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Rutt Insurance Blog

View the latest blog posts from Rutt Insurance.

Homeowners Should Always Increase Precautions When the Temperature Drops.

  • Temporary Measures
    • During extended periods of sub-freezing temperatures, increase thermostat settings to at least 60º F throughout the home to help ensure adequate temperatures are maintained in colder spots.
    • Open bathroom or kitchen cabinet doors that run along outside walls so that warmer room air can circulate trough them. If you have pets or children, be mindful of chemicals stored in cabinets.
    • To prevent exterior faucets from freezing, shut them off from inside the home and drain remaining water from the pipes. Exterior irrigation systems should be winterized.
    • Standing water freezes faster than running water. During periods of low usage and on frigid nights, turn on a faucet at the highest point in the home. Keep water stream low, so that only a small amount can trickle through pipes running through cold spaces.
    • If the water meter is operating buy your water is not running, you may have a frozen pipe. Once the pipe thaws, it could burst. If you discover a frozen pipe, close the main water shut-off valve and call al plumber immediately.
    • If you're away from home for extended periods of time, turn off the water. This may not prevent frozen pipes, but it can significantly reduce the damage.

 

  • Permanent Measures
    •  Install an automatic shut-off system designed to stop water flow when a leak occurs.
    • Add several low temperature sensors to your central station alarm system. Place them in remote areas of your home.

 

  • If Damage Occurs
    • Locate the main water shut-off valve and close it immediately.
    • Call an emergency service restoration company to facilitate repairs and start the dry-out process.
    • Move undamaged items away from the affected area.
    • Contact us or your insurance claims hotline to start a claim.

Content received from Specialty Brokerage and Originally published by AIG Personal Insurance

 

Posted 1:58 PM


Many of us enjoy traveling away from home throughout the year, whether it's for an annual vacation, an upcoming holiday, a honeymoon, or to see the family.  Our trips can take us across the country or across the globe.

Your Homeowners policy covers your home and contents while you're away, but did you know the items you take with you are covered as well?  They're covered anywhere in the world! 

If your golf clubs are stolen, your luggage is lost, or you experience a hotel theft, your Homeowners policy may cover the loss.  There is a policy deductible and limits to high value items like jewelry, cash, precious metals, and guns so be sure to reach out to our agents to find out what's covered, if you have enough coverage, and if you need to take additional action to receive coverage.

Your personal liability coverage limit also follows you around the world.  Personal liability covers claims made against you for accidental bodily injury you cause to other people or property damage you cause to other property.  If you unintentionally break a window or kitchen appliance in your rental home or accidentally hit someone with your golf ball while golfing, there is coverage on your Homeowners policy.

Whether you're traveling across town or across the Atlantic Ocean, your Homeowners insurance follows you there.  Happy traveling!

Originally published by Goodville Mutual Casualty Company

Posted 7:50 AM


Holiday Fire Safety at Home

Four fire hazards and tips to avoid them.

Picture your perfect holiday. Perhaps you hear family members laugh while the fireplace crackles in the background. Or you enjoy your favorite holiday meal surrounded by friends and the glow of candlelight in your carefully decorated dining room. With all the holiday buildup, you might not be thinking about fire safety. But you can help preserve these peaceful memories by doing a little preparation.

 

Nearly 156,000 fires occur during the winter holiday season, causing 630 deaths, 2,600 injuries, and approximately $936 million in property damage, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. “These are tragic losses at this time of year,” says James King, field technical manager for Chubb Personal Insurance. Every January, he reviews several cases of fires that could have been prevented.

Here are four main fire hazards that every homeowner should know.

Fireplaces

Always Properly Dispose of Fireplace Ashes - Ashes should be placed in a metal container, wet down and moved outside, far away from your deck, garage, woodpile or anything that could catch fire. After about a week, check again for hot spots. If none are found, dispose of ashes in your outdoor trash bin and take the trash to the curb.

Always get your chimney inspected and cleaned before the holidays.

Always regularly check your Smoke Detectors, Carbon Monoxide Detectors, and Fire Extinguishers. If they don't work, replace them immediately.

Candles

Never leave candles unattended.

Never place candles in a high-traffic area where children or pets might knock them over.

Always leave a two-foot circle of safety around candles.

Never place near anything flammable.

Extension Cords and Holiday Lights

Never overload extension cords or use indoor cords outdoors. Turn off lights when sleeping or away from home.

Always check manufacturer labels to avoid a fire hazard. Do not connect more strings of lights together than recommended by the manufacturer.

Always keep extension cords out of reach of children and pets.

Never run cords under carpets. The wire can fray or be pinched by heavy furniture and start a fire.

Never nail or staple through the cord or holiday light wiring.

Always plug outdoor lights into circuits protected by GFCIs (ground fault circuit interrupters) to prevent electric shock. Older home may not have GFCIs, but it is a fairly inexpensive fix.

Always inspect all extension cords and holiday lights for frayed wire, cracked insulation or excessive kinking before using them.

