Fires are unpredictable and the damage caused can be extremely costly to repair. In 2015 there was an estimated 365,500 home fires, causing 2,560 deaths and $7 billion in direct damage. In the U.S., an average of seven people die everyday from house fires. By 2014, one of every 338 households reported a home fire per year. Thus, home fires are an important topic to discuss.
Common Causes of House Fires
There are a number of things that could cause a home or building fire. Some of the top causes are related to cooking, candles, heating, faulty wiring, and smoking materials. Other causes would include Barbeques or grilling equipment getting too close to the home or flammable materials. Flammable liquids getting too close to a heat source is another common cause of fires.
Taking precautions is key to minimalizing damage, if not preventing it altogether. According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) key precautions include :
- Have an escape plan and practice it.
- Smoke detectors can cut the risk of death in half. So make sure the batteries are in place and working properly.
- Clean your heating system and fireplaces on a regular basis.
- Install sprinkler systems in your homes or offices. This can cut the risk of death by almost 80 percent as well as the direct property damage by 70 percent.
Since fires are unpredictable it is important to acquire insurance coverage before an incident occurs. Insurance would cover not only your home, but would also cover:
- Detached structures
- Personal belongings
- Some landscaping
- The cost of living if you have to stay somewhere else while your home is uninhabitable ( hotel stays and restaurant bills)
Fire protection is not only important for home but for businesses and rental properties as well. Every insurance policy can be different, so it’s important to talk with a professional insurance agent to know what coverages you have. For more information contact Barrick Insurance at (717) 632-7270.
Identity fraud can be devastating! It affects your name and reputation, as well as your credit, financial history, and sometimes even your assets. It can take a lot of time and money to resolve the problem and prevent any further damage, not to mention the frustration that goes with it. That’s why we say thank goodness for identity theft insurance!
Coverage Worth Having
Identity theft insurance will reimburse you for expenses incurred while trying to fight fraud and restore your name and credit. Depending on your policy, some of these cost would include:
- Travel expenses
- New Government ID’s
- Lost Wages
- Attorney Fees
- Resolution Services
- Expense reimbursement in connection with medical identity or tax ID fraud
Identity theft insurance generally costs about $25-$40 for limits of $15,000 to $35,000. It is usually an additional coverage offered with your homeowners insurance.
There are many other ways to protect yourself from identity theft including:
- Never give out personal information over the phone if you don’t not know the caller or do not have a request in writing.
- Shred all important documents
- Check bank statements and credit reports regularly
- Don’t carry around important information like your Social Security cards
Peace of Mind
Identity fraud can be a difficult and time consuming issue to resolve. Barrick Insurance can provide peace of mind by adding Identity theft insurance to your homeowners policy. Call (717) 632-7270 and ask about this coverage today!
There is one common thing we hear in our agency on an almost daily basis. We have numerous insureds asking why their insurance is more expensive than their brothers, cousins, friends, etc. The truth is everyone’s situation is different and insurance is not a one-size-fits-all sort of thing.
Factors That Affect Your Rates
Insurance companies review many things before issuing your policy. This is why you cannot always compare your rates to someone else’s. Some of these factors include:
- Gender & Age
- Young male drivers tend to be more of a risk than young women.
- Marital Status
- Married couples tend to have fewer accidents than single people.
- Where you Live
- Higher populated areas have more cars which can mean more accidents, theft, and collisions.
- Credit Score
- Some professions are at lower risk of having an accident. For example, delivery drivers or journalist tend to be on the road more than say a pilot. Also police officers, paramedics, and insurance writers tend to be more careful on the road.
- Vehicles Driven
- Safety rating, size, and the age of a vehicle are taken into consideration. The cost to repair an older car can often be more than the vehicles worth. Older vehicles are more likely to be “totaled”.
- Miles Driven
- The more you drive the more likely you are to be in an accident.
- Driving History
- Accidents, violations, and previous auto claims can be a huge factor.
- Higher coverages are going to mean a higher premium as well as better protection.
Over time some of these factors may change. If you maintain a clean driving record and good credit over a period of time, you may see a drastic change in your premium.
Television and radio ads can mislead drivers into thinking they can easily get cheap insurance. What they do not always mention is that you might be getting the bare minimum coverages. If you feel you are paying too much for insurance it’s best to contact your agent and discuss your policy. Barrick Insurance can help you find the best rates for the right coverage (717) 632-7270.
Damage to your property due to flooding stinks, sometimes literally! Backup of sewage from sanitary sewer lines in not only disgusting, it can be expensive and difficult to repair.
