The reason why we have insurance policies in place is for when something unexpected happens, and we need a safety net. No one wants to experience a claim, if for no other reason than to avoid the interruption of our normal routine. Needing to report an insurance claim already means we are in the midst of a stressful situation. The unexpected, and often times major, incident that occurred not only damaged our property, but will take time to repair, further disrupting our lives.
A way to mitigate some stress is to prepare for the worst-case scenario of a “total loss” – like the old adage says, “Prepare for the worst but hope for the best.” An easy way homeowners and businessowners alike can do this is by taking inventory of their possessions, fixtures, and property modifications. Recovering after any claim situation that results in property damage (flood, fire, theft, weather, etc.) will be simplified if you have this completed. By documenting information about your equipment or household items, your insurance adjuster will be better able to assess the full extent of your damages and replace your property as fast as possible.
Here are some recommendations on how to tackle this project:
While it may take some time to document everything at first, it will save you comparable time and headache if you ever have to dispute costs with your adjuster in the event of a claim. Not to mention having everything together and in an electronic format will make it simple to retrieve and share. Can you imagine having to create this from scratch and recall every possession you own when you have so many other things on your mind?
- Make a list of everything in your home - room by room. Be sure to include commonly overlooked items like window treatments, holiday decorations, clothing, outdoor décor & landscaping, etc.
- Take pictures of your “big ticket items” including their serial numbers. These could include electronics, jewelry, rugs, artwork, heirlooms, china, collector’s items, etc.
- Slowly video each room of your home so you can identify all the items at a later date
- Scan all of your important documents (including appraisals) and keep the originals in water/fire safe storage.
- Save this information in 2 locations – email it to yourself, store it in the cloud, use a thumb drive & keep it with the other important documents.
Remember to update your inventory any time you make a big purchase. An added bonus to completing this project is that it will help you make sure your insurance policy is covering your current needs. If you have made any recent purchases or renovated your property, you may need to adjust your coverage, and adding this to your list will remind you to update your agent.
Take the time now to make sure your life gets back to normal with as little pain as possible, trust me, you’ll be thanking yourself!
Since Hurricane Season is in full swing, let’s discuss how we can better prepare ourselves this year after last year’s natural disasters. One simple way is to purchase a flood insurance policy. According to an article in The Economist, Hurricane Harvey caused an estimated $30 billion in property losses - with only about 40% of property having an active flood insurance policy in place. That means the remaining 60% of Texas homes and businesses impacted by the flooding Harvey created were uninsured. FEMA has reported 98% of counties in the United States have experienced a flooding event, yet flood insurance is still not widely carried.
So why is it that the average property owner doesn’t purchase flood insurance? One cause may be due to an overall lack of consumer understanding. We thought we would share some background and general information about the coverage to help our clients better prepare for the next time. Most property policies - including residential and business - do not cover flood damage. Not to mention, unless it is lender required, there is a 30 day waiting period from the date you request to bind Flood Insurance until the day the policy goes into effect. Did you know August 1st is the 50th Anniversary of the National Flood Insurance Program? The NFIP covers the vast majority of flood insurance policies currently in force. In 1979 FEMA was established and began overseeing the NFIP. FEMA determines the flood risk that a community has and uses historical data and surveys to create maps to identify and outline floodplains. These floodplains help to determine the area’s risk for flood, which impacts the cost of flood insurance premiums. It’s important to understand, that just because your property isn’t inside a high-risk floodplain doesn’t mean you don’t have any risk of flooding. Hurricane Harvey was the 3rd “500-year-flood” Houston experienced in 3 years.
Well then, you might be thinking, what is considered a flood? According to FEMA, a flood is “A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from: (1) The overflow of inland or tidal waters; (2) The unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source; (3) Mudslides (i.e., mudflows) which are proximately caused by flooding and are akin to a river of liquid and flowing mud on the surfaces of normally dry land areas, as when earth is carried by a current of water and deposited along the path of the current.” Basically, Flood Insurance covers damage done to your property due to rising water. This can be brought on by hurricanes, broken levees, newly developed land, outdated/clogged drainage systems, landslides/earthquakes, or other natural disasters. So even though you might have hurricane coverage on your home, and the rising water is caused due to torrential rains from a Hurricane (as was the case with Harvey), the water damage that was caused by the flooding most likely would not covered by the hurricane coverage on your property policy.
Click here to learn more about Flood Insurance. Please reach out to us to get your Flood quote started today. The average policy premium is about $700/year and the average claim is about $43,000. Don't be caught in the storm without protection!
Victim Service Center of Central Florida is an organization that is dear to our heart. VSC provides resources and services for our community members who are victims of crime and sexual assault. They provide therapy & support services, as well as focus on education through outreach & prevention services. Earlier in April, Samir mingled with some Superheros (fictional and real) at their "Cheers for Change" fundraising event. We were honored to be a sponsor and are proud to be associated with such a wonderful organization! You can check out our Facebook page to see some of the awesome pictures.
