What to Do During a Tornado

What to Do During a Tornado

Many people assume tornadoes can only occur in “Tornado Alley” during the spring months  that area between the Rocky and Appalachian mountains generally known to be prone to this type of extreme weather. While many midwestern U.S. states do see more twisters than other parts of the country, tornados have been reported in every state in the union. If the conditions are right, they can cause massive destruction any time of the year, in any region of the country.

The following guide and tips can be used to help protect yourself and your family from the dangers of tornadoes.

As a first step, and as you would in preparation for any natural disaster, assemble a survival kit and prepare an emergency plan. Make sure everyone in your household knows what they must do and where they must go to stay safe, and practice your plan at least once a year.

Tornado Safety Tips

What Is the Difference between a Tornado Watch and a Tornado Warning?

  • tornado watch means tornadoes are possible in the area. You should review your emergency plan, check supplies and be ready to act quickly if a tornado does approach.
  • tornado warning means a tornado has been visually sighted or indicated by weather radar and you should act immediately. Be sure to have a battery-powered weather radio available to monitor potential tornado activity.

What Are the Signs of a Tornado?

Some of the potential indicators of tornadoes may include:

  • A strong, persistent rotation in the cloud base and/or whirling dust or debris on the ground under a cloud base.
  • Hail or heavy rain followed by either a dead calm or a fast, intense wind shift.
  • A loud continuous roar or rumble that does not fade in a few seconds, like thunder does.

What Should I Do if I Learn a Tornado Is Approaching?

  • If you are in a house, go to the lowest level, such as a basement or a storm cellar.
  • If there is no basement, go to an interior room such as a closet, hallway or bathroom.
  • Try to cover your head with a blanket or jacket to guard against flying debris or broken glass. If you are in a mobile home, you should leave immediately and seek shelter elsewhere.
  • If you are outside and cannot get to shelter, crouch beside a strong structure or lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area and try to cover your head and neck.
  • Get as far away from trees and cars as you can.

What if I Am in a Car and I Learn a Tornado Is Approaching?

  • Try to locate a sturdy building in which you can immediately seek shelter. If that isn’t possible, you have two options:
    • Stay in the car with the seat belt on, putting your head down below the windows and covering it with your hands and a blanket if you have one.
    • If you can safely get lower than the level of the roadway, exit your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands.

What Are Some of the Common Misconceptions about Tornadoes?

  • One misconception is that opening a window in your house will “equalize the pressure” created by the tornado. Do not open any windows; doing so may actually pressurize the house and cause the roof to be torn off.
  • Tornadoes are not always visible from a distance. Rely on a weather radio for the latest information.
  • Although tornadoes are usually spawned by thunderstorms, they have been known to occur without lightning. They can cross a river or another body of water.
  • Tornadoes are not confined to “tornado alley,” a region of the Midwestern U.S. where tornadoes are most frequent. Tornadoes can occur anywhere, any time.

How Will I Know When It Is Safe to Go Back Outside?

  • Multiple tornadoes have been known to emerge from the same storm, so do not venture outside too quickly.
  • Wait until the winds and precipitation have stopped and the roar of the storm has ceased.
  • Use your weather radio to stay updated on what is happening outdoors.

Dormer Insurance Services is an independent Agency that shops to find you the best value for your insurance dollar. No compromise in coverage or quality, and at renewal we shop again to insure our clients are still receiving the best value for their insurance dollar. Think about it, WHY SETTLE FOR LESS? 

Providing peace of mind with quality insurance products throughout the Houston area, including Harris County, Montgomery County, and Fort Bend County and Galveston County. 

Dormer Insurance Services www.dormerins.com Office 281-360-3252 https://www.facebook.com/DormerInsurance/

 

 

Grilling Safety Tips

Grilling Safety Tips

You may be the kind of person who fires up the grill all year long at tailgating parties, or maybe you wait for a warm summer day and a backyard full of friends before you put on your apron. Either way, grilling can be one of life’s simple pleasures.

Unfortunately, where there is fun there is also the potential for safety issues. For example, did you know that leaving the grill unattended, not cleaning grease or fat build up properly, or placing the grill too close to combustible siding can cause injuries, fires and property damage?