Water Backup of Sewers or Drains
Backup of sewer and water is a coverage that your insurance agent may have offered to you when you purchased you homeowners policy. It provides coverage if your drain overflows or if your sump pump breaks, causing major damage to your house and valuable items. Reasons this could happen would be:
- An aging sewer system
- A system that combines storm water and raw sewage might accumulate more volume than it can handle, causing a backup.
- Shrubs and tree roots seeking moisture will work into sewer line cracks.
Coverage amounts can vary depending on the state you live in. When trying to figure out how much coverage you need, consider your electronics, furniture, and flooring materials.
What is Not Covered
Water backup coverage should not be confused with coverage for flooding. That’s what Flood Insurance is for and it is purchased completely separate. When overflow from nearby creeks or rivers cause surface water to enter your home, it is excluded from your policy. Subsurface water from a leaking pool or irrigation system is also excluded.
To answer any questions that you may have regarding your homeowners policy, call Barrick Insurance to meet with one of our experienced agents. (717) 632-7270
Another flash flood warning! As you watch the news you may not pay much mind to it. After all, isn’t that what homeowners insurance is for?
What is Covered?
Homeowners Insurance will not cover water damage due to flooding. You must purchase a separate flood insurance policy for that. You would need a policy through the government funded program known as the National Flood Insurance Program. This program covers physical loss caused by:
- Floods & related erosion
- Severe rainstorms
- Flash floods
- Snow melt
The structure of your home as well as some personal property are covered including:
- Building furnace & Water Heater
- Refrigerators, cook stoves, and other built in appliances
- Debris removal
- Clothing, furniture, and other valuable items
- Food freezers & their contents
Even if you do not live in a flood zone, it is a good idea to purchase flood insurance. About 25% of all claims occur in “low-to-moderate risk areas”. You may be eligible for a low cost Preferred Risk Policy.
Purchasing Flood Insurance
Unlike your home or auto, you cannot price shop due to the Federal government setting the rates. You can purchase flood insurance through your local agent. Barrick Insurance can help answer any questions that you may have. Give our office a call at (717) 632-7270.
Medical Payments coverage and Bodily Injury Liability differ in one big way. One provides coverage for you and one covers other drivers. It is important to know the difference between the two when deciding how much coverage you want.
Bodily Injury Liability
Bodily Injury Liability covers another drivers physical injury when you caused the accident. It can also provide coverage for:
- Pain and Suffering
- Income Loss if the other driver is unable to perform their normal work activities
- Legal Fees
- Medical Expenses (hospital care, follow-up doctor visits, wheelchair, etc.)
Every state has a minimum coverage amount a driver must carry on their vehicles.
Medical Payments Coverage
Also known as MedPay, medical payments coverage follows the policyholder. It also usually covers any passengers or family members in the vehicle. No matter if your walking, riding in a friends car, or on public transportation, your medical payments follow you, the policyholder.
Pennsylvania is a no fault state. So if the accident is caused by another driver, their Bodily Injury Liability will reimburse your medical expenses. If you caused the accident, your medical will reimburse your medical expenses. Even if you have health insurance, it doesn’t always cover injuries due to an auto accident.
Talk with an Agent
Insurance terms and coverages can be very confusing. If you have questions or are looking for a free quote call Barrick Insurance at (717) 632-7270.
Should I have full or limited tort, stacking or no stacking? What exactly is Uninsured & Underinsured coverage? How much Liability coverage is enough? When shopping for insurance, a person might feel very overwhelmed and confused. That’s why working with an independent agent can be very beneficial.
Types of Insurance Agents
There are generally two kinds of insurance agents, an independent agent and a direct agent. Captive Agents only represent one company and are limited to their companies products. There are also Direct Writers such as Geico or Safeco, who write directly from the company. They also only have access to their own company’s products. Independent Agents on the other hand, represent many insurance companies at once. They have the ability to shop for the best possible rate and coverage to fit your needs.
Shopping for insurance should not be taken lightly. It protects your most valuable assets! It is important to know what you are purchasing. Independent agents can help you with a number of things.
- Understand insurance terms and answer your questions
- Find coverage to fit your individual risks and needs
- Shop different companies to find affordable rates
- Assistance with claims
- Meet with you face to face and establish a personal partnership
Finding an Agent
Barrick Insurance is an independent agency ready to assist you with your insurance needs! We wish to establish a successful partnership with our clients and companies, respecting their interests and goals. For help with your insurance needs give us a call today at (717) 632-7270.