Spring Cleaning and Home Insurance

Getting your home clean and organized can be a great way to prepare yourself for the upcoming year.  It gives you an opportunity to reflect on where your home is, from both a financial and just general aesthetic level. Here are three tips that we here at All About Insurance Inc, serving Caldwell, ID think you should follow when preparing your house for 2017.

1. Donate or Sell

If you have an excess of stuff laying hidden in storage spaces, or even worse, out in plain sight throughout your home, sell it or donate it to the nearest charity store. This will allow you to get a better idea on how much actual room you have in your home with all of the unneeded stuff laying around. It also makes it easier to look through your home to decide if you want to make any renovations or improvements. 

2. Reassess your Value

Spring cleaning doesn’t just mean getting rid of your stuff. It is a time of renewing your home and getting it to place you want it to be in a new year. Getting a professional to come out and reassess the value of your home can help you make decisions on refinancing, renovations, and other expenditures.  This will help you get the maximum financial value out of your home.

3. Insurance

Everyone has home insurance, but do you have the right amount of coverage? When you have your home’s value rechecked or make any changes to the structure through additions or fixing up, the value of your home might have increased. This means you will need to update your coverage. This is where we here at All About Insurance Inc can step in and help you out. Contact our Caldwell, ID area office to help you get started.

How Home Insurance Helps: Safety, Security and More

Your life is full of events that are planned and events that aren’t. The good surprises are the ones that make your life worth living, but the bad ones can cause all kinds of barriers to the rest of your plans. Home insurance won’t make your life perfect, but it can be there for you when literally no one else in the world can. 

Safety for the Family 

Your home is where you make your memories, and where you should feel you have sanctuary when the outside world seems to against you. Home insurance is what can get everything back to normal after a break-in or a natural disaster. Maintaining the home will go a long way to helping everyone inside it feel as though they’re important and safe. 

Security for All 

When there’s a major disaster in a neighborhood, like a storm in Caldwell, ID, it means that practically everyone will be affected. Every resident will be looking for help, meaning that it will be difficult to rely on anyone else but yourself for a place to stay or some financial help for all the repairs. Home insurance means getting help and resources when you know you won’t be able to pay for all the repercussions. 

Finding Help 

All About Insurance Inc. can tell you that there are far more benefits involved in home insurance — from saving you thousands of dollars over a lifetime to keeping your home an attractive property on the market. If you live in Caldwell, ID, then we’re here to talk to you about the how we fit into the equation. Our agents are here to make it easier for you to buy, understand and use the features of your policy. So give All About Insurance Inc. a call today for a chat!

Cleaning Out Your Home the Right Way

When it comes to cleaning out your home in Caldwell, ID the right way, there are several tips to keep in mind. From cleaning out your gutters on a regular basis to sweeping and mopping behind appliances, following these tips will help keep your home in pristine condition. And don’t forget to keep an active home insurance policy as this will help protect you against a variety of losses. Here’s a closer look at three tips you should follow to clean out your home the right way.

#1: Clean Out the Closets

When was the last time you cleaned out your closets? Whether you have one closet or five in your home, cleaning them out is a great way to gain much needed storage space for the items you don’t want to get rid of. To clean out closets, make sure you tackle one at a time. If you try to clean out all of them at the same time, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. 

#2: Consider a Robot Vacuum

If you find yourself unable to vacuum your floors on a regular basis, you can always invest in a robot vacuum. Robot vacuums are generally very small in size and have the ability to charge themselves. Best of all, they can teach themselves where any stairs and furniture are in your home, allowing them to easily vacuum in the most effective manner possible. 

#3: Dust On Top of Cabinets

One of the best ways to keep the dust level down in your home is to make sure you dust on top of all cabinets. If you don’t, the dust will settle and blow around when AC and heater vents are turned on. 

To learn more about cleaning your home out the right way, make sure to contact a home insurance provider in Caldwell, ID today. 

Are Defensive Driving Courses Worth It?

Driver’s education and defensive driving courses offer a number of advantages to young and older drivers. The possibility of obtaining a discount on their insurance premium is one of these advantages. By helping people improve how they drive, these courses can reduce the risk of accidents, resulting in fewer insurance claims and lower premium. To get the most from these courses, drivers should understand the following:

Insurance Discounts – Not for Everyone

Before signing up for a Driver’s Ed or defensive driving course, consumers should check with their insurance carrier to verify they offer a discount for completing this training. Most insurers offer discounts only to older (50+) drivers and young people (under 21) that complete driving course training. Discount amounts vary from one insurance carrier to another. 

To be eligible for a discount, you must verify completion of the course with a passing grade. You can discuss insurance discounts with any one of our agents at All About Insurance Inc., Caldwell, ID, to get a better idea of how to qualify for a reduction in your insurance premium.  

