Category: Homeowners Insurance

04 Jan 2018

Easy Ways to Prevent Frozen Pipes in Your Home

Avoid Frozen Pipes and Water Leaks

While the festivities may be over, the cool weather is set to stay. Not only does this mean we’re digging out those winter sweaters, but it means that we should be extra cautious with our home. Cold weather can be bad enough, but having water pipes freeze is something no homeowner needs. When pipes freeze, they can easily burst, causing a huge amount of damage and expensive repairs. As soon as the temperatures start to drop, take precautions to protect your home’s pipes.

Insulate pipes in your home’s crawl spaces and attics, even if the weather forecast says that the chance of freezing is unlikely. Exposed pipes are most susceptible to freezing. Remember that the more insulation you use, the better protected your pipes will be.

Wrap pipes in heat tape or thermostatically controlled heat cables. This will prevent pipes from freezing in the first place. Be sure you only use products approved by an independent testing organization, and only for the use intended (exterior or interior).

Seal leaks that allow cold air inside where pipes are located. Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents, and pipes. Use caulk or insulation to block out the cold air. When the temperature outside drops, even the smallest of openings can be enough to let the cold air to cause a pipe to freeze.

Drain garden pipes before the cooler temperatures arrive. Turn off the outdoor water supply and then turn on the hoses and outdoor pipes to drain the water. This reduces the chance of freezing.

Run the heating in your house regularly. Set it to no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit, even if you’re going out of town for a couple of days.

If your pipes do freeze, call a plumber immediately. Never try to thaw a pipe with an open flame or torch. If your pipes have burst, turn off the main water supply as soon as possible.

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

21 Dec 2017
homeowners insurance in Wellesley Hills, MA

Do You Need a Plug-in Home Freeze Alarm?

A freezer alarm is insurance for a relaxing winter vacation.

If you don’t want to spend this year’s winter vacation worrying about frozen pipes in your home, a freeze alarm is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to protect your house and belongings from heat and power outages. If you’re leaving your home for a winter holiday, a freezer alarm is especially important.

Freezing pipes are a major concern for homeowners in the winter. Frozen pipes can burst, leaving expensive and extensive water damage to the property. If you want a way to get advance warning that the temperature in your home is dangerously low so you can remedy the situation before your pipes freeze, you need a freeze alarm.

A freezer alarm (also known as a ‘low-temperature alarm’) is designed to give you advance warning if the temperature in the temperature dips dangerously low, but before your pipes freeze (and then proceed to crack and burst). For a small investment, you can get a freeze alarm to protect your home from frozen pipe damage.

Frozen pipes that burst can result in costly damage to walls, floors, fixtures, and furniture. It is estimated that the average homeowner’s claim for water damage due to frozen pipes is a whopping $15,000.

There are many different freeze alarms on the market, ranging from $50 to over $400, depending on how intricate you want your alarm to be. Ideally, you want to pick up a plug-and-play setup that requires little maintenance, but with all of the added features of tracking temperatures. If you do choose a plug-in home freeze alarm, you should place it by the boiler in the basement, near the sump pump, or in the attic. There are additional plugins that can monitor floods as well as motion detection that will alarm if an intruder enters the house.

Winter can cause havoc to homeowners and their properties, so don’t wait until the cold snap comes in before thinking about getting prepared. Freeze alarms are a wise investment that can protect your home from costly water damage that can ruin your home and treasures – as well as your holiday!

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

30 Nov 2017
How to Protect Your Home from Carbon Monoxide

How to Protect Your Home from Carbon Monoxide

As the winter approaches, now is the time to check your home for carbon monoxide.

With the cold fall and winter months fast approaching, it means more time spent indoors. While inside your home may seem safer than spending time out in the cold, there are many hidden dangers that lurk inside your home.

Carbon monoxide is a tasteless, odorless, and colorless gas that can lead to illness and even death. Since the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning resemble the symptoms of other illnesses, many people don’t realize they have carbon monoxide poisoning until some damage has been done.

Keep these simple safety tips in mind to help protect you and your family from carbon monoxide while more time is spent in the house this winter.

  • Keep all of your vents clear. Take a look at the outside of your home and make sure that there is nothing obstructing any vents for your stove, dryer, or furnace. Also, make sure that snow does not build up around these vents throughout the winter.
  • Do not idle your car. Even if the garage door is open, do not idle your car in an enclosed space. If you want to warm up your car, take it out of the garage and let it run.
  • Hire a professional. Professionals will be able to perform regular maintenance on all of your appliances, which will help to ensure that they are working properly and not creating any extra carbon monoxide.
  • Install alarms. Install carbon monoxide alarms throughout your home, making sure that there are alarms on each level of your home and outside of each bedroom. Regularly check your alarms to make sure that they are working properly, and replace any broken our outdated alarms.

