Category: Homeowners Insurance

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.

26 Jul 2018
3D Printers and Cars

How 3D Printers Are Restoring Cars

How 3D Printers are Changing the Classic Car Industry:

Technology has brought us a long way, and 3D printers continue to soar expectations of high tech. One new way that such machinery is being used is for printing old car parts. One of the hardships that vintage and classic car owners have is that there are little to no replacements available. In fact, television host Jay Leno goes to his rapid prototyping 3D printer when he needs a part for one of his classic cars.

The 3D printer works as follows:

“Rather than have a machinist try to copy the heater and then build it, we decided to redesign the original using our NextEngine 3D scanner and Dimension 3D printer. These incredible devices allow you to make the form you need to create almost any part. The scanner can measure about 50,000 points per second at a density of 160,000 dots per inch (dpi) to create a highly detailed digital model. The 3D printer makes an exact copy of a part in plastic, which we then send out to create a mold. Some machines can even make a replacement part in cobalt-chrome with the direct laser sintering process. Just feed a plastic wire–for a steel part you use metal wire–into the appropriate laser cutter.

Inside the printer, the print head goes back and forth, back and forth, putting on layer after layer of plastic to form a 3D part. If there are any irregularities in the originals, you can remove them using software. Once the model is finished, any excess support material between moving parts is dissolved in a water-based solution. Complexity doesn’t matter, but the size of the object does determine the length of the process. Making a little part might take 5 hours. The White’s feedwater heater required 33 hours.”

Leno has found that the 3D printer works more reliably than working with an error-prone machinist. The machinist could make the part incorrectly, although you’d still have to part for the work. The scanner allows you to make an exact copy in plastic, see if it is correct, then send it to the machinist to make a copy in the right material. It seems that 3D printing continues to help various sectors, and with this new process, car owners can benefit, too.

3D Printing is becoming more and more popular. With the increase in demand for custom fabricated parts expect to see an increase in 3D printing business in the Metro West area. This will be great for local contractors, automotive repair shops and collector car enthusiast.

Do you own a vintage or classic car? Find out how CAV Insurance can help you secure a reliable collector car insurance policy to suit your vehicle and financial needs. For coverage in Wellesley and neighbouring cities in Massachusetts, contact us today.

19 Jul 2018
Summer Grilling Safety Tips

Grilling Safety Tips: Stay Safe at Home This Summer

Summer Grilling Safety Tips 

Now that summer is in full swing, many of us are enjoying being outdoors that much more. While the warm weather creates a great opportunity to light up the grill and barbecue outdoors, doing so comes with unique risks. In the midst of summer fun, it could be easy to overlook basic grill safety. In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association, the peak month for grill fires is July, with June and August close behind. As we roll into summer barbecue season, make sure you are following these top grilling safety tips to keep your cookout free from unexpected flare-ups!

Propane Grill:

  • Always check the propane tank hose for holes, cracks or leaks before use.
  • If you smell gas or suspect a leak while in use, turn off the grill immediately.
  • Any grill suspected of leaking should be serviced by a professional before future use.
  • If a leak does not stop, get away from the grill immediately and call 911.

Charcoal Grill:

  • Only use starter fluid designed for charcoal use. Never use gasoline or non-approved flammable liquids.
  • Do not apply starter fluid to charcoal that has already been ignited.
  • When finished grilling, let the coals cool completely before disposing of the ashes.
  • Coals and ashes should be disposed of in a metal container.

Basic Safety Tips:

  • Keep children and pets away from the grill when it’s in use. Remember that the grill and its parts retain heat long after the food has been served, so be sure the grilling area stays off limits until everything has completely cooled down.
  • Position the grill carefully. Locate the grill on level ground and away from walls, fencing, and deck materials. Make sure the grill is not underneath any tree branches, eaves, or ceilings.
  • Watch your clothing. Keep sleeves, shirttails, and aprons away from the fire.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, keep a garden hose or sand bucket within reach.
  • Never leave a grill unattended. Once you’ve started the fire, don’t walk away without assigning someone else to watch the grill.
  • Only use utensils that are intended for grilling. Utensils for handling food on the grill should be heavy duty and have long handles.
  • Let the coals cool before discarding. Even if you think the coals are out, it’s best to use a metal container for disposal.

Homeowners insurance is designed to protect your home and belongings from fires and accidents. For the quality coverage you need in Wellesley and beyond in MA, contact the industry professionals at CAV Insurance. We are here to protect your family, finances, and assets.

28 Jun 2018
Why Do I Need MA Renters Insurance?

Why Do I Need MA Renters Insurance?

Who Needs Renters Insurance? 

Whether you rent a student apartment outside of Wellesley College or enjoy the luxury homes in Hastings Village, most renters see insurance as something only needed by homeowners. However, home insurance policies do not typically protect renters and their property. For this reason, renters should consider renters insurance. Fires, theft, and other disasters may cause renters significant loss, whether it is their belongings of use of the rented space. If you are a renter, check out why you should get renters insurance in Wellesley, MA.

