|Vacation Tips to Keep Your Home Safe|
Ten Tips to Keep Your Home Safe While You’re Away
When preparing for vacation, it’s easy to overlook some basic home safety precautions. Keep these tips in mind to protect your home while you’re away.
- Unplug small appliances and electronic devices.
- Stop the newspaper and mail. Visit the U.S. Postal Service’s website to stop mail service online.
- Lock all windows and doors.
- Arrange to have your lawn mowed.
- Remove any house keys you keep outside our home, even if you think they are in a safe place.
- Set timers on inside lights. Install motion-activated sensor on outdoor floodlights.
- Consider turning off your home’s water.
- Have a trusted neighbor keep an eye on your home throughout your trip.
- Raise the temperature on your thermostat.
- Avoid posting photos of your trip on social media until after you return home.
Taking proper precautions before you go on vacation can make all the difference when it comes to preventing damage to your home. Accidents can still occur, and it’s important to ensure you have adequate insurance coverage. Contact your Arthur Hall Insurance Advisor to learn more.
|Tips to Make Halloween a Treat|
As you and your family bring out the Halloween decorations and prepare for parties and trick-or-treaters, take time to evaluate the liability exposures associated with having guests on your property.
Keep the following tips in mind to ensure Halloween is safe and happy for your family and guests.
AROUND YOUR HOUSE
- Make sure sidewalks, driveways and stairs are well-lit for visibility and clear of anything that may create a trip-and-fall hazard, especially if you anticipate having guests after dark for Halloween festivities.
- Avoid any potential hazard by keeping your family pets away from your Halloween guests and visitors. Even the friendliest of pets can become agitated or over-excited with an influx of Halloween visitors.
- Use extreme caution if you decide to place a burning candle inside a jack-o-lantern or around your home for added Halloween ambiance. Candles can be a fire hazard if not appropriately monitored. Consider using battery-operated candles or glow sticks as an alternative.
- Hand out only commercially-packaged treats to your neighborhood trick-or-treaters, .
- Supervise younger children as they go door to door, but remember to secure your home before leaving to avoid any potential thefts.
FOR THE PARTY HOST
If you host a Halloween celebration ̶ at home or at another location ̶ it is essential to evaluate whether you have appropriate insurance coverage in place. Serving alcohol to guests opens you to exposure for host liquor liability, meaning you could be held legally liable for serving alcohol to a guest who leaves your party and causes injury to someone else or causes damage to their property. If you are serving alcohol, consider the following tips to keep your exposures to a minimum while ensuring your guests have fun and remain safe:
- Ask that your guests designate a sober driver for the end of the evening.
- Consider hiring a professional bartender trained to recognize intoxication and limit alcohol consumption by partygoers, if necessary.
- Limit your own alcohol intake. As a responsible host, you’re better able to judge the sobriety of guests and can assist them in making alternative arrangements to get home safely.
- Stop serving alcohol toward the end of the evening and consider serving coffee and tea instead.
- Check your insurance policy if your party is being hosted away from your home. Your independent agent can review your homeowner policy to ensure you have the necessary liability coverage as well as off-premises property damage protection.
- Monitor your guests, and if any have had too much to drink, assist them in calling a cab or ask a non-drinking guest to take them home. Encourage all your guests to wear seatbelts on their return trip.
Call your Arthur Hall Insurance advisor to discuss your personal liability insurance coverage and any exclusions, conditions or limitations. Don’t be haunted by incomplete coverage; your peace of mind will help assure that Halloween is a treat.
This loss control information is advisory only. The author assumes no responsibility for management or control of loss control activities. Not all exposures are identified in this article. Contact Arthur Hall Insurance for coverage advice and loss control services at 610-696-2394.
(Shared from The Cincinnati Insurance Companies)
|Fig Kennett Female Influencers Spring 2018: Nicole Grebloskie|
Nicole Grebloskie enjoys giving back and promoting community pride, vitality, and partnerships so people can work together to create a great place to work, live, and play.
