While there may be some debate about the cause, more and more people are accepting the fact that a changing climate is leading to extremely erratic weather with more intense storms, prolonged drought, and rising temperatures.
This has led to some of the most dramatic disasters in the U.S. Throughout these impressive weather swings, roofs have been damaged, homes flooded, trees toppled and vast acreage blackened. Many property owners are wondering what’s next and what they can do to safeguard their property?
Here are some important steps that you can take to help protect your property and your family from the major effects of climate change.
Snow and ice storms, hurricanes and spring/summer thunderstorms have become more intense. From record hail, tornado outbreaks, and torrential downpours; our homes and property are taking a beating.
When these storms hit, check and repair:
- Roofs and shingles
- Gutters and downspouts
- Decks and porches for loose, cracked or exposed wood
- Exterior for chipped or peeling paint, cracks, holes or exposed wood or siding
- Attics for evidence of leaks
- Basements or crawl spaces for damp areas and cracks
- Concrete slabs for cracks or shifting soil
- Chimneys for damage or dirty flues
- Trees and bushes for broken or weak trunks and branches, and removing any branches that overhang your home
Wildfires in much of the country have burned hotter and consumed more structures and acreage in recent years. Climate change has extended the fire season by an extra two months across the U.S.! In much of the South and West it begins in early spring, ending late fall.
Fire prevention experts recommend that anyone in or near a fire-prone area, especially what is called the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI), needs to take these steps to minimize their fire risk and help responding crews:
- Create at least a 100 foot defensible space area around homes and structures (200 feet or more may be needed on hillside areas)
- Keep combustible wood piles, propane tanks and other flammable materials 30 feet from homes and structures
- Remove weeds and dry shrubs near structures
- Keep laws trimmed and mowed
- Trim tree branches 10 feet up from the ground and remove any that overhang your home or other structures, and keep trees spaced 30 feet apart
- Install a fire resistant roof and deck
- Make sure your street name and address are visibly posted for emergency vehicles
- Clear flammable vegetation 10 feet from roads and five feet from driveways, and cut back overhanging branches on roads and drive ways
Keeping your home well maintained is essential to withstand the vagaries of weather. You can find more wildfire preparation tips here.
Know Your Insurance
In the event of these extreme storms it is also critical that you understand your insurance and know:
- If your homeowners policy includes replacement cost or actual cash value,
- Whether you are covered for new additions, improvements or appliance and other upgrades,
- That a floater or scheduled personal property endorsement is needed to fully cover high value items such as fine art, furs, jewelry, silverware and musical instruments
Keep in mind: flood and earthquake insurance are not included with your home or renters policy. However when you have California Casualty, you can easily add each to your policy though our agency services program. Please contact: 1.877.652.2638 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Another important coverage you should add to your policy is comprehensive coverage. Without it your vehicle won’t be protected if it is damaged or destroyed by a flood, fire or falling tree limb. To ask a customer service representative about adding comprehensive coverage please contact: 1.800.800.9410 or visit www.calcas.com
Lastly, make sure your belongings are also completely covered in the event of a storm or fire. If you haven’t completed a home inventory yet, now is the time to do it. Having a list and proof of the things you own will help you with reimbursement if your home or apartment is damaged by a natural disaster. For our free Home Inventory Guide click here.
This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.
Car theft and robberies spike in the summer. Why? Because many vehicles are left for long hours in parking areas, restaurants, tourist attractions, and even at home for days at a time while many families go on vacation. That means, during these next few months, we all need to be a little more car-theft aware.
One of the best ways to prevent your vehicle from robbery or theft is to never leave your keys in the car; it’s like an open invitation to thieves. Seems simple enough, right? Unfortunately, thousands of Americans make this mistake every day. During the summer months, more people tend to leave their car or truck running with the air conditioning on while they make a quick stop.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reports there are about 700,000 vehicle thefts each year. 60,000 of those were a result of someone leaving their car running or their key fob inside. That means someone returns to find their vehicle missing about every 41- seconds in the U.S.
Top 10 Cities for Car Theft
NICB has compiled a list of the ten areas where the most vehicles were taken in 2017:
- Albuquerque, NM
- Anchorage, AK
- Bakersfield, CA
- Pueblo, CO
- Modesto, CA
- Redding, CA
- Stockton-Lodi, CA
- Wichita, KS
- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA
- Saint Joseph, MO
Even if your city isn’t on this list, no one is completely immune from car theft. Crooks are always on the prowl, however, there are steps you can take to help prevent becoming a car theft victim.
