Tag: homeowners 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.

1
Jun

Tips for Homeowners Safety While on Vacation

You may be all packed for Peru, but is your home ready to be alone for two weeks? Brush up on these homeowners safety tips before heading off on vacation.

The start of summer means people are readying themselves for upcoming vacations. Every year, between June and August, families, couples, and individuals opt to enjoy their summer in a foreign location. While you may be packed and ready to go, do you know to protect your home while away on vacation? A few safety precautions and quality homeowners insurance know-how will help to leave your home safe while you’re out of town.

Put these do’s and don’ts into practice so that you can kick back and relax on your vacation knowing that your home is safe and sound.

Do:

  • Make sure that all the doors and windows are locked and fastened. Doors should have deadbolt locks!
  • Examine your house from the street and make sure that no valuables (like expensive electronics or artwork) can be seen from the road. If a passer-by can see your belongings, so can criminals.
  • Secure sliding glass doors by placing a metal rod or piece of plywood in the track to prevent an intruder from forcing the door open.
  • Unplug the power to your automatic garage door to keep thieves from opening it.
  • Make it appear as if you’re at home. Use timers on lights, radios, and televisions.
  • Ask a trusted friend or neighbor to check in on the house, collect the mail, and water your plants.

Don’t:

  • Leave clues that you’re away. No matter how excited you are, don’t post your plans on social media. If people see that you’re away for two weeks, they may be tempted to enter your home.
  • Close your curtains! This is a clear indication that no one is home.
  • Hide a key outdoors for your neighbor or friend. Burglars know the best hiding places better than you do.

These tips can help assure you that your home is ready for you to head out on holiday. Make sure that your home is protected with the right home insurance policy. Contact Abatelli Group, Inc. for a proper policy on your insurance needs in Whitestone, New York.

18
May

Review Your Home Insurance at Renewal

When the situation entails your homeowners insurance policy, ensure that you make no assumptions to avoid misunderstandings. 

Home insurance has very specific and unique vocabulary that can make understanding it fairly difficult. Policies can vary to fit the needs and budget of every policy holder, so coverage can vary widely between policies. If you have never read your policy from cover to cover, it’s recommended you set aside some time and do so. Here are a few tips on what to look for when you review your home insurance at renewal.

  1. Structure – Some people only cover their homes to satisfy the mortgage debt. But what should happen if your entire home is destroyed to a crisp? You should have enough coverage to completely rebuild your home from scratch. You have to remember the cost of clean-up, raw materials, and construction.
  2. Liability – If someone is injured on your property, the medical bills alone can surpass your liability coverage. Your home comes with a certain risk, but it can go up if you have “attractive nuisances.” Things like pools, trampolines, dogs, and other fun things, you may need extra liability to cover your increased risk.
  3. Contents – Your things need to be protected, and a homeowners insurance policy does just that. Contents coverage usually goes for about 50 to 70 percent of the amount of coverage you have. So, for example, if you have $200,000 in coverage you will receive $100,000 to $140,000 for your things.
    You have to review your contents coverage if you made any recent upgrades, home improvements, or recent costly purchases like new kitchen, HVAC systems, et cetera.

When it comes to your homeowners insurance, make sure that you’re protected for everything you need. Make sure that your home is protected with the right home insurance policy. Contact Abatelli Group, Inc. for a proper policy on your insurance needs.

23
Mar

How to Prepare Your Home for Spring

At long last, the snow and ice have melted and the sun is starting to shine a little longer in the crisp post-winter sky. Is your home ready for what’s to come?

After another long and hard winter, spring has arrived. The days last longer and the temperature is increasing a little bit each and every day. But as the temperatures shift, so does the weather. It may not be snow, but rain can affect your home in more ways than you may think. Here are a few home maintenance tips to help your home welcome the new season.