What Renters Insurance Covers

MA renters insurance is designed to cover your personal belongings plus additional items such as reimbursement for living expenses when you are displaced from your home after a disaster. Most perils include fire, hail, windstorms, theft, and more. It is important to note that renters may need to secure extra coverage for flood and earthquakes since these two disasters are often excluded from coverage. It is important to know the specifics of your policy. Renters insurance can include liability coverage, too, should a guest get injured on your property.

Renters Insurance Rates

Believe it or not but renters insurance is more affordable than you may realize. Discounts are often available if you combine renters insurance with your auto insurance policy. By bundling your policies, not only do you save money, but you get to organize your coverages under one insurer. This makes renewing your policies a snap!

Should something catastrophic happen to your home, such as a fire, the financial burden could be tremendous. Not only would you need to find a new place to live quickly, but you would need to rebuild your life and all of the belongings that were lost. Even if you believe that you don’t have items of value, your belongings and property will add up to a fair price. You don’t want to go without protection. Renters insurance can make a huge difference to your financial wellbeing.

For the protection your rental property needs, secure reliable renters insurance in Wellesley, MA. Contact CAV Insurance Agency for your quality coverage today.

21 Jun 2018
Summer Home Safety Tips for MA Residents

Summer Home Safety Tips for MA Residents

Home Security Tips for Summer  

Summer is just around the corner! With the weather warming up and summer break almost here, it’s time for families and individuals to enjoy the season. As you enjoy the summer months, it’s important to keep home safety in mind as incidents could ruin your summer fun. From locking your doors to securing reliable home insurance in Wellesley, MA, here are a few summer home safety tips for summer.

Prevent Bike Theft

Do the kids like to ride their bikes outdoors during summer? Perhaps you enjoy outdoor sports? It’s easy to leave your bikes and other sports equipment out on the driveway or in the front lawn as you head inside to cool off. However,  it only takes a few seconds for a thief to spot the bikes and walk away with those expensive items. Get into the habit of promptly putting the bikes away in the garage or shed and locking the door before resting.

Secure the Garage

Garages are often left open during the summer months, whether it’s cause you need the ladders and tools for a DIY project or because you forget. Most garages are filled with valuable items such as tools, spare keys, equipment, and more. Even if the thieves don’t enter the garage while it is open, that open door may give them a peek at the valuables inside and make your home a target for a later break-in. Keep your garage closed when possible for your own safety and your security.

Keep Vacations Quiet

Summer wouldn’t be complete without some time away from home. Whether you’re just leaving for a day trip to Boston or you’re venturing overseas for a couple of weeks, it’s best to keep those plans private. Sharing your exciting vacation on social media can make your home an easy target for thieves. While it can seem tempting to post about your break, it’s best to wait until you’re back home before sharing pictures online.

Lock Up

It’s natural to open the windows and doors during summertime to let fresh air into the home. However, if you are in the backyard, it only takes an opportunistic thief to spot that your front door is unlocked and that valuables lurk within easy reach. If you’re going to spending time in one part of the garden or home, ensure that all the doors and windows not in use are locked. Invest in a quality air conditioning system to cool the house instead of relying on open windows. Additionally, before you leave for vacation, ensure all of your windows and doors are locked – you’d be surprised how many homeowners forget that their bathroom window is wide open.

Find Quality Insurance

Homeowners insurance is designed to protect your home and belongings from theft. For the quality coverage you need in Wellesley and beyond in MA, contact the industry professionals at CAV Insurance. We are here to protect your family, finances, and assets.

03 May 2018
How to Protect Your Home With Water Mitigation Detection Devices

How to Protect Your Home With Water Mitigation Detection Devices

Tips to Avoid Water Damage to Your Home

You may be surprised to learn that water is the most common cause of damage inside a home. From leaky roofs and old appliances to ruptured pipes, there are many potential causes of water damage. Repairing water damage can be a very expensive job. As a homeowner, it is important to take preventative measures to protect your property and family from a potential disaster.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to protect your property from serious water damage. Water detection devices can be installed so that you are alerted to any sign of leaks. They can be wired into a centrally monitored alarm system that will send you a signal to notify you of an alert of water. Not only do they help to protect your home from water damage, but having them in the home can mean you get a discount on your homeowners insurance!

Here are a few devices to consider:

Leak Detection Systems

Consider new technology that uses strategically placed water sensors that are electronically tied to a shutoff valve on your main water line. When a sensor is activated due to a leaking pipe or an appliance overflow, the shutoff valve will close and prevent additional water flow. This device actively stops your home from suffering a large amount of water damage.

Low Temperature Sensors

It may be Spring and the sun is shining, but don’t forget about the risk of freezing pipes come winter. Frozen pipes can cause a huge amount of water damage since the water inside of a frozen pipe will expand and crack the pipe. When the water defrosts, this causes a water leak. If you have a centrally monitored alarm system, consider having a low temperature sensor installed, which alerts you when the water in the pipes are dropping to low temperatures.