One of the most important parts of providing protection from carbon monoxide is to make sure that you have the right homeowners insurance policy. Fortunately, it takes a simple phone call to secure the right coverage for your home and needs, all at the right price. Talk to the professional team at CAV Insurance to determine your homeowners insurance policy in Wellesley Hills and neighboring cities in Massachusetts.

16 Nov 2017
How to Prepare for a Power Outage

How to Prepare for a Power Outage

Learn how to prepare for a power cut so that you are ready for an unexpected blackout.

 

Shockingly, 6 out of 10 American households don’t have a family emergency plan. Even though power outages don’t typically last for more than a couple minutes thanks to trusty engineers, it’s good to know how to handle a long blackout with winter almost here. Electricity can be out for several hours from severe storms. Instead of rushing around in the dark when the lights go out, ensure that your home and yourself are ready and know how to handle it.

 

Have plenty of food.

  • Keep a 3- to 5-day supply of drinking water in jugs or bottles. Plan on at least 1 gallon of water per person, per day, as well as enough for your pets.
  • Store a manual can opener with non-perishable foods for 3 to 5 days. Aim for canned chickpeas, beans, and peanut butter. Don’t forget pet foods!
  • Have a camp stove or grill for outdoor cooking.

 

Stay in touch.

  • Have a portable, battery-powered radio and alarm clock.
  • Have a non-portable phone that will work even if power is interrupted.
  • Plan where to meet family members and how to communicate if separated.
  • Keep essential family member contact information near your phone and in your wallet.
  • Get your pets microchipped so that you can be reunited if separated.

 

Keep a kit.

  • Build an emergency kit well in advance of a storm (if you can.)
  • Gather plenty of flashlights with extra batteries.
  • Store a first aid kit that is close to reach.

 

Protect your appliances

  • Turn off all large appliances if the power goes out.
  • When the power comes back on, give the electric system a chance to stabilize by gradually using the appliances you turned off. Use only the essential first and then wait 15 minutes before turning on the others.

 

To protect your home throughout all sorts of disasters that are out of your control, visit the team at CAV Insurance. Our homeowners insurance policies work to protect residents in Wellesley Hills and neighboring cities in Massachusetts. Contact us today for more information.

09 Nov 2017
Closing Your Summer Home for the Seaso

Tips for Closing Your Summer Home for the Season

Don’t miss these important tasks as you prepare your summer home for the cooler season.  

 

Saying goodbye to a seasonal property is an annual ritual for the countless Americans who own summer homes. Falling temperatures can wreak havoc on a home, from plumbing to the roof to the appliances. Since you leave your summer home for a significant portion of the year, it’s well worth doing some preventative maintenance and routine check-ups to ensure that all will be safe and sound over winter. Doing so also helps when springtime rolls around and you want to get back into the vacation home as soon as possible – without fixing any damage that happened over winter!

 

To ensure that your vacation property is safely tucked away for the winter, don’t forget these tasks.

 

Interior:

  • Inspect the property for damage, and make any necessary repairs.
  • Clean the home thoroughly to help discourage pests.
  • Turn off the water and then drain the pipes. You can check that the water is off by turning on a tap and making sure the water runs outs.
  • Empty, clean, and unplug appliances. Don’t forget your fridge, oven, washer, and dryer.
  • Turn off and drain your hot water heater.
  • Lock all windows and doors.
  • Forward your mail.
  • Take (or update!) your home inventory.

 

Exterior

  • Clean out the gutters, removing debris and unblocking the downspouts.
  • Put away outdoor furniture, grills, and other accessories.
  • Lock the garage and storage shed.

 

Before you leave your summer home, take a moment to review your homeowners insurance. You’ll want to ensure that your coverage is suitable for needs while you are away from the property. Fortunately, it takes a simple phone call to secure the right coverage. Talk to the professional team at CAV Insurance to determine your homeowners insurance policy in Wellesley Hills and neighboring cities in Massachusetts.

26 Oct 2017
Preparing Your Home for a Storm

DIY Hacks to Prepare Your Home for a Storm

Get your home ready to survive storm season.

Massachusetts is no stranger to a bit of inclement weather. What many homeowners forget is that their properties need a little bit of help to get ready for the upcoming storm season.

If you wait until storms are predicted on the weather forecast, you might be left scrambling, and many things may get overlooked. Before the hurricane is on its way, make sure you have the following in place.  

Restock the car’s emergency supply kit. Your vehicle should always have the essentials on hand, including a First Aid kit, non-perishable food, plenty of water, blankets, a hand-cranked radio, and a flashlight. While preparing for a storm, check that the snack bars are still good, refresh the water, and replace the batteries in the flashlight.

