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5 Part Fall Prep Guide (Building Wear & Tear Inspection):

1. BUILDING OUTSIDE:

- Plants: Trim away any trees or bushes which are in contact with the structure.

- Windows & Doors: physically look at the caulking does not have holes or cracks. The caulking is squishy stuff that connects the door or window to the wall on the outside of a building.

- Garage & Warehouse doors: take a look at the hinges, and confirm that they are securely attached to the door. Test the auto-stop mechanisms. Many garage door openers use an electronic eye to automatically reverse the garage door if an obstruction is in the way. Many also  have a pressure reverse when contact is made with an obstruction. Both of these are good to confirm proper function.

- Roof & Gutters (only when possible): look at any points where metal and pipes are going through or connected to the roof. Confirm there are no blockages for weather or water, and in good condition.

2. WATER FLOW:

- pull debris from the gutters and whatever devices are used to move water from your building, and direct the water to at least 3 — 5 feet away from the foundation.

- A building with a sump pump is a building which could partially fill up with water. It’s one thing to keep water off the outside of your house, but filling a building up with water can be destructive. Test it, to be sure your sump pump is fully operational.

- Winterize your sprinkler system before the first freeze.

- Disconnect water hoses: Any external faucets with a hose connected to them typically require disconnection, and being readied for winter temperatures. Remember to turn off the water flow before disconnecting the faucet/hose. Otherwise you may need a change of clothes, and a towel.

- Erosion check: physically look at the foundation. and check to confirm that the ground slopes away from your building. Pooling water in contact with a building’s foundation is usually the start to a long term serious problem. Another way to recognize water around a foundation is to look in the crawlspace or basement and see if there are any points of moisture in the soil or moisture coming through the wall.

3. FIRE AND AIR:

- Not all houses have working chimneys, but it is good practice to clean a chimney each fall. You are starting a fire in a building, and all the soot building up over time.

- Wood burning fireplace or stove: There is a good reason why we aren’t allowed to build buildings with these types of burning units anymore. If a building has a device which burns wood, have it cleaned and inspected.

- Detectors: Smoke detectors have a test button, as do the Carbon Monoxide detectors. Press the button to make sure they are working properly. Be aware, these are designed to interrupt whatever you are currently doing — so they are quite loud. If you’ve never heard a Carbon Monoxide or Smoke detector before, they can be loud!

4. FILTERS:

- Furnace Forced Air Filter: There is an air filter in your furnace. Chance it once a month. If you’re thinking you haven’t changed it since last year… please move this to the top of your list. 

- AC Filters: Most of these have filters. The job of an AC unit is to move air around a building, and dirty filters are like making a marathon runner carry weights. It’s good to keep your filters clean.

- Range Hood filters: If your place has a hood, there is probably a filter for that hood’s directing the air. Replace filters, and check for cleanliness.

- Boiler: Confirm that the pump is oiled. It is true that oiling a boiler is not changing a filter, but this machinery oil like a forced air furnace needs to breath. 

5. ELECTRONICS:

- Test reset buttons (Power outlets with the Test & Reset button): The Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs, or GFIs) are commonly where water and electricity may be in contact, but that is not the only place these types of power outlets are used. Wherever there is a power outlet with a reset/test buttons in the middle — push the test buttons to make sure power is no longer going to the outlet when you push test. You can press reset button to make it work again.

- Refrigeration: the process of keeping items cold typically require coils and other dust collecting parts. Cleaning them (at least annually) is a good way to not pay more to make that refrigerator run.

- Drain Swamp Cooler: If you have a swamp cooler, you should know it. These typically have a water line in which needs to be shut off, as well as drained. Swamp coolers also have electricity run to them which needs to be “winterized”, and turned off.


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If any of these Fall Prep tasks uncover any insurance concerns, we would love to speak with you.

We know our clients by name. 

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If you have any insurance questions, let us know & we might do a blog on your topic.

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    Pets

    Coverages offered:

    Accident and Illness Plan:

    • Illness
    • Tests and X‑rays
    • Hospital stays
    • Ear and eye problems
    • Prescribed drugs
    • Prescription pet food
    • Hereditary conditions (inherited from your parents)
    • Ligament and hip dysplasia (12 month waiting period)
    • Death benefits
    • And more…

    Wellness Plan:

    • Vet exam fees
    • Dental cleaning
    • Tick and flea prevention
    • Heartworm testing
    • Annual wellness exams
    • Vitamins and other supplements
    • Prescribed therapy and behavioral training
    • Vaccinations
    • Spaying/neutering

    Coverage Limits:

    • Up to 100% coverage of vet bills

    Admitted/Non-Admitted:

    • Admitted

    Additional Program Highlights:

    • No breeds are excluded
    • Flexible premium options to fit your budget, including 0% co-pay option
    • Pick your own licensed vet
    • Fast and Easy claims resolution

    Appetite:

    All breeds of dogs and cats.

