Home Insurance

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.

20
Aug

How Does Coronavirus Impact Home Insurance?

There’s no doubt that coronavirus has impacted homeowners, businesses, communities, and the rest. While businesses are working out how to recover, as a homeowner, it’s also worth knowing how COVID-19 has impacted and will continue to impact your home insurance. Here is what you should know.

Home insurance inspections

If you need to purchase home insurance right now, whether you’ve just bought a new home or you’re shopping for a better policy, you might need to have a home inspection as a condition of the policy. However, a professional may not be able to visit your home during this time. As a result, you may be asked to record a video of the rooms around your home on your smartphone and send it to the insurer. If a professional is able to visit, you can expect them to maintain social distancing during the process.

Creating a claim

If the worst does happen, you may need to file a claim. If you do experience damage and an appraiser is unable to visit your property, many insurance companies offer virtual inspections to limit the people in your home and to speed up the processing. If there are repairs that need to be made, essential workers such as plumbers are able to help.

If you’re having trouble making payments…

If you’re a homeowner who has suffered from the pandemic financially, you may be having trouble paying your monthly home insurance. If this is the case, talk to your home insurance provider as soon as possible to work out how to handle manageable payments.

If you’re looking for home insurance during this time, call one of our trusted advisors at Abatelli Group, Inc. We are ready to get you the protection and peace of mind you need.

6
Feb

3 Ways Extreme Weather Can Affect Your Home

How heavy wind and rain can impact your property.

 

The winters in Wisconsin can be unpredictable. Heavy winds and rain can wreak havoc on a property, causing damage that homeowners least expect. We’ve taken a look at the effects of extreme weather conditions so you can be better prepared.

 

Wind

This is probably the most obvious type of damaging weather pattern. Extremely powerful winds can scrape shingles off the tops of roofs and pull gutters away from rooflines. Even wind gusts that aren’t as strong can cause large tree limbs to break and fall onto homes, which can cause roof leaks and bring down gutters. Be sure that your roof is in good condition, and that weak tree limbs are cut down before they’re turned into flying debris.

 

Rain

Though the rain itself usually doesn’t cause structural damage, any water that leaks into a home through gaps in the roof or walls can lead to messes that can be costly to clean up. The rainwater can also lead to damage to walls, ceilings, and floors, which can cause mold and mildew problems throughout a home. Before a rainstorm hits, make sure that the gutters are clear of debris that could cause blockages and leaks.

 

Snow

A little bit of snow usually doesn’t cause any problems. Multiple feet of snow can weigh on a roof or gutters and overwhelm physical support systems, causing buckling or holes in the roof and gutters to snap. The same effect can be seen on overhanging tree branches, which can fall onto houses and wreak havoc.

 

Make sure you have a homeowners insurance that you can rely on. Need help finding adequate insurance? Contact Abatelli Group, Inc., serving Whitestone and neighboring cities in New York with the right and reliable coverage.

5
Dec

Homeowners Insurance Endorsements to Consider

Consider these coverages to add on to your home insurance.

Your homeowners insurance is designed to protect you when the worst happens. For the most part, it does. However, every policy has limitations and exclusions. The best way to protect y our property is to know what your policy excludes and how to fill those gaps. Home insurance endorsements can help. Take a look at common home insurance endorsements to consider.

  • Scheduled personal property

While your home insurance will cover your belongings, your high-value items may not have enough coverage to be replaced if they are lost in a peril. Scheduling your property with a rider helps to ensure that your expensive belongings, such as jewelry, art, antiques, musical equipment, and more are covered from disasters.

  • Sewer backup

A sewer backup can be caused by anything from clogged drains to damaged sewer lines – and it can cause sewage to back up into your home. Just a few inches of this can quickly ruin your property. Since sewer backup coverage isn’t always included in standard home insurance policies, adding it as an endorsement is a smart move to make.

  • Home-based business

If you’re thinking of launching your own business from your home, be sure to talk to your insurance agent first. Business activities, even small-scale ones, are not covered by standard home insurance policies. This means that your business property is vulnerable. You may be able to add a home-based business endorsement to your home insurance policy instead of purchasing a full commercial insurance policy.

Make sure you have a homeowners insurance that you can rely on. Need help finding adequate insurance? Contact Abatelli Group, Inc., serving Whitestone and neighboring cities in New York with the right and reliable coverage.

21
Nov

Do I Need to Take a Home Inventory?

