Category: Homeowners Insurance

12 Sep 2019
palm trees in a hurricane

7 Steps to Help You Prepare for Hurricane Season

Hurricane Season Preparedness

Hurricane season is upon us and these tropical cyclones destroy everything their path. New England is no stranger these threatening storms, and it’s important to be prepared for the unpredictable damage that may end up impacting your community.

Hurricanes result in powerful winds, heavy rainfall as well as coastal and inland flooding. These can be troublesome towards the well-being of your family and your home. To combat this, we are going to give you some safety tips, from packing a bag to reviewing your insurance in Wellesley, MA, to help prepare you for these unpredictable superstorms.

  • Make sure you are up to date on the storm’s progress. Keep a radio on hand to be notified if things are taking a turn for the worse or the better
  • Check the batteries of the emergency equipment in your home. Having items such as flashlights, radios, and generators are essential assets to have during this dangerous situation
  • Learn the location of local shelters, or safe routes inland if you live near the coast
  • Stock up on canned food, water, medications, and first aid supplies beforehand
  • Bring loose lightweight objects such as garden tools, garbage cans, and lawn furniture inside
  • If necessary, cover windows and door openings with shutters or another shielding
  • Review your insurance coverage to ensure you have optimum limits

Being prepared is essential for hurricane safety, and these tips can help keep your family, and your property unharmed. At CAV insurance we provide flood insurance to combat these unpredictable forces of nature. We help protect your home’s specific needs with a policy that will be there when you need it most. Give us a call today to learn more!

25 Jul 2019

How Much Excess Liability Do You Need?

Determining How Much Umbrella Insurance You Should Have

Accidents happen. Although it’s never pleasant to face a disaster, you may have your insurance policies there to pick up the pieces. But what happens when the damage exceeds your insurance coverage? You could be left paying the rest, which can take a serious toll on your finances. Here is where an umbrella policy, also known as excess personal liability insurance, comes in handy.

An umbrella policy is designed to sit on top of your auto, homeowners, and watercraft liability coverage. If you injure someone in an auto accident or someone gets injured while on your property, your home or auto insurer will help to pay for damages up to the liability limits in your policy. If the damages exceed these limits, the injured party can then sue you for the difference. Fortunately, an umbrella policy can help to protect you and your assets in the event of a liability claim.

How much coverage do I need?

As a general rule, the more assets you have acquired, the higher your risk for litigious encounters. Individuals should seek additional coverage to protect their assets and financial security. Umbrella insurance is typically sold in increments of $1 million and can cost as little as $180 a year for the first $1 million of coverage. However, what you actually pay will depend on a variety of risk factors.

A range of factors will be taken into account when acquiring umbrella insurance. There are some risk factors that call for more insurance than others, such as having teenage drivers, domestic employees, owning watercraft or an ATV, having a backyard pool, serving on the board of a non-profit organization, or being active on social media networks. If you fall into several of these categories, your liability risk is higher than average. In turn, you may need to opt for more umbrella insurance to protect your assets.

Finding the right umbrella insurance protection doesn’t have to be challenging. Talk to the reliable team at CAV Insurance to get started on your policies! Our experts are well-versed in finding the right coverage for unique situations. Contact us on 781-237-4107 to get started.

27 Jun 2019

5 Reasons to Have a Jewelry Appraisal for Insurance Purposes:

You’d probably prefer not to think about your jewelry treasures being damaged, destroyed or lost during a catastrophe, but it’s prudent to be prepared.

 

Whether you’ve spent years building your fine jewelry collection or you’ve recently acquired your first exquisite piece, you should insure each item to value, just in case the unexpected happens. To do that properly, you must have your jewelry appraised for insurance purposes.

 

Here are 5 reasons to consider:

 

  1. Appraisals are important to the insurance process

If you have a sentimental attachment to your most cherished jewelry pieces, you’ll love them no matter what they’re worth. Still determining value is important, especially when you’re purchasing insurance.

  • You need to know if your Homeowners Policy jewelry limit will cover them, or if you need a valuable items endorsement or a separate policy.
  • If you need a special endorsement or policy, underwriters will base your coverage amount on the appraised value of your jewelry.
  • Your insurance premium will be based on that same value.

