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.

Take Insurance 101 with Commerce Insurance (And no, this does not involve going back to school).

November 11, 2010

If you have ever explored the Commerce Insurance website, (and I’m willing to bet you haven’t) you might have noticed a link called “Insurance 101.”

One of my primary responsibilities as “insurance-agent” is to answer customer questions like “What does Bodily Injury Coverage really cover?” And “Why would anyone need such high limits?” Etc etc. Of course I don’t mind answering the questions — it makes me feel smarter actually, but I thought I’d share this resource with you. Especially since some of you may feel shy about asking.

Insurance 101 provides answers to these common questions in everyday terms for both auto and home insurance policies. It makes insurance way more user-friendly and gives consumers a better idea of what they’re getting in terms of coverage.

But of course- if you do have any questions, you can always ask us too! If you can’t tell, I love to talk.

Call us (1-781-871-5414) or email for a free quote:! And don’t forget to tell your friends, Like Us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter. 😉


How to Deal with Kitchen and Grease #Fires with #NBAInsurance

July 16, 2010

According to the National Fire Protection Association:

During 2003-2006, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 150,200 home structure fires involving cooking equipment per year. These fires caused an annual average of 500 civilian deaths, 4,660 civilian injuries, and $756 million in direct property damage.

It’s really a serious threat to your home. WHDH 7News Boston recently covered a story about a man in Oregon who got locked in his bathroom during a grease fire. Courtesy of 7News.

Watch this video of a clip that recently aired on the Today Show which walks you through some important tenets of kitchen safety. Watch now!

Summary of Video Tips:

1. Dish towels and paper towels are fire hazards on your stove, especially when placed next to a burner.

2. Never use water to put out a grease fire! Use a fire extinguisher. If you don’t have one, and if it’s a small fire, use the lid of a pot to keep it under control.

3. To avoid a grease fire, pat down your meats with paper towels or dish cloths to absorb its natural oils. If you do not do this, the moisture from the meat will react to the oil in your pan, causing grease to spurt in different directions. This puts you at risk of causing a fire.

4. When you’re deep-frying, make sure to never fill the pot more than 1/3 full with oil.

5. If something in your oven is on fire, keep the oven door closed because that will deprive the fire of oxygen. Then, when safe, you should turn off the stove. By eliminating the source of heat, the fire should disappear.

6. If your toaster or microwave sparks, pull the plug to avoid a fire.

7. Have a small fire extinguisher in your kitchen so it is handy in this situation – away from the heat source. Watch the video above if you are unsure how to operate the extinguisher.

8. When in doubt, call 911 for assistance.