Protect yourself and your property
To help prevent the growth in vehicle thefts, the NCIB offers these important tips:
- Never leave your car running to keep it cool, even if it’s for a short period of time
- Lock your vehicle, set the alarm and take all keys or FOBS
- Do not leave the garage door opener in the vehicle, and if you do try to keep it hidden
- Remove all non-essential papers with your personal information from your vehicle
- Park in well-lit areas
- Install an immobilizer and tracking system
- Make sure your car alarm is working properly
- Take all valuables with you
- Make sure your windows are completely closed when you exit your vehicle
Remember, unless you have comprehensive coverage as part of your auto insurance, you are not protected against car theft. You will be stuck paying for the replacement or the repairs to your car or truck if it is recovered.
Now is a great time to contact a California Casualty advisor to make sure you have the right auto insurance for your driving needs. Give us a call today at 1.866.704.8614 or visit www.calcas.com.
This article is furnished by California Casualty, provider of auto and home insurance for educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters and nurses.
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Although it is recommended to review your home and auto insurance policies yearly, 60% of all Americans are underinsured and/or don’t understand their policies. Do you know what’s really covered with your insurance policy?
If you don’t or you have any doubts, now is a great time to get an annual review of your auto and home/renters insurance policies. You’ll sleep better at night knowing you are protected against expected surprises if you have a claim. You may also find you are eligible for additional savings and discounts!
Here are seven examples of why you should contact your insurance advisor to review your policy:
- You got married. Newlyweds often pay less for insurance than when they were single. You can also find discounts by combining your autos with one insurance company. It also means all those expensive wedding gifts you received might need extra protection.
- You got divorced. You probably are no longer sharing a vehicle and moved into a different residence. You’ll need to inform your insurance company to set up separate auto and home or renters insurance policies.
- Your teen got a driver’s permit or license. You need to let your insurance company know if they are driving your vehicles, or if you bought them one. Make sure that you take advantage of good student discounts and additional multi-vehicle savings!
- You bought or inherited valuables such as antiques, fine art, jewelry or other collectibles. Your standard homeowners or renters insurance policy provides limited coverage of high dollar items. This is a good time to purchase scheduled personal property endorsements to cover your new valuable possessions for a higher amount.
- You’ve added on to your home or have remodeled. Improvements to your house mean there is more to protect. Contacting your insurance company is a good way to make sure that you have enough coverage. This also applies for a new gazebo, shed or pool, or hot tub.
- You’ve moved to a flood or earthquake prone area. Neither earthquake nor flood insurance is included with most homeowners or renters policies. You need to purchase separate flood or earthquake insurance. Keep in mind that flood insurance has a 30-day waiting period before it becomes effective.
- You’ve retired. This often means you are driving less, which could significantly reduce your insurance costs. Drivers over 55 also often get discounts from their insurance companies and you can further reduce your premiums by completing a driver safety course.
Knowing more about your insurance could save you money on your premiums and heartache in the event of a break-in or natural disaster.
If it is time for your auto or home insurance coverage review contact one of our customer care advisors today at 1.800.800.9410. A few minutes of your time will provide the appropriate protection, and we may even find you some extra savings!
If you don’t know where to start to determine if it’s time for your policy review, download our free Insurance Coverage Checklist. Just click the image below for your free download!
June 20th Is National Dump the Pump Day, but what does it mean to “dump the pump”? Dump the Pump Day is a nationally recognized holiday to take a break from being behind the wheel and give transportation alternatives a try.
Transportation is the largest source of carbon emission in the United States. And it produces 30% of global warming emissions; however, if 1 in 5 Americans chose an alternate (or “clean”) form of transportation every day like – public transportation, riding bikes/electric scooters, carpooling, or walking – it would eliminate 20% of those carbon monoxide emissions. That is 2/3rds of all emissions!
There are all kinds of benefits to finding alternative transportation methods. So for one day avoid bumper to bumper traffic on the interstate and ditch your car for a more environmentally friendly commute.
Here are 5 reasons to “Dump the Pump” on June 20th:
- Reduces Your Carbon Footprint– A single car emits 6 to 9 tons of C02 each year. With more people switching to public transit, it ALONE can save 37 million metric tons of carbon emission yearly.
- Reduces Traffic Congestion– The more people using alternative forms of transportation, the fewer cars on the roadway. This can help you get to your destination much more quickly and efficiently.
- Safer than Driving– Transit trips are 10 times safer per mile, and you reduce your accident risk by 90%. If you are biking or walking, make sure to take the necessary safety precautions like wearing a helmet and avoiding major roadways.
- Saves You Money- Gas, maintenance, parking, and other expenses for vehicles add up every single day. Those totals can reach over $10,000 a year, and that’s not including unexpected repairs.
- Encourages Healthier Habits– Biking and walking improve physical fitness and promote healthy weight loss, coordination, and balance. Those who use clean forms of transportation like this get 3 times more physical activity, than those who don’t.
Even if it’s impossible for you to ride your bike or take public transportation every day, finding an alternative to driving for just one day still creates an impact and will make you feel good knowing you did your part. So, Dump the Pump on June 20th and see how it can benefit you.
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