Spring Clean Your Insurance Policies

Spring Clean Your Insurance Policies

This spring, aside from cleaning your home to perfection, make sure that you spring clean your insurance policies to pay only for what is necessary.

Spring may be the time in which we all take out our cleaning supplies, put on our apron and latex gloves, and clean our home to perfection. While spring cleaning is certainly important in its own right, there exists something else that requires your attention: your insurance policies. As your life changes, so do your insurance needs. When it comes to your insurance policies, you should make sure that you are only paying for what is necessary.

  1. Is your home covered for complete reconstruction?

Some people only have enough coverage to satisfy their mortgage payment. While it may appear like a sound plan, they are not considering the consequences of complete home-desolation. You have to remember the cost of clean-up, materials, and construction.

  1. Does your car really need comprehensive insurance?

If you’re driving a car that is worth less than $1,000, or less than 10 times that of the insurance premium, the amount you pay monthly may not really be worth it. You might want to consider dropping comprehensive or collision coverage from your policy to save money.

  1. Do you have enough liability insurance?

Auto and home insurance policies offer liability coverage which pays for bodily injury and property damage for which you are found at fault, or liable. Our society is a very litigious one, and it might pay to have additional coverage in case the accident is particularly bad.

Make sure that you are only paying for what you need when it comes to your insurance policies. Reviewing them at least once a year can save you hundreds. To learn more about how you can pay less for your auto insurance in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, contact Miller Insurance Associates.

How to Fly a Drone (Without Being a Jerk)

How to Fly a Drone (Without Being a Jerk)

Drones are the newest technology for which the public has gone crazy, but many are forgetting common decency and fly these machines without thinking of others. Don’t be a jerk.

Drones are a marvelous technology that allow the average person to release their inner-Amelia Earhart. These aerial machines give normal people and professionals the opportunity to take aerial photographs, make highly accurate maps and models, and just have blast flying them around, getting a bird’s-eye view of their world.

But even the most well-meaning flying robot aficionado may find themselves making some grave social etiquette mistakes. Whether it’s flying over your neighbor’s yard or showing up to someone’s baby shower making the fatal mistake of assuming the mother-to-be will be just as excited as you are. Here’s how to fly a drone without being the most hated person in your neighborhood (you’ll thank us later).

  1. Ask to Bring Your Drone Before You Bring Your Drone
    You may think your drone is “like the coolest thing ever,” but you also may find that’s not a universally shared opinion. Drones may scare pets and annoy people in the house who do not want to hear a constant BUZZ in the atmosphere.
  2. Don’t Fly Them Over Crowds
    The Federal Aviation Administration does not recommend that hobby and recreational drone pilots fly their drones over crowds of people. The reason? Possible injury. While drones are reliable pieces of machinery, there is always a chance the battery will die and land on a person.
  3. Don’t Fly Over Private Property
    People like their privacy and a mechanical drone with a camera hovering over their home is something that many people may find in violation of that privacy. Before you fly overhead, ask your neighbors if it’s OK to do so.

Your homeowners insurance may cover drone accidents, but it’s best to check with your insurance agent. For all of your insurance needs, contact Miller Insurance Associates in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Federal Pacific Circuit Breaker Panels: Are They Safe?

Federal Pacific Circuit Breaker Panels: Are They Safe?

A circuit breaker’s purpose is to assure and guarantee your home’s electrical safety, but can the panel be trusted to be safe?

In short, no. If your home was built between 1950 and 1960 and is equipped with a Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) circuit breaker panel, your risk of a breaker malfunction and fire increase substantially.

A circuit breaker inside of the panel is designed in order to protect your home from an overvoltage by preventing circuit overloads, outside power surges rushing into the home, short circuits, and other such electrical risks. Should an overvoltage occur, a breaker protects your home by shutting down, or tripping, the power to the circuit board.

What makes FPE Breaker Boxes So Dangerous?

What makes FPE breaker boxes so dangerous is the FPE itself, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) concern with money over the safety of people. A New Jersey court ruled that when the FPE had tested circuit breakers, they fabricated their results so they could meet the UL standards. Two years later, the CPSC closed its investigation and cited “budget issues” as the reason. The FPE has been out of business for many years, but the risks due to its negligence persist in millions of homes across the nation.
FPE circuit breakers have a red strip across the Stab-Lok breakers, so they are rather easy to identify.

What to Do if You Own an FPE Breaker Box

If your place of residence has an FPE breaker box, call a professional electrician immediately. You should really consider replacing your breaker box if yours is, in fact, one from the FPE.

A proper homeowners insurance can cover your home from electrical-related damage, like fire. For all of your homeowners insurance needs to ensure your home is fully covered for a complete reconstruction, contact Miller Insurance Associates in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Reasons to Consider Renters Insurance

Reasons to Consider Renters InsuranceIf your initial reaction to renters insurance is to scoff at the very idea, perhaps you need to reread the benefits of renters insurance to get a clear understanding of the policy.

It does not take an expert with a Ph.D. in economics to see the gross distribution of wealth that currently plagues the U.S. This has forced many people to rent properties, rather than buy. But where people would normally purchase homeowners insurance, people all but refuse to purchase renters insurance. People believe their reasons justify their actions, but these justifications are based on false assumptions and misconceptions. Here are a few reasons as to why you should purchase rental insurance and include the expense into your budget.

