Mold

April 27, 2017 Leave a comment

Mold

With Spring here & the Winter snows melted, in many areas of the country mold is becoming prevalent. Mold requires very little to grow (warm, damp areas) and if left unchecked can become a physical danger to those that breathe in the spores.

The North Carolina Department of Health shares some information on their website about mold:

  • Water can enter into any building without proper prevention/maintenance
  • Water vapor/humidity can help to promote mold growth
  • HVAC units that are too small for the building/area it is meant to cool/heat can contribute to increasing the humidity/allow for condensation to occur

On Martha Stewart’s website, she shares some prevention tips as well:

  • Be sure to wipe down/squeegee all wet surfaces after taking a shower or bath
  • Don’t use a bleach cleaning product, use tea tree oil for hard surfaces
  • Take care of leaky pipes/faucets/roof leaks/foundation cracks to prevent water/mold damage
  • Have your HVAC checked if your vents smell “musty” or there is condensation around them
  • DO NOT try to take care of mold yourself

Finally on ServPro’s website, they recommend the following if mold is found:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold
  • Turn off your HVAC to prevent spreading of spores
  • Don’t use bleach or other biocides
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself

 

Some homeowners policy include $10,000 – $50,000 for mold remediation, but as you read the fine print – the coverage is available only to covered water losses only and only after the water damage had been taken care of…

 

Contact Us!

At Marsilje & Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

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Sprinkler Tips

April 20, 2017 Leave a comment

Sprinkler Tips

Spring is the time when people get outside and start doing maintenance on their yards, taking care of debris leftover from winter and preparing their lawns. It’s also a time when water claims can occur if underground sprinkling systems aren’t properly checked prior to their use. We found this article from the folks at Conserve H2O to help people properly check their sprinkler systems.

Seattle’s Saving Water organization has a great wiki on taking care of a leaky outdoor faucet. It’s best to take care of a leaky faucet right away to no only save water, but also a potential claim when the leak becomes a full-on deluge.

In The Swim has a great blog article on spring pool maintenance as well if you own a pool.

Maintaining your outdoor water sources will help prevent water damage from occurring in and around your home.

 

Contact Us!

At Marsilje & Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

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Water Heaters

April 13, 2017 Leave a comment

Water Heaters

 

With water heaters being in the top five sources of residential water losses, it’s important that you maintain your water heater & plumbing system to prevent a potential loss. This week we discussed an article from Angie’s List that gives four signs that your water heater needs replacing:

  • The age of your water heater – if it’s 20 years or older, there is a greater potential for loss
  • Rusty water – if rust-colored water comes out of your hot water tap, it may be coming from the water heater
  • Rumbling or noise – if the water heater is making noise, it could mean that sediment has built up and a loss is imminent
  • Water around the base – wet or dampness around the base of the water heater could indicate a leak is starting

Then Hartford Steam Boiler has an article on cutting down your water heating costs:

  • Use an energy-efficient water heater
  • Replace faucet/shower hardware
  • Insulate the pipes
  • Optimize the thermostat
  • Maintain the system

 

 

Contact Us!

At Marsilje & Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized

Flood Protection

Flood Protection

With the Spring comes melting snow & ice as well as rain showers. In many areas of the country, this time of year means potential disaster from floodwaters. The folks at Hartford Steam Boiler has some tips to help protect your property when the floodwaters rise.

Know Your Flood Exposure – there are maps & websites that can help you determine the likelihood of floods in your area. If you live in a flood-prone region, take extra steps by having sandbags & other emergency supplies on-hand.

Watch The Electrical – during floods electrical power can suddenly be cut. If you do have to leave your property because of flood, shut off power to the property from the main power panel. This will help to protect yourself & others from electrical shock when power is restored.

When Equipment Gets Wet – items such as water heaters, furnaces, washer/dryer, central air units will need to be thoroughly cleaned and inspected to make sure they are in safe & working condition. Electronics will need specialized cleaning/repair and may not be salvageable. Combustion motors pose a huge problem due to the need to drain all fluids and check/clean every pipe/opening.

Keep In Contact – one of the most important items to keep handy are the contact phone numbers for you insurance carriers. Keeping in contact with the company & adjuster during a claim will help to speed up the process.

 

Contact Us!

At Marsilje & Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

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Apocalypse Insurance

March 23, 2017 Leave a comment

Apocalypse Insurance

 

All this month we are delving into the “home warranty” commercial that depicts someone asking their insurance agent if a broken central air unit was covered. The agent explains there is no coverage but that there is coverage for other calamities such as volcano & zombie apocalypse.