Charcoal or Gas?

Nearly 9,000 home fires a year involve grills, according to a National Fire Protection Association report. Of all the home fires involving grills, gas-fueled grills accounted for four out of five fires, while 16% involved charcoal or other solid-fueled grills.¹ Gas and charcoal grills each have ardent advocates, who praise the convenience of gas or the flavor of charcoal. Whichever your preferred grilling method, follow these important safety considerations.

Gas Grill Safety¹

A leak or break was the leading factor contributing to gas grill-related fires, according to the NFPA report.

  • Check the gas cylinder hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year.
  • Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose, which will quickly reveal escaping gas by releasing bubbles.
  • If you smell or otherwise suspect a gas leak, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get a professional to service it before using it again. Call the fire department if the leak does not stop.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, get away from the grill immediately and call the fire department. Do not attempt to move the grill.
  • Never turn on the gas when the lid is closed. The gas may build up inside, and when ignited, the lid could blow off and cause injuries or burns.
  • After cooking, make sure you completely close the valve on your gas grill.
  • Always store gas grills – and propane tanks – outside and away from your house.

Charcoal Grill Safety¹

The leading cause of structure fires from use of charcoal grills was leaving or placing an object that could burn too close to the grill, according to the NFPA study.

  • Charcoal grills can continue to remain hot for many hours after the flames extinguish. Avoid placing any burnable objects near the grill or moving the grill while the coals are hot. Keep combustible items that may be blown by the wind away from the grill.
  • Check for rust damage in metal grills, which may make it possible for charcoal to fall through onto surfaces below and cause a fire.
  • Purchase the proper starter fluid. Store out of reach from children and away from heat sources.
  • Do not add charcoal starter fluid when coals or kindling have already been ignited. Never use any other flammable or combustible liquid to get the fire started.
  • If the fire is too low, rekindle with dry kindling and more charcoal if needed. Avoid adding liquid fuel because it can cause a flash fire.
  • Do not leave the grill unattended.

Here are some other important tips to help you keep danger away when you are enjoying food and fun.

Choose a safe location for your grill. Keep grills on a level surface more than ten feet away from the house, garage or other structures. Keep children and pets away, as well as overhanging branches. Grills should not be used on a balcony or under an overhang. Avoid placing grills too close to combustible deck rails.

Grill outside only. Never use a grill in a garage, vehicle, tent or other enclosed space, even if ventilated, due to risk of harmful carbon monoxide buildup.

Keep the grill going on a cold day. During cool weather days, avoid wearing a scarf or other loose clothing that may catch on fire. Consumer Reports recommends shielding the grill from wind, placing it about ten feet from combustible surfaces and materials, and keeping the lid closed to retain as much heat as possible. Allow extra time for pre-heating the grill in colder weather and check temperatures of meat and fish with a meat thermometer to ensure that food is safe to eat.

Teach kids to stay safe. Make a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the grill and areas where hot food is prepared or carried. Children under five are especially vulnerable to burns from contact with a hot grill surface. Grill contact accounted for 37% of burns seen at emergency rooms in 2014 involving children under five.²

Remember post-grilling safety. Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill. If you grill with charcoal and need to dispose of the coals, soak them in water to extinguish them before disposing in a metal container. Otherwise, cover the grill tightly and close the vents, this should extinguish the coals and whatever is left will be ready for next time.

Dormer Insurance Services is an independent Agency that shops to find you the best value for your insurance dollar. No compromise in coverage or quality, and at renewal we shop again to insure our clients are still receiving the best value for their insurance dollar. Think about it, WHY SETTLE FOR LESS? 

Providing peace of mind with quality insurance products throughout the Houston area, including Harris County, Montgomery County, and Fort Bend County and Galveston County. 

Dormer Insurance Services www.dormerins.com Office 281-360-3252 https://www.facebook.com/DormerInsurance/

 

Preventing Tax Fraud and Identity Theft

Preventing Tax Fraud and Identity Theft

When it comes to filing taxes, there are plenty of reasons to file early instead of waiting until the last minute. The two most obvious are to get your refund back sooner, if you are receiving one, and to avoid long lines in the early-April post office rush.

