Got a Wet Basement? Here’s What You Can Do!

January 29, 2012

Did you know that homeowners policies typically do not cover damage caused by your wet basement? Excess water is typically caused by surface water running down foundation walls, groundwater, storm sewer water, sanitary sewer water from a clog in a sewer line.

Kind of a major bummer, isn’t it?

Just think of what you’d lose- baby clothes, heirlooms, photo albums… all things it is difficult to put a price on.

Here are a few ways to manage this risk:

1) Add the Sump-Pump Overflow Coverage to your homeowner’s insurance policy.

The Water Back Up/Sump Discharge or Overflow Endorsement insures your direct physical loss to a maximum limit of $5,000.00 (subject to a $250.00 deductible), so long as it is not caused by your negligence. The coverage applies to both your basement and your personal property if damage is caused by water or waterborne material which either backs up through sewers or drains; or overflows/is discharged from a sump or related equipment — even if the discharge occurs due to mechanical breakdown.*

It is a coverage available by request and comes in handy if you’d like to protect that finished basement of  yours!

2) Clean your gutters.

Depending on how many trees you have around your house, you may have to clean them a few times per year. Not cleaning your gutters may cause  large quantities of surface water to drain and pool down next to the foundation of your home. If this happens regularly and it is not caused by leaves, you should check and see if you have enough downspouts to support adequate draining.

3) Install a perimeter drain system with a sump pump.

The system is built to push groundwater into the drain system and not into areas where it can damage carpets, walls, or personal-belongings. The water drains into a sump pit where a sump pump discharges it out of the house.

*The original exclusion to Water Damage is replaced by the following. Water means: flood, surface water, waves, including tidal wave and tsunami, tides, tidal water, overflow of any body of water, or spray from any of these, all whether or not driven by wind, including storm surge; Water which backs up through sewers or drains; or overfows or is otherwise discharged from a sump pump or related equipment; as a direct or indirect result of flood; Water below the surface of the ground including water which exerts pressure on, or seeps, leaks or flows through a building, sidewalk, driveway, patio, foundation, swimming pool or other structure; or Waterborne material carried or otherwise moved by any of the water referred to in this exclusion. This exclusion applies regardless of whether any of the above is caused by an act of nature or otherwise caused. It applies to, but is not limited to, escape, overflow or discharge, for any reason, of water or waterborne material from a dam, levee, seawall or any other boundary of containment system.

NOTE: This is for informational purposes only and is not necessarily true for all insurance companies. Call your agent for additional information.

Nice bling… Know what it’s worth?

January 27, 2012

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When was the last time you had your jewelry appraised?

  • The price of gold has increased significantly in the past few years. Every year, the value of your jewelry can fluctuate by hundreds of dollars. For this reason, it is in your best interest to reappraise your jewelry.

Why even bother… who cares if I know how much it is worth?

  • It’s important to appraise expensive jewelry and schedule it on your homeowner’s policy. Why? Because home policies limit the amount an insured can recover in case of a covered jewelry loss to around $1,000.00.* If you schedule the item to its appraised value, you can recover the same amount of money in case of a loss; the jewelry you schedule is also covered for more perils when it is scheduled on the policy.

OK… so let’s say I wanted to get an appraisal thing… where do I go from here?

  • We recommend returning to the jeweler from whom you made your purchase to get a trustworthy appraisal; sometimes, they can even be free if you return to the same jeweler. Otherwise, ask your close friends and relatives for a good jeweler so you can get a good quality appraisal (one that is not too vague or inflated).Insurance company statistics say that 20% of jewelry appraisals are inflated by 2-2.5 times their value. If you can find a jeweler that is GG (graduate gemologist) or a CGA (certified gemologist appraiser), it is all the better. Be wary of terms like “certified gemologist,” “diamondologist,” or “diamond certificate” as all of these are retail terms.

*This figure does not necessarily apply to all homeowners insurance policies and may be subject to a deductible.

2011 Hurricane Season was Third-Most Active Year

November 29, 2011

If you haven’t heard already, this year’s Hurricane Season spawned 19 name-storms. The average hurricane season gives rise to about 11 name storms.

According to the Weather Underground, Hurricane Irene -alone- caused an estimated $7.2 billion dollars worth of damage and 55 deaths over 14 states— this figure accounts for about 65% of the damages for the entire 2011 season.

The last major storm sustaining winds of over 100mph that made landfall in the US was back in 2005, Hurricane Wilma; Hurricane Katrina, you should remember, made landfall that same season.

MOLD. Not afraid? Well, it’s time you learn a thing or two.

July 8, 2011

Sorry this photo is so disgusting... but mold is never attractive.

Mold is gross. We see it mostly on old bread. But what makes mold bad news? Well, if you have an outbreak like in the photo to the right, things get expensive really fast. Let’s take a minute to understand what we are dealing with.