 

  1. Personal Property Vs Scheduled Property

A homeowner’s policy does not insure Jewelry under the personal property section of your policy. In order to insure jewelry correctly, you need to have it listed as a scheduled item on your homeowner’s policy, or it needs its own specific valuable articles policy. Both coverage options will require that you have a detailed appraisal that is at no more than 3 years old.

Advantages to Scheduling your Jewelry:

  • Broader Coverage: Scheduled items will be covered for additional risks, including accidentally losing your scheduled jewelry (for example, losing your enjoyment ring while on vacation) which would not be covered under a standard homeowner’s policy.
  • Replacement Cost Coverage: The insurance company pays what it costs to replace your damaged property and doesn’t reduce the payment due to the item’s depreciation.
  • No deductible: If you file a claim for a scheduled item no deductible will apply.

 

  1. A sales receipt won’t do

Insurance companies won’t accept a receipt of purchase as a legitimate measure of value. It doesn’t matter how much you paid for your jewelry. When writing a policy or paying a claim, the insurance company relies on the actual appraised value, not the cost.

 

  1. The insurance company might require updated appraisals

Even if your insurance company doesn’t require regular appraisal updates, you might want to get them anyway.

  • It’s the best way to make certain you are insuring your jewelry to its proper value.
  • If the market prices of precious metals, diamonds, and fine jewels rise or fall, it could change the value of your jewelry.
  • Vintage, antique, and collectible jewelry styles go in and out of favor, causing the values to go up or down.
  • Values rarely remain constant, and your policies should change accordingly.

 

 

  1. You may still have to prove the value if a loss occurs

When you file a claim, the insurance company won’t simply write a check for the amount of your stated coverage. They will verify the details before settling your claim.

 

If a thief stole your jewelry, they will want to see a police report. If you lost it or it simply disappears, they will want to know how and why. If you have no witnesses, the insurance company adjuster may decide to talk to friends and relatives about you and your jewelry.

 

Regular appraisals can help you prove an insurance claim. An appraiser can attest to the quality, design, condition, and valuation of your jewelry. If a jewelry professional has inspected your collection a number of times over the years, the dated documentation can verify ownership and custody.

 

Before you take steps to insure your jewelry, contact an appraiser to properly evaluate your collection. For your peace of mind, make sure the professional you choose is well-trained and can handle the task with confidence.

 

Do you have jewelry that you haven’t had appraised in a while? Contact guest blogger and independent jewelry appraiser Aimee Berrent to set up an appointment – 617-304-0174 – aimee@ambappraisal.com – ambappraisal.com

 

CAV Insurance has access to carriers like Chubb, AIG and other companies that specialize in insuring jewelry and other valuble articles. Whether you have a single item or a large collection, CAV Insurance will help find you a policy that fits your needs. CAV Insurance has been insuring jewelry in Weston, Wellesley and the Metro-West area since 1955.

 

28 Mar 2019

How to Prepare Your Home for the Spring Market

Easy Ways to Prep Your Home for Spring Selling

 

Decluttering now during the quieter winter months will allow your home to be 100% ready for the spring market. Staging can be accomplished by rearranging your own possessions or complimenting them with items from our very own staging consultant. The National Association of Realtors has extensive research showing that staging reduces market time and puts more money in your pocket. The proof is in the numbers – According to the Real Estate Staging Association, homes which are staged before going on the market sell 73% faster, on average, then their non-staged counterparts.

 

Many homeowners are familiar with the concept of home staging, thanks to reality television. Home staging is the art of preparing a home for sale. Via home staging, you aim to improve the flow of your home, eliminate clutter, and make your home appear bigger and brighter. A professional home stager is an expert in the art of preparing homes for sale. Since most buyers now begin their home searches online, having your home professional staged appropriately can be crucial toward that first step of attracting an interested buyer. A non-staged home can present worse in photographs as compared to a staged one. Staged homes are often more likely to get a walk-through.

 

Do you have any questions about staging a house? Please contact our guest blog post author & Local Real Estate expert Gary Kaufman of  The Kaufman Realty Team | 617-721-0785 | garykaufmanrealtor@gmail.com Website: www.kaufmanrealtyteam.com

 

21 Mar 2019

Winter Thaw is Starting: Is Your Sump Pump Ready?

