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After a Flood

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After a Flood

  • The danger caused by floods isn’t over when the water recedes, so don’t attempt to return home until authorities say it’s safe to do so.
  • If your car has been submerged, let it dry out thoroughly before trying to start it.
  • Use battery-powered flashlights or lanterns to examine the premises. Do not attempt to turn the lights on until you are sure it is safe to do so.
  • Watch out for snakes that may have come into your home with flood waters. Use a stick to poke through debris.
  • Pump water gradually from flooded basements to avoid structural damage.
  • Shovel out mud while it is still moist.
  • Raise wall-to-wall carpeting to allow air to circulate through it.
  • When plaster walls have dried, brush off loose dirt. Wash with a mild soap solution and rinse with clean water.
  • Clean out heating and plumbing systems.
  • To prevent metal objects from rusting, clean immediately, wipe with a kerosene-soaked cloth and apply a light coat of oil.
  • Allow clothing and household fabrics to dry before brushing off loose dirt.
  • Boil any water you use for drinking or food preparation until the water supply is declared safe.
  • Throw out any food or medicine that has come in contact with flood waters.
  • Take wooden furniture outside to dry, but keep it out of direct sun-light to prevent warping.
  • Before the house is aired out, scrub all woodwork and floors with a stiff brush.

Saving Family Photos

Often when people are interviewed after a major disaster, they express profound sorrow over the loss of family photos. Houses and everything inside them can usually be replaced but photos, which contain years of memories and family history, cannot. These tips may help you preserve your water-damaged photos.

  • Most prints, negatives and slides can be air-dried. Put the image or picture side face up and avoid touching the front surface.
  • Hang items on a clothesline, using wooden or other non-abrasive clothespins or use a fan to circulate the air. If using a fan, do not aim it directly at the photos.
  • For a framed photo, place the frame glass-side down and remove backing materials. Remove the photo and air-dry it. If the photo is stuck to the glass, don’t remove it. Keeping the glass side down, try to dry the frame with the photo inside.
  • If photos are covered with mud or dirt and are still wet, they may be gently rinsed in clean, cold water.
  • If negatives are stuck together or if your photos are badly damaged, consult with a photographic conservator at your local museum or historical society.
  • Consider keeping digital copies of all photos outside your home, perhaps in safety deposit box or at the home of a trusted family member or friend.

Valuable Contacts:

SAFETY:

  • If you have evacuated, wait until authorities tell you it’s safe before returning home.
  • Be alert for tornadoes, which are not unusual after a hurricane with certain weather conditions.
  • Stay away from flood waters.
  • Use battery-powered flashlights or lanterns to examine the premises. Do not attempt to turn the lights on until you are sure it is safe to do so.
  • Sniff for gas leaks. If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the main gas valve, open windows and evacuate. If you have any concerns, have the gas system checked by a professional.
  • Do not touch wires or outlets; Check for frayed cords and for cracked or broken prongs and plugs.
  • Turn off the main electrical circuit switch. Be careful to stand on a dry surface and do not touch the metal handle of the switch box. Use a piece of heavy rubber, plastic or a piece of dry wood to open the metal door and throw the switch. Share your concerns with a licensed electrician.
  • If your home has been flooded, check for animals that may have entered the property.
  • If your car has been submerged, let it dry out thoroughly before trying to start it.

CLEANING UP:

  • Before you start cleaning up debris, prepare an inventory of all damaged or destroyed personal property. If you can, videotape or photograph the damage.
  • Make temporary repairs to prevent further damage.
  • Clean up any flammable or poisonous materials that may have been spilled.
  • Pump water gradually from flooded basements to avoid structural damage.
  • Shovel out mud while it is still moist.
  • Clean out heating and plumbing systems.
  • Boil any water you use for drinking or food preparation until the water supply is declared safe.
  • Throw out any food or medicine that has come in contact with flood waters.
  • Take wooden furniture outside to dry, but keep it out of direct sun-light to prevent warping

CLAIM PROCESS:

  • Hold off on permanent repairs until you’ve received approval for reimbursement.
  • Save remnants of damaged or destroyed property for your insurance company adjuster, and do not sign agreements with contractors or anyone else until you have a chance to meet with your insurance adjuster.
  • Keep a written record of everyone you talk to about your insurance claim, including the date of the conversation and a summary of what was said.
  • Keep all receipts and take photos.
  • Your pre-disaster home inventory will be of great assistance to you at this point. After you’ve examined everything and determined the extent of damage, call your independent insurance agent as soon as possible to file a claim.

When You Travel, Do You Need Special Insurance?

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When You Travel, Do You Need Special Insurance?

Travel- whether you’re hitting the road, hopping a plane or taking a cruise, you’re spending some time away from home and usually are spending some money to do it. But what happens if your trip is interrupted by inclement weather, or an unexpected illness? Travel insurance and specialty medical coverage can give you peace of mind from the moment you book the flights or start the car.

What coverage is available?
There are two broad types of travel-related coverage for those leaving the United States:
Travel insurance covers the loss of the prepaid travel costs of a trip (like flights, hotels, etc.)should it be canceled, interrupted, or postponed. It also can reimburse unexpected expenses incurred due to a sudden change in travel plans due to illness or other causes.

