Thursday, September 25, 2008

Is Your Home Alone?

Reduce travel stress by keeping your home safe while you’re away

Imagine coming home from your dream vacation only to find out your washing machine has been leaking for days, or that a storm caused a tree limb to break through the bedroom window.

As homeowners are preparing themselves for vacation, they may be forgetting one important step – preparing their homes to be unoccupied.

The Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), a national nonprofit organization funded by the insurance industry, including Nationwide Insurance, offers these tips to help you prepare your home:

§ Adjust the thermostat – High temperatures and humidity can damage furniture and other items in your home. To control the climate in your home, set the thermostat to no higher than 85 degrees.

§ Protect plumbing – If you’re leaving for an extended period, consider shutting off the water and hiring a professional plumber help drain all water lines. If you won’t be gone long, or you decide to leave the water service turned on, take additional steps including turning off the water supply to appliances such as the washing machine, toilets and sinks.

§ Plan for high wind – Protect your home from severe weather. Trim dead limbs from trees and shrubbery and store outdoor furniture and other items indoors. Make sure all doors, windows and vents are closed and locked to keep out wind and rain.

§ Make your home looked lived in – Deter thieves and vandals by making your home appear occupied. Stop newspaper and mail delivery, use timers on indoor and outdoor lights, install tapered deadbolt locks on doors, and have someone mow the lawn.

For more information on how to protect your home while you’re away, contact Connie Rist at (704) 841-8670 x107

IBHS’ “Is Your Home Alone?,”a guide to help people close up their homes, is available on the Maintenance Matters section of the IBHS website at, or a free, single copy can be requested from the site or by calling 1 (866) 657-IBHS (4247).

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Home Insurance Policy key to protect your property.

A Homeowners Insurance Policy can protect your property, most of your personal possessions and yourself. It's a package policy that combines two types of coverage:

1. Coverage against your property being destroyed or damaged by certain perils, such as fire, theft and windstorms.
2. Coverage for liability exposure – for example, someone being injured on your property.
Most people simply can't afford to rebuild their home and replace everything in it if there's a disaster. No matter what type of home you own, insuring your personal property is your responsibility. Make sure you purchase enough insurance to cover rebuilding your home from the ground up and replacing everything inside.

Here's the top four things you should know about Homeowners Insurance:

1. Get enough insurance: While it sounds simple, make sure you have enough coverage to:
• Completely rebuild your home - including cost of debris removal.
• Replace your personal belongings.
• Protect yourself in case someone is injured on your property and sues you.

2. Consider the amount of the deductible
• Generally speaking, the higher the deductible, the lower the premium.

3. Ask about available discounts
• A number of discounts may be available for things like installing smoke detectors and wind-resistant shutters, and insuring your home and auto with the same agent. Your agent can give you the details on how to save on your premiums.

4. Consider all situations
• There are certain hazards that your regular homeowners insurance doesn't cover. However, you can add specific coverages for an additional cost. Flood damage is not covered, but you can purchase a Flood Insurance Policy. Everyone is in a flood zone- Typically, though, you will live in a low-moderate risk zone – "Preferred Zone" and the premiums are very low. Ask your agent for more details. If you are in a high risk zone – "Standard Zone", your lender will require a flood policy. You have a 26% chance of being involved in a flood in the low-moderate flood zones, within a 30 year mortgage. Visit for more information.
• Talk with your insurance agent to make sure you've accounted for everything you want to cover, such as boats, golf carts, dirt bikes and other toys.
• Keep a list of your valuables and consider taking pictures. It will help speed up the process of getting your things replaced.
• Keep your valuable jewelry and documents in a fire-safe box.

I can help you choose an insurance policy that will fit your needs today and tomorrow. I'm a Nationwide Insurance agent. Call me for an "On Your Side Review".

Nationwide, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the world, with more than $157 billion in assets. Nationwide ranks #99 on the Fortune 100 list. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, homeowners, life, health, commercial insurance, administrative services, annuities, mutual funds, pensions and long-term savings plans.

Nationwide and the Nationwide Framework are federally registered service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.

On Your Side is a service mark of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company

Connie Dorn Rist
Cell: 980-229-1498
Nationwide Insurance
Fax: 704-845-2952