Friday, November 28, 2014

Flood Safety

Commonly Asked Questions

Q: Is flooding really that big of a deal?

Flooding causes more damage in the United States than any other severe weather related event, an average of $5 billion a year. Flooding can occur in any of the 50 states or U.S. territories at anytime of the year.

Q: How can I find out if I am in danger from a flood?

NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards is one of the best ways to receive warnings from the National Weather Service. NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather and river information direct from nearby NWS offices. Also, the NWS web page provides forecasts and warning and identifies where flooding is occurring (

Q: How do I know how severe a flood will be?

Once a river reaches flood stage, the flood severity categories used by the NWS include minor flooding, moderate flooding, and major flooding. Each category has a definition based on property damage and public threat.
Minor Flooding - minimal or no property damage, but possibly some public threat or inconvenience
Moderate Flooding - some inundation of structures and roads near streams. Some evacuations of people and/or transfer of property to higher elevations are necessary.
Major Flooding - extensive inundation of structures and roads. Significant evacuations of people and/or transfer of property to higher elevations.

The impacts of a floods vary locally. For each NWS river forecast location, flood stage and the stage associated with each of the NWS flood severity categories are established in cooperation with local public officials. Increasing river levels above flood stage constitute minor, moderate, and major flooding. Impacts vary from one river location to another because a certain river stage (height) in one location may have an entirely different impact than the same level above flood stage at another location.

Q: What's the difference between a flood and flash flood?

A flood occurs when prolonged rainfall over several days, intense rainfall over a short period of time, or an ice or debris jam causes a river or stream to overflow and flood the surrounding area. Melting snow can combine with rain in the winter and early spring; severe thunderstorms can bring heavy rain in the spring and summer; or tropical cyclones can bring intense rainfall to the coastal and inland states in the summer and fall.

A flash floods occur within six hours of a rain event, or after a dam or levee failure, or following a sudden release of water held by an ice or debris jam, and flash floods can catch people unprepared. You will not always have a warning that these deadly, sudden floods are coming. So, if you live in areas prone to flash floods, plan now to protect your family and property. The use of the word “flash” here is synonymous with “urgent.”

Q: Is there anything I can do to prepare for a flood?

How to reduce potential flood damage and what to include in a family disaster plan can be obtained from the American Red Cross.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

4 Things You Should Know About Contractors Insurance

Any company involved in construction work, building maintenance or installation and repair services is in need of contractors insurance. Contractors will be ill-advised to forego contractor insurance in a climate of high crime statistics, unpredictable weather conditions, negligent workers, faulty equipment, defective materials and a million and one other thing that can go wrong in the contracting business.
There is also an ever-growing propensity to be held responsible and accountable for damages caused to third parties. Think about it this way: Insurance premiums cost a mere fraction of stolen materials, damaged projects or compensating clients or third parties for losses incurred through the negligence of workers or the forces of nature beyond anyone's control. By having the prudence and foresight to take out builders' insurance, contracting businesses are safeguarding themselves against possible losses and lawsuits that could end up by severely crippling the company financially or, in the worst case scenario, even bankrupting it. A contractor's policy actually costs very little in terms of premiums and is worth its weight in gold.
The basics of builder's insurance
1. Builders' Risk Coverage (also known as construction coverage)
Builders' risk insurance indemnifies the contractor for losses or damages to a building while the building is under construction. Insurance usually covers the building for a specific time period and applies only while the building is under construction. This type of insurance usually covers fire damage and vandalism. The policy may also include materials in transit to the building site as well as materials and equipment stored on site. Tools, equipment, vehicles, materials and any other assets used on site may also be covered. For the amount of protection it affords (and the peace of mind that goes with it) builder's risk insurance is relatively inexpensive (as against general liability insurance).
2. Insuring Materials on site and in transit
Given the cost of modern building materials, it is common practice for constructors to insure their materials either on site or while in transit. However, the onus is on builders to make sure that all reasonable precautions are in place to protect materials from theft or storm damage as much as possible. This coverage can also include materials stolen in transit due to the vehicle being hijacked while en route to the building site.
3. The most common insurance claims made by contractors
The most frequent claims made by contractors entail materials theft, damaged materials while in transit, storm damage, or surrounding properties being damaged while construction is in progress.
4. Most expensive Claims
The most costly claims most commonly filed by contractor are usually damages incurred by third parties and their properties due to the contractor's "negligence" for example, materials being blown off structures in storms or high winds and landing on nearby cars or buildings. Also damage caused to existing underground pipes or cables. Other high claims are damages caused by fire, rainwater damage to structures, lightning damage or severe storm damage. All these liabilities can be covered by an All Risks contractor's policy.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Purpose Of Auto Insurance

