Check out our latest newsletter here: Shults Insurance Agency Newsletter
3 Canal St
Fort Plain, NY 13339
Check out our latest newsletter here: Shults Insurance Agency Newsletter
College is expensive enough without finding out too late that an accident or theft isn’t covered under your current policies. So, as you get your children ready to head off to school in the fall, there’s one vital “to-do” to add to your list (other than writing that tuition check): a review of your insurance coverage.
It’s important to keep in mind that policy language varies from state to state, and there are never “one-size-fits-all” situations, but below is a general guide. If you have questions, or want to go over your insurance needs, don’t hesitate to contact us!
Going away to school is an exciting time for both students and their parents. Making sure you’ve got the right insurance coverage can help you protect your assets as you invest in your child’s future. We’re happy to discuss your coverage and options — just give us a call or stop by!
Beat the Heat — and Your Air Conditioning Bill — This Summer
Did you know that, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Americans spend about $11 billion each year on air conditioning? That might not be such a surprise if you’re the one who writes the check for your household energy bill every month.
Believe it or not, you can spend less on cooling costs while still keeping cool. Here are five things to do before you reach to adjust the thermostat:
We can’t promise these tips will keep you just as cool as when you kick back and turn on the AC full-blast. But saving money every month? That’s pretty cool, too.
Check out our Spring Newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/20d04525025c/spring-2018-newsletter?e=cb100492be
The milder days of spring are a perfect time to do a thorough spring cleaning and perform home maintenance. After a long winter, it is a good idea to spend time on preventive measures to help maintain your home and property throughout the year. Tasks such as cleaning out your gutters, checking for dead trees and branches, and cleaning and inspecting home mechanical systems, such as heating and air conditioning equipment, can make spring a season of safety.
Cleaning and maintenance of your home should be done inside and out. Although the tasks are different, ensuring all the elements of your home are in good working order can help keep your family safe and your maintenance expenses lower over the long run.
Here are a few things inside your home that should be inspected to ensure they are in good condition:
The cold winter months can do damage to your house as well. Here are a few things outside your home that should be inspected to ensure they are in good condition:
A little home maintenance in the spring can go a long way to keeping your home safe and secure throughout the rest of the year.
Many renters don’t realize how much they could benefit from having an insurance policy that can help protect their valuables in a life-changing event like a fire or theft. If you assume that damage to your property in your rental home will be covered by your landlord’s insurance policy, you’re making a mistake. The owners of rental properties typically purchase only enough insurance to repair or replace their structures, and are not responsible for helping you replace your property. Insuring your personal property is up to you.
Renters insurance not only covers the cost of lost or damaged possessions in your home, but covers your belongings outside of your home as well. There is coverage if your bicycle is stolen from a bike rack at the park, or if your laptop is taken from your car while you’re at the supermarket.
If your rental home should become uninhabitable, your renters policy typically will help address some of the costs for you to temporarily live elsewhere, up to your policy limits. This benefit usually includes the cost of meals, over and above your normal expenses.
This coverage typically is limited to 30 to 50 percent of your insured personal property. For example, if your belongings were insured for $100,000, the limit on additional living expenses would be $30,000 to $50,000, as outlined in your policy.
There are two types of renters coverage, one that pays based on your property’s actual cash value and one that pays based on your property’s replacement cost.
With actual cash value coverage, insurers depreciate lost or damaged items based on their age. For example, if you owned a 10-year-old couch that was stolen, the actual cash value would be the cost of buying a used couch of comparable age and condition.
If your policy covered your couch at full-replacement value, your insurer would pay based on the cost of a new couch of the same quality without applying depreciation.
In 2014, the average annual premium in the U.S. was $190.1 The cost is low because renters don’t need to buy insurance to protect their homes, only the contents. Compared to the potential cost of replacing your furniture, clothing, and electronics, purchasing a renters insurance policy is a no-brainer.
Sometimes, even your best efforts to prevent an ice dam may not be enough. Knowing what an ice dam is, how to identify one and how to help remove it is important to protecting your roof and home from potential damage during the snowy, winter months.
Ice dams may form when water from melting snow freezes into ice at the edge of your roofline. Without proper roof snow removal, the ice that develops may grow large enough to prevent water from melting snow from properly draining off the roof. When the water is unable to drain from the roof, it may then back up underneath roof shingles and make its way into your home.
Most ice dams develop on the edge of your roof, but they may also form in other locations, depending on the slope, orientation and style of your roof. Be sure to monitor the weather and your roof for signs of ice dam formations.
