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Helpful tips, advice, information and fun facts on topics including safety, maintenance and homeowners insurance.
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From category archives: Florida Peninsula

Protecting Your Home from a Brush Fire

Over the years we have seen an increased risk of wildfires in Florida. Although no home is fire-proof, there are steps you can take to protect your property from a brush fire. Here are a few tips.

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Time to Spring Forward for Daylight Saving Time

On March 10th, at 2:00 am, the clocks will spring forward 1 hour to start Daylight Saving Time. Here are a few tips to make adjusting to the new time a little easier.

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Are My Personal Possessions Covered?

  Over the years we accumulate lots of personal belongings. These belongings can include furniture, clothing, sports equipment, and jewelry.  Your personal possessions are likely to be worth more than you may think, and should they become lost, stolen, or damaged, you will want to make sure you have enough coverage to help replace them. This coverage is known as Coverage C.   Before you experience a loss to your personal property, it is highly recommended to create a home inventory of your personal belongings in the event you should need to file a claim. The Washington Post reports only 44% of homeowners have taken the time to create an inventory of their belongings. Although creating an inventory of all your belongings can seem like quite a daunting task, it can be quite simple. Start by listing your items, their estimated value, and their make and model numbers if applicable. Update your inventory annually to add or remove items as necessary.   Should you have items of hig ...

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Simple Backyard Improvement Tips

Cooler months in Florida are rare therefore, we must take advantage of this time to work on the outside of our homes. Changing the landscaping of your home can give your home and property an updated and fresh look for the new year. Small changes made now, will allow you to enjoy your back yard once the temperatures rise to enjoy entertaining your family and friends outdoors.   Believe it or not, a small backyard can be made to feel larger by dividing the area into two distinct spaces. Experts say adding a simple wall such as trellises or a vine-covered wooden space will allow you to separate the space into two. If your space allows for two areas, it MUST be big. Place your BBQ grill on one side and create a relaxing area away from the grill with lounge chairs and side tables to enjoy your meals with family and friends in a “different” area.   When you can’t go sideways, go up! Consider adding accents to your backyard space such as gazebos, oversized tall planters, or a ...

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Home Check-Up Tips

Just as you have resolved to start the New Year in a healthier state, your home may also need its own health check-up. Take this time at the beginning of the year, to review some areas of your home, which may assist your home to run smoother and more efficiently. Here are three places to start your home health checkup.   1)   Change your incandescent bulbs to LEDs or CFLs.  If you still have incandescent bulbs in your home, consider making 2019 the year you update them to LEDs or CFLs. Although slightly more expensive, LED lights last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs and use less than half of the electricity to brighten your house.  In the long run, you will save money on bulbs, your electric bill, and your home will be the brightest on the block.   2)   Take a good look and listen to your water heater.  Most people do not consider this important appliance until you step into a cold shower.  Make a resolution to flush out your water heater.& ...

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Tips to Take the Stress out of Painting

  One of the easiest ways to give your home a fresh new updated look for the new year is with a fresh coat of paint. All the color options, techniques, and equipment available at your local hardware store may seem intimidating, but it doesn't have to be stressful. Painting can be fun! Consider some of these tips to make your painting experience fun and exciting.     Picking your paint and finish Choosing the right paint for your room may depend on the features of the room such as size, focal point, etc.  To make a room look larger than it is, consider painting the room in light colors such as cream or white. Should you choose pastel colors, blues and greens tend to work best in small spaces.  Select furnishings for the room in a similar color as minimizing contrasting colors add to the perceived image of a room.  Should you want a darker color, select paint with a high gloss finish. The shine provided by this type of paint will reflect light and add to the overall look o ...

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Saving Money: Updates & Repairs

  As the new year begins, you may be evaluating different home improvement opportunities around your home.  When reviewing your home for needed repairs, upgrades, and yearly maintenance; also take some time to speak to your agent about your current homeowners policy, the carriers underwriting guidelines, and how you can increase your peace of mind while, possibly, lowering your premium.  Sometimes things which seem fine to the homeowner may be considered potential hazards to insurance companies. Here are some items to consider:  Roof: If your roof is older it has experienced more wear and tear than newer roofs. Thus, older roofs are more likely to have leaks during a rainstorm. They might even blow off during powerful tornados or hurricanes. Consider replacing your roof after approximately 15 years if a shingle roof or 25 years if a tile roof, the general lifespan of roofs. Maintaining your roof in good condition may help avoid severe damage to your home should a covered loss ...

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Saving Money: Security

If you have ever wanted to find ways to lower your home insurance premium or find additional discounts to your premium, consider adding additional security to your home. All insurance policies are different so be sure to speak to your agent about the cost-effectiveness of installing one of these devices in your home. However, consider the following to potentially save money and protect yourself and your belongings. Smoke Alarm: Adding a device which can alert you of some potential dangers such as a fire or a dangerous gas, can keep you safe. This alarm will let you and all others in the house know when there is a risk and allow time for you and your family to evacuate safely. Security System: Burglaries can happen anywhere and at any time. By installing a monitored security system, you can add to your peace of mind. A monitored security system allows for the alarm to go off for a longer period of time while officers arrive at your home. Installing this may not only keep your family and p ...

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Keeping your Identity Secure Over the Holidays

Around this time of year, the holiday sales are at their prime while everyone is gearing up to buy presents, decorations, and other goods. Criminals count on the holidays to find easy targets for scams and theft. Here are a few things to look out for:   Keep an eye on your receipts and statements:  It’s a great reference to verify unknown charges on your accounts. Should something appear incorrect, contact your financial institution immediately.   Charity Scams: Do your research before donating to a charity, especially during the holiday season. If you’ve never heard of the organization, it is best to do a quick search online to be sure it is credible. This is often the time of year where we see a rise in charity scams.  If you’d like to give back this holiday season, contact the charity of your choice directly to find out how you can donate, or volunteer with their organization.   Protect Yourself Online:  When shopping online, try to shop ...

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Fire Safety for the Holidays

The holidays are a time to create memories with family and friends, however, you do not want your holiday season to be memorable for the wrong reasons. Household fires during the holiday season are more frequent, deadly, and costly than any other time of the year. To ensure a safe holiday season for all, keep these tips in mind: Cooking Holiday celebrations are not complete without a delicious feast; however, it is important you take precautions against cooking fires. Keep flammable items away from the stove, oven or other conductible appliances, and never leave a hot stove or oven unattended. Decorations Holiday decorations and string lights can be dangerous if not assembled or used properly. Be sure to inspect your string lights and throw out any with any cracked bulbs or frayed wires. For all electric decorations, be sure to not overload extension cords and turn off all lights and decorations before leaving your home or going to sleep. Also, consider purchasing decorations which ...

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