Getting Your Sump Pump Ready for Spring

 

After a long, cold winter, it’s a welcome sign when the days get longer and the temperatures begin to climb. But the spring thaw can also bring spring flooding to your basement if your sump pump is not operating properly. When was the last time you checked your sump pump to make sure it is in working order? Now is also the time to check your homeowners insurance since some policies may not cover water in the basement.

 

What to Check

  • Is the sump pump plugged in?
  • Is the power cord in good condition?
  • Is the drain hose connected properly?
  • Is it free from debris?
  • If it has a backup battery is it charged?

 

Sump Pump Maintenance Tips

  • Check to make sure debris isn’t clogging the pump area. Even larger objects can find their way into your sump pump, so be sure to check the vent holes, valves, and all other areas of your sump pump for unwanted substances.
  • Test your sump pump. If it’s been some time since you last used your sump pump, check that it is working properly. You can do this by pouring water into the sump pit. If it doesn’t start working instantly, you may have a problem that you need to fix.
  • Make sure the battery is charged. Even though your sump pump likely has a back-up battery in case of an emergency, it’s important to make sure it’s always working.

 

If your sump pump does not seem to be working correctly, contact a professional for assistance.

 

A sump pump that has been properly maintained will provide service for up to 10 years. If you don’t know the age of your sump pump, it’s a good idea to consider a replacement and keep a backup on hand in case your sump pump fails.

 

Sump Pump Coverage

Consider obtaining optional coverage for water backup or sump discharge or overflow since most homeowners insurance policies do not cover this damage. A sump pump endorsement can be purchased at a low cost and will provide coverage for damage caused by backed-up water. This includes coverage for items that water damaged, as well as the cost of cleaning up the water in your home, as long as the loss was not caused by the homeowner’s negligence.

 

Are you looking for reliable homeowners insurance coverage? Your local agents in Wellesley are ready to find the right coverage to suit your needs, home, and budget. We serve homeowners in Dover, Needham, Brookline and surrounding cities in Massachusetts. Contact us to get started!

21 Feb 2019
What to Do If Your Identity is Stolen

Identity Theft: What to Do If It Happens to You

Steps to Take Immediately If You’ve Been a Victim of Identity Theft

Thieves are opportunistic. Especially when it comes to identity theft. They tend to exploit simple vulnerabilities in individuals’ information, and security practices, and gaining small and simple data helps them to steal more. In many cases, signs of identity fraud can take weeks or months to reveal themselves.

This fraud is when someone commits a crime or fraud in your name using your stolen personal information. Identity theft is the fastest growing white-collar crime across the nation, impacting everyone from Wellesley to LA. More reliance on digital technology and smarter hackers means that no one is immune to identity fraud.

If you are a victim of identity fraud, it’s important to act quickly to resolve the issue. Here are some steps that you should take immediately:

  • Flag your credit reports. Contact the fraud department of one of the three major credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Inform them that you have fallen victim to identity fraud. Ask them to place a “fraud” alert in your file and confirm that they will contact the other two companies on your behalf.
  • Get copies. It’s a good idea to ask for a copy of the credit report. If your report is inaccurate because of fraud, then they are required to give you a free copy.
  • Consider a credit freeze. You may want to place a credit freeze on your credit file, which means that the potential creditors cannot get your credit report. Doing this makes it less likely that a potential identity thief can open accounts in your name. To do so, contact the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office, and then contact each credit reporting company.
  • Call creditors. Call each of the creditors about any accounts that have been charged or opened fraudulently. Keep in mind that the credit fraud may have been going on for some time without you realizing, so look into previous transactions as well as current ones.
  • File a report. File a report with your local police. Make sure to acquire a copy of the police report so that you can have proof of the crime.
  • Keep records. Keep detailed records of your conversations and all correspondences in case there are any discrepancies.
  • Change account PINs and passwords. Changing your password and PIN should occur every few months to keep risks at bay, but this is especially important to do after identity theft.

To help protect your finances or business from a disaster, contact the professionals at CAV Insurance today.

