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.


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.


How to Keep You and Your Pets Cool in Extreme Heat

July 22, 2011

So, the forecast today is in the triple-digits. Yes, we still live in Boston.

Keep these tips in mind as you make your way through today.

1. Don’t shy from turning on your air conditioners.

2. Drink NON-alcoholic beverages. Alcohol dehydrates you. Stay hydrated.

3. Wear appropriate clothing. That means no turtlenecks.

4. Schedule outdoor activities so they are in the morning or late afternoon, avoiding the heat of the day.

5. Monitor those at risk of heat-related illness (adults over 65 & children).

6. Do NOT leave children or pets in cars.

7. Limit sun exposure.

8. If possible, stay inside.

[SOURCE: CDC Extreme Heat Guide]


RMV Gives Back to Tornado Victims

June 15, 2011

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Losing everything in a tornado really does mean you lose everything. Yet, it is the littlest item that ends up being the most important. For example,  who even thinks about their driver’s license when their house is gone?

The RMV took this into account. They have just announced that as part of their effort to assist in this disaster, residents affected by the recent storms who lost their driver’s licenses or Massachusetts IDs can apply for a free duplicate by visiting a Registry of Motor Vehicles office.

Communities eligible for this benefit include: Southbridge, West Springfield, Springfield, Brimfield, Monson, Wilbraham, Sturbridge, Westfield, Agawam, Auburn, Chester, Blandford, Montgomery, Russell, Holyoke, Chicopee, Ludlow, East Longmeadow, Longmeadow, Wales, Oxford, Brookfield, East Brookfield, Webster, Holden, Southampton, Easthampton, Hampden, Charlton, Douglas, Millbury, Uxbridge, Belchertown, Northampton and Palmer.

For information on branch hours and locations, visit www.mass.gov/rmv.

(Information via MASSDOT, Registry News/MAIA Bulletin)


Beat the Heat and How to Save Some Cash While Doing It

June 8, 2011

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Mass. is going to start offering rebates for the purchase of newer, energy efficient air conditioners ($150 for energy-efficient and $50 rebate if you are replacing an older model). The program starts after July 28 (via CBS Boston and Mass.gov).

Unfortunately, the hot days are here now. If you haven’t heard already, then you probably don’t watch the news: Forecasters are predicting record-breaking temperatures for today and tomorrow (via CBS Boston).

Here are 5 tips on how to stay cool [South Shore Edition]– aside from doing the regular thing like drinking a TON OF WATER and staying in the shade:

1. Visit Peaceful Meadows on Rte 18 in Whitman for some amazing, homemade ice cream.

2. Go Ice Skating at Pilgram Skating Arena on Recreation Park Drive in Hingham. Ice rinks are definitely a great place to get cool!

3. Take a swim in a big pool at Webb’s Pro Fitness on Rte 53 in Norwell.

4. SHOP, SHOP, SHOP! Malls are air-conditioned so take a drive to the South Shore Plaza in Braintree, MA.

5. Museums are air-conditioned too. Did you know that local libraries have free or heavily discounted passes to places like the Museum of Science, the Boston Aquarium, the ICA, the Isabella Steward Gardner Museum, Roger Williams Park Zoo, etc. (See Norwell Public Library’s Museum Pass Page).


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). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Homeowner’s Insurance Covers Your Water Damage… So Why Get Flood?

March 7, 2011

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This weather is disgusting. (That just needed to be said). Last night, meteorologists got a little panicky about the rain. We really don’t need rain now, given that the snow’s prolonged melting is making our roads rocky and flooded anyway. Specifically though, weather-men-and-women worry about river-overflow and its effect on residential areas.

Rivers of concern are the Assabet @ Maynard, the Shawsheen @ Wilmington, and the Blackstone @ Northbridge & Woonsocket.

Melissa Mack, WBZ-4 News

A lot of skeptical homeowners assume that they’re covered for water damage. They stand proudly against the windswept rain holding their recently laminated Homeowner’s Declaration Page. While your homeowner’s policy is awesome because it covers you for your dwelling, personal property and gives you some lovely personal liability, it’s not an invincibility cloak.

“But it covers me for water damage!” the insured person proclaims.

It’s great you are covered for water damage (burst pipes, roof leakage, and damage to your personal property when your washing machine explodes causing your basement to flood). Go ahead, leave your iPads and your 3D TVs unprotected. After all, you’re insured. (Please don’t actually do that).

If your home/basement or personal property gets flooded because of a river/body of water overflow (or if it gets flooded by water you didn’t invite in your house due to excessive precipitation), you are not covered by your homeowner’s policy. You need Flood Insurance. Click that link for a free quote!

If you’re looking for a quote, look no further. Email Liz@NBAInsurance.com or call 1-781-871-5414 for details.

Please Note: Not all policies provide adequate coverage for finished basements. Additional coverage can be added by endorsement. Just ask us about it.