Remove hazards. Remove any items in your yard that could potentially be picked up by strong winds. Store lawn furniture, grills, and trash cans inside. While you’re at it, secure loose rain gutters and seal the roof, too.

Trim trees. Strong winds can cause trees and branches to fall, so be sure to remove damaged trees and limbs that hang over your property. Not only could weak branches become flying debris, but loose branches could fall onto your home from above.

Microchip your pets. In an emergency, you and your pets may get separated. You can reunite sooner by micro-chipping your pets!

Store your car. Park your car in a garage or on higher ground to prevent it from getting trapped in flooding. It’s also wise to avoid parking underneath trees as storms could weaken the branches enough to fall down. 

Make a plan. Everyone in the home should help to create an emergency plan so that they know what to do should a disaster occur. A meeting point and an emergency contact person should be established beforehand. You should look into alternative routes should roads be closed, and pet-friendly motels in case you need to evacuate the house.

Review insurance.
The best way to prepare for an emergency is prevention. While you can get your home ready, secure homeowners insurance! From hurricanes, windstorms, and other natural disasters, homeowners insurance is there put your mind at rest.

Visit the professionals at CAV Insurance to get started on the right home insurance policy to protect it through storm season and beyond!

20 Jul 2017
Homeowners Safety While on Vacation

Homeowners Safety While on Vacation

Heading out on a holiday? Be sure to protect your home!

Where is this summer taking you? Whether it’s a tropical, action-packed, or relaxing holiday, many people go on holiday over the summer months. With time off work and school, it makes it ideal for families, couples, and individuals alike. While you’re packing to head out on holiday, ensure that you’ve taken the necessary steps to protect your home.

Ask a friend. Ask a relative, friend, or trusted neighbor to visit your home a couple of times a week. He or she can water the plants and check that the home is safe and sound.

Limit social media messages. It’s possible anyone to see your social media profile and messages. Posting about an upcoming vacation may get you in the mood for fun, but it makes it easy for thieves to know when your home will be empty. Instead, post pictures about your holiday when you’re back home.

Remove the key. Now is the time to remove the spare front door key that’s hiding underneath the welcome mat. Thieves will take advantage of scoping out places to hide keys, so be sure that you don’t fall victim!

Unplug and shut off. Before you leave, unplug minor appliances (TV, chargers, some lights), and shut off the water value. This way, the risk of your home suffering from damage decreases.

Make it looked lived in. You don’t want people to know you’re away while you’re away. Combat this by setting lights on a timer to switch on during the nighttime, and consider lowering or turning off your telephone ringer. While you’re at it, cancel milk and newspaper deliveries.

Pack discretely. Take care when loading up the car with luggage. You don’t want to attract any unnecessary attention to indicate that you’re leaving down. Don’t leave the trunk open while you bring out suitcases. Instead, try to pack up your supplies while your car is in the garage, if possible.

Before you head out on vacation, take a moment to review your homeowners insurance. You’ll want to ensure that your coverage is suitable for needs while you are away from your home. Fortunately, it takes a simple phone call to secure the right coverage. Talk to the professional team at CAV Insurance to determine your homeowners insurance policy in Wellesley Hills and neighboring cities in Massachusetts.

25 May 2017
Make Sure That Your Home Is Properly Covered

Make Sure That Your Home is Properly Covered

Home insurance protects your home from covered perils, so it is important that you take the proper steps to ensure it is insured to the best of your ability. 

Your home is likely the greatest investment you have made in your entire life, as it is for most people, so it is of the utmost importance that you protect it with the right home insurance policy. Your home insurance policy should be updated every time there is an improvement, major purchase, or increased rebuilding costs. To make sure that your home is properly covered for all perils, take these homeowners insurance recommendations into consideration.

  1. Do you have enough insurance to rebuild your home?
    Let’s imagine one of the worst-case scenarios and say that your cat accidentally knocked over a candle and your home was completely burnt to a crisp. (If you are worried about the cat in this imaginary scenario, let’s just say you and your cat made it out unscathed!) You have to think of the costs for clean-up, raw materials, and then construction. You need to insure your home for costs of complete reconstruction.
  2. Do you have insurance to protect your things?
    Let’s go off that same scenario. Your home has been fully reconstructed, but it is empty. What about your things? (And your cat’s things?) Homeowners insurance generally covers 50 to 70 percent of the amount of insurance you have on your policy. So if you have $100,000 in coverage, your home insurance company will provide $50,000 to $70,000 towards your things.
  3. Do you have insurance to cover your additional living expenses? 
    If your home was burnt to a crisp, where will you and your cat stay while it is being constructed? While it may not be Rome, it still won’t be built in a day. Home insurance can cover your expenses for living elsewhere until your home is ready.

Home insurance is a policy that need not be taken lightly. For all of your insurance questions and needs, contact CAV Insurance today.