17 Jan 2019
How to Leave Your Home Safe for Your Winter Vacation

How to Leave Your Home Safe for Your Winter Vacation

Winterize Your Home Before Leaving for Vacation

Are you lucky enough to be escaping the winter weather on a sun holiday or hitting the slopes for some downhill fun? During this time of year, skiing in New Hampshire and Vermont is ideal, and many individuals, couples, and families take advantage of the fresh snow in the New Year. If you’re grabbing your skis for a weekend of fun, you will want to be sure you leave your home safe and protected. Your home is more vulnerable to vandalism, burglaries, storms, and freezing temperatures in January. Luckily, with these tips and reliable home insurance in Wellesley, MA, there are numerous steps you can take to minimize the risk.

  • Unplug all unnecessary electrical devices. Walk through your home and unplug toasters, computers, TVs, chargers, and clocks that will draw power and create that small risk of fire. Leave essential appliances on, such as the refrigerator, and lights on a timer.
  • Turn down the heat. When no one is in the house, a setting of around 55 degrees is adequate to keep the pipes from freezing and then bursting. If you have pets or houseplants, you may want to raise the temperature accordingly.
  • Turn off the main water supply. To ease your mind while you’re away, it’s a good idea to turn off your home’s water supply and open all faucets and drain them.
  • Ask a trusted friend or neighbor to check in on the property. Ask someone you trust to visit the property often. He/she can bring in the post, water the plants, feed the pets, and ensure all is well with the house. Make sure that your friend has your contact information and basic knowledge of the house.
  • Don’t give burglars a chance. Burglaries raise in winter, as many take the opportunity to break into a home when they know the homeowners are on vacation. Before you leave, ensure all windows and doors are sealed and locked. Never leave keys outside the property, such as under a plant pot.

Finally, relax and enjoy your trip! If the worst does happen, and despite your best efforts, an incident occurs, be sure that you can fall back on reliable homeowners insurance. Your local agents in Wellesley are ready to find the right coverage to suit your needs, home, and budget. We serve homeowners in Dover, Needham, Brookline and surrounding cities in Massachusetts. Contact us to get started!

11 Oct 2018
Great Ways to Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing

Great Ways to Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing

Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes This Winter

The days are beginning to cool down in Boston now that fall has arrived. When the cooler temperatures arrive, unfortunately, so do frozen pipes. When the frozen water in the pipe expands, it can tear the pipe, leading to floods and water damage when ice melts. We all know how the temperatures can plummet quickly in Wellesley, so be sure to act now. Sparing a few minutes to protect your pipes from freezing can help to reduce the likelihood of them freezing and ward off water damage. Along with these frozen pipe prevention tips and quality homeowners insurance in Wellesley, MA, you can feel rest assured your home can remain safe throughout the fall and winter.

Let a Faucet Drip

Turn on a couple of faucets just enough so that they drip. Ideally, choose a faucet that has a pipe running along an outside wall and a faucet that is far away from your main water valve. This helps to alleviate pressure and keeps the pipes working, preventing the water from freezing.

Leave Cupboard Doors Open

If you have faucets with pipes running through cupboards and cabinets (think of the kitchen sink), leave the doors open so that the warm air can circulate around the pipes. The doors to the rooms should, ideally, stay open too so that the heat can flow through the house and prevent pipes from getting too cold.

Seal Up Cracks and Gaps

Examine your windows and doors. Are there any cracks around the seals? Can you feel any drafts even they are closed? Seal up cracks with caulk and weather-proofing, taking extra care to do this to gaps near exposed pipes. Not only does this help to keep pipes warm, but it can save money on your heating bill!

Insulate Exterior Pipes

For pipes outside or in exposed places such as attics and basements, consider insulating them. Insulation can be wrapped around the pipe, protecting them from the dropping temperatures. When the weather gets very cold, it is wise to apply heating tape to these pipes to keep them warm.

Leave Your Thermostat On

You may be tempted to turn down your thermostat overnight or when you head out of town for the weekend. However, doing so can mean your pipes are more susceptible to freezing. Keep your thermostat on low, even when you aren’t in the house to avoid pipes freezing and bursting. There is one caveat to this – if you’re going away for a significant period of time, it is wise to shut off the water supply, particularly when cold weather is coming.

If the worst does happen, and despite your best efforts, a pipe freezes and then bursts, be sure that you can fall back on reliable homeowners insurance. Your local agents in Wellesley are ready to find the right coverage to suit your needs, home, and budget. We serve homeowners in Dover, Needham, Brookline and surrounding cities in Massachusetts. Contact us to get started!