Specialty medical coverage protects against personal insurance risks when someone is outside the United States.

The Insurance Information Network of California notes that trip insurance providers sometimes require a physician’s verification if a trip must be canceled before it occurs for illness. It advises buyers to check whether the travel coverage is “cancel for any reason protection”, or more limited coverage.

Trip interruption insurance is another variation. It can provide reimbursement for extra food and lodging costs if a traveler becomes ill during the course of a trip. Some plans cover medical costs. Trip delay insurance covers expenses a traveler incurs in resuming a planned trip or returning home after being quarantined in another country. Often these various coverages are bundled and sold together in a package.
 
Traveling abroad?

Short-term medical insurance may be appropriate for the millions of U.S. residents who travel outside the U.S. every year. Those who travel outside of America may be going beyond the boundaries of their medical insurance without knowing it, according to Clements International, a provider of international insurance policies.

Travelers may wish to consider short-term medical insurance if they’re traveling outside of the United States for an extended vacation or business trip. To determine whether it’s necessary, it’s advisable to check if a domestic health insurance policy covers out-of-country travel. If not, short-term medical insurance provides coverage for illnesses or medical evacuation that occurs while traveling outside of the United States.

International travelers face the same insurance risks (and sometimes additional risks) while outside the country that they do while stateside. Life insurance issued in the U.S. may not be available on the same basis while a person is traveling for an extended period as when not traveling. It’s prudent to check on the validity of life insurance coverage as part of the travel-planning process.

Check with your Trusted Choice® independent insurance agent about what type of insurance protection might be needed if taking an overseas trip.

You can contact Carrie Crockett at Schechner Lifson Corp 908-598-7848 or carriec@slcinsure.com for a Travel Insurance quote today.

Encourage Your Insured’s to Register with FEMA

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Encourage Your Insured’s to Register with FEMA

Agents should encourage their clients in significantly impacted areas to register as soon as possible with FEMA for any Individual Assistance (IA).  Insured’s should not wait for their company to deny a claim as this could have an adverse effect. If there are ANY doubts about coverage, get the insured registered.

Agents should also advise any residents or businesses to make sure they contact a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) or call FEMA to register for any uninsured loss that may not be covered. Since a presidential disaster declaration was made, individuals may be eligible for Individual Assistance (IA).  If there is any doubt, the insured should register NOW. There is only a 60 day window to do so.

Individuals who do not register, and later find that their claim was denied by the insurance company, may face further hardship.

Those registering can call 1-800-621 FEMA (3362) or visit http://www.disasterassistance.gov/.  Businesses may also be eligible for SBA loans and should be encouraged to contact FEMA as well.

Cell Phone Safety: Driving Home the Importance

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Cell Phone Safety: Driving Home the Importance

These days, it’s hard to find someone who does not have a cell phone. Cell phones can be invaluable for those business professionals who spend a lot of time out of the office, or for anyone who wants the added peace of mind of knowing they can call for help in an emergency.

Are there laws limiting the use of cell phones while driving?
New Jersey prohibits the use of cell phones while operating a motor vehicle on a public highway. Violators charged for using a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle will be fined $100. Also, school bus drivers are prohibited from using a cell phone while driving a school bus, except in emergency situations. A driver in violation shall be fi ned not less than $250, or more than $500.

Hands-free cell phones, however, are permitted. Drivers under 21 are prohibited from using hands-free phones on a graduated license permit or provisional license, except in an emergency situation.

Are there laws limiting the use of cell phones or electronic communication devices used for text messaging or transmitting electronic data while driving?

New Jersey prohibits the use of cell phones or electronic communication devices used to transmit text messages or electronic data while driving. Violators charged for using a cell phone or electronic communication device while driving will be fined $100. Hands-free cell phones and electronic communication devices, however, are permitted.

Familiarize yourself with your phone
Be sure you review all the literature that comes with your phone. Understand how to use its many features including speed dial, re-dial and hands-free options.

Be aware of your surroundings and road conditions

If you find yourself in hazardous driving conditions whether traffic or weather ­related, let your voicemail system pick up the call. A few minutes of paying attention and pulling over in a safe location, could make a huge difference in your safety and the safety of those around you.

Stay calm on the phone and on the road

Don’t use driving time to engage in stressful or emotional conversations. They can dis­tract you from driving safely and sensibly, even if you are using a hands-free phone.

Cell phones can be an invaluable business tool or your lifeline in a real emergency. But, remember, when you’re behind the wheel, your most important responsibility is safe driving.

What are your Exposures for Employee Related Claims and is your Business Adequately Protected?

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What are your Exposures for Employee Related Claims and is your Business Adequately Protected?

If an employee of your organization intentionally causes injuries without your consent or knowledge for employment related injuries, your organization could be sued, and without appropriate coverage, legal defense and other expenses could cause a severe financial impact on the assets and profits of your company.

