what’s in it?  Moving on to the kitchen – how many pots and pans? What is in that junk drawer? Let’s not even tackle the garage just yet.

What happens when your home burns down from a fire?  Or a devastating tornado hits your home? A total loss could occur.  Would you be prepared to list everything you own so you could replace it all?  This is where a home inventory comes in – it could help you restock your belongings after a total loss.  Renters pay attention too – a home inventory is important for you as well in restoring your belongings.

An easy way to create a home inventory is to take a video of everything in each room of your house.  A second suggestion is when you purchase a major item, take a picture of the receipt. Both your videos and photos should be uploaded to a free cloud service.  For any important documents that you prefer not to photograph, a fireproof safe would be ideal.

Nothing can truly prepare you for the devastation of a total loss to your home, but having a home inventory prepared can help make you whole again and isn’t that the purpose of insurance?  To make you whole after a loss. A tiny bit of preparation like a home inventory can go a long way.