How and Why You Need a Home Inventory List

If you were asked to make a list of everything inside your home from memory, could you do it? Chances are, you’d end up forgetting a few things, right? What if there was a major disaster and you had to file a homeowners insurance claim. Then, your insurer asks you what belongings you lost in the disaster. This is where a home inventory list comes in handy – yet is often overlooked by homeowners.

What is a home inventory list?

A home inventory is a list of everything you own and that is inside your property. It helps insurance carriers understand the value of belongings you lost in a peril, and what needs to be replaced. Having an up-to-date home inventory on hand can speed up the claims process after a disaster, helping you to get back on your feet as quickly as possible.

How to start your home inventory

Creating a record of everything your home can sound daunting. But there’s no need to get overwhelmed.

  • Choose a starting point – and work room by room
  • Take pictures or a video of all of your belongings
  • Make sure to capture serial numbers/identifying features
  • Write down a list of all of your belongings and their value
  • Keep your receipts and scan them in or take a picture so that you have a digital copy
  • Store the inventory both on paper and digitally so that you have multiple versions to rely on

Make sure to update your inventory when you purchase new belongings or sell any possessions. Make sure you have a homeowners insurance that you can rely on. Need help finding adequate insurance? Contact Abatelli Group, Inc., serving Whitestone and neighboring cities in New York with the right and reliable coverage.

24
Oct

How to Prepare Your Home for a Safe Halloween

Make this Halloween a safe one with these useful tips.

Plenty of people love a good Halloween scare – as long as no one gets hurt. Even though tricks, spooks, and haunts are welcome on Halloween night, accident and injury are not. To ensure Hallows Eve is a safe night in your home, read on.

Light it up. Party guests and trick-or-treaters will need to be able to clearly see the path to your front door once the sun sets. Ensure that there is ample lighting, especially around steps.

Use LED lights instead of real candles. Fill your jack-o-lanterns with LED lights instead of real candles. An open flame, even if placed safely inside a carved pumpkin, poses a fire risk for children, pets, and adults.

Tighten the railings. If you have stairs on the way to your front door, ensure that the railing is secure. Wobbly or broken porch railings is a trick-or-treating safety hazard as they can cause severe injuries.

Keep the pets inside. Whether you’re hosting a Halloween party or are waiting for trick-or-treaters, Halloween night can upset your pets. Keep them calm by confining them to an area or one room of the house. It only takes one spook for your dog or cat to run out the door when you greet trick-or-treaters.

Clear the curb. Reduce risks to little pedestrians by clearing parked cars from the curb for better visibility and placing a reflective ‘Watch for Children’ sign at the edge of the road. If the street is busy, consider having adults take turns maintaining safety.

These tips can help prevent your home from facing horrors on Halloween night. Another great way to protect your property is to secure reliable homeowners insurance coverage. Need help finding adequate insurance? Contact Abatelli Group, Inc., serving Whitestone and neighboring cities in New York with the right and reliable coverage.

19
Sep

3 Preventable Home Insurance Claims

Avoid Common Home Insurance Claims with These Tips

Your home is your castle. While many homeowners think of home insurance claims as only possible from mass-destruction events, such as hurricanes and tornadoes, the most common claims are the ones that homeowners least suspect. Fortunately, many home insurance claims can be entirely preventable. To protect your castle, take a look at these home insurance claims that are preventable.

  • Loose/damaged washing machine hoses

Unfortunately, the nature of the washing machine makes it possible for disasters to occur – alternating water temperatures, shaking machines, and containment in low-traffic areas. To prevent claims, it’s wise to replace plastic hoses at least every three years and inspect them regularly for any damage.

  • Roof damage

Most home insurance policies will offer coverage for roof deterioration caused by unpreventable triggers, such as vandalism or fire. Unfortunately, leaks and pest infestations can weaken a roof and cause more damage in the event of a disaster. Basics roof maintenance, such as gutter cleaning and shingle replacement, is key to a longer life.

  • Cooking/candle fires

Open flame (or gas) is often necessary for cooking, warming, and illuminating the house. Next to water damage, fire devastating is the number one source of homeowners insurance claims. You can prevent fires by taking care in the kitchen, placing candles away from children and pets, and switching to electrical tealights.

Make sure you have a homeowners insurance that you can rely on. Need help finding adequate insurance? Contact Abatelli Group, Inc., serving Whitestone and neighboring cities in New York with the right and reliable coverage.

