First Community Financial Group, Inc. Blog
A home is the largest purchase most Americans will ever make. They want to protect it and their belongings in the event of an unpreventable disaster. This is why most people carry homeowners’ insurance.
Yet, having full coverage does not mean paying top dollar for home insurance premiums. The more secure your home is, the better chance you have of reducing your overall costs.
These three home improvement projects might lower your premiums. They can also give you an incomparable peace of mind when it comes to protecting your family.
1. Install a Fence
Installing a fence will act as a theft deterrent and may lower your home insurance premiums. It can also help you protect recreational equipment like pools. It makes great sense to have a fence around your pool or home, and it is the law in some areas.
But before you begin digging holes, consult with your local city office. See where your property line is and find out any ordinances that cover the installation of a fence. Saving on your premiums will be moot if you have to install your fence twice.
2. Install a Home Monitoring System
Total home monitoring systems connect smoke and fire alarms with intrusion detection. A central office monitors these systems. Systems can often dispatch police and fire support for any breaches that may occur.
Subscribing to a home monitoring system can help you save on your home insurance policy. Even installing smoke detectors, motion-activated lighting or shatter proof windows can affect your premium costs.
3. Consider Upgrading Structural Components
Upgrades such as a new roof, new plumbing and new electrical wiring go far beyond a weekend do-it-yourself project. However, they may end up saving you on your insurance costs.
Older homes are especially vulnerable to fire from old wiring, water damage from old pipes and wind damage from an old roof. Upgrading the home can help you protect yourself. Use a reputable contractor that is both licensed and insured for any system upgrades. Notify your insurance carrier once the contractor completes the job. You might qualify for discounts once you renew your policy.
Whether you are a first time homeowner looking to save on insurance costs or are looking for strategic upgrades, these home improvement projects go beyond insurance. They offer you additional peace of mind in a safe, sound home.
We’ve got you covered. We can help you get a home insurance policy that is affordable. Call us for more information on pricing and discounts.
Being in an accident is one of the most worrisome of situations. You worry about your safety and that of others with you. Then you worry about the condition of your car. You also worry about the other driver.
In situations like this, auto insurance is there to help. Sometimes, the other driver will be at fault. This means he or she made mistakes that led to the accident. If this occurs, the other driver’s auto insurance should cover the loss you face. But, what happens if the driver doesn’t have insurance?
Having Insurance Is a Legal Requirement
In most states, drivers must have car insurance to operate vehicles on public streets. Liability insurance is often a requirement. It helps cover the damage a driver causes to others on the road. In this case, the other driver’s liability insurance should cover your loss.
There are situations where the other driver’s insurance may lapse. For that reason, they may not be legally eligible to operate a vehicle. No matter the reason, uninsured drivers are still responsible for the damage they cause. You may have to resort to a lawsuit to cover your losses. Before you do that, turn to your own car insurance plan.
Will Your Car Insurance Help?
Most auto insurance policies allow you to maintain underinsured and uninsured coverage. This type of coverage protects you when the other driver lacks insurance. It only applies if the other driver is responsible for the losses. And, it only covers the damage to your insured vehicle. It does not cover damage to other people or the other driver.
This type of car insurance is a must for many drivers. There is no way to know if another driver has proper coverage when you are sharing the road with them. However, you can still protect yourself. Car insurance like this is often inexpensive. It is also usually easy to add to an existing insurance policy.
For those choosing car insurance, underinsured and uninsured coverage is a good investment. It helps you when you didn’t cause the problem but suffer the loss. This type of scenario can happen to anyone. With coverage, you do not have to worry about the outcome. If you do not have coverage, talk to your car insurance provider about the options available to you to add it for your current policy.
We’ve got you covered. Contact us at First Community Financial Group for a fast, free auto insurance quote.
Driving in Extreme Weather
Driving is dangerous at all times of the day or night, no matter what the weather might be. Still, the U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that roughly 21% of all vehicle crashes in the U.S. occur in adverse weather conditions. Plus, between 2007 and 2016, more than 5,300 people were killed in weather-related crashes, which accounted for roughly 16% of all traffic fatalities.
During the summer months, weather risks are very unpredictable. Flash floods, severe thunderstorms and similar occurrences could pop up suddenly on the road in front of you (even if you left home under blue skies). As a result, you must do your due diligence to stay safe despite these occurrences. It all involves staying calm, following the rules of the road, and taking extra precautions that might not be obvious at any other time.
Rain and Thunderstorms
Thunderstorm activity is widespread across most of the United States during the summer. Though they’re often brief, summer storms can be intense and cause a lot of roadway hazards in a short time.
Should you drive into a thunderstorm:
A Note About Tornadoes
Compared to thunderstorms, tornadoes are entirely different ball games. Do not attempt to drive through a tornado or outrun one. Instead, get out of your vehicle and find shelter. If there is not a building nearby, lie in a ditch and place your arms over your head.?
