Posts Tagged ‘ natural disaster ’

Has Old Man Winter Done a Number on Your Home?


ice and snow on roofIce, snow, freezing rain, melting snow, refreezing snow – we sure have had our fill this winter, haven’t we? How’s your home holding up to all of this winter abuse? Old Man Winter has the potential to do serious damage to your roof, other areas outside your home – not to mention the possible ripple effects that can occur inside. Obviously pre-season prevention helps, but if you didn’t prepare your home for winter a few months ago, keep the following in mind as we move towards the end of the winter season.

Be aware of an ice dam forming on your roof. This happens when water from melting snow re-freezes at the edge of your roofline. If you don’t remove the snow from your roof, this ice dam could grow large enough to prevent water from draining off of the roof. When this happens, just like when the drains are covered on the street, water builds up, backs up and then it could make its way inside your home. The last thing  you want is your roof or ceiling having issues. As a property owner, you are responsible for the cost of preventive maintenance. You may find it helpful each winter season to develop a snow removal roof monitoring plan. 

If you have an attic, be sure it is thoroughly insulated. When heat escapes through the roof, it will melt what’s on top of it and then when it re-freezes, you could end up with a serious issue.

Make sure you’re turning off your outside water faucets and draining them before the deep freeze sets in. Add weather-stripping around doors and caulk your windows to guard against drafts and heat loss. Maybe you need to make the investment into new windows and doors. Be sure to get your chimneys cleaned and your furnace checked out each season. Change your furnace filter. Don’t turn off your heat or set it below 55 degrees. You need to have some heat circulating in your home, even when you are not home. You really don’t want to have to deal with frozen or bursting pipes, do you? Clean a clear path around your outside dryer vent, ventilation pipes and so on.

Keeping your safety in mind first, should you have a roof full of snow and ice, be sure remove as much snow as you can after every storm. The amount of snow and ice that your roof can handle varies according to a number of factors such as the roof type, age, and condition of the structure. And remember to inspect your roof each season, keep gutters free from debris such as twigs, leaves and the like. Clean out your down spouts.

Use a roof rake to clear the snow. Rule of thumb – if you have more than a foot of heavy, wet snow up there along with ice, do what you can to get it removed. If you can’t do it yourself or with a neighbor, call a reputable contractor or check with your home, landscape or roofing contractor or call your property maintenance company. Remember, climbing a ladder in snow and icy conditions is never a good idea. Safety first.

Before filing a claim, be sure to have seasonal maintenance done on your home to avoid those costly repairs. The cost of snow removal may be considerably less in price than the cost of roof damage, interior damage and other issues caused by water leaks.

Would you like a free quote for your homeowners insurance? Check out Members 1st Insurance Services*.  Also, ask us about renter’s insurance – protect your personal property while renting under someone else’s roof.

Don’t let your lack of insurance make a bigger disaster out of a natural disaster


tornado sky
Natural disasters can happen anywhere at any time. And they can occur in the same place more than once within days (remember the recent tornadoes that ripped through Oklahoma). Think again if you believe that Southcentral PA is immune to tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, blizzards and wildfires. Members 1st Insurance Services is encouraging you take a good look at your insurance coverage to make sure you’ve done some fundamental planning that could save you, your loved ones, or your business a lot of headaches should Mother Nature decide to stir things up.

Even though you may have natural disaster insurance coverage and you’ve prepared for a disaster, being properly insured can be a big help in the aftermath. Make sure your insurance protects what’s important to you. When reviewing your natural disaster protection options with your agent, keep the following in mind: 

1. Do you have adequate insurance if something were to happen to you, your family or your property? Is there enough money to cover bills, any medical expenses, funeral expenses and more?
2. If you have a business, is it properly insured if a natural disaster hits your area?
3. What’s the process if you need to file a claim? If a catastrophe hits your area, is that process different?
4. Are your policies up-to-date? Member 1st Insurance Services offers an annual review to make sure your home, life, auto insurance, or business keeps up with the changes in your life.
5. Keep your agent informed if you’ve remodeled your home or added another room or basement. This helps to ensure your home owners insurance protects your entire home. It’s a good idea to also take photos of your home (inside/outside) and every room and its contents so you know exactly what it is you have. Keep a CD of your photos in a safe deposit box or other secured location where it will be protected. A picture inventory is a great way to keep track of your belongings. You may also want to consider having your home reappraised to get a better idea of its value.
6. Ask your agent how deductibles work after a catastrophe.
7. Think about valuable items insurance – taking out extra insurance at a nominal cost for special items such as expensive cameras, musical instruments, computers, engagement rings, artwork and furs.
8. Flood insurance is different from homeowners insurance. Homeowners insurance does not include natural disaster protection to cover floods. Flood insurance is a separate type of insurance that may be purchased to protect you from losses due to flooding.
9. Do you have a natural disaster plan  for your home or business? Talk to your agent and ask for tips.
10. Do you rent? Hopefully you’ve purchased renters insurance and if you haven’t, we strongly encourage it. Your landlord’s insurance doesn’t project your personal belongings. Ask your agent how renters insurance works after a disaster hits.

A natural disaster can happen anywhere not just within the confines of a certain geographic location. It takes about an hour to meet with an agent to discuss these issues. Members 1st Insurance Services is here to help you. We offer a free, no-obligation insurance quote and have products to meet a variety of typical personal insurance needs such as auto, boats, valuable items, personal umbrella, recreational vehicle, condominium, dwelling fire, homeowners, renters wedding, mobile home and flood. Call us at (800) 283-2328, ext. 5218 or 5245. A little advance planning right now can make a potential disaster a lot less stressful.

For additional help in the event of a natural disaster:
www.fema.gov
www.ready.gov
www.nhc.noaa.gov

Don’t let insurance needs fall through the cracks


Natural disasters can happen right here in Southcentral PA and today’s earthquake is evidence of that. Earlier this afternoon the East Coast felt the rumblings of a 5.8 magnitude earthquake centered northwest of Richmond, VA. We felt it right here in Mechanicsburg, PA!

In the past year, we saw first-hand what a spring tornado can do. We’ve experienced the Susquehanna River flooding. We’ve seen our share of sinkholes. Maybe it’s time to think about your insurance needs for “just in case.”

Members 1st Insurance Services is here to help you. A natural disaster can happen anywhere not just within the confines of a certain geographic location. We offer a free, no-obligation insurance quote and have products to meet a variety of typical personal insurance needs such as auto, boats, valuable items, personal umbrella, recreational vehicle, condominium, dwelling fire, homeowners, renters wedding, mobile home and flood.

Call us at (800) 283-2328, ext. 5218. A little advance planning right now can make a potential disaster a lot less stressful.

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