Schaefer & Delauder Insurance Blog

Winterizing your house to be ready for winter plus homeowners insurance - Schaefer & Delauder Insurance - Germantown and Frederick MDAs a homeowners, you are probably accustomed to handling home maintenance chores mostly in the springtime.  But the potential for damage to your house from the cold temperatures and brutal weather conditions of winter call for extra maintenance effort in the autumn as well. Don’t let Mother Nature get ahead of you.  Consider the following fall home maintenance tips.

  • Examine all gutters and downspouts for damage and remove any debris such as leaves.  This will help you avoid potential water damage inside your home from melting snow and ice.
  • Arrange for your chimney to be inspected and cleaned by a professional to help you avoid chimney fires caused by the buildup of creosote on the internal chimney walls. Your chimney technician can also check for structural problems in the chimney liner that could lead to sparks and embers escaping into walls, roof or attic.
  • Check your fire extinguisher to assure that it is in good working order and fully charged   This should be a multipurpose fire extinguisher (effective for ordinary combustibles, flammable liquids and electrical fires).
  • Be sure that your heating system is cleaned and functioning well before you need it.  Check manufacturer’s instructions for replacing your furnace filter and make the change before using your heating system. Fall could be the perfect time for an annual inspection by your local HVAC technician. 
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions to clean out any dust and lint that has built up inside your clothes dryer. Don’t overlook the area behind and under the dryer and especially the exhaust duct – all areas with the potential for a dryer fire.
  • Test your smoke detectors to assure they are functioning properly. Change the batteries if/as necessary, and replace any malfunctioning smoke detectors. 
  • To avoid frozen water pipes, insulate any pipes that pass through exterior walls and unheated areas such as the attic, garage and basement to help prevent freezing.
  • Prevent drafts around windows and door by checking the seals and repairing the caulking if necessary. 

By taking these steps before winter weather sets in, you can avoid more damage and the need for urgent repairs during the cold months.

Homeowners Insurance Tip

Did you improve your home over the spring and summer – perhaps with a new backyard pool or deck or a room addition or something else? If so, then your property value has likely increased.  Plan to have a conversation with your insurance agent to be sure that your homeowners insurance policy still offers complete coverage.

Feel free to contact any of our very capable and experienced agents at Schaefer & Delauder Insurance either in Germantown or Frederick, MD to discuss your homeowners insurance questions.  We can help you review your current insurance policy and explore your options to be sure you have the best coverage and protection according to your circumstances.

Tuesday, 09 October 2018 13:24

Renters Insurance is money smart - says Schaefer & Delauder Insurance AgencyLet’s say you’re a millennial living on your own. You’re likely renting an apartment in the city. So you know something about the high cost of living.  Typically, after you pay your rent and cover your other expenses, there is not much left in your budget. The last thing you want to do is take on another expense.

You might wonder what would be important enough to stretch your budget even further.  It’s the one item that seems to have no value until you need it; but when you have the need, it can save you from crippling debt and lots of headaches.

We’re talking about Renters Insurance.  It is usually not a top-of-mind type of insurance, like auto insurance or life insurance; but it can have just as much impact of your life, especially if you have losses after opting not to have it. In fact, the Insurance Information Institute reported a study in 2015 showing that only 4 out of 10 tenants in the U.S. have renters insurance.  The rest are at risk from unexpected theft, fire or liability.

It’s actually quite affordable.  You might think that something that will save you from potentially heavy expense would be quite costly.  Not so – renter’s insurance premiums will usually run just a few dollars a month – likely less than yesterday’s lunch.

Would Renter’s Insurance be right for you?

The easy way to find out if renter’s insurance is right for you is ask yourself the following questions. A “yes” to any of them means you owe it to yourself to check it out.

Would it be costly to replace my belongings?  Remember, while your landlord has insurance on your building, it will not cover your furniture, appliances and personal items. Do a quick inventory to estimate what it would cost to replace your things. If you find that the cost would be considerable, then renter’s insurance could help.

Are there other tenants in my building?  If your latest cooking experiment goes badly and smoke spreads to neighboring tenants’ space or if your pipe leaks into the downstairs apartment and destroys an expensive carpet, would you be able to cover the cost of repairing and replacing out of pocket?  If not, then renter’s insurance could be your answer.

Do I ever have visitors inside my apartment?  Don’t forget delivery guys and other service people.  If someone is injured in your space, you would be liable for their medical expenses.  If you think you might have difficulty paying potentially thousands in such costs, then paying a little each month for renter’s insurance could be a better alternative.

Do I ever leave my personal items in my car?  If you carry things like your purse, briefcase, gym bag, phone or other devices in your car where they might be stolen, and you’d find it hard to replace them, then renter’s insurance could be a good option for you.

Renters Insurance Tip

If you believe that renter’s insurance might be right for you, then it’s time to take action before you need the coverage. Your first step is to estimate the value of your belongings, and be sure not to underestimate.  Then sit down with your insurance agent who will help you explore the options and arrive at the amount of coverage you’ll need for your circumstances. 

We invite you to contact any of our experienced agents at Schaefer & Delauder Insurance either in Germantown or Frederick, MD to discuss your insurance questions.  We can help you to be sure you have the best coverage and protection to meet your own unique needs.

Wednesday, 09 May 2018 12:00