Monday, January 27, 2014

Important New Year’s Resolutions

By: Edward L. Blais, JD, CIC

Many things can change over the course of a year. Since January marks the beginning of a new year, it’s important we take the time to complete some essential tasks. As you’re making resolutions to eat healthier you should also consider accomplishing some of the following tasks in 2014:

Review your current insurance polices. Often times your needs for insurance change—reviewing your policies can ensure that you are receiving the right amount of coverage. If you have made improvements to your home, you may need to increase your coverage. If your teenage son receives his driver’s license you will need to add him to your auto insurance. Every year you should make an appointment with your agent to review your insurance policies. You may uncover potential gaps in coverage and perhaps even discover new ways to save money.

Change the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. You need to change your batteries in every smoke detector and CO alarm once a year and you should test each alarm once a month to ensure it is working properly. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 73% of smoke alarm failures are due to missing or dead batteries.

Replace heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) filters. Changing a filter is inexpensive and will cut down on energy costs. It is recommended you continue to replace them every 3 months.

Insulate your pipes. Insulating your pipes can prevent them from freezing and save you from costly water damage in the future.

Put together an emergency kit. The wintertime in New England can mean big snowstorms that could leave you stranded. You should always make sure you have the essentials in case of emergency: fire extinguisher, first aid kit, battery powered flashlight and radio, water and nonperishable food items, and a game plan. Make sure everyone in your family knows what to do in an emergency.

Update your inventory list. You'll need an accurate list of your possessions if you ever have to make a home insurance claim. After receiving gifts for the holidays, you probably have some additional items in your home. Make sure you have an up-to-date inventory and consider a special rider to cover expensive items that may exceed the limits of your homeowners policy.

We would be happy to sit down with you to review your options and design a plan customized to your specific needs and budget. To schedule a complimentary policy review, call Blais Insurance at 725.0070.