Always store cords and lights in a dry attic or closet out of season, and consider replacing inexpensive lights every few years.

Space Heaters

Never use extension cords with space heaters. These should always be plugged directly into the wall.

Always check the circuit to make sure it can handle the added demand.

Never leave a space heater unattended, and if not in use turn them off and unplug them.

Never remove the third-prong grounding feature, and plug heaters into GFCI's for added safety.

Originally published by CHUBB Personal Insurance

 

Posted 9:37 AM


Two keys to weather safety are to Prepare for the risks and to Act on those preparations when alerted by emergency officials.

Please refer to FEMA's website (ready.gov/hurricanes) for comprehensive information on hurricane preparedness at home and in your community.

 

Gather Information

Know if you live in an evacuation area. Assess your risks and know your home's vulnerability to storm surge, flooding, and wind.

Understand the difference between National Weather Service watches and warnings. Understanding the difference is critical to being prepared for any dangerous weather hazard, including hurricanes.

 A watch lets you know that weather conditions are favorable for a hazard to occur. It literally means "be on guard!" During a weather watch, gather awareness of the specific threat and prepare for action. Monitor the weather to find out if severe weather conditions have deteriorated and discuss your protective action plans with your family.

 A warning requires immediate action. This means a weather hazard is imminent - it is either occurring (a tornado has been spotted, for example) - or it is about to occur at any moment. During a weather warning, it is important to take action: grab the emergency kit you have prepared in advance and head to safety immediately. Both watches and warnings are important, but warnings are more urgent.

 Contact Information: keep a list of contact information for reference including Emergency Management Offices; State, County & Local Law Enforcement; Hospitals; Fire & Rescue; Local TV & Radio Stations; Your Property Insurance Agent.

 Plan and Take Action

 Everyone needs to be prepared for the unexpected. Your friends and family may not be together when disaster strikes. How will you find each other? Will you know if your children or parents are safe? You may have to evacuate or be confined to your home. What will you do if water, gas, electricity or phone services are shut off?

 Supplies Kit: Put together a basic disaster supplies kit and consider storage locations for different situations. Help community members do the same.

 Emergency Plans: Develop and document plans for your specific risks.

 Evacuation: Review FEMA's Evacuation Guidelines to allow enough time to pack and inform family and friends if you need to leave your home. Follow instructions issued by local officials. Leave immediately if ordered.

Resources

 

Information contained herein was used with permission from NOAA.

 

Posted 12:00 AM


You've Got the Car of Your Dreams, Now How Do You Protect It?

As anybody who’s dealt with an insurance claim on a classic will tell you, it’s an important question. The fact is, the everyday insurance policy that’s perfect for your daily-use cars just doesn’t cut it when it comes to classics. Even if your classic stays in your garage, undriven, it probably won’t be covered by your homeowner’s policy for a fire, theft or accident. So what’s the difference between specialty and everyday insurance? Specialty and everyday insurance policies differ greatly when it comes to vehicle value and how you are compensated in the event of a loss. There are three ways auto insurance pays out claims: Actual Cash Value Most everyday insurers offer Actual Cash Value policies. This is what an insurance adjuster says your car is worth, usually based on used car values – not the classic car market. So if your classic’s stolen or declared a total loss after an accident, it’s unlikely you’ll be compensated for its true value. Stated Value Many everyday insurers offer Stated Value policies for classic cars, allowing clients to set their own value. But here’s the problem: the insurer only has to pay up to the Stated Value, and in fact is allowed to pay the lesser of the Stated Value or the Actual Cash Value, less any deductible. Agreed Value or Guaranteed Value Most specialty insurers offer Agreed Value or Guaranteed Value, which means you and the insurance company agree on a value for your car. If there’s a covered total loss, you’ll receive that full value, less any deductibles. Some companies require appraisals at your expense, while others will only insure cars for book value – no negotiations. The best companies don’t require appraisals, and rely on their expertise and your opinion to determine an accurate value for your classic.

Is Classic Car Insurance Right for You and Your Car? 

Different companies have different vehicle and age requirements, but vehicles are generally considered classics if they maintain or appreciate in value and are of limited production or special interest. Drivers must have a good driving record. Some companies require drivers to be 25 or older. Vehicles typically need to be securely garaged. Vehicles typically can not be used for back-up or daily transportation. Some companies have strict mileage limitations; others are more flexible. How do you choose a classic car insurance expert? As you shop around, here are some things to look for: Agreed or Guaranteed Value coverage - It’s the only way to make sure you get the full value of your classic. • Good Reputation - Ask around and read online reviews. Find out how companies treat their clients and deal with claims. • Financial stability - Choose a company with an A.M. Best rating of “A-” or better. This means that the company is financially strong and benefits from good management. Lets you choose the repair shop - In event of a claim, you should choose who repairs your classic.


- Content used in this post is used with permission and was originally published by Hagerty.
Posted 12:00 AM


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