Exposures covered as respects to workplace:

  • Harassment, including sexual harassment
  • Discrimination
  • Wrongful hiring practices
  • Wrongful termination practices
  • Failure to promote
  • Failure to provide equal opportunities

These exposures can come from within the organization from a disgruntled employee.  Additionally, if you have employees that work with outside organizations at off-site locations, harassment or discrimination suits could be brought against the employee and/or employer organization from other third parties.

Of course, your first line of defense should be a well-written and up- to-date employee manual of company policies and procedures, along with hands on management’s agreement to implement and oversee policies followed by all employees.  The manual should include termination procedures for failure to confirm with anti-harassment and anti-discrimination company policies.  Grievance policies and termination procedures should be clearly defined.

The financial burden suffered from an organization for these types of suits can be somewhat passed through the purchase of insurance.  Legal expense and defense costs could be exorbitant, and you could only benefit from the advice and expertise of the highly-qualified and sophisticated staff of the insurance carrier.  Although the policy is subject to deductibles, tailoring limits and deductible options is important based on your size and profile of your business.

While there are many alternatives and coverage differences among each company, I can help you choose the right policy form, limits and deductible options for your fine organization.

You can contact Roseanne Gedman at Schechner Lifson Corp 908-598-7853 or  Roseanneg@slcinsure.com

When You Travel, Do You Need Special Insurance?

by sch43yt9824huilb sch43yt9824huilb No Comments

When You Travel, Do You Need Special Insurance?

Travel- whether you’re hitting the road, hopping a plane or taking a cruise, you’re spending some time away from home and usually are spending some money to do it. But what happens if your trip is interrupted by inclement weather, or an unexpected illness? Travel insurance and specialty medical coverage can give you peace of mind from the moment you book the flights or start the car.

What coverage is available?
There are two broad types of travel-related coverage for those leaving the United States:
Travel insurance covers the loss of the prepaid travel costs of a trip (like flights, hotels, etc.)should it be canceled, interrupted, or postponed. It also can reimburse unexpected expenses incurred due to a sudden change in travel plans due to illness or other causes.

Specialty medical coverage protects against personal insurance risks when someone is outside the United States.

The Insurance Information Network of California notes that trip insurance providers sometimes require a physician’s verification if a trip must be canceled before it occurs for illness. It advises buyers to check whether the travel coverage is “cancel for any reason protection”, or more limited coverage.

Trip interruption insurance is another variation. It can provide reimbursement for extra food and lodging costs if a traveler becomes ill during the course of a trip. Some plans cover medical costs. Trip delay insurance covers expenses a traveler incurs in resuming a planned trip or returning home after being quarantined in another country. Often these various coverages are bundled and sold together in a package.
 
Traveling abroad?

Short-term medical insurance may be appropriate for the millions of U.S. residents who travel outside the U.S. every year. Those who travel outside of America may be going beyond the boundaries of their medical insurance without knowing it, according to Clements International, a provider of international insurance policies.

Travelers may wish to consider short-term medical insurance if they’re traveling outside of the United States for an extended vacation or business trip. To determine whether it’s necessary, it’s advisable to check if a domestic health insurance policy covers out-of-country travel. If not, short-term medical insurance provides coverage for illnesses or medical evacuation that occurs while traveling outside of the United States.

International travelers face the same insurance risks (and sometimes additional risks) while outside the country that they do while stateside. Life insurance issued in the U.S. may not be available on the same basis while a person is traveling for an extended period as when not traveling. It’s prudent to check on the validity of life insurance coverage as part of the travel-planning process.

Check with your Trusted Choice ® independent insurance agent about what type of insurance protection might be needed if taking an overseas trip.

You can contact Carrie Crockett at Schechner Lifson Corp 908-598-7848 or carriec@slcinsure.com for a Travel Insurance quote today.

Does our Homeowners Policy Cover our Son or Daughter While Away at College?

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Does our Homeowners Policy Cover our Son or Daughter While Away at College?

A student younger than 24 who is your relative, enrolled in school full time and is a resident of your Household, before leaving to attend school, is considered an insured. The homeowners policy states the limit of liability for personal property usually located at an “insured’s” residence, other than the “residence premises” is 10 percent of the limit of liability for coverage C, or $1,000 whichever is greater.

Theft of property located at school is covered as long as your child has been there at any time during a specified number of days before the loss (typically, 60 or 90 days). All of the normal personal property policy limitations apply to the collegiate away at school. These limitations are called special limits of liability and limit coverage to specified amounts for such property as money, jewelry and tickets. Some insurance companies have a special limits for computers and there may be a limit that applies to the unauthorized use of credit cards and fund transfer cards.  Please refer to your policy for specific coverages and exclusions.

Children away at school are covered for bodily injury or property damage they cause to others, when held legally liable for their actions. Included is the liability, children have for a hazardous condition in the dorm room, since this location is automatically covered as premises not owned by an “insured;” and where an “insured” is temporarily residing. However, your children are not covered for liability they incur from unlawfully providing alcohol to others who become involved in an auto accident.

You can contact Carrie Crockett at Schechner Lifson Corp 908-598-7848 or carriec@slcinsure.com for more information.

Schechner Lifson