September 2020

17
Sep

Homeowner Tips to Reduce Fall and Winter Property Damage

Winter is coming and with it comes cooler temperatures and the potential for storms to wreak havoc. If you haven’t properly prepared your property for these cooler months, then now is the time to do so. Leaving your home unprepared could result in property damage and digging into your pockets to get back on your feet. Take a look at these tips on how to prepare your property and prevent damage during fall and winter.

Inspect the windows

If there are leaks in the windows, then you can expect a chillier home this winter. There are many seal repair kits available at local hardware stores that will stop breezes flowing through your windows. Do the same for doors – check if there are leaks and seal them up. If a window is improperly sized, cracked, or broken, it may need to be replaced. Doing this helps to keep the cool air out in winter and the warm air inside.

Test the smoke alarm

Every six months, replace batteries in all the detectors in your home. Test them to ensure they are in good working order. Remember that you should have an alarm on every level of the house. If you do not have a fire escape route planned out, now is the time to draft one up.

Tend to interior pipes

With fall comes cooler temperatures. One of the main vulnerabilities in cold weather is pipes. However, winterizing pipes is one of the easiest, most valuable ways to protect your property over winter. Fit insulation around pipes to prevent them from freezing. Give priority to the pipes that are closest to the outdoors and are exposed, such as those in the garage and underneath the sink. Now is the time to turn off the water to any area that won’t be used, and to check pipes for cracks that could grow into a significant leak.

Trim the trees and clean the gutters

Trees, believe it or not, can cause a great deal of damage come winter. Wind from winter storms and the weight of snow and ice combined with cold temperatures causing branches to break can crash into your home. To avoid this, trim dead and dying branches around your property. If you have tree limbs hanging over your home, now is the time to remove them before they crash down. It’s also important to keep water away from your home. Ensure the gutters are clear of debris and that downspouts are directed away from the home’s foundation.

Review the roof

A roof inspection may not be on the top of everyone’s fall maintenance checklist, but it should be. Your roof is the first line of defense against harsh winter weather, and you want to be sure it is up for the task. Take a look to see that the roof has no broken tiles or cracks. Any missing shingles should be replaced immediately, as the last thing you want in winter is rain coming in through the roof. Checking the roof also gets more dangerous the wetter and colder it gets, so it’s best to check it now before the weather turns.

Check your insurance policy

No one wants their home to be damaged by cold weather or to submit an insurance claim in winter, for that matter. But just in case you do face this situation, you will want to know exactly what your policy covers. Give your insurer a call to go over the specifics of your policy and make sure you ask about common winter damage. This could unearth some key coverage that you are missing but you thought you had. Fill in the gaps with riders or extra insurance to ensure you are covered.

How are you protecting your home from fall and winter damage this season? Let us know! Want another great way to protect your home? Secure reliable homeowners insurance that protects you through disasters. Call one of our trusted advisors at Abatelli Group, Inc. We are ready to get you the protection and peace of mind you need.

3
Sep

Do I Need Workers’ Compensation If I’m Self-Employed?

Workers’ compensation is often a daunting and downright confusing coverage for business owners. As a professional, you may already have enough to think about beyond this coverage and what it does. The question arises, what about those business owners who go it alone? Do the self-employed need workers’ compensation insurance? The answer is never a simple yes or no, so here is what you need to know.

Check local laws

Whether a self-employed person needs workers’ compensation will depend on your local and state laws. In New York, workers’ compensation insurance optional for most self-employed workers. If you are self-employed or a sole proprietor of a business in New York, you do not need workers’ compensation insurance if you do not have any employees. However, sole proprietors could still benefit from a workers’ comp policy through lost wages coverage after an on-the-job injury. Self-employed persons can choose to carry workers’ compensation coverage, providing additional insurance in case of a workplace injury or disability.

Coverage for sole proprietors

If you are a roofer or self-employed individual in other highly hazardous fields, you may need to obtain a workers’ compensation policy for your own injuries. What’s more, If you work as a general contractor or a subcontractor, you may have to buy workers’ comp insurance if the contract you signed requires it.

Securing coverage

If you qualify for workers’ compensation insurance as a self-employed individual, you will need to use a licensed insurer who has the proper authorization to develop workers’ compensation policies. It’s recommended that you research coverage and different insurance companies before making a decision. Many insurers will not sell workers’ compensation to a self-employed individual as they do not view it as a worthwhile investment. That is why it is so important to work with a trusted professional who has your best interest in mind.

Keep in mind that even if you do not qualify for workers’ compensation insurance, you may still require some forms of insurance as a self-employed person.

Benefits of workers’ compensation

Although it’s tempting to think of workers’ compensation as a hassle and a drain on your business budget, the insurance will act as a safety net if you do suffer an injury on the job. If you suffer a catastrophic injury in a fall or experience an illness as a result of the work you do, your insurance policy will provide the extended disability coverage you need to get back on your feet. The financial support gives you peace of mind that you’re covered if a serious injury happens on the job.

Securing the right workers’ compensation doesn’t have to be difficult. The right agents are here to help you. For the right workers’ compensation insurance policy, contact our expert team at Abatelli Group, Inc. today. We serve Whitestone, Flushing, Bayside, Little Neck, and surrounding cities of New York with reliable coverage. We are ready to assist you with all of your insurance needs.

COVID-19 Update

Our office remains open and our staff is working remotely to continue to service our clients. You can reach us at (718) 352-6000 Letter to Policyholders