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Complete a Home Inventory

Complete a Home Inventory

June 25th is the six month mark until Christmas Day! If you are one of the almost 50% of U.S. households that has never completed a home inventory, or you didn’t quite get around to it at the beginning of the year, there is not time like the present.

Why is a Home Inventory Important?

A Home Inventory Checklist is a list of your valuable objects in case there is a fire, destructive storm or if someone breaks in and steals your belongings. Doing a home inventory is very important because without one many people have a difficult time pinpointing or recalling everything that might have been destroyed or taken, and unfortunately that can delay claims or keep you from getting full compensation. So, before the hectic holiday season rolls around, and take the time to take inventory of your home.

Just go room by room and document:

  • Electronics
  • Personal care items
  • Jewelry
  • Art
  • Kitchen items and appliances
  • Furniture
  • Carpeting
  • Beds and linens
  • Clothing
  • Sports equipment
  • Yard and garden tools

You can choose to write everything down or use photo/video documentation of your belongings. Don’t forget to take pictures of the exterior of your home as well (photos are best from all angels- including the landscaping and any decks or porches). Also take note of everything in the garage, attic, or basement- like holiday ornaments, lawn and yard equipment, tools, etc.

Trying to tally what needs to be replaced is not something you want to do in the event of a claim, so completing your inventory will give you some peace of mind if the worst should happen; and you can use the time to get rid of the old and make room for the new, before the craziness of the holidays.

To help you out, we’ve got a handy home inventory guide already made just for you! You can download it by clicking on the “Household Inventory” image below.

Water Safety

Water Safety

June is almost here and that means it’s time to brush off your barbecue grills, stock up on popsicles, and get a new swimsuit because summer is practically here! After a winter with too much snow and a spring with too much rain, we are more than ready for summer. And if your neighborhood is anything like ours, then the arrival of summer means one thing:

 

POOL SEASON!

In the excitement of summer, it’s tempting to just throw on a suit and jump on in, but wait…. for most of us, it’s been about a year since we dipped our toes in the water. Now that may not seem like a long period of time, but for young children, it could mean life or death.

Pool Safely, a national public education campaign that works to reduce child drowning, states that drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in children ages 1-4. However, these deaths can easily be prevented by taking action and learning how to keep your child safe when enjoying the water. So before you and your family cannonball in make sure you review these 8 simple Water Safety Tips:

“Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in children ages 1-4.”

1. Maintain constant supervision whenever children are in or near water- Never leave kids unattended, avoid all distractions, and if a child is missing check the pool first.

2. Teach your child how to swim or give them a life jacket- Floaties or other inflatables are not life jackets and should never be substituted for adult supervision.

3. Teach children to stay away from drains, pipes, and other openings to avoid entrapment- Make sure all drains and pipes are covered before letting your child get into the water.

4. Never let your child swim alone- Always keep an adult present, do not trust your child’s life to another child.

5. Teach your kids the “Rules of the Pool”- Set ground rules for being in the pool, like only getting in at certain times and no pushing or diving.

6. Keep your pool clean and clear with the proper chemicals- You will be able to clearly see what is happening in your pool, and minimize the risks of earaches, rashes, and diseases.

7. Create barriers for your pool that will reduce the risk of a slip or fall- Isolate your pool from your home with a fence or locked gate and keep toys away from the pool.

8. Educate yourself on what real drowning looks like and how to spot it- Real drowning can be quiet and easy to miss.

9. Learn CPR and know when to call 9-1-1- Have a plan in place with your children on what to do during a water emergency.

Summer is a time of relaxation and you enjoy it. But remember, it only takes one second for your child to go under the water. Take action by educating yourself and your children to make sure everyone is prepared with the right skills and equipment before hitting the pool, to ensure a fun and safe summer break! Click here to learn more about Pool Safely’s tools and educational materials for water safety.