One of the most compelling and more surprising reasons to file your tax return early, however, may be beating the would be thieves to the punch. With the sharp increase in transactions requiring the sharing of confidential data online and off, tax season is one of the most opportune times for criminals to steal personal data, or capitalize on the information they have already obtained. Filing early may be your best defense.

Fraudulent Tax Returns Are More Common Than You Think

A criminal can use your stolen social security number or personal tax identification number to fraudulently file a tax return in your name. They cash in by having your refund re-routed to a different address or bank account.

“The sooner you file your return, the less opportunity someone else has to file a return in your name,” says Tim Francis, Enterprise Cyber Lead for Travelers.

According to a report in CNN Money, the IRS paid out $3.6 billion in fraudulent tax refunds in 2013, and caught 12.6 million suspicious returns over the past two years.* Unfortunately, many victims discover that their identity has been stolen only after a fraudulent claim is filed. It takes an average of three months for victims of tax return fraud to receive their refunds while the IRS works to resolve the issue.

Tax-Related Fraud is on the Rise

According to the latest available IRS data, incidents of tax-related ID theft and fraud increased more than twelve-fold between 2008 and 2012.

In addition to fraudulent filing, identity thieves may sell your stolen social security number and personal information to those with poor credit, criminal records or illegal immigrant status, who then use that information to apply for a job. Their employers report earnings to the IRS under your name. Then, when you file your return, the IRS comes after you for failing to report all of your income.

Criminals may also use your social security number to fraudulently apply for tax or government-funded programs, like Social Security or Medicare, in your name.

Filing early can bring the identity theft to light sooner than later, minimizing the time and damages associated with resolving the fraud.

“Remember, the cost of recovering your identity is not limited to the replacement of stolen items or money; it can also include attorney fees, lost wages, ID replacement, mail, and phone charges,” Tim Francis says.

Help Protect Your Identity When Filing Taxes

With the tax season in full swing, it is important to be extra vigilant about how, and with whom, you share personal information. In addition to filing early, there are other ways to help reduce your risk of becoming a victim of identity theft this tax season. If filing offline, make sure not to leave any tax forms in the car and to shred any paperwork you do not need before throwing out.

If filing online, be suspicious of email claiming to be from the IRS, even if the email has the appropriate logos. According to the IRS website, the IRS does not reach out to taxpayers for personal information unless there is an issue. Also, log off completely when finished with each transaction and be wary of slow-running computers. However you choose to file, request your refund as a direct deposit so criminals cannot have it redirected to their address or steal it from your mailbox.

Dormer Insurance Services is an independent Agency that shops to find you the best value for your insurance dollar. No compromise in coverage or quality, and at renewal we shop again to insure our clients are still receiving the best value for their insurance dollar. Think about it, WHY SETTLE FOR LESS? 

Providing peace of mind with quality insurance products throughout the Houston area, including Harris County, Montgomery County, and Fort Bend County and Galveston County. 

Dormer Insurance Services www.dormerins.com Office 281-360-3252 https://www.facebook.com/DormerInsurance/

 

How to Help Prepare Your Boat for Spring

How to Help Prepare Your Boat for Spring

Are you one of the millions of boaters with spring fever, itching to get your vessel out of winter storage and back onto the water? If so, be sure to take the time to properly de-winterize and prepare your boat before taking it out for its first voyage of the season.

Having a spring ritual that includes recommended inspection, tune-up and cleaning of your boat before setting out on your first trip can help prevent a host of problems that could keep you off the water later in the season — not to mention, help keep you and everyone aboard safe during your adventures.

Following are some tips to help get your boat as ready as you are to hit the water this year.

Prepare for the Season Ahead

Use some of those pre-season days to plan for brighter days of boating ahead:

  • Take a boat safety course, and obtain your boating certificate (if you have not already).
  • Read your owner’s manual and consult the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance guidelines.
  • Familiarize (or re-familiarize) yourself with your boat — its components, features and safety precautions.