Mold can be caused by…

  • Poor attic ventilation or vents exhausting into the attic
  • Chimney leakage
  • Improper air conditioning installation
  • Improper installation of attic insulation
  • Weatherproofing of doors/windows
  • Improper installation of shower stalls
  • Water intrusion through exterior walls
  • Basement drainage problems
Mold’s favorite place to hang out is…
  • Under sinks & Around showers and tubs
  • Under and behind washing equipment
  • Under and behind refrigerators
  • Behind and below water heaters
  • Around the perimeter of the basement & structure
  • In crawl spaces
  • Above ceiling tiles
  • Walls around windows/doors
How to kick Mold to the curb…
  • Fix leaks and seepage issues
  • Ventilate your crawl-spaces; Actually ventilate everything else properly too
  • Use exhaust fans to ventilate appliances like your dryer or rooms like the bathroom and kitchen
  • Use dehumidifiers and air conditions to reduce the moisture in the air
  • Leave doors in your home open so air can move freely. Keep some windows open so air can also flow out.
So Mold is in my house… what do I do?
  • Clean up visible mold.
  • Replace the board and fix the water problem.
  • Remove visible mold with soapy water, dry thoroughly and repaint.
  • As long as you’ve fixed the water issue, the mold will not come back.
  • If there is excessive mold, you have to bring in the professionals.

5 Tips on Avoiding Wind-Related Losses to Your Home or Car

June 9, 2011

Best-Preventative Measures in Avoiding Wind-Related Losses:

  • Collect the necessities before the storm hits: water, food, flashlights, batteries, radio in case of power loss. Stay away from windows. You know the basics.
  • Bring outdoor objects inside so they don’t fly away. Close the patio umbrella so it is less likely to get damaged, and then, damage other things on your property.
  • Stay inside; it’s not a good time to be sunning yourself or having a BBQ.
  • Make sure any trees or tree branches in the proximity to your car or home are secured or removed all together. (Don’t do this during the storm!)
  • Garage your vehicles if you have a garage. And secure or reinforce the door shut. (Some people fill their garage with too much junk so you can’t even fit a car in it. Don’t be one of them!)

Placing Southern Tornadoes in a Northern Context

May 27, 2011

The Tornado in Joplin, Missouri last Sunday is officially the deadliest single tornado on record according to the National Weather Service. 156 people are still missing and the death toll is 132 and rising (WHDH).

It’s no surprise then that home sales in the South also dropped 17.2% due to the tornado disaster (Huffington Post).

Some clients ask if they are covered for damage caused by tornadoes since these occur way less often in New England than they do in the South. But the answer is yes, you are covered under your homeowner’s policy (HO3). Damage caused by tornado falls under the insurance on your policy for damage caused by wind/storm/hurricane.

Click here to find out how you can help those suffering from this disaster



UPDATE 6/3/2011: 

This article was written on the 27th, a few days before the tornado disaster in MA. I wanted to share some information on what to do in case of a loss:

Call us (your agent) at 781-871-5414 to report the loss. Take photos of the damage and do what you can to stop your home from being further damaged. Save all your receipts throughout the professional repair process so that way you may be reimbursed if the damage is severe enough to necessitate filing a claim.

You may also donate to assist those who have lost their homes in Massachusetts by donating online, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS, or by texting ‘REDCROSS’ to 90999 (donates $10). 











Preaching Prom Safety

May 6, 2011

 -, NBA, NBAInsurance, Insurance agency, South Shore, Free Quotes, Auto, Home, boat, life, commercial, business, renters, apartment, umbrella, personal, car

It’s that time of year again, folks. PROM SEASON for most of the schools in the area. NBA Insurance wants to take this time to provide some driving-safety tips for you to share with your sons and daughters who may be attending prom in the coming weeks.

  • Make sure your teen has a safe ride home from the party whether it is another student (a designated driver) or a trusted adult. If your son or daughter needs a ride home really late at night, make yourself available for him or her.
  • Some schools have started to put on alcohol-free events held immediately after prom using money raised from donations, grants and contributions from local businesses. Activities are left up to the senior class’ student government. It’s really just a good way for kids to dodge the crazy-party scene.
  • Don’t get your sons and daughters a hotel room. It’s really a way of enabling them to drink and make potentially disastrous decisions.
  • Don’t buy alcohol for your kids. It sounds like an obvious tip but it is something parents often overlook as being OK as long as they are present. 46 percent of teens nationwide say that by age 17, they’ve been to a party with alcohol and/or drugs where parents were present.
  • Give a reasonable curfew to your teen if they plan to go to an after-party.
  • Speak candidly and openly with your son or daughter about the risks associated with alcohol consumption (ie. binge drinking, the consequences of being caught drinking under-age, drunk-driving risks).
  • Know your son or daughters’ friends in case you need to reach him or her and are unable to.
For more visit this link and this one too.  🙂