And don’t forget! There are insurance implications for those with pools. Accidents happen so frequently, having one is considered an “attractive nuisance,” increasing liability risk. Because of the increased danger, the Insurance Information Institute says pool owners may want to increase their liability coverage to at least $300,000 or $500,000.

Don’t let it break your bank, if you have a pool make sure you have sufficient liability coverage from your homeowner’s insurance. Call a California Casualty advisor today for a policy review, 1.800.800.9410 or visit www.calcas.com.

Cannonball away!

More information for this article can be found at:

https://bit.ly/2WdfFSx

https://bit.ly/2XbA0nS

https://bit.ly/2Kcnu3K

If You “Put a Ring on It”, Insure It

February is the month of love. If you choose to show your love with an expensive piece of jewelry, you’ll want to protect that enduring representation of your love.

One of the best ways is to purchase scheduled personal property (SPP) insurance (sometimes called a floater).

Here’s why: While your renters or homeowners insurance policy covers jewelry for theft or being destroyed in a fire, that coverage is limited. The average Valentine’s Day ring or necklace purchase is about $1,500, the average spend for an engagement ring is $6,000.

Scheduled personal property insurance provides higher coverage for your precious items, like high priced jewelry with coverage above and beyond what home insurance provides.

And, here’s the best part, SPP pays even if that prized piece was accidently lost or damaged – such as losing a diamond down the sink or toilet. There is no deducible and SPP provides a replacement at the full insured amount. SPP usually costs about one to two percent of the item’s value.

Scheduled personal property isn’t just for jewelry; you might need the endorsement if you have:

  • Fine art
  • Furs
  • Rare coins or money collections
  • Expensive cameras
  • Firearms
  • Fine silverware
  • Stamp collections

And even if you already have gold and jewelry or a rare watch covered with scheduled personal property coverage, you may need a review. Gold and diamond prices have climbed the past few years and you may not have enough protection for their new value.

Don’t wait until your precious items are lost, stolen or damaged to find out if you have enough coverage to replace them; contact a representative today, 1.800.800.9410 or visit www.calcas.com.

 

 

New Year’s Resolution: Complete a Home Inventory

Here’s an unsettling statistic – about half of US households still haven’t completed a home inventory. Of those who have done one, 40 percent haven’t updated it in many years. It’s a resolution that we urge you to make.

Why? You’ve worked hard to make your house a home. Now it’s time to create a record of everything that you own. Trying to tally what needs to be replaced is not something you want to do in the event of a claim.

Home inventory is so important. It provides a list of your things in case there is a fire, destructive storm or someone breaks in and steals your valuable belongings. Without an inventory, many people have a difficult time pinpointing or recalling everything that might have been destroyed or taken. That could delay your claim or keep you from getting full compensation.

Whether you choose to write everything down or use a video camera (like your phone), now is a great time to get started. Just go room by room and document:

  • Electronics
  • Personal care items
  • Jewelry
  • Art
  • Kitchen items and appliances
  • Furniture
  • Carpeting
  • Beds and linens
  • Clothing
  • Sports equipment
  • Yard and garden tools

Don’t forget to take pictures of the exterior of your home from all sides (including the landscaping and any decks or porches), and all the stuff in the garage, attic or basement (holiday ornaments, lawn and yard equipment, tools).

Completing your inventory will give you some peace of mind if the worst should happen. We’ve got a handy home inventory guide that you can download here.

What You Need to Know about Smoke Detectors

Many of us have a love-hate relationship with the smoke detector; we know that we are safer if there should be a fire, but hate it when something burns in the kitchen or the battery runs low. The piercing shriek sends the dogs howling and gets the ears ringing. If it happened at your home or apartment, you were probably tempted to take the batteries out of the darned thing until you could clear the smoke and the screeching noise was gone. Don’t!

Removing smoke detectors batteries can turn deadly. All too often, fire crews respond to fires where there were no batteries in the smoke detector and someone was hurt.