Driving in Fog?
Due to summer humidity, fog, mist and haze are not uncommon, particularly during the early morning.
The number of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the United States continue to be at relatively low levels, but there are now concerns about unusual off-season spikes in colds and respiratory viruses among children.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a health advisory stating that respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) activity is unexpectedly spreading in southern states. As a result, doctors are urging parents across the country to keep their guard up this summer.
RSV, which usually spikes during winter months, causes the common cold and can be treated at home. However, for infants, young children and older adults, RSV can be severe and lead to bronchiolitis and pneumonia. Furthermore, each year RSV sends 75,000 to 125,000 children to the hospital and kills as many as 200.
Similar to the coronavirus and influenza, RSV spread through respiratory droplets in the air and on surfaces. However, it’s more likely than the coronavirus to remain on the skin and other surfaces.
Symptoms of Viruses and RSVIt’s important for parents to be aware that viruses, including RSV, are spreading at an unusual time of the year, so infants and children with underlying health conditions should be closely monitored.
There are many overlapping systems between COVID-19 and other virus-related illnesses, so it’s best to reach out to a pediatrician with any questions. Generally, parents and caregivers should watch for signs of illness.
For mild to moderate symptoms of fever, runny nose, cough, gastrointestinal trouble or breathing issues, caregivers should contact a doctor.
For more severe symptoms—like fast breathing, belly breathing, noisy breathing or signs of lethargy—it’s recommended to go directly to urgent care or an emergency room for further evaluation.
Cold Prevention Tips for ParentsPeople say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, which means it’s better to prevent a cold or illness all together if possible. Here are a few ways to do just that.
If you live in high-risk area for floods, purchasing flood insurance will help you have peace of mind.
Here’s what will and what won’t be covered under flood insurance: FloodSmart | What Does Flood Insurance Cover?
FloodSmart | How Do I Buy Flood Insurance?
Call us today for a free flood insurance quote. It couldn't be easier than that!
Commercial Auto Insurance 101
Whether you drive a company vehicle or your personal one for business, it’s important to have Commercial Auto Insurance.
Learn more about what this kind of insurance will cover and how it works. Call our office today for a free consultation or quote -- and click the links below to find out more about what types of insurance are available to your business!
Commercial Vehicle Insurance 101 | FAQ | Trusted Choice
Commercial Auto Insurance 101 | Travelers Insurance
10 Questions to Ask Before You Buy an Electric Car
If You’re Considering an Electric Car, Be Sure to Do Your Homework!
Depending on your lifestyle, an electric car can be a great alternative to a gas car. However, before embracing something new, consider these factors:
10 Questions to Ask Before You Buy an Electric Car | U.S. News (usnews.com)
According to the CDC, thousands of people die in drunk driving related accidents each year.
Learn how you can prevent alcohol abuse and raise awareness by having a conversation with your friends and family.
What Works: Strategies to Reduce or Prevent Alcohol-Impaired Driving | Motor Vehicle Safety | CDC Injury Center
Impaired Driving: Get the Facts | Motor Vehicle Safety | CDC Injury Center
Everyone loves vacation.
But, vacationing in your own seasonal home? Even better.
However, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to protecting your investment in a vacation home, and you definitely want to protect it. We here at First Community Financial Group can help by making sure you have the insurance coverage you want.
To that end, here are four things that may impact the coverage you choose and how much you’ll pay for it:
1. Separate Policy: Your seasonal home won’t be part of your primary property policy. It needs its own policy, and you can expect it to be similar to the one for your primary residence. However, you do need to watch out for “named perils” coverage, under which your policy explicitly lists the perils it will cover. If a peril isn’t listed, no coverage. We typically steer homeowners away from this type of coverage, in favor of broader coverage.
2. Location and Occupancy: The “where” of your vacation home is no doubt among the primary reasons why you bought it. But, it will also impact your insurance costs. Rural areas are hard for emergency responders to reach, and waterfront homes are prone to flooding. These added risks can mean added insurance costs, such as the need for a separate flood policy. If the home is unoccupied or rented for much of the year, there are even more insurance considerations.
3. Personal Property: Establishing and maintaining a separate inventory of the things you keep at your vacation home will help you select an appropriate level of personal property coverage. If it’s filled with expensive skiing and snowboarding gear, for example, you may need increased coverage or to schedule some of the more valuable items separately.
4. Extra Liability Protection: If you plan to regularly host guests at your summer or winter retreat, you should consider an umbrella policy, which will help to increase your liability limits in case someone is seriously injured on your property. This can go for invited and uninvited guests alike.
We know you want to relax and enjoy your chosen spot in the sun – or snow. Having the right insurance coverage helps you do just that, so give us a call and let us help today, so you can rest easy tonight.