Water Flow Sensors

A broken water line or a frozen pipe could result in water flowing into your home. This can often go unnoticed for a long period of time. A flow sensor can be installed on your home’s main water line, which is programmed to allow continuous water flow based on your water needs during a given time. If the flow of water exceeds this programmed amount of time, a valve will close to stop the water. These sensors can be programmed for varying times, depending on whether you are home or away from home for a long period of time.

Sprinkler Systems

If your home has an indoor sprinkler system as a means of fire protection, a licensed contractor should inspect it at least once a year to ensure it is in good condition. This system should include a water flow alarm, preferably as part of a centrally monitored system.

If you have a second home, it is wise to shut off the water and have all the water pipes drained by a licensed plumber before you leave it vacant for a period of time. Ensure the plumber inspects all the water lines, the water heater, and the appliances that use water, too.

Water detection devices can certainly help prevent water damage in your property. In addition to these devices, though, you should take it upon yourself to protect your home’s exterior and interior. Simple preventative maintenance can go a long way in keeping water damage at bay.

  • Inspect your plumbing lines (or hire a professional to do so) and look for leaks, damage, or corrosion.
  • Test your sump pump annually.
  • Ensure that the water hoses for appliances (e.g. washing machine, dishwasher) have no cracks or hard wear.
  • Check caulking around bathtubs, showers, and sinks.
  • Examine the roof often to ensure it is in good condition and keeping water out.
  • Check basement window wells to ensure they are clear of leaves and other debris.
  • Clean out the gutters and downspouts every season, getting rid of leaves, dirt, and debris.

For the protection your home needs, secure reliable homeowners insurance in Wellesley, MA. Contact CAV Insurance Agency for your quality coverage today.

12 Apr 2018

How to Make Your Home Earth Friendly

Eco-Friendly Tips for the Home 

Today, doing your part to protect the environment is more than simply being a recycling enthusiast. It extends beyond that. While separating plastic, glass, and other recyclable materials is a practice you should always continue to pursue, there are further steps you can take to live ‘green.’ Simple eco-friendly practices can help to conserve resources, save you money, and better the environment.

Be Mindful of Lights

It happens to us all – We’re in the midst of a morning rush and head out of the house quickly. When we get home later that day, we realize we’ve left several lights on. While the amount of electricity that you’ve wasted isn’t huge, it does add up. Make turning off your lights a part of your morning routine and always turn lights off when the sun is streaming through the windows.

Embrace Natural Cleaning Products

Using harmful chemicals to clean is bad for the environment. When you wash them away, you are simply putting them into the water supply. For most day-to-day cleaning tasks, natural products like vinegar, citric acids from citrus fruits, and bicarbonate of soda can be used in place of caustic chemicals.

Insulate!

One of the smartest ways to improve your home’s eco-friendliness is to ensure that you use as little energy as possible. Good insulation helps to hold in the heat in the winter and keep the cool air in during summer. There are plenty of places that can and should be insulated, including within the walls and in the roof.

How are you improving your home’s eco-friendliness? For the protection your green home needs, contact the insurance experts at CAV Insurance, serving Wellesley, MA and beyond. We provide quality home insurance at affordable rates.

15 Mar 2018
Do You Need Insurance for Household Employees?

Do You Need Insurance for Household Employees?

What You Should Know When Employing Household Workers

 

When you have a housekeeper, a gardener or a nanny assisting you within your home, you should be aware that you are considered a ‘household’ or ‘domestic’ employer. For this reason, it’s important that you understand your liability. For example, your nanny drives your kids to school, but runs a red light and is badly injured in a crash. Even though she caused the accident, she can bring a workers’ compensation claim against you to cover her medical bills and lost income. If you don’t have the right insurance in Wellesley Hills, MA, you may have to pay out more than you’d like.

Under workers’ compensation laws, you are liable for injuries to your employees, regardless of whether or not you were at fault in any way. In Massachusetts, the worker’s compensation requirements are as follows:

‘All businesses must carry workers’ compensation insurance, including owners considered employees, regardless of the number of hours worked. Employees in domestic service must be covered if they work 16 or more hours per week.’

Domestic workers can include nannies, housekeepers, and maids, but could also encompass home health nurses, gardeners, and more. The legal definition of ‘employee’ varies, so it’s always worth talking to your insurer when you’re thinking of hiring a new employee for the household. Generally, the employees will not be covered by your homeowners or umbrella liability policies.

If you currently have household staff and have not taken out appropriate workers’ compensation insurance, you could have a large gap in coverage. Failure to have this coverage can leave you personally liable for millions of dollars in medical bills for an injured employee.

Also, consider auto insurance if you are hiring domestic workers. If someone, such as a nanny, will be driving your vehicle, make sure your policy covers additional drivers. Many carriers will require a regular driver to be listed on the policy for him/her to be entitled to coverage. Do so before an accident occurs! If a domestic employee drives your children in her or her own car, you may want to require them to increase the limits on their own car insurance and ask for proof of coverage.

Finding the right 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.