Complete Your Pre-Launch Inspection and Maintenance

To help ensure a smooth, safe start to the boating season, have an American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC)-certified technician or mechanic perform the recommended maintenance on your vessel. Whether or not you get a professional tune-up, be sure to complete the following checklist before leaving the dock:

  • Inspect all of the safety equipment on board, including fire extinguishers, flares, personal flotation devices and first-aid kits, and repair, recharge and restock them as necessary.
  • Check all lights on your boat to make sure they are in place and operating properly.
  • Open the engine compartment to check for excess water in the bilge.
  • Check for any electrical issues, such as loose, disconnected or corroded conductors.
  • Check that the battery is properly secured to the vessel.
  • Check the fuel tank for leaks, and ensure there is proper ventilation.
  • Check the fuel filters to make sure no water is present.
  • Fill your tank with the freshest, highest-quality fuel available.
  • Change and check the oil level before starting the boat for the first time.
  • If you will be towing your vessel to its launch point, you will also need to properly inspect and maintain your trailer prior to your first outing.

Get In, On and Out of the Water Safely

Once all tasks on your pre-launch checklist are complete, you can start your engine and get out on the water. It is important on your first, and every trip of the season, to:

  • Follow safe launching practices.
  • Monitor the engine temperature to make sure it is not overheating.
  • Monitor the cooling system to make sure it is operating correctly.
  • Ensure you and your passengers know and follow safe boating practices.

Remember: Every Vessel is Unique

The work required to get your boat water-ready will depend on, whether it is used in fresh or salt water, its size, manufacturer, model, and the state in which it is registered. Be sure to get the information you need, then develop and follow the right spring ritual to help ensure every trip of the boating season is safe and fun for all.

Dormer Insurance Services is an independent Agency that shops to find you the best value for your insurance dollar. No compromise in coverage or quality, and at renewal we shop again to insure our clients are still receiving the best value for their insurance dollar. Think about it, WHY SETTLE FOR LESS? 

Providing peace of mind with quality insurance products throughout the Houston area, including Harris County, Montgomery County, and Fort Bend County and Galveston County. 

Dormer Insurance Services www.dormerins.com Office 281-360-3252 https://www.facebook.com/DormerInsurance/

Auto loan/lease coverage

In 2014, 84% of new car purchases used financing, according to data from Experian. That’s a record high and means there’s a good chance many of your customers have auto loans or leases. If one of those customers has a total loss, they may have to prematurely terminate their auto loan or lease. While their auto policy will give them what they need to get back on the road, they’re still stuck with the remaining loan or lease payments.

Auto loan/lease coverage can help with that. With this optional coverage, Safeco will cover any unpaid amount on the loan or lease minus the actual cash value of the vehicle. For example:

Keep in mind

  • Auto loan/lease coverage is available as a separate endorsement for customers in the California Safeco Auto Program.
  • The vehicle must be new, meaning that it has not been previously titled by any state on the date your customer purchased it.
  • The vehicle must have both comprehensive and collision coverage and be declared a total loss for the coverage to apply.
  • This coverage does not apply to overdue payments, security deposits, penalty charges for excessive mileage or abnormal wear and tear, or carryover balances from previous loans or leases.

Dormer Insurance Services is an independent Agency that shops to find you the best value for your insurance dollar. No compromise in coverage or quality, and at renewal we shop again to insure our clients are still receiving the best value for their insurance dollar. Think about it, WHY SETTLE FOR LESS?

 Providing peace of mind with quality insurance products throughout the Houston area, including Harris County, Montgomery County, and Fort Bend County and Galveston County. 

Dormer Insurance Services www.dormerins.com Office 281-360-3252 https://www.facebook.com/DormerInsurance/

Replacement Cost vs. Reconstruction Cost

Insuring to the Correct Value

How much should you insure your home for?

Most non-insurance professionals answer, “enough to cover the mortgage” or “enough to REPLACE the home.” However, the correct answer requires more calculations than that. Confusing replacement or market value with reconstruction cost is one of the biggest misunderstandings of insuring property, and you don’t want to be left without proper coverage in the event your home is destroyed.

From an insurance standpoint, Replacement Cost is defined as the cost associated with replacing a new home of like kind and quality. This cost is normally associated with building a replacement home from the ground up as in new construction. Market Value is defined as what a buyer would pay for a home on the real estate market. Lastly, Reconstruction Cost provides the cost to “reconstruct” an exact duplicate or replica of the original home, using like kind and quality and up-to-date building standards and accounting for structural damage from a covered loss.