Improved Driving Skills

A good driver’s ed and/or defensive driving course can enhance a young person or senior’s driving skills, helping them become better drivers. Most courses cover such topics as:

  • Defensive driving
  • Accident prevention techniques
  • Driving under adverse weather conditions
  • Safe passing techniques
  • Safe highway driving and
  • Local traffic laws

Through these courses, teen and senior drivers can develop safe driving habits that will protect them and others on the road. They’ll also establish a safe driving record over time which will contribute to reducing their insurance costs.

By taking advantage of all that driving courses have to offer, teens and seniors can get the most from their investment. For more information on how to reduce car insurance costs, contact us at All About Insurance Inc., in Caldwell, ID.   

Renovating Your Home in 2017? Don’t Forget to Update Your Insurance

If you’re planning to renovate your home in 2017, don’t forget to update your insurance. Home improvement projects can affect your current insurance premium and/or coverage. Before starting any home improvement projects in Caldwell, ID, talk to an agent at All About Insurance, Inc., to see how remodeling will affect your policy. The following are but a few of the many renovations that can alter your insurance.

New Roof

Putting a new roof on your home can make you eligible for a discount on your home insurance.  A new roof greatly reduces the risk of damage to your property due to rainstorms, snow, hail or strong winds. Before applying for an insurance discount, ask your contractor to provide you with documentation that your new roof meets local specifications and codes.

Kitchen or Bath Makeover

A classy kitchen or bathroom makeover will add visual appeal to your home as well as increase its value. In order to protect your investments, you’ll need to add these renovations to your insurance policy which will, in turn, increase your premium. On the flip side, if your home’s plumbing or electrical systems were upgraded in the process of making these renovations, you could qualify for an insurance discount as these upgrades reduce the risk of water damage and fire.

Home Office/Business

Turning a spare room into a home office with basic furnishings and computer will do little to affect a standard home insurance policy. In contrast, if you transform your garage into a modern day carpentry shop where costly tools are used and stored, you may need additional insurance coverage to cover possible liability claims or carpentry tool replacement if they’re stolen or suffer loss.

By taking time to discuss home renovation ideas with an All About Insurance, Inc., representative in Caldwell, ID, you can be better prepared to handle any insurance changes these upgrades will bring.   

 

Winter Readiness Reduces the Risk of Car Accidents

Is your car ready for winter? If you haven’t taken these six steps, it might not be as prepared to safely drive in the cold as those riding with you deserve.

Step 1: Check Your Antifreeze

Your engine’s antifreeze levels can mean the difference between getting to work on time or having to explain a late arrival to your boss. If you’ve gone more than 30,000 miles since your coolant was last changed, add a coolant flush to the list of preparations.

Step 2: Check the Heating Elements

Although an engine puts out a fair amount of warmth, you’ll still want to have heated air and window defrosters on hand when it gets chilly.

Step 3: Check Your Wipers and Wiper Fluid

Winter can attack your car from above with rain, sleet, snow, and hail. A sturdy set of new wipers and a full tank of washing fluid will prevent them from blocking your view with the assault.

Step 4: Prepare a Winter Emergency Kit

Add winter survival equipment to your car’s emergency kit, such as thick blankets, a shovel for snow, and a chain to get grip in the slush.

Step 5: Take Basic Maintenance Steps

An oil change, a tire rotation, and a general vehicle tune-up are always valuable for improving the performance and safety of your vehicle. Since you’ll be doing other automobile care checks, it only makes sense to start with an overview of your vehicle’s health.

Step 6: Don’t Ride without Coverage

The only thing worse than being in an automobile accident is dealing with the aftermath of the incident without any financial support. For covering damage to your automobile, you’ll want a reliable insurance provider like All About Insurance Inc ready to lend a helping hand.

What are the Various Options for Coverage on my Car?

The citizens of Caldwell, ID understand that a certain level of minimum car insurance is required by law in order to possess a driver’s license and operate a motor vehicle; however, is this level of coverage truly appropriate for someone who drives their car regularly? After all, a car is an expensive investment and deserves to be protected. What are the levels of coverage that someone can choose from?

The minimum level of coverage is called liability only. This meets the legal requirements for the area and will provide funding to the other person’s car should their car be damaged in an accident; however, liability only will not provide any funding to repair the damages to the policyholder’s car. This is minimal coverage and could still leave the policyholder with an expensive repair cost.

Many people in Caldwell, ID invest in a level of coverage called collision coverage. This is a solid level of coverage that will pay to fix every vehicle involved in a motor vehicle accident. This means that someone involved in a car accident will have funding to fix both their car and the car of the other person involved. While this is great protection, there is still another level that covers more damages.

This highest level of coverage is called comprehensive coverage. This means that if the car is damaged for any reason, including a natural disaster or an "act of God," the policy will pay to repair the car. People looking for complete protection for their vehicle should select this level of coverage.

Anyone looking for car insurance should contact All About Insurance Inc. All About Insurance Inc has worked hard to place the needs of their customers ahead of their own. Call today for more information!