22
Aug

How to Prepare for a Power Outage Caused by a Storm

How to prepare for a power outage.  

The weather can change in an instant, meaning that homeowners should always be prepared for the worst. Part of this preparation is to prepare for a power outage caused by a storm. Storms can bring strong winds and heavy rain that knock down power lines, leaving homes without power from a couple of hours to several days. Here are a few tips to help make sure you are prepared for a power outage.

  • Keep a flashlight in an easy-to-reach location. Supply it with fresh batteries and keep an extra set of batteries close by. Avoid using candles as a light source if possible.
  • Get a portable radio that you can use for emergencies. This will help you to stay informed about the storm and progress of getting the power back up and running.
  • Keep your cellphone charged so that you can make calls in the event of an emergency.
  • Stock up on non-perishable food and drinking water. Avoid opening the fridge and freezer at all during the power cut.
  • Keep a stocked first aid kit, any medications, blankets, and your pet’s supplies in a bag in case of an emergency.
  • Unplug large appliances and devices to avoid them from being damaged if a power surge occurs.
  • For expensive appliances, consider installing surge protectors.

Remember that a homeowners insurance policy can help to get you back on your feet after a disaster.  Make sure you have a policy that you can rely on. Need help finding adequate insurance? Contact Abatelli Group, Inc., serving Whitestone and neighboring cities in New York with the right and reliable coverage. 

18
Jul

3 Ways to Improve Air Conditioning Efficiency

Make your air conditioning unit more efficient in the home with these tips.

In the summer months, walking into a cool house is a refreshing break from the sweltering heat in New York. But for homeowners and renters alike, a chilled property comes at a price. Running your central air conditioning can cost $3.84 a day or more than $115 a month. With energy costs rising, it makes sense to take steps to make sure your A/C is running at maximum efficiency.

Maintain your A/C unit

Regular A/C maintenance is one of the best things you can do to improve your HVAC efficiency and prevent breakdowns. A yearly HVAC tune-up can keep your system functioning properly and identify issues before they arise. You can avoid high repair costs by performing regular maintenance, either yourself or by a professional

Use appliances wisely

Some home appliances, such as the oven and clothes dryer, can heat up the inside of your house and increase your cooling costs. To minimize the impact of heat-generating appliances, avoid using the oven or clothes dryer during the hottest part of the day. For improved efficiency, use them at night when it is easier to keep your property cool.

Close the curtains

Although natural light is wonderful, the rays of sunlight streaming through your windows can raise the interior temperature of your home and force your A/C to work harder. You can reduce the stress on your unit by closing the curtains and blinds during the day so that the sun doesn’t warm up your apartment.

Make sure you have an insurance policy that you can rely on. Need help finding adequate insurance? Contact Abatelli Group, Inc., serving Whitestone and neighboring cities in New York with the right and reliable coverage. 

6
Jun

Renters Insurance – Why You Should Consider It

Should you get renters insurance coverage? 

As a renter, you may be tempted to skip the thought of purchasing renter’s insurance coverage. After all, you don’t own the space and you only have a few belongings – coverage can’t help you that much, right? Think again. All people who rent an apartment or condo should consider taking out a policy to protect their belongings, wallet, and more. Here’s why.

What does renter’s insurance cover?

Most renters are under the impression that the landlord is responsible for repairing and replacing their property after an incident, such as fire or theft. This is a costly assumption to make. The landlord will have insurance that covers the whole building, excluding your own personal property. This means that if you don’t have insurance, you leave your belongings and pocket vulnerable to risk.

Renter’s insurance covers:

  • Personal property damage: If your personal property is damaged in a covered peril, your renters insurance company will cover the cost of the damage up to your policy’s limits. A covered peril is a damaging event listed in your policy such as fires, wind, and certain type of water damage.
  • Personal liability: If someone is injured on your residence, and the event is found to be due to your negligence, your policy will cover the costs of legal liability. A standard policy covers up to $100,000 in liability costs.
  • Additional living expenses: If your rental home or apartment becomes uninhabitable, your renters insurance policy will cover the expenses.
  • Medical Payments: Coverage for medical costs if a guest is injured on your property.

Common perils include:

  • Fire and lightning
  • Wind and hail
  • Explosions
  • Smoke damage
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Water damage
  • Mold
  • And more!

Ready to gets started on quality renters insurance coverage? Contact Abatelli Group, Inc., serving Whitestone and neighboring cities in New York with the right and reliable coverage.

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