Victim Service Center also recently introduced us to Denim Day, which is celebrated on April 25th this year. If you are unfamiliar, Denim Day is observed as an international protest responding to the Italian Supreme Court’s overruling of a rape conviction in the 1990’s. Although the assailant had been found guilty at the trial, the Supreme Court argued that because jeans are difficult to remove, the assailant couldn’t have done so without the help of the victim. The following day, the women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim. Today, denim is worn to continue the discussion in the hopes of correcting the misconceptions that surround sexual violence.
Jallad Insurance stands with VSC to honor survivors of sexual assault on Denim Day.
If you are interested in learning more about Denim Day or the Victim Service Center, please click here.
April is Distracted Driver Awareness Month, and we are here to do our part in raising awareness on the dangers of driving distracted. We all know the importance of driving safely and why we need to be focused while we drive. And we all know about the consequences of distracted driving. But how many of us actually give our full attention to the road? We can be distracted manually by taking our hands off the wheel, visually by looking down, or mentally by driving tired or unfocused. According to Chris Hayes, a Travelers Risk Control Safety Professional, “The fact is, everything that occupies your mind or your vision can contribute to distraction behind the wheel.”
Do any of these everyday examples of distracted driving sound familiar?
You may not know this, but the brain can only process so much information at once, which is what can contribute to a driver’s inability to fully process the full landscape of the road. Any one of these distractions leads to “inattentive blindness” which, according to a recent University of Utah study, slows your reaction time to worse than someone with a .08 alcohol level (legally drunk). Driving drunk isn’t tolerated socially or legally, so why are we still brushing off driving distracted as any less intolerable? Education is a major part of the solution and the Travelers Institute “Every Second Matters” campaign focuses on just that – compiling data and calculating statistics to make us more aware of the dangers, in the hopes of creating positive peer pressure so we hold each other accountable. Did you know auto crashes are the #1 cause of workplace death? It's more frequent than the #2 & #3 causes combined!
- You’re running late.
- The kids are loud in the backseat.
- You’re preoccupied about our to do list – groceries you need, the important meeting at work, scheduling for the family, an upcoming trip, etc.
- You grab a quick bite from the drive thru and eat while on the road.
- Your favorite song comes on the radio and you dance or sing along.
- You drive with your knee because you are comfortable/experienced behind the wheel.
- You check the navigation or get a text/email and just can’t resist checking on the alert.
Distracted driving not only impacts your safety and the safety of your loved ones, it also affects your insurance premium. As a part of the insurance industry, we want to let you know that being a good driver can also have the bonus of saving you money on your premiums. Not to mention implementing safe driving procedures at work can prevent claims for your company and team members. A leading cause of adults driving distracted is due to work-related reasons. If we start implementing safety habits at work, we can prevent commercial auto claims, worker’s compensation claims, and possibly lives.
Did you know there is an app for that?! That’s right, you can download an app that helps you stay focused by putting your phone in a “Do Not Disturb” mode, so you can get to your destination distraction-free. DropItAndDrive.com has even compiled some driving simulators to help show drivers the impact being distracted has while behind the wheel. Don’t want to try one of the simulators? Try this instead - the next time you’re riding as a passenger - pick out an object in the distance, close your eyes for 4 seconds, and see how far you have traveled. At 55mph, looking away for as little as 4.6 seconds is the equivalence of driving an entire football field blind. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has kicked off their 5th year of the “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” campaign which tries to stress the importance of focused driving to young drivers. And according to EndDD.org, “teens whose parents drive distracted are twice as likely to drive distracted,” so please “be the driver you want your teen to be.”
Click here to take the Travelers Quiz to see if you understand the risks involved with distracted driving.
Insurance coverage is complex and as with everything, the more complex your needs, the more complex the process. We understand you are constantly on the go – working/running a business, taking care of family, errands, paying bills, spending time with friends, traveling, etc. – we want to be there for you whenever you need us. We want to make checking “Insurance” off your to do list to be as quick and painless as possible. Even more – our goal is to make talking with your insurance agent to be something you look forward to, not dread! We are constantly evaluating our carrier (Insurance Companies) partners to make sure they are just as committed to getting you insured and on to the next item on your “to do“ list as we are.
There are a lot of things we don’t have control over – underwriting guidelines, processing time, binding restrictions, etc. - but what we do have control over is the ease of conducting business with us. That is why we have invested our time and money into researching and implementing new technology to keep up in line with the fast pace of life. You trust us to be the insurance experts, so you can focus on being the expert in your world. Jallad Insurance is committed to making the process as simple as possible. When we decided to update our logo, we decided it would visually represent our agency-wide shift to better serve our modern client.