    Types of risks:

    • Accident and Illness
    • Wellness

    Ineligible risks:

    • Other pets
    • Puppies and Kittens less than 8 weeks old
    • Pets owned for commercial reasons (ex: racing, breeding, law enforcement, dog fighting)
    • Pre-existing conditions, but no one covers them

    Geography:

    • Nationwide

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      Categories
      Business Auto Business Owners Policy Commercial Auto Insurance Commercial Insurance Insurance Payment Liability Insurance Work Comp

      Business Owner Mary

      Like you, Mary struggles with questioning if her business is safe. And it frustrates her at work, because of questions like, “What do I need to do to protect against?… How can I know my business is safe?… and Who can I call to get help?

      Oh No!

      That’s before Mary… asks a professional. Professional Advice answers all those problems for Mary. 

      • Legal Questions = Ask an Attorney
      • Financial Questions = Ask a CPA
      • Insurance Questions = Ask your agent

      If you don’t know your agent personally, Mary goes to Insurance Town & Country. See how happy Mary is!

      Call you agent: 

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      11 POINT CONSUMER RE-ROOFING CHECKLIST

      Spring in the Rocky Mountains

      That means …crazy weather.

      The power of nature can be beautiful, but it can also be destructive.  Many of these storms are chased by good and bad roofing companies. Some are great and exactly what you need, and some are to be avoided. How do you know where to start?

      Here’s a checklist to help:

      1. Only accept bids from local contractors you have called.
      2. Only accept bids with price, scope of work and materials written on them.
      3. Homeowners have a 72-hour rescission/cancellation period.
      4. Never sign anything that has a cancellation fee!
      5. Request five (5) local references that the Estimator personally worked with over 1 year ago.
      6. Ask for copies of the roofers Workmen’s Comp. and General Liability Insurance.
      7. Make sure the name on the insurance certificate matches the name of the roofer.
      8. Make sure the roofer pulls a building permit and has the new roof inspected.
      9. Do not pay for material in advance.
      10. It is illegal for a contractor to offer to pay, waive or rebate your deductible.
      11. Never turn over insurance checks or pay any money until the job is complete.

       

      Reminder: Homeowners have up to one year to complete roof repairs.

      Be patient.

      …wait until the rush is over …

      you will not regret waiting.

      Categories
      Liability Insurance

      6 Tips For Getting The Best Public Liability Insurance For Your Business

      All it takes is one puddle of water to ruin everything you’ve worked hard for. It may sound crazy, but if a customer was to slip and fall because of a leak in your roof, they could sue you.

      Without public liability insurance, you’d be responsible for legal fees, medical expenses and more out of your own pocket. For many small business owners, this could spell the end of the business.

      No matter how hard you try to create a perfect business, you never know what might happen. Protect the business you’ve worked hard to build by ensuring you get the right liability insurance for your business.

      1. Look Beyond Premiums

      It’s easy to simply compare premiums and pick the cheapest option. The only problem is cheap isn’t always better. Small businesses are usually strapped for cash, which is why nearly 40% of them don’t have insurance. The truth is, public liability insurance is affordable.

      Look beyond the insurance premiums to ensure you’re getting optimal coverage and a deductible you can afford. After all, if the deductible is too high, the insurance may not benefit you as much as you’d like.

      2. Read All The Fine Print

      It’s important to talk to your agent about the fine print. Make certain you know exactly what a policy does and doesn’t cover. Every policy is different and there may be exclusions. You want a policy that has you covered when a customer gets hurt or a customer’s product is damaged while in your care.

      3. Consider Coverage Levels

      Obviously, you can reduce your premiums by changing your coverage levels, but the best public liability insurance policy still needs to cover your legal fees and the average lawsuit costs, should you lose the case. For instance, one business owner in Colorado found himself having to choose between fighting a lawsuit or closing his business. Without the insurance to fight, he was left with the possibility of losing his restaurant.

      Your coverage levels are important. It’s better to pay slightly higher premiums now than discover you don’t have enough coverage when it’s too late.

      4. Ask About Ways To Reduce Your Premiums

      One of the ways your premiums are calculated is based on your risk level. Different types of businesses have different risk levels. For instance, a retail store has a higher risk of accidents versus a small web design firm that does most consultations online.
      It’s possible that you can make changes to your business to make it safer. Ask about your risk level and anything you might be able to do to put yourself in a lower risk category. This can save you money, while still getting a great policy.

      5. Try To Get A Custom Business Policy

      Depending on the type of business, a custom business owner’s policy may be enough to cover you. These policies bundle property and liability insurance into a single policy. This saves you money on having multiple policies. However, you should look at your coverage amounts carefully. Sometimes, the liability coverage is lower in a bundled policy. You can get additional coverage if you feel the amount is too low.

      6. Compare Your Options

      Most importantly, take the time to compare your options. Just like shopping for car insurance, your premiums will vary from one insurance company to another. Compare premiums, coverage levels and customization options to pick the right policy for your business’s needs.

      Meet with insurance agents to discuss your needs and concerns. You don’t have to figure out coverage all on your own. Ask questions to make sure you understand what you’re covered for and any ways to reduce premiums. You should also compare how your policy will grow with you. As your business grows, you’ll need a policy that’s easy to change to meet your needs.

      Want to make sure your Colorado business is covered? Contact the friendly team at Insurance Town & Country today to discuss your coverage needs. Feel free to call us directly at our Denver office at 303–388-7216 or our Castle Rock office at 303–688-1251.