Structural damage could include new blueprints, demolition, salvage and debris removal, etc. These costs are normally not associated with the other cost estimations, but they are the main thrust of calculating accurate reconstruction cost.  According to Forbes Magazine, the biggest mistake a homeowner makes when purchasing insurance is not having “enough insurance to cover the cost of rebuilding/reconstructing their house if it’s destroyed”.  The recommended remedy: complete a replacement cost calculation using a professional replacement cost estimating tool.

Dormer Insurance Services is an independent Agency that shops to find you the best value for your insurance dollar. No compromise in coverage or quality, and at renewal we shop again to insure our clients are still receiving the best value for their insurance dollar. Think about it, WHY SETTLE FOR LESS? 

Providing peace of mind with quality insurance products throughout the Houston area, including Harris County, Montgomery County, and Fort Bend County and Galveston County. 

Dormer Insurance Services www.dormerins.com Office 281-360-3252 https://www.facebook.com/DormerInsurance/

6 Winter Home Improvement Projects

6 Winter Home Improvement Projects

One of the perks of living in the south is the minimal effects of winter we experience. Although we don’t have snow and blizzards here, the temperatures are beginning to drop and you’re probably spending less time outdoors in the pool or at the beach and spending more of your days indoors. Avoid letting the winter blues set in by taking on one of these home improvement projects:

Do some painting

Repaint your neutral colored walls to liven things up a bit. A new coat of paint can dramatically lift your mood and the mood of the entire room. Plus, paint dries best in colder weather. Not sure what colors to go with? Check out the list of 2017 paint colors of the year to get some ideas. If your DIY spirit really kicks in, try adding some patterns to an accent wall using painters tape. Or install crown molding to give your room a more elegant look.

Change out your light bulbs

Out with the old and in with the new. Trade out the lightbulbs in your home with energy-efficient ones. They provide the same brightness using less energy, and last 15 times longer than standard bulbs. Although the upfront cost of these bulbs is more than regular ones, by replacing your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures, or the bulbs in them, with models that have earned the ENERGY STAR, you can save $45 each year.

Revamp your bathroom

Start with easy updates like replacing your faucet, re-grouting tile, or repainting the walls. Depending on how ambitious you’re feeling, consider replacing the tile on the floor, installing a new vanity, or replacing your toilet with a new one. It’s probably a good idea to call a professional to take care of the bigger projects. Get inspired from some of these bathroom remodel ideas on Pinterest.

Install a backsplash

Installing a backsplash is a simple way to add some flavor to your kitchen. Use a textured tile with a pop of color to enhance the look of your countertops and cabinets. Or go with a sleek, neutral tile to add elegance to the room. Review this guide from HGTV first to learn how to install a backsplash on your own.

Give your front door a face lift

Your front door has more visual impact on your home than you may realize. Instead of replacing your door with a brand new one, try sprucing it up yourself instead. Painting your door is the easiest way to give your home instant curb appeals. Click here to find the best color for your front door. You can also change the doorknob. Updated hardware is an instant fix for an outdated door. Add dimension to a flat door by adding molding. This creates a more elegant and expensive look to a basic door.

Declutter your closet

If becoming more organized was one of your New Year’s resolutions, then this is the perfect task to get you moving in the right direction. You’re more likely to put things away if you create a place for them. Closets are a good first step to get more organized because they are the easiest to customize by installing shelving, adding shoe racks, and hanging over-the-door mirrors that store jewelry inside. Go through your clothes and donate items that you no longer wear to your local Goodwill or consignment shop. Check out this post for more ideas to help you get your closet in order.

Working on home projects is a great way to keep yourself active, add value to your home, and improve your living space. By focusing on the inside of your home while the weather is cooler, you’ll have a lot more time to tackle the warmer-weather stuff when spring rolls around.

Dormer Insurance Services is an independent Agency that shops to find you the best value for your insurance dollar. No compromise in coverage or quality, and at renewal we shop again to insure our clients are still receiving the best value for their insurance dollar. Think about it, WHY SETTLE FOR LESS? 