  1. Clean your gutters and spouts. Your gutters are responsible for directing rainwater away from your home and its foundation. Make sure that your gutters are clear of any and all debris to allow for optimal water flow.
  2. Check weatherstripping. Weather stripping on your windows is a very simple and efficient way to save money on your energy bill. This can help during the winter to keep the warm air in your home, and it can help in spring by keeping the hot air out, thus, relieving your air conditioner from working overtime.
  3. Portal caulk. Make sure that the caulk lining your windows and doors is in good condition to prevent any leaks. You can get caulk at your local hardware store and apply it yourself–it’s fairly straightforward.
  4. Inspect your shingles. Your shingles work together to help direct water down to your gutters. After all the snow has melted, make sure to inspect your roof for any warping, cracked, or missing shingles. Any issues with your roof can lead to big problems which may cost you big time.

These tips can help assure you that your home is ready for the spring showers and sun. Make sure that your home is protected with the right home insurance policy. Contact Abatelli Group, Inc. for a proper policy on your insurance needs.

13
Feb

How You Can Prepare for a Snow Storm

Snow storms are severe weather phenomena which could stop entire cities in their tracks, so how can you prepare for one before it’s too late?

A changing climate means more severe weather, which includes heavier snow storms. The power of snow storms can stop entire cities from operating as snow covers the roads and deters people and companies from getting from Point A to Point B. Before one strikes the Whitestone, NY area and leaves you stranded in your own home island covered in a sea of snow, make sure that you prepare with time. Here are a few tips on how you can prepare for a snow storm.

Listen to Your Weatherman (or Weatherwoman) 

Your weather station will surely warn you of a possible snowstorm days in advance. If your weather station has a snow storm alert, make sure to prepare for it if you haven’t already.

Prepare

  • Winterize your vehicle and keep the tank full. A full tank will keep the fuel from freezing should temperatures reach dangerously low levels.
  • Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering them with plastic to keep the cold air out.
  • Maintain your heating equipment, like chimney or space heater, by cleaning it once a year.

Emergency Kit

  • Water – at least 3 days; 1 gallon per person per day (Don’t forget about your pets! Should you have any)
  • Food – at least 3 days; non-perishable, easy-to-make food (Again, don’t forget about your furry friend)
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Cellphone with battery-powered chargers
  • Cash
  • Warm coats, gloves, hats, boots, and extra blankets
  • Alternative heat sources like fireplaces, wood, or a coal-burning stove

Protect your home from the dangers of winter. Make sure that your home is protected with the right home insurance policy. Contact Abatelli Group, Inc. for a proper policy on your insurance needs.

9
Jan

Winter Home Maintenance Tips

The cold is settling in and if our homes are not well-maintained, we can be throwing money away as we try to keep ourselves warm. 

Cold temperatures are great for some unique outdoor activities: snowball fights, sledding, ice skating, making snowmen, and other fun activities. But outside of play, living in the cold can be rough. Luckily for us, we do not have to live in the cold; humanity can do what no other animal can do: change our environment to suit our comforts. If our homes are not properly ready for winter, we can essentially rack up our heating bill and waste a lot of energy. Here are a few winter home maintenance tips for your home.

Insulation 

  • Add weather stripping around your doors and caulk the window seals in order to stop drafts and prevent heat loss. The more heat you keep in your home, the more energy you save and the more money you save.
  • Heat rises so make sure to insulate your attic to keep the heat from escaping into the atmosphere. If you allow heat to escape from the attic, it warms the roof melting snow and creating ice dams.
  • If allowed, remove screens from windows and install storm windows.

Utilities

  • Learn how to shut your water supply off and know where your pipes are located to prevent water damage. And turn them off if you are leaving your home for an extended period of time.
  • Check and fix any water leaks. Use only thermostatically-controlled heat tape if your water pipe is plastic and is exposed to unheated areas like garages, crawl spaces, and such other areas.

Protect your home from the dangers of winter. Make sure that your home is protected with the right home insurance policy. Contact Abatelli Group, Inc. for a proper policy on 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