Florida is the lightning capital of the United States. This of course includes our little paradises in Sebastian and Vero Beach. We can tell the time of day by the weather. The afternoon is getting close …thunderstorms and rain start to roll in, this usually brings lightning.
For the past couple of weeks we have been in various flood advisories and watches in the Sebastian and Vero Beach area.
With the heat and humidity here in our little paradise. It may seem certain appliances cause some problems some of which can be dangerous and expensive.
There’s a ticking time bomb in your house right now, waiting to strike when you least expect it. In fact, there might even be more than one. And each can cause thousands and thousands of dollars in damage.
We here at Sebastian Insurance are talking about faulty appliance hoses, of course.
Consider your washing machine: According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), washing-machine failures cost an average of more than $5,000, and faulty hoses are responsible for more than half of those failures.
You can take steps to defuse these ticking time bombs — or at least make them less likely to go off. Here are the common hoses and tubes you should be checking:
Most washing machines come with rubber hoses that connect to your water supply — hoses that can wear out and eventually burst. The IBHS says to check frequently for blisters, worn tubing, stress cracks and loose connections. Even if there is no obvious wear, replace hoses every five years. Use a reinforced steel-braided hose, as they are less likely to fail.
Although you should clean the lint trap in your dryer with every load, danger lurks behind the dryer as well. Flexible plastic or foil ducting can easily trap lint and increase the risk of fire, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The agency recommends the use of a rigid or semi-rigid metal duct instead. Whichever you use, be sure to disconnect and clean the ducting annually.
If your refrigerator has an icemaker or water dispenser, it also has a hose connecting it to the water supply. Replace the standard hose with a steel-braided line for added security.
Dishwasher leaks can easily go undetected, so it’s important to check these connections regularly as well. Make sure that hoses and lines have no kinks, and periodically remove and clean the filter in the dishwasher, which is designed to stop food pieces from making it into the drain hose.
At least once a year, check the hose connecting the fuel source to the burners. Simply brush it with some soapy water, turn the gas on (do not light the grill) and check the hose for air bubbles. If you see any, replace the hose and fitting.
In addition to checking your hoses regularly and replacing them when needed, there are monitoring systems available now that can automatically shut off your water supply in the event of a failure. Some detect leaks with moisture indicators, while at least one new system actually checks your water meter for unusual activity.
To further protect you, your homeowners insurance may cover certain damage that results from appliance hose failures. But, it all depends on the circumstances of your situation and on your specific policy. You may find that an appliance hose failure is not covered by your insurance, so it’s best to maintain your appliances to avoid damage in the first place.
If you have questions about your homeowners insurance coverage or need help with a claim, we here at Sebastian Insurance are happy to help.
Precautions before a Hurricane or Heavy Storm.
Claims after the storm.
If you’re keeping up with the weather we know there’s a storm in the works. Of course there is no guarantee it will hit us but just to be safe we’ve described a few precautions (if you haven’t already done them) to protect your belongings. Preparing your personal items before the storm hits leaves you to focus on you and your loved ones in case of an evacuation. Also taking these precautions make the steps if you do have to make a claim less stressful.
If you’re not able to bring your car, boat, RV, motorcycle or other type of vehicle with you there are other options. Park vehicles indoors when possible. If you can’t then try to find higher ground that is close to a sturdy building for more protections. Keep vehicles away from trees or poles; any large objects that can fall on it and cause damage. Make sure to secure RV awnings so wind doesn’t tear them away.
It’s best to remove your boat from the water and move it inland before a storm hits. Boats left unsecured can not only be damaged by wind or flying objects from hurricane forces, but they can float away if waters rise. If it’s secured properly, your boat is much more likely to survive a storm inland than on water.
Just make sure that if you cannot take something with you your items are secure as possible
If you’ve taken all the precautions but still find yourself in a situation where you have to make a claim after a storm, it’s important that you have Comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage covers damages resulting from high winds, flooding or other weather-related factors.
Don’t just take important documents with you. Waterproof them, too.
If you have to evacuate, you should take all important documents. This means waterproof your insurance papers! Even if you don’t have to evacuate, it’s a good idea to keep these documents in a waterproof container, to help minimize time spent on the phone or working through a claim if you have to make one after the storm.