Although she once had thoughts of being a history professor, after graduating from West Chester University Grebloskie decided to join the workforce before applying to graduate school. She landed a job as an Account Representative at Arthur Hall Insurance and continued to follow this path. She’s now one of the partners at the firm, where she serves as Vice President of the Personal Lines Department. Her professional goals, she says, include continuing to increase her insurance knowledge and expertise so she can provide comprehensive advisory services and create insurance programs that cover all of their clients’ needs. Last year, Grebloskie obtained the Certified Advisor of Personal Insurance designation from the Wharton School.
Grebloskie leads a very full life outside the office as well. When she and her husband moved to Kennett Square in 2002, she says, “it was a natural transition for me to investigate different nonprofits and see where I could help.” She and her husband volunteered for the Kennett Brewfest and she joined the Historic Kennett Square special events committee. As she became more involved, she was appointed to the board of directors and spearheaded fundraising and special events efforts. She served as the HKS president in 2016 and 2017. For Grebloskie, it’s all about the partnerships that we make and can help create. “It’s important to me to raise a family in a vibrant cultural community,” she says, “where everyone has access to different resources —from community assistance programs to local establishments and recreational areas where they can enjoy their free time.”
As the daughter of Italian immigrants, Grebloskie has learned firsthand about what it means to take risks and make decisions that mold who we become. She places a strong value on hard work, planning, setting goals, learning from experience, and on focusing on the positive. And as a mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and team leader, she says, “I want to be the best version of me that I can be— knowing when to rise to a challenge, delegate or ask for assistance when necessary.”
Article courtesy of Fig Kennett Square https://figkennett.com/2018/03/female-influencers-spring-2018-nicole-grebloskie/
If you would like a copy of this issue of Fig Kennett, please contact Arthur Hall Insurance
|Be Prepared: 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. Here are four main fire hazards that every homeowner should know.
- 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.
- Get your chimney inspected and cleaned before the holidays
- Check your detectors – smoke and carbon monoxide – to make sure they work, and replace them if needed.
- Never leave candles unattended or place them in high-traffic areas where children or pets might knock them over.
- Leave a two-foot circle of safety around candles. Do not light candles too close to holiday decorations or anything else that could catch fire.
EXTENSION CORDS AND HOLIDAY LIGHTS
- Don’t overload extension cords or use indoor cords outdoors. Turn off lights when sleeping or away from home.
- Check manufacturer labels to avoid a fire hazard. Do not connect more strings of lights together than recommended by the manufacturer.
- Keep extension cords out of reach of children and pets.
- Don’t run cords under carpets. The wire can fray or be pinched by heavy furniture and start a fire.
- Don’t nail or staple through the cord or holiday light wiring.
- Plug outdoor lights into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) to prevent electric shock. Older homes may not have GFCIs, but it’s a fairly inexpensive fix.
- Inspect all extension cords and holiday lights for frayed wire, cracked insulation or excessive kinking before using them.
- Store cords and lights in a dry attic or closet out of season, and consider replacing inexpensive lights every few years.
- Don’t use extension cords. Plug these energy-demanding machines directly into a wall.
- Check the circuit to make sure it can handle the added demand.
- Don’t leave space heaters unattended, and when not in use, turn off and unplug them.
- Never remove the third-prong grounding feature, and plug the heaters into GFCIs for added safety.
*Holiday Fire Safety at Home courtesy of CHUBB.
This information is advisory in nature. No liability is assumed by reason of the information in this document.
|Homeowners’ Insurance & Pipe Line Projects|
Frequently Asked Questions – Homeowner’s Insurance and Gas Pipe Line Projects
From the desk of Mark D. Sammarone, CIC, CISR
Vice President, Arthur Hall Insurance
(June 13, 2017) I have received a number of inquiries regarding what affect a gas pipeline passing through a homeowner’s property would have on their homeowner insurance coverage as well as the availability of coverage. Here are some answers to those questions.
QUESTION: Does homeowner insurance cost more if you live near a pipeline?
