Tag Archive | Property Insurance

Avoid the Jolt from a Lightning Bolt!

I came across this fierce 30 second video on Youtube today of a lightning bolt striking the shore of a beach about a hundred or so yards from a hotel balcony where some guy was filming. Check it out (some cursing included so beware)

The force and power are so crazy it knocked the guy back a little bit!

Living in Southern California, we don’t see a lot of intense thunder and lightning, but you should learn to identify the early signs of an oncoming thunder and lightning storm.

Typically you’ll see towering clouds in the shape of a cauliflower, dark sky, distant rumbles of thunder and flashes of lightning. When a storm is on the verge of striking your area, you need to take cover to get out of harm’s way.

Here’s how:

  • Seek shelter in an enclosed building, if possible.
  • If you are in a car, stay inside and keep the windows securely rolled up.
  • Do not use a small shed, pavilion or lean-to as shelter; they do not provide enough protection.
  • Stay several feet away from open windows, sinks, toilets, tubs, showers, electric boxes, outlets and appliances during a lightning storm. Lightning bolts can flow through these items, “jump” to you and give you a jolt.
  • Do not use a landline telephone during a storm. Opt for a cellular or cordless phone, which is not connected to the building’s wiring.

If you are caught outside in a lightning storm:

  • If your skin starts to tingle or your hair stands up, lightning may be about to strike. Crouch to the ground on the balls of your feet and place your feet close together. Then, place your hands on your knees and lower your head. Try to get as close to the ground as possible without placing your hands or knees on the ground.
  • Avoid seeking shelter under trees, near metal fences, pipes or tall and long objects.
  • If you are swimming, boating or fishing, seek shelter on land immediately.
  • If you are boating and cannot get to shore before the storm hits, crouch your body down in the middle of the boat, as low as you can get.

Next time you’re in the path of a thunderstorm, you can stay cool knowing Jim Kinmartin taught you everything you need to know about dealing with it ;).

Planning is important when it comes to preparing for storms, and that includes having the proper home or business insurance. Contact your broker or me to learn more about insurance solutions for your home, business and life.

JK

What To Do In the Event of An Insurance Claim

When you deal with an incident that gives rise to an insurance claim, it’s usually a pretty crappy situation. It can be stressful, terrifying, frightening, and alarming in many cases. First things first, try not to panic. Hopefully it’s an incident you carry insurance for to be protected.

Your insurance contract requires that you report all claims promptly. Contact your insurance carrier or broker as possible after a property, liability, worker’s comp or automobile claim. An insurance company claims adjuster will be assigned to handle your claim. You should then be able to deal directly with the adjuster to settle your claim, but your broker can be there with you to assist you along the way.

Here’s step-by-step suggestions on how you should handle property, liability, workers compensation, and auto insurance claims.

Property Claims

In the event of damage to your building or contents:

  1. Protect the property from further damage:
    • Call the proper authorities and utilities (gas, electric, telephone).
    • Take photos of the damage before having emergency repairs made, such as boarding up windows or covering holes in the roof.
  2. Call your insurance broker or carrier to report the loss.
  3. Call a contractor to estimate the building damages.
  4. Separate damaged contents from undamaged contents. Do not discard any items until the claims adjuster gives you the authority to do so.
  5. Keep records of expenses if you are forced to temporarily relocate your business.
  6. Do not authorize repairs until the claims adjuster has given you the authority to do so.

After the claim is reported to the insurance company, the claims adjuster will:

  1. Contact you by phone or mail to discuss the loss
  2. Arrange for an appraiser to inspect extensively damaged property
  3. Assist you with your choice of contractors to make the repairs
  4. Contact you for a settlement

Liability Claims

In the event of injuries or damage to property of others which you allegedly caused:

  1. Call your insurance broker or carrier to report the claim.
  2. Forward any correspondence, including a summons from an attorney representing the other party.
  3. Do not discuss the claim with the other party or their attorney. Refer them to your insurance company’s claims adjuster or to us.

After the claim is reported to the insurance company, the claims adjuster will:

  1. Contact you to discuss the incident that allegedly caused the injury or damage to the property
  2. Deal directly with the other party and/or attorney to handle the claim

Workers’ Compensation Claims

In the event an employee is injured on the job:

  1. Complete the Employer’s First Report of Injury or Disease form for all claims. Either use the “call in” reporting system or fax the original form to the insurance company.
  2. Forward a copy of the First Report to your broker in the event of a disabling injury or death claim. They should follow-up with the insurance company for their prompt handling of the claim.
  3. Contact the insurance company to question the status of a claim. If you experience delays or have questions, contact your broker for assistance.

