Category Archives: Helpful Hints

  • 0

Do You Have Enough Coverage to Rebuild Your Home?

Selecting the proper amount of coverage is the single most important decision you can make with your Homeowners policy. Without it, you may not have enough coverage to rebuild after a total loss.

This is called “insurance to value.” Below are some explanations and tips to help you make the right choices for your needs — and remember, if you need help, we’re just a phone call away!

 

What is insurance to value?

Insurance to value is the relationship between the amount of coverage selected (typically listed as “Coverage A” or “Dwelling Coverage” on your policy declarations page) and the amount required to rebuild your home. Insuring your home for anything less than 100% insurance to value could mean you wouldn’t have enough coverage to replace your home in the event of a total loss.

 

Why is the cost to rebuild different from the market value?

A home’s market value reflects current economic conditions, taxes, school districts, the value of the land and location, and other factors unrelated to construction cost. The cost to rebuild your home is based only on the cost of materials and labor in your area. It is important that you insure your home based on its reconstruction cost, NOT its current market value.

 

Why is reconstruction more expensive than new construction?

New-home builders typically build many homes at once, and solicit bids from various sub-contractors to receive the best pricing. Their business model is based on economies of scale. For example, they may purchase 20 bathtubs at once, securing a lower unit cost. These economies of scale don’t exist when building a single home.


  • 0

Summers mean backyard grilling – safely!

Grill Flames

Just like hamburgers and hot dogs, a sizzling grill is a symbol of summer and grilling isn’t just about great food. Backyard barbecues often create treasured memories with friends and family.

Keep in mind, however, that when you grill, you’re literally playing with fire. Thousands of residents each year learn this the hard way, suffering damage to their homes or even serious injuries in grilling accidents.

There’s good news, though: You can prevent grilling accidents by taking some simple precautions. The tips below can help ensure you cook only your burgers — and not your house — the next time you fire up the grill.

TIPS FOR ALL GRILLS
  • Your grill, whether gas or charcoal, should be on a level surface outdoors, away from anything that could be ignited by flames (bushes, fences, etc.).
  • NEVER use a grill indoors. Odorless carbon monoxide fumes could kill you.
  • Keep your grill clean and well-maintained. Check parts regularly to determine if replacements are needed.
  • Never leave a hot grill unattended or let children play near it.
CHARCOAL GRILL TIPS (From Kingsford.com)
  • Do not add lighter fluid directly to hot coals. The flame could travel up the stream of fluid and burn you.
  • Never use gasoline or kerosene to light a charcoal fire.
  • Use flame-retardant mitts and long-handled barbecue tongs, as coals can reach up to 1,000 degrees.
  • To dispose of coals, allow the ashes to cool for at least 48 hours before disposal in a non-combustible container. If you cannot wait 48 hours, carefully place coals individually in a can of sand or bucket of water.
GAS GRILL TIPS (From the National Fire Protection Association)
  • Check your grill’s hoses for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If you have a leak, and it will not stop after the grill and gas is turned off, call the fire department. If the leak stops when the grill and gas are turned off, have your grill serviced by a professional.
    If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
  • Do not keep a filled propane tank in a hot car or trunk. When getting containers refilled, make that your last stop before going home.
  • Store propane tanks in an upright position, and never indoors.

From all of us at Knight Magee Insurance, happy grilling, and stay safe this summer!


  • 0

10 (Last Minute) Holiday Tips to Keep You Safe

The holidays are here – and it’s about that time to visit with family and friends, exchange gifts and enjoy all the spirit and festivity of the season. But, as with any disruption to the regular routine, the “most wonderful time of the year” comes with its own caveats. Whether you’re traveling or planning to stay close to home for the holidays, consider these 10 tips to ensure your seasonal celebrations are safe and secure. From pointers for protecting your home while you’re away to talking politics with family at the dinner table, here’s how you can avoid filing a claim on your insurance policy while you’re making merry and bright.

    1. Don’t post your plans.
      While it’s tempting to check-in and share your excitement about travel online, be careful about what you’re putting out there for anyone to see. Manage your security settings to restrict who sees your social posts, and keep your comings and goings out of the hands of strangers who can track when you’re not home.
    2. Let your neighbor know.
      If you’re headed out of town for the holidays, have someone check up on your home while you’re away. Water damage is one of the worst kinds of enemies for a homeowner, so a friend or neighbor can pop by periodically to confirm everything is in good working order. While the event of an emergency is highly unlikely, it’s also handy to have someone who can collect your mail so it doesn’t pile up out front.
    3. Secure your stuff.
      When it comes to your valuables, it’s always a smart idea to keep your prized possessions somewhere secure. Your insurance policy may include fine jewelry or any number of expensive items. Utilize a fireproof safe tucked away in your bedroom for peace of mind while you’re out of town.
    4. Lock up and leave a light on.
      This one should be a no-brainer, but do double-check that you’ve secured all the locks in your home when you leave. (As a rule of thumb, it’s wise to put this into practice with your car as well to prevent auto theft.) Lock all doors – and don’t forget about the windows. After you lock up, leave a light on so that your home is never pitch-black. Ideally, you can set a timer on this light to reduce the risk of fire and give your home the appearance of activity.
    5. Light the way with LED.
      And speaking of leaving on a light, make a switch over to LED lighting. Even if you’re staying home, now’s the time to replace incandescent light bulbs with LED lighting. Create the perfect festive ambiance complete with LED-lit flickering candles and holiday lights while consuming less electricity and putting off less heat. Because the LED bulb is cooler, you greatly reduce the risk of fire – so go ahead and get your home on your neighborhood’s Tacky Light Tour!
    6. Don’t toy with small parts.
      When shopping for little ones, be sure to heed advisories about age-appropriate toys. Toddlers especially are likely to explore the world by taste, so you don’t want to purchase items with small parts. Read the packaging before you buy, and stay away from coin lithium batteries if you can.
    7. Let’s talk turkey.
      If you search YouTube for clips of turkey fryers, you’re likely to come across some fiery explosions that surely resulted in an ER visit. Keep yourself and your loved ones out of the hospital this holiday season by being extra careful while cooking. If you do opt to use a turkey fryer, keep a fire extinguisher at the ready and follow all instructions diligently.
    8. Drive responsibly.
      Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry. Just make sure you have a designated driver if you’re ringing in the New Year in a public place. Traffic tends to be more congested this time of year, so be mindful in the car and expect delays when you hit the road. Never text and drive.
    9. Be polite about politics.
      Hopefully dinner conversation won’t lead to filing a claim on your insurance policy, but 2016 was a divisive year in politics. If possible, stay off any controversial subjects that might disrupt the flow of good food and great company. If you do decide to go there, proceed with caution, respect the opinions of others, and present your views politely. (It only makes your argument stronger, anyway.)
    10. Call us if you need anything.
      As your insurance company, we’re here if you need us. Feel free to give us a call if you need assistance with your home, car or other insurance policies. Or, visit our Customer Care Center where you can access your insurance company’s claims department.

We wish you and your family a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season!


Request Quote