  1. It’s cheaper than you probably think. Many people have it in their heads that renters insurance is an expensive coverage to own. This mentality has made over half of all renters to forgo renters insurance! But the truth is that renters insurance is rather cheap–generally less than refueling your car!*
  2. Better to be safe than sorry. An old expression that many of us take for granted. But despite how long this saying has been around, it doesn’t make it any less true. Your landlord may have insurance for falls and property damage, but what about your stuff? Your TV, game console, clothes, jewelry, computer, et cetera are all in danger without the proper renters insurance policy.
  3. A budget will be better for it. A budget allows you to allocate certain funds to sustain a way of life. A disruption in this cycle can force you to live on scarce materials, and a fire or theft can cause such a disruption. Live with peace of mind with a quality renters insurance.

For all of your renters and homeowners insurance needs to ensure your home or apartment is covered for all of your needs, contact Miller Insurance Associates in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

*This is under the assumption you own a gas-powered vehicle.

Home Inventory & Homeowners Insurance

Home Inventory & Homeowners InsuranceYour homeowners insurance claim depends on how well you made your home inventory list–have you made sure yours is top-notch? 

When you file a home insurance claim, you expect to be reimbursed for the items that you lost. The only way home insurance companies can confirm that you owned the things you lost is by creating a home inventory list. Here is the why and how on how you can create a home inventory to give you the best chance at a successful claim.

Why should I complete a home inventory? 

When you purchase a home and a homeowners insurance policy, you should also write an up-to-date home inventory to make your claim settlement experience faster and less stressful, should you ever need to make one. With a complete home inventory, your home insurance company can verify your belongings and assets easier, which makes settling your claim faster and easier. You can also verify losses for your income tax return with an updated home inventory.

How do I complete a home inventory? 

Start your home inventory by making a list of all your possessions. Describe each item, noting the make and model and where each item was purchased. Don’t forget to include the sales receipts, purchase contracts, and any appraisals if you have them. Organize your clothing into categories so they can be referred to faster. Here are a few home inventory organization tips:

  • Remember to include your high-end items like jewelry, artwork, and collectibles.
  • Videotape your home by walking through it and describing the contents throughout your home.
  • You can also use pictures with the same effect.
  • Put your photos and videos in a safe place like the cloud or a safe deposit box.

For all of your homeowners insurance needs to ensure your home is fully covered for a complete reconstruction, contact Miller Insurance Associates in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

How to Prevent Basement Flooding

How to Prevent Basement FloodingThe summer rains are perfect for hydrating our flowers and gardens, but they often bring unwanted basement floods.

Summer means beautiful weather, but, depending on where you live, it also means powerful thunderstorms. While it certainly makes our garden look robust and healthy, it can also lead to unwanted flooding. From our parks and streets to our basements. To keep your basement dry during the summer storms, check out these helpful hints.

Preventing Basement Floods

  1. Clean your gutters. If you don’t clean your gutters every fall and spring, you leave your gutters vulnerable to clogging. If not drained properly, it can spill over and leak into your foundation which can lead to a flood.
  2. Your downspouts should extend away from your home. Your downspouts should extend away from your home and lead six feet away from your basement. Make sure that these are not connected to the foundation as they could unintentionally leak down into your foundation–even if functioning properly.
  3. Purchase a sump pump. If properly installed, the sump pump can act as a huge floor drain by sucking all of the water that wants to enter your basement. Make sure it’s free of debris, and think about a battery or propane generator in case power goes out during a storm. A pump without sucking action is just a tube.
  4. Do an examination during a storm. If water starts pooling near or by your house, it’s best to call a landscaper or contractor to build ways to direct water away.
  5. Flood insurance. When all else fails, it’s an excellent idea to have flood insurance, as the typical home insurance policy will not cover such flooding.

For all of your homeowners insurance needs to ensure your home is fully covered for a complete reconstruction, contact Miller Insurance Associates in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Insuring Your Artwork

Insuring Your Artwork

Your art collection is something you hold very dear, and you may consider it priceless because they’re paintings or sculptures you selected; insuring them is the best way to protect their integrity.

Art insurance is something that you may have thought of and something that you may have already purchased. Read your policy again—for what is your artwork covered? If you already have art insurance, you may only see your coverages are against common things like fire, and flood/water damage—which are good to have—but if you’ve ever seen films like “Ocean’s 11” you know there exist thieves whose expertise is artwork. If your insurance doesn’t cover theft, you may be left in the dark should they ever be stolen.

“Theft insurance is way too expensive!”

The cost of theft insurance is rather expensive, but only if you protect an entire collection. Research shows that thieves rarely ever steal entire collection. They only steal parts of them, and usually pretty small parts. So insuring the value of an entire collection is not necessary. Theft insurance doesn’t cover specific works of art, rather, it covers “incidents.” Your insured for a set amount, no matter what gets stolen.

Insurance Tips:

  • Photograph and document your collection. Include current appraisals, original sales receipts, and any additional paperwork that speaks to the value of your art.
  • Make sure you understand your policy. That means that you understand the fine print and should ask any questions regarding your policy you’re still unsure about.
  • Invest in a quality security system. That means security cameras, motion sensors, pressure sensors, and frames that fasten on the wall well.

There’s no excuse for not purchasing theft insurance because you never know when your artwork will be targeted by Ocean and his boys to be stolen. Contact Miller Insurance Associates, Inc. for all of your insurance needs to be protected against any threat that poses a risk to your safety.