Removing an ice dam from your roof immediately after spotting the signs can be critical to helping prevent damage to your home. One way to remove an ice dam is to melt it using calcium chloride ice melt.
Step 1. Using a roof rake, remove snow 3-4 feet from the edge of your roof, being careful not to damage the roof covering or to allow snow to build up around walking paths or to block emergency exits.
Step 2. Use a calcium chloride ice melt product, which you can generally purchase from your local hardware store. Be sure not to use rock salt or sodium chloride, which can damage your roof.
Step 3. Fill a nylon stocking with the calcium chloride ice melt.
Step 4. Safely place and position the calcium chloride-filled nylon stocking vertically across the ice dam so that it can melt a channel through the ice.
Step 5. Cover and protect any shrubbery and plants with lightweight tarps near the gutters or downspouts for the duration that the calcium chloride stockings remain in place. This is important because the calcium chloride-saturated water dripping from the roof may damage the shrubbery and plants.
REMEMBER: Using a ladder in snowy and icy conditions may be dangerous. If you cannot safely reach the roof, consider hiring a contractor.
Tips to stay safe during snowmobile season
As the snow continues falling, many people are getting excited, because it’s time to break out the snowmobiles and head to the nearest winter recreation spot. It’s a popular activity, and for good reason: Snowmobiling allows you to explore natural areas that may be hard to access by foot (or snowshoe), and provides a different kind of excitement than skiing or hiking.
Of course, snowmobiling presents some dangers as well. Here at Shults Insurance Agency, we want you to make it home safely after your day in the snow. Read on for safety tips from the American Council of Snowmobile Associations — and keep in mind that following these will not only help you stay safe, but also influence equitable treatment of snowmobile access by government, agencies, and landowners.
SPEED: Speed is a major factor in many snowmobile crashes. Always keep your speed slow enough to ensure that you’re in control.
ALCOHOL: Use of alcohol or any other drug that causes impairment is a leading cause of snowmobile-related fatalities. It’s best to refrain from any use at all before and during outings because of potential effects on vision, reaction time, balance and coordination. When combined with excess speed in particular, the results can be deadly.
RIDING AT NIGHT: Nighttime snowmobiling is fun, but extra caution should be used. Ride at slower speeds so as not to override your headlights (which generally illuminate your path for about 200 feet). Faster speeds could mean that you have little or no time to react to an obstacle in your path.
ROADWAYS: Always keep an eye out for vehicles, as many trails are located alongside roadways and can cross over them. Be sure to stop fully at all stop signs and unmarked road crossings.
CLOSED AREAS: Areas may be closed to snowmobiles due to hazardous conditions, wintering wildlife, non-motorized recreation or by landowner request. It’s important to honor these closures for safety purposes and to help protect access to other riding areas.
While it’s extremely important to follow these tips for your personal safety, it’s also vital to encourage others to snowmobile safely as well. Helping to educate others will not only promote safety for all snowmobilers, but also protect the sport’s image as well.
Whether you’re a new rider or have been on the trails for years, ask yourself if you could be riding more safely. There are many more winters to come, and we want you to be able to enjoy as many of them as possible!
Check out our latest newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/shultsagency.com/winter-2018-newsletter?e=f02a258133
While snow-covered roofs can make for a picturesque winter scene, the combination of freshly fallen snow with the melting and refreezing of snow can place stress on the roof of your home or business. If more than a foot of heavy, wet snow and ice have accumulated on the roof, you should have it removed.
Clearing the snow off your roof from the gutters or eaves upwards of three to four feet after each winter storm can help prevent ice dams from forming. Remember to avoid using a ladder in snowy and icy conditions. This can be extremely dangerous and is best left to professionals.
If your flat roof is easily accessible from an interior stairway, you may want to shovel the roof, but be careful not to damage the roof covering.
Remember to put safety first any time you are on a roof, especially one that is covered in snow and ice. If you have any doubt, leave it to professionals.
It may be possible to remove the snow and ice from your sloped roof using a roof rake – a long-handled tool designed specifically for this purpose. Stand on the ground and pull as much of the snow off the eaves as you can safely reach.
If you cannot safely reach the roof, contact a homebuilder, landscaping and roofing contractor, or property maintenance company to remove the snow and ice. Before hiring a contractor, check their references. Always be sure any contractor you hire is qualified, insured and bonded.
The amount of snow and ice your roof can support will depend on a number of factors, including the roof type as well as the age and condition of the structure. But a good rule to keep in mind is if more than a foot of heavy, wet snow and ice has accumulated on your roof, you should have it removed.