Fall Time Checklist for Home Protection

Fall isn’t just the time to change the smoke alarms inside a home. It’s also a good time to prepare a home for winter and the wet season for Caldwell, ID. A large number of house problems that can cause serious damage can be avoided with some simple precautions. According to All About Insurance Inc., here’s how:

  • Rake up and clear out all debris and dead leaves in and around the house. Dead leaves can easily catch fire when dry and create a fire hazard for a home.
  • Clean out the roof gutters from any big debris. Plug up gutters tend to fill with water and then tear off the roof with the unexpected weight. The sitting water can also cause wood rot underneath the roof.
  • Clean out all drainspouts and channel falling water away from the foundation. Water can be a powerful force in eroding soil and stone, damaging a home’s base.
  • Check and repair the backyard fence for old, weak sections. Strong storms make mincemeat of old wood fences, blowing down huge sections when a weak part fails.
  • Confirm the yard and backyard drainage are working properly. This will avoid a sudden lake next to the house during heavy rains.
  • Check and replace the home ladder before using it. Ladder falls are the number one cause of a broken leg for people over 40 during the holidays.
  • Clean out and service the fireplace. Gunked up chimneys can trap hotspots and contribute to home fires at night.
  • Check the HVAC channels for leaks in the attic and patch them. A channel leak can lose hundreds of dollars in heating each month.

For more tips and advice on how to prevent damage common during the winter, folks in the Caldwell, ID area can give All About Insurance Inc. a call. Their expert agents have seen all types of winter home risks and know how simple prevention can make a big difference between a disaster and enjoying the holidays.

Tips to Avoid Winter Auto Repars

Nobody wants to take their vehicle into the auto garage. You never really know how much it might end up costing you in the end, but more likely than not it will be at least a few hundred dollars. At All About Insurance Inc, we want to keep your vehicle on the road and you safe, whether you’re driving in Caldwell, ID or anywhere else. By following these general tips, you can avoid costly repairs and even traffic accidents. 

Wash Your Car

Maybe the easiest and most important tip, you need to regularly wash your vehicle, especially in the winter. Over time, the salt used to clear roads of snow and ice will corrode and eat away at the underside of your vehicle, developing rust. This can lead to costly repairs and unnecessary accidents. By washing your vehicle on a regular basis (at least once every other week during the height of winter), you’ll remove the salt. Just make sure to have the undercarriage washed out during the wash. 

Don’t Forget the Filters

Having the oil changed is important. It is the lifeblood of your vehicle. However, when you change out the oil you should also change out all the filters as well. The oil filter prevents dirt and other particles from sticking inside the engine. You should also consider having your air filter replaced as well at this time. Your air filter is easy enough to replace you can do this yourself, but however you do it, the filters keep your vehicle running smoothly. 

Check the Fluids

It is more than just oil. Make sure to check the coolant levels in your vehicle as well. In the winter, parts of your vehicle will contract, which can cause small leaks. This in turn may reduce the amount of coolant you have in your vehicle. Check these levels to keep your vehicle running. 

These are just some of the basic auto tips we have for you at All About Insurance Inc to help keep your Caldwell, ID vehicle running smoothly. 

Home Maintenance Tips to Winterize Your Home

Getting ready for winter weather is part of fall chores. Be sure to talk with your agent at All About Insurance Inc to update home insurance, if any life changes occurred in the past year and to upgrade replacement cost values as needed.

Here are some tips and a checklist of items to do for fall:

Exterior Maintenance

To protect your home from damage due to winter weather, here are the most important things to do:

  • Trim back trees that have branches near the home that could break and fall on the roof.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts to make sure rainwater does not collect on the roof to cause a leak.
  • Check the roof for damage, such as missing shingles, and make repairs. If you suspect there may be a roof leak, use a hose to test the roof and see if any water enters the house. Use roof patch material to fix any leaks. Be aware that the place where water enters on the roof may not necessarily be directly over the place of the water leak below in the home. Water can penetrate a roof surface and run quite a distance to find a hole to enter the house below. Check around flashing and seams in the roof, which are common areas for leaks.
  • Drain garden hoses and store them away for the winter.

Interior Maintenance

  • Check the furnace for proper operation, change the filter, and have the air ducts cleaned.
  • Shut any air vents previously opened for summer, such as attic vents.
  • Check around doors and windows for air leaks. Use weather stripping and caulking to block any air leaks.
  • Have any fireplace chimneys cleaned and check to make sure the flues are open and operational.
  • Check smoke alarms and replace batteries if necessary.

Winter Supplies

  • Make sure to have enough de-icing chemicals for walkways. Have enough snow shovels or a working snow blower.
  • Have a minimum of a two-week supply of canned food and water on hand for emergencies.
  • Make sure a backup electrical generator is working and store enough fuel to prepare for any power outages.
If you take these simple steps, you will be prepared for the winter weather.