Providing peace of mind with quality insurance products throughout the Houston area, including Harris County, Montgomery County, and Fort Bend County and Galveston County. 

Dormer Insurance Services www.dormerins.com Office 281-360-3252 https://www.facebook.com/DormerInsurance/

 

Have some new jewelry in the house? Protect it!

Ah, Valentine’s Day is near, and love is in the air. Well, love and a few other things, such as chocolates, romantic dinners, candy hearts that say “Be Mine” – and, of course, jewelry.

It’s exciting to receive jewelry from a loved one — or to give it as a gift. Not to mention romantic. But if you’re lucky enough to have some new jewelry in your home this Valentine’s Day, you should take a few minutes to think about something you probably don’t find exciting or romantic: insurance.

Don’t know where to turn? Don’t worry. At Dormer Insurance Services, we think it is exciting to help our customers protect what’s most important to them — so we’re ready to help and can answer all of your questions.

Things to consider when insuring jewelry:

You may need to purchase additional coverage. Your homeowners policy covers valuable items such as jewelry only up to set amounts. If the cost of replacing your jewelry exceeds that limit, you will want to purchase scheduled personal property coverage. You can check your policy or give us a call at 281-360-3252.

You might want to reconsider your deductible amounts. As always, this impacts your policy premium. It’s a good idea to take a look at your deductibles whenever you make a change to your policy.

Do you need an appraisal? You may need to have an independent appraisal if the insurance company requires it or if you don’t know the value of your jewelry. Each item should be listed with a description and value on paper.

What kind of coverage is offered? You’ll want to determine if items are covered no matter where they are, whether they’re in Texas, or on an international trip, and if the policy offers full replacement cost. You also should ask if you will be required to replace your jewelry if lost or stolen, or if you can simply keep the cash settlement.

Pictures can be helpful. Lost or stolen pieces of jewelry sometimes can be recreated if the jeweler has a good photograph to work from.

Should I go with a company that specializes in jewelry insurance? There are companies that specialize in jewelry insurance. Whether you choose one of these, or a company that we represent, you’ll want to make sure they are reputable and stable.

Is the value of your jewelry mainly sentimental? Is an item irreplaceable? If the answer to either of these questions is “yes,” you might consider foregoing insurance. But please, talk to us at Dormer Insurance Services before making that decision. That’s what we’re here for.

Of course, it’s important to store your jewelry securely when it’s not in use; a safe in your home or a safe-deposit box is best. We want your jewelry to be replaced if it’s lost or stolen, but we’d rather your sentimental and valuable pieces stay with you and your family for years to come.

Here’s hoping your Valentine’s Day is full of fun and romance. And if there’s no jewelry involved, well, there’s always next year!

Dormer Insurance Services is an independent Agency that shops to find you the best value for your insurance dollar. No compromise in coverage or quality, and at renewal we shop again to insure our clients are still receiving the best value for their insurance dollar. Think about it, WHY SETTLE FOR LESS? 

Providing peace of mind with quality insurance products throughout the Houston area, including Harris County, Montgomery County, and Fort Bend County and Galveston County. 

Dormer Insurance Services www.dormerins.com Office 281-360-3252 https://www.facebook.com/DormerInsurance/

Daylight Savings Time is also Daylight Safety Time.

In most places in the United States Daylight Saving, when clocks are moved forward one hour. We here at Dormer Insurance Services want to remind you it’s also a great time to improve your family’s safety.

Be safe in your Kingwood home

Health and safety agencies often use the approach of Daylight Saving Time to remind people to change the batteries in their smoke alarms. The American Red Cross suggests you test your smoke alarms and talk with your family about your fire escape plan. Whether you live in Texas, or elsewhere, practice the plan too – at least twice a year.

Daylight Saving is a great time to check your emergency preparedness kit to make sure it’s fully stocked with fresh supplies.

Carbon Monoxide a concern too

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 400 people die annually in the US from carbon monoxide poisoning. The CDC recommends changing the batteries in your CO detectors when moving your clocks forward this Sunday.

The CDC says the most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion.

See the CDC’s site for more ways to prevent carbon monoxide exposure.