13 Sep 2018
Is Your House Located in a Flood Plain?

Is Your House Located in a Flood Plain?

Insurance Coverage for Floods

 

It’s not always obvious that a house in a flood plain. In fact, if your property is located further inland in Massachusetts, you may think that you’re safe from flooding altogether. Even if you live near a river, you may think you’re safe based on how many hills and buildings there are between you and the water. The reality is that no property is immune to flood risks. The team at CAV Insurance Agency can help you determine if your home is a risk of flooding and if flood insurance could benefit you.

 

Many homeowners are under the belief that flood coverage is included under their home insurance policy. Unfortunately, this is not often the case, and homeowners find out when it is too late. Since flood protection is excluded from most standard home insurance policies, ensure that you properly assess whether or not your building needs coverage.

 

If your home is located in a high flood risk area, you should consider flood insurance. Even if your property is not located in such an area, home that are further away from the water source may still need flood coverage. Your mortgage lender may require that you purchase flood insurance, depending on the location of the house.

 

Flooding can happen at any time, and water damage can be devastating. Just last year there was significant flooding on Route 9 in Wellesley. Property owners in areas like Wellesley, Westwood and the Cape should consider flood insurance due to being near water sources. If you’re near a water source, there is a possibility of floods. Get to know your local area by visiting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood map that outlines potential risk areas. You can also visit the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) to research past flooding events in your area.

 

Ultimately, even if your house isn’t in a flood plain and flood insurance is not mandated on your home, the decision about purchasing a policy is up to you. The CAV Insurance Agency team stay up to date with the latest maps and will help you understand your flood safety risks as well as offer you reliable coverage choices for your needs.

 

Our team proudly serves the insurance needs of individuals, families, and businesses in Wellesley, Dover, Needham, Brookline and surrounding cities in Massachusetts. Talk to us today to find out how we can help you protect your property with flood insurance coverage.

23 Aug 2018
Ways to Prepare for a Hurricane

Essential Ways to Prepare for a Hurricane

How to Prepare for Hurricane Season in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, hurricane season runs from June 1 through the end of November. Researchers predict this year to be a slightly above-average season. There could be as many as 14 tropical storms, and several of those are expected to become hurricanes. There’s no way of knowing how hurricanes will affect us here in the northeast, but it is wise to be prepared, nevertheless. Before a devastating storm reaches our area, it’s a good idea to plan ahead. Along with quality homeowners insurance in Wellesley, MA and beyond, these tips can help your family and property remain safe.

Prepare a Basic Disaster Supply Kit

  • Water – one gallon of water for drinking and sanitation per person, per day, for at least three days
  • Food – at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Blankets
  • Cell phone chargers and portable backup batteries
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air
  • Wrench to turn off utilities
  • Pet food, water, blankets, and any necessary medication
  • Local maps with evacuation locations – Find evacuation zone maps here

Create a Family Communication Plan

Each family member should know when and how to contact other family members during a major storm.

  • Establish a routine on how to contact each other if you get separated during an emergency.
  • Encourage each family member to carry a cell phone along with a portable battery pack.
  • Take copies of your written plan and contact details and distribute to family members.

Clear Your Yard and Deck

Even if you live inland in Massachusetts, such as Dover instead of Chataham, it’s wise to prepare your home for an emergency, too.

  • Store grills, outdoor furniture and other moveable objects indoors.
  • Trim loose, dead, or dying tree branches near your home.
  • Secure bicycles and other recreational items

More Preparation Tips

  • Locate a safe location within your home that is away from windows and doors.
  • Take household inventory, including photos and serial numbers, too.
  • Make copies of licenses, birth certificates, passports, and social security numbers.
  • Fill your vehicle gas tank before the storm.
  • Secure your boat or move it to a safer mooring.
  • Review your insurance coverage.

Experiencing a hurricane can be a traumatic event. Fortunately, with the professionals at CAV Insurance Agency by your side, you can feel rest assured that your home, belongings, vehicle, boat, and finances are protected with quality insurance. We serve Metro West areas such as Natick, Wellesley, Dover, Sherborn, Weston. Talk to our team today to learn more about how we can safeguard your assets.