After you report the claim to the insurance company, the claims adjuster will:

  1. Contact the injured employee to discuss the accident
  2. Request copies of bills and doctors’ reports for medical treatment administered
  3. Contact you, the employer, if there is any lost time from work as a result of the injury

Auto Insurance Claims

In the event of an automobile accident:

  1. Report the accident to the police.
  2. Obtain information about the other people involved in the accident such as:
    1. Names, addresses and phone numbers
    2. Insurance company
    3. Type of vehicle
    4. Auto and driver’s license numbers.
  3. Have your vehicle towed to the nearest repair shop if the vehicle is not drivable. Do not authorize repairs until the claims adjuster gives you the authority to do so.
  4. Call your insurance broker or carrier to report the accident.

In the event of a windshield, vandalism or theft loss:

  1. Report the vandalism loss or theft to the police.
  2. Call us to report a loss.

After the claim is reported to the insurance company, the claims adjuster will:

  1. Contact you to request details of the accident and repair estimates
  2. Arrange for an appraiser to inspect the damages of vehicles that are not drivable or extensively damaged
    1. Contact you for a settlement
    2. Deal directly with the others involved in the accident

You should not talk to others involved in the accident, but refer them to your claims adjuster.

-JK

Source: Zywave, Inc.

Video – Car Crashing into House

Stupidity of others is up there on the list of reasons why you should carry home and auto insurance.

You might wonder sometimes why you ever carry home and auto insurance. “It can never happen to me” right?

Perhaps…until this guy comes driving down your block

Need a review of your home, auto, or renters insurance policies?

Call me! I can do that too.

-JK

Preventing Copper Theft

Have you ever noticed how many stories there are in the local news about stolen copper? From construction sites to vacant buildings, theft of copper has become a major problem for many communities throughout the country. Skyrocketing metal prices, especially copper, have made what was once a minor issue into a major problem costing over $1 billion/year according to the US Dept of Energy. Copper is recyclable and does not have any identifying marks making it difficult to determine if the metal is actually stolen property.

From pipes to wires to cables to rain gutters, copper components like these are being torn from walls and buildings. Thieves target copper in vacant buildings or difficult to secure areas including:

  • Construction Sites – theft of copper plumbing, wiring, generators and materials.
  • Vacant Buildings – theft of copper plumbing, wiring, air conditioners.
  • Communications Towers – theft of copper wiring and cables.
  • Electrical Sub-stations – theft of copper grounding bars and cables.
  • Foreclosed Properties – theft of copper plumbing, wires, sprinkler systems, and cooling systems.

In addition, the collateral damage done from ripping pipes and wires out of walls far exceeds the actual cost of the copper stolen.

Copper Theft Crime Tips

Here are a few tips we recommend to help prevent copper theft:

  • If you see something suspicious, say something
  • Tour your property – take away the opportunity to steal
  • Inventory your equipment and take photographs
  • Lock copper materials inside buildings and utilize security cameras whenever possible
  • Remove the exterior of your exterior air conditioning units and spray paint the copper tubing with a fluorescent orange or green paint. Then replace the exterior

Here’s some more useful information on preventing copper theft from Church Mutual Insurance Company

-JK

Source: Long Beach Police Department

Small Business Insurance with The Hartford

Working as a broker, I work with a lot of different carriers on behalf of my clients to place their business insurance. One of the major carriers that I work with is The Hartford, an AM Best A (Excellent) XV ($2B or Greater Financial Size) rated carrier. The Hartford’s a great carrier to work with if you have a small business.

Interested in what they have to offer? Contact me anytime to discuss. Maybe we can find you something competitive backed by great coverage.

Here’s a new  video featuring their focus on small businesses insurance.

-JK

Cool Way to Put Out A Boat Fire

Solar Panel Fire Insurance

Check out these pictures showing fire damage from a car fire which spread throughout the car port it was parked under. The fire damaged solar panels affixed to the roof which are operated by an insured of mine. Good thing for property insurance. The claim has been submitted with the carrier and we’re working on getting these fixed and back in order. Not only does the property need to be replaced, but the insured will need to be compensated for lost income due to the business interruption.

Damaged Solar Panel

 

Solar Panel Insurance

 

Solar Panel Fire Insurance

 

photo 5

-JK

 

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