We here at Dormer Insurance Services hope these tips help and that you’ll consider sharing them with the people you care about so they can live safer lives too.

Dormer Insurance Services is an independent Agency that shops to find you the best value for your insurance dollar. No compromise in coverage or quality, and at renewal we shop again to insure our clients are still receiving the best value for their insurance dollar. Think about it, WHY SETTLE FOR LESS?

 Providing peace of mind with quality insurance products throughout the Houston area, including Harris County, Montgomery County, and Fort Bend County and Galveston County. 

Dormer Insurance Services www.dormerins.com Office 281-360-3252 https://www.facebook.com/DormerInsurance/

The Importance of Renters Insurance

The Importance of Renters Insurance

If you live in a rental home or apartment, chances are you don’t have the proper insurance. Despite the fact that rented homes are more likely to be burglarized than owner-occupied properties, nearly 60 percent of renters don’t have a renters policy.

Why does it matter?

“If you rent a house or apartment and think that your landlord is financially responsible when there is a fire, theft or other catastrophe—think again,” warns the Insurance Information Institute*. “Your landlord may have insurance to protect the building you are living in. But your landlord’s policy won’t replace your personal possessions or pay for your living expenses while the building is being repaired. The only way to protect yourself financially against disasters is to buy a renters insurance policy.”

Renters insurance covers your possessions, liability and additional living expenses. Let’s take a look at these three types of protection: 

Possessions

Standard renters insurance protects your personal belongings against damage from fire, smoke, lightning, vandalism, theft, explosion, windstorm, water and other disasters listed in the policy. Floods and earthquakes are not covered.

To decide how much insurance to buy, you need to know the value of all your personal possessions—including furniture, clothing, electronics, appliances, kitchen utensils and even towels and bedding. The easiest way to figure this out is to create a home inventory, a detailed list of all of your personal possessions and their estimated value.

There are two types of renters insurance policies for your possessions:

  • Actual Cash Value pays to replace your possessions minus an amount for depreciation (the reduction in the value of items due to age and use) up to the limit of your policy.
  • Replacement Cost pays the full cost of replacing your possessions (with no deduction for depreciation), up to the limit of your policy. The price of Replacement Cost coverage is about 10 percent more than Actual Cash Value coverage, but can be well worth the additional cost. Note that a standard renters policy offers only limited coverage for items such as jewelry, silver, furs, etc. If you own property that exceeds these limits, it is recommended that you supplement your policy with a floater. A floater is a separate policy that provides additional insurance for your valuables and covers them for perils not included in your policy such as accidental loss.LiabilityIf you are sued, the liability portion of a renters policy may pay for both the cost of defending you in court and for court awards, up to the limit of the policy. Liability limits generally start at about $100,000. Your policy may also provide No-Fault Medical coverage. If visitors are injured in your home, regardless of fault, you can submit their medical bills directly to your insurance company. You can generally get $1,000 to $5,000 worth of this coverage. It does not however, pay medical bills for your own family or your pets.Additional Living Expenses  
  • Need help deciding what coverage is best for you? Contact us today! *Insurance Information Institute, September 30, 2009
  • Many people are pleasantly surprised to learn that Additional Living Expense (ALE) coverage is typically included in a renters insurance policy. If the home or apartment you are renting is damaged or destroyed and you need to live elsewhere while it is being repaired or rebuilt, renters insurance will cover your additional living expenses—namely the difference between your regular living expenses and the additional costs incurred by having to live away from your home, such as hotel bills, temporary rentals, restaurant meals, etc.
  • Standard renters insurance policies also provide liability protection in the event you or members of your familiar cause injury to others or damage their property. It also pays for damage your pets cause.

Dormer Insurance Services is an independent Agency that shops to find you the best value for your insurance dollar. No compromise in coverage or quality, and at renewal we shop again to insure our clients are still receiving the best value for their insurance dollar. Think about it, WHY SETTLE FOR LESS? 

Providing peace of mind with quality insurance products throughout the Houston area, including Harris County, Montgomery County, and Fort Bend County and Galveston County. 

Dormer Insurance Services www.dormerins.com Office 281-360-3252 https://www.facebook.com/DormerInsurance/