The capper on the commercial is that the agent states there is coverage for zombie apocalypse. Now granted, “zombie apocalypse”, isn’t a specific peril excluded on a standard home insurance policy. We can, however, distill/classify the event into an event that may or may not be covered.

My opinion is that a “zombie apocalypse” is essentially a societal breakdown, a “riot” or “civil commotion” of sorts. It could also be an “undeclared war” or “military-like action”. Let’s break these down:

A standard homeowners policy has a list of perils insured against as well as a list of excluded perils. The dwelling itself is covered for basically everything except what is excluded/limited on the policy. “Riot” & “civil commotion” is not excluded, but “undeclared war” & “military-like action” are. Same goes for the personal property coverage. There are a few other exclusions to consider as well. “Power failure off residence premise”, “intentional loss”, & “neglect” are exclusions that could come into play with such an event. It is more likely that these last exclusions would most likely be the reason for a loss to property.

There are companies (and individuals) willing to sell “zombie apocalypse” insurance at rock-bottom prices. And such policies need to be taken as such, a novelty.

 

Contact Us!

At Marsilje & Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

 

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Volcanic Eruption

March 16, 2017 Leave a comment

Volcanic Eruption

 

All this month we are delving into the “home warranty” commercial that depicts someone asking their insurance agent if a broken central air unit was covered. The agent explains there is no coverage but that there is coverage for other calamities such as earthquake, volcano, & zombie apocalypse.

“But I don’t live near a volcano!” is what you might be saying. True that the majority of homeowners do not live near a volcano or areas of possible volcanic activity. As we have mentioned, most standard homeowners policies are that – standard – which means that certain perils or coverage may not apply to everyone.

As we learned last week, earth movement before/during/after a volcanic eruption is not covered automatically on a standard home policy but coverage can be added via endorsement. If can be covered via endorsement, then surely the volcanic eruption itself can be covered via endorsement – or can it? As a matter of fact, it is. “Fire or lightning” is covered, “explosion” is covered,  & “smoke” is covered except that which is the result of agricultural smudging or industrial operations. “Volcanic eruption” is indeed listed as a covered peril, other than loss caused by earthquake, land shock, or tremors (for which an endorsement can be purchased).

The Insurance Information Institute fleshes out a little more as to what you could expect from your insurance carrier as far as loss from volcanic eruption to your property, your automobile, & your business insurance.

Contact Us!

At Marsilje & Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized

Earth Movement

Earth Movement

 

All this month we are delving into the “home warranty” commercial that depicts someone asking their insurance agent if a broken central air unit was covered. The agent explains there is no coverage but that there is coverage for other calamities such as earthquake, volcano, & zombie apocalypse.

Last week we learned that water back up isn’t automatically covered for sewer/sump. One coverage that is becoming less and less a novelty but rather a necessity in the Midwest is coverage for earth movement (earthquake). Thanks to the New Madrid Seismic Zone that reaches from Missouri to Illinois and moves as far east as Tennessee, we Midwesterners have felt a tremor or two in recent years.

A standard homeowners policy does list “earth movement” as an exclusion:

Earth Movement, meaning earthquake including land shock waves or tremors before,
during or after a volcanic eruption; landslide; mine subsidence; mudflow; earth sinking, rising or shifting; unless direct loss by:
(1) fire;
(2) explosion; or
(3) breakage of glass or safety glazing material which is part of a building, storm
door or storm window; ensues and then we will pay only for the
ensuing loss. This exclusion does not apply to loss by theft.

So fire, explosion, theft, & breakage of glass is still covered as the result of “earth movement”. Is there a way to purchase coverage for “earth movement”? For many home insurance carriers, it can be added via an endorsement on the home policy.

Most endorsements add language that it supersedes the exclusion on the home insurance policy for “earth movement” that includes land shocks, tremors, & movement which occurs before/during/after a volcanic eruption. But it also comes with some limitations and exclusions of its own.

A single “earth movement” event includes one or more land shocks within a 72-hr period. This is a good thing, otherwise each shockwave would have to be considered one claim and the hassle with proving which shockwave caused what damage is eliminated.The policy deductible does not apply, but rather a special deductible which is a percentage-based damage deductible. You can choose what percentage of the covered damage total you wish to be responsible for. So for example, if you chose a 10% deductible and the total covered damage was $10,000 – your deductible would be $1,000 (10% of $10,000). $100,000 in damage? $10,000 deductible. Masonry veneer is not covered for “earth movement”, and that damage would be subtracted from the total damage amount of the claim.

So yes, like the sump/sewer water back up, “earth movement” can be covered on a home insurance policy.

Contact Us!

At Marsilje & Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Categories: Uncategorized