Category: Homeowners Insurance

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.

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.