Report damage as soon as possible. If any of your vehicles are damaged, report the damage as soon as you can. The sooner your insurance company knows about it, the sooner it can begin resolving your claim.
Take Pictures of absolutely everything. Pictures can help your insurance company identify and find your vehicles if they’ve floated or flow away during a storm. They also can show items that may have been attached to your vehicle that may have been lost or damaged during a hurricane.
Your safety should always be your major concern when preparing for and evacuating because of a hurricane. Remember to give yourself plenty of time to figure out your evacuation plan, and make sure your family members or others who plan to leave with you also know the drill. You may even want to practice a couple of times to ensure things run as smoothly as possible.
Following these tips well before a storm hits your area can help you stay calm during an evacuation. Plus, knowing you’ve done what you can to prepare for a storm, as well as for any claims you might have to make afterward, can provide much-needed peace of mind during turbulent times.
If you have any other questions please call us at the office or stop by. We are here for you before and after the storm to help!
Article by Megz Montalvan
What is Umbrella Insurance?
A personal umbrella policy provides extra liability insurance for auto and home owners.
Is the liability insurance you have with your auto or home policy enough to cover all your assets? A severe car accident or damage on your property could be costly. You’re regular home or auto insurance may not be enough to help.
What is umbrella insurance?
Umbrella insurance adds an extra layer of personal liability protection. A single policy covers all underlying policies you own (auto, home, motorcycle, boat, etc.) and kicks in if the liability limits on these policies are required. And compared to the risk of a catastrophic event, We can help find an Umbrella Policy that covers all your needs to have peace of mind, always.
An umbrella policy can help cover many things we may not think of on a daily basis. Or we assume our regular policy will never exceed its limit.
Bodily Injury : The cost of damages to another person’s body. Like the cost of medical bills and/or liability claims a few examples:
- Injuries to an person because of a serious auto accident where you are at fault.
- Harm caused to another as a result of your dog (yeah, you probably should have taken him to obedience school)
- Injuries to a guest in your home due to a fall
- Injuries that happen to a neighbor’s child who falls while playing in your yard
Property Damage: covers the cost of damage or loss to another person’s property. Examples:
- Damage to vehicles and other property as a result of an auto accident where you are at fault
- Damage claims when your new puppy decides a friend’s priceless oriental rug would be a good chew toy
- Accidental damage to school property caused by your child (hey, you can’t disown them)
Owners of Rentals: helps protect against liability that you may face as a landlord. Examples include :
- Someone tripping over a crack in the sidewalk of your rental property and suing you for damages
- Your tenant’s dog biting someone and you being held responsible for the injuries
Coverage is also provided should you be sued for:
- Slander – injurious spoken statement
- Libel – injurious written statement
- False arrest, detention, or imprisonment
- Malicious prosecution
- Shock/mental anguish
- Other personal liability situations
Umbrella Insurance can be confusing, we can help! Call our office or stop by for a free quote!
Hot sun and warm water are the norm for us here on the Treasure coast. Especially during the summer months we love to enjoy the rays out on the sandbar and the beautiful beaches of Sebastian and Vero. If you don’t already have your very own boat or watercraft maybe your thinking about purchasing one. Either way its always a good idea to get yourself covered.
Here at Sebastian Insurance you can get your own policy for your vessel or add it on to your home owners insurance. We can help you decide which is better for you at the best rate.
This week the Sebastian chamber of commerce is getting together for the 300th anniversary of the plate fleet in 1715. Join us for tours around the Sebastian / treasure coast area. With educational gatherings about the Spanish fleet. July 26th to August 2nd! Check the Sebastian chamber of commerce website for more details about the 300th anniversary of the 1715 fleet society commemoration week!
Its the summer here on the treasure coast! The weather is sizzling just like our grills!
Hot dogs and Hamburgers are the sign of summer. Back yard barbecues created wonderful memories with family and friends.
We must always keep in mind though that when your grilling you are literally playing with fire. Its easy for a great memory to turn into something scary. From burn injuries to damage to your home.
Here are some tips to help make sure you only cook the burgers on the grill.