Auto insurance refers to insurance for vehicles such as two wheelers, cars, trucks and other vehicles on the road. The primary purpose of auto insurance is to offer compensation to the vehicle owners in case of any physical damage to the car and bodily injury that results from car accident. It also covers expenses arising from any liability thereon. In many countries it is compulsory have insurance when you buy the vehicle. Most of the insurances relate to the driver as well as the car, however the degree varies from one country to another.
Some countries also have additional insurances such as pay as you drive which is suitable for uninsured motorists who are using other owner's vehicles. In many countries this insurance covers the loss or damage to the vehicle as well as purchasing new parts for replacement. The insurance provides accident cover for the vehicle owner and also third party liability.
Today every country has many public and private companies offering auto insurance. The whole process for applying of this insurance has become online. You can go through the insurance terms on the website, choose the plan, fill in the application form and then submit the application with the required documents such as vehicle registration number, type of vehicle, proof of address, etc.
Once you submit the application, a representative of the company will get in touch with you to take the procedure forward. In countries such as India, the vehicle dealers have tie ups with auto insurance companies. Hence when you buy a new vehicle, you will automatically get insurance for one year from the car dealer. The premium of the insurance is included in the vehicle price. The premium on the insurance is decided by a number of factors, however the premium amount increases proportionately to the price of the vehicle.
The documents to be submitted for vehicle insurance include registration copy of the vehicle, driving license, policy copy and FIR copy. The various types of auto insurance normally offered include private car insurance, two wheeler insurance and commercial vehicle insurance. This insurance does not normally include electrical or mechanical breakdown, depreciation, consequential loss. It also does not apply in case vehicle meets with an accident outside the geographical area which the insurance company covers. The other exceptions when you may not get auto insurance is damage to the vehicles during wars, perils related to the climate and accidents due to drunken driving.

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Renters Insurance: Are You Prepared?

Renting a property usually means that you don't have to worry about a great number of issues that may arise. For instance, in many cases you could rent a place and if plumbing inside the property breaks down, you can easily call your management company and they would be responsible for fixing the issues that you might have. Whether it's a plumbing leak, or just a nuisance that you need help with, you'll get assistance with relative ease. Even though you have a helping hand here, you may not always get assistance. For example, if that same plumbing leak damages your property in any way, the company that you rent from is not necessarily responsible. That's where understanding renters insurance can come in handy.
Much like the policy that you would get on your vehicle or health, this option can help protect you against the cost of replacing a number of things that you can have stolen, broken, or damaged. For a small fee you will gain peace of mind in case anything happens. Whether it's a natural disaster like one of the many fires, or someone robs you, you'll be able to file a claim and get either a lump sum or your items replaced at a fair market price. Before you can file an accurate claim you're going to need quite a few details. Most renters will keep a list.
Some people find the task of making and organizing a property list difficult to manage. The reason this can turn into an irksome and painstaking thing is because you'll most likely have to get an itemized list going of all the things that you have in your home that you want protected. This is especially true if you have collectibles or things that aren't easily replaced with a lump sum. In that regard, you will need to have pictures, evidence of ownership, and more. This can turn into an arduous task, but it will be beneficial in the long run.
When you are shopping around for a policy, make sure that you understand the finer points of what is being agreed upon. Renters insurance can be as simple as an umbrella policy that covers a number of things, or a small basic option that will give you a little bit of assistance if anything goes awry. The price varies depending on what type of coverage you are looking for. You'll find that the overall cost is favorable as it most definitely gives you peace of mind that is hard to come by otherwise.
Weather you live in an apartment, condo, or home, you're not going to want to miss out on the opportunity to protect yourself when things go sour. Most landlords require renters insurance. But even if they don't, renters insurance coverage is one of the best options you have to protect your property, your family, and yourself from serious perils including liability. Buying your policy before disaster strikes can really be one of the best decisions you've ever made. Get in touch with a licensed insurance agent today and have them walk you through the options.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day 2014 - Tribute to the Military

Pictorial tribute to all branches of the military. Pictures from WWII to Iraq. Music by the Air Force Band. Thank you for your service!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Monday, November 3, 2014


This is an earthquake of at least 5.5! At the mid-America earthquake center you can see what would happen if the ground beneath you started to shake! You might be surprised that so many things inside the home can be destroyed, even kill you, even though the structure of the home stays intact. "The risk of an earthquake is real" says Jeanne Salvatore, senior vice president, Insurance Information Institute. Earthquakes are not covered by homeowners insurance, you need separate insurance to cover earthquakes. The Institute for Business and Home Safety says there are easy and inexpensive steps you can take inside your home to make it safer. Anchor bookcases and filing cabinets to the wall. Install ledge barriers on shelves. Put heavy things lower. Harvy Ryland, President of the Institute for Business and Home Safety ( says earthquakes injure and kill people, destroy their homes and steal their jobs. The tragedy is that we know how to reduce injuries to families and their homes, and we are not doing it.