ANSWER: No, insurance should not cost more. Rates are currently formulated using predictive models which include various inputs such as municipality, fire protection, value of the home, do they also insure your cars, and a variety of data points about the insured themselves and the home such as credit score, home ownership, length of time at a house, length of time with prior insurer, whether they applied for coverage seven days or more before the effective date, prior claims for the insured AND claims at the location even under a prior owner. Like credit scoring, companies typically don’t divulge how exactly they weight the various inputs. Two wild possible exceptions might be if a home experienced lots of claims from the proximity to the pipeline that could factor into the predictive model on the basis of past claims…not necessarily the fact they came from a pipeline. Also if a home’s market value dropped dramatically below the construction rebuild cost [i.e. like an inner city home in a bad neighborhood], it creates a moral hazard where an insured would get more if the house was lost in a fire than if they sell it. However these are far stretching examples.
QUESTION: Would a pipeline accident/incident that impacts a home be covered under homeowners insurance? Or is it exempt from coverage?
ANSWER: This is a little more complex to answer how a policy might respond to an incident. The coverage trigger on a typical homeowner policy (HO-3) is “Direct physical loss to the building” which is incredibly broad. But the building MUST be damaged before coverage triggers. The only things that are not covered are things the insurance company thought to exclude. Thus a sudden and accidental incident should be covered unless one of these many exclusions apply. Short list of potential exclusions…..
– Ordinance or law requirements
– Earth Movement (but you can buy earthquake and sinkhole coverage for additional premium)
– Flood (surface water running into their basement). National Flood Policy (NFIP) might not cover unless 1 square mile, or two or more properties impacted if you have one.
– Power failure
– War, Nuclear Hazard
– Intentional loss
– Governmental action – destruction, confiscation or seizure of property
– Faulty planning, zoning, development, design, workmanship, materials used, maintenance (meaning they will not fix someone else’s stupidity, but if the house catches fire and burns to the ground they could cover the fire loss).
Note – something not covered would be the cost to relocate UNLESS the house did receive damage and had a covered claim. An example of this would be an environmental incident near the home, but that did not physically damage the home. Additional living expenses are only triggered after a covered loss occurs.
QUESTION: Does the exclusion for “Governmental Action – destruction, confiscation or seizure of property” include a home that has a right of way taken by eminent domain? Similarly, does the exclusion apply in the case when the PUC grants the pipelines PU status including the right to claim eminent domain. If the incident occurs on the “taken” portion of the homeowner’s property or next to the homeowner’s property, will insurance still be valid in paying for any loss to home? Or does this PU status exempt insurance companies from paying a claim that occurs on property taken by eminent domain that affects nearby homes?
ANSWER: Coverage does not “globally” void just because of a government action such as eminent domain or easements. If the house becomes destroyed by something other than (the otherwise undamaged house) getting torn down by a governmental requirement, the policy pays as intended for normal claims. Normal meaning…direct physical loss to house….policy pays to repair the damaged portion only….and the policy can kick in an extra couple dollars (usually 10%) for those little upgrades you need to make to meet current building code that were not there originally.
QUESTION: If I am a condominium unit owner or renter, and I only insure my contents, how would my coverage respond to a pipe line event?
ANSWER: Similar to other homeowners, there are common covered perils such as explosion and fire. Also similar to other homeowners you can’t collect temporary living expense coverage unless you first have a property loss claim.
QUESTION: How is my personal liability coverage impacted by a pipeline located nearby or a utility easement that travels across my property?
ANSWER: A homeowner policy covers the insured members of your household against claims of bodily injury and property damage they cause to others as a result of their negligence. There are no special provisions in a typical homeowner policy altering the normal terms and conditions as a result of a utility line being in close proximity or under seizure by eminent domain.
These FAQ comments are provided as general interpretations based on common homeowner insurance policy language and are not to be considered binding. Please consult with your insurance professional for guidance in determining the specifics of your homeowner insurance program and how it may apply to these matters.
Advisor. Advocate. Agent