Whether you prefer gas or charcoal, you should keep your grill on a level surface, away from any thing that is flammable (bushes, palm trees, fences, etc.). Never take your grill indoors! Carbon monoxide fumes are deadly. Also never leave your grill unattended or around children at play.
TIPS FOR CHARCOAL GRILLS
For our Charcoal lovers you should never add lighter fluid directly to hot coals. A flame can travel up the stream and burn you. You should also never use gasoline or kerosene to start your charcoals. Use flame -retardant mitts or long handled tongs, coals can reach up to 1,000 degrees. You can find these supplies all at our local Walmart or Home Depot here in Sebastian or Vero Beach. When your grilling is done you want to allow the ashes to cool for at least 48 hours before disposing in a non combustible container.
TIPS FOR GAS GRILLS
Gas Grills are another choice for making delicious summer meals. Before you start to cook check for leaks in hoses. Turn on your grill and apply light soapy water to the hose if there is a leak bubbles will release. Once you turn the grill off the bubbles should stop and you can call a professional to service it. If you turn the propane take off and bubbles continue make a call to your local fire department.
If your in the middle of cooking and start to smell gas remove yourself from the grills surrounding area and call the fire department. Never move your grill!
You do not want to keep propane filled tanks in your car or tuck. We live in Florida our vehicles get extremely hot and this is a serious danger. Make sure your last stop on the way home is to refill your grills tank. When storing propane tanks make sure they’re in an upright position and never indoors.
From all of us at Sebastian Insurance , happy grilling and stay safe!
Article by Megz Montalvan
Here at Sebastian Insurance we want to make all the steps with insurance more comfortable. You know you can always call and rely on us to answer any of your questions to help you through easy or difficult situations. Insurance can be confusing and our agents will help you understand.
Something that we can help you through is when an accident happens, big or small, we are there to help guide you through the steps.
It happens to all of us at one point in our life or another. Here in Sebastian and Vero Beach we get the lovely summer thunder storms. 10 minutes of torrential down pours is all it takes for an accident to happen. Or maybe at a snug gas station someone pulls up a little too close. A shopping cart at Walmart decides to have a date with your brand new car. You can call us and we will guide you to get everything taken care of. One of the biggest headaches after an accident occurs is that your vehicle needs to be repaired and that all begins with an estimate.
Estimates are exactly that. Estimating the cost to safely repair your vehicle before you were in an accident. This can vary depending on labor rates, parts, and time to perform certain repairs. This breaks down to the initial estimate, supplemental and agreed price.
The first step after an accident is to get your car, motorcycle, or vessel to a repair shop. A claims representative though your insurance company prepares the initial estimate so repairs on your vehicle can start. They will guide you through the choices you have to fix your car. You can choose to let everything go through the company and they will handle everything for you, they will choose the shop for you. If you choose not to go that route you can bring your car to a repair shop in your network or to your favorite mechanic even if its out of the network.
When your vehicle is being repair there is a chance the mechanic may find additional damage. This is when your insurance company will step in to “re-inspect”. This is not unusual. When an accident happens somethings can not be seen during the original estimate, they cannot be physically seen from the outside. If this occurs your representative and auto shop will review the damage again together and make changes as needed for an appropriate estimate.
Insurance companies write estimates based upon parts and labor cost for the repair of the vehicle. If for some reason the mechanic who fixed the car has a higher rate than your representative has come up with they will discuss the difference and work on a fair agreement. Having the insurance company there to keep you informed of all the repairs every step of the way to keep you stress free. Having an accident is enough so you don’t need to worry about anything else.
The most important part is that everyone is safe and healthy after an accident. We are also there for you if you not only your vehicle was hurt.
Contact us if you would like more information of the Repair Process.
Article by Megz Montalvan
We are proud to have been a sponsor of the Blue Water Open Offshore Charity Fishing Tournament this year. The event took place at Capt Butchers in Sebastian and had an amazing turn out. All profits went to the Prevention of Child Abuse and support for other youth activities. We sponsored the vessel “Jen’s Revenge” and Amanda Merrill won the Lady Angler award for catching a 27lb. King Fish. Congratulations Amanda! We hope everyone had a wonderful time. We want to thank you for showing your support for such a great cause.