Having a working smoke detector can reduce your risk of dying in a home fire by half. That’s why the National Fire Protection Association asks us all to be alert this fall. Late fall and winter are when the number of home fires spikes.

While we depend on firefighters to put out fires and save lives, we all need to do more to protect our families until they can get there.

Here’s what you can do the make your family and home safer:

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and in all bedrooms
  • Test smoke alarms monthly and replace batteries once a year (normally the Sunday when Daylight Saving ends)
  • Replace smoke detectors every ten years
  • Practice fire drills and evacuations

Smoke alarms can cost as little as $15 for those that use batteries, hardwired models will cost more. Some fire departments offer low-cost or free smoke detectors for families with financial hardships.

There should be one placed in every bedroom, outside sleeping areas and on every floor of a home.

Here are some important things to remember about home fires:

  • Cooking is the leading cause of home fires, followed by heating equipment
  • Smoking materials are the leading cause of home fire deaths
  • Only one-third of Americans have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan

These safety tips can prevent a fire at your home:

  • Never leave food unattended on the stove or in the oven
  • Avoid using candles and if you do make sure they are away from flammable materials and extinguished when you leave the room
  • Don’t smoke in bed
  • Have your furnace inspected every year by a heating professional
  • Keep portable heaters three feet away from flammable materials
  • Don’t use frayed cords and don’t overload outlets

Protect Your Home and Family – Know It. Do It.

In the US, home break-ins occur about every 18 seconds. That’s pretty alarming. Not only can a thief steal your belongings, they can rob your peace of mind leaving you and your family feeling violated, scared and even angry.

By taking the time to educate yourself and following some simple precautions, you’ll be better prepared to protect your family and home from a break-in ever occurring.

 

Know it: A security system may prevent a burglar from even attempting to break in.

Do it: Have a security system installed and monitored – and display the yard signs and window stickers you are provided.

 

Know it: Thieves sometimes rely on the cover of night, but most burglaries happen between 10am and 3pm while many people are at work or school.

Do it:  Keep bushes and shrubs trimmed back. Consider getting motion activated security. Leave on a TV or radio. A barking dog can serve as a great deterrent to thieves – while you get to enjoy a wagging tail and a wet nose when you arrive home.

 

Know it: Burglars are often familiar with your neighborhood or daily schedule.

Do it:  Varying your routine will make it harder for the bad guys to tell when you’re not home.

 

Know it: Signs that you’re on vacation or out of town for an extended period can make your home an easy target for burglary.

Do it: Put your mail, newspaper and deliveries on hold. Have a trusted friend or neighbor watch your home. Put indoor lights on timers. Some police departments offer an out of town home watch. If your local authorities provide this service, be sure to sign up several days prior to going out of town. Be vigilant about what you and your family post on social media.

 

Know it: 34% of burglars enter through the front door. Another 30% take advantage of unlocked windows or other unlocked doors.

Do it: LOCK YOUR DOORS AND WINDOWS! Keep your garage doors closed, even when home.


Know it:
The top three things a burglar is looking for are cash, prescription drugs and jewelry but don’t doubt that these criminal opportunists will take anything they can get their hands on. Unfortunately, this often includes your identity.

Do it: Don’t leave valuables, cash or items that can be used for ID theft in plain sight or hidden in obvious places. Keep an up-to-date home inventory with a record of serial numbers from electronics to aid in filing police reports and insurance claims. Be sure to have an identity theft protection and recovery service if burglars get access to your personal or banking information.

We can’t stop all criminals, but California Casualty is here to protect you with quality auto and home / renters insurance with exclusive benefits not available to the general public. Every policy also comes with free ID theft protection.

 

Sources for this article:
http://www.iii.org/press-release/vacation-bound-use-these-five-prevention-tips-to-protect-your-home-against-burglars-while-youre-away-070312
https://www.safewise.com/blog/8-surprising-home-burglary-statistics/

 

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