by Emily Shepherd | May 17, 2023 | Home Insurance, Insurance
As the weather warms up and summer approaches, homeowners will be looking for ways to make the most of their outdoor space. But with the fun of backyard swimming pools comes a certain level of responsibility for safety. While homeowners insurance provides some protection in the event of an accident, it’s better to take proactive measures to ensure that your swimming pool is not only safe for your family and guests, but also protected in case something happens while you’re enjoying it. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some simple tips for maintaining swimming pool safety at home so you can have a safe and enjoyable summer season.
The Consequences of Negligent Pool Safety
It’s easy to see backyard pools as a fun zone, but it’s important to remember that swimming pools can also be dangerous places. Unfortunately, negligent pool safety is a leading cause of accidental drownings and injury in the United States, so it’s essential that all pool owners take the necessary steps to ensure water safety at all times.
That’s largely because failure to follow proper pool safety protocols can have serious consequences. In addition to the risk of injury or death, pool owners can also be held liable for accidents that occur due to their negligence—from expensive medical bills to civil lawsuits, and even criminal charges, depending on the severity of the incident.
However, by taking the time to properly educate themselves on pool safety and implementing precautionary measures, pool owners can ensure that their friends and family have a safe and enjoyable summer season.
Basic Tips for Maintaining Swimming Pool Safety
Maintaining swimming pool safety is a must for every home with a pool, especially in the summertime, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are some basic tips to help you maintain water safety and summer safety in and around the pool:
- Make sure everyone knows how to swim. Make sure all children are supervised by an adult and have taken proper swimming lessons.
- Establish and enforce safety rules. Make sure everyone knows and follows these rules to avoid any accidents or incidents.
- Keep a first aid kit and/or life ring close by in case of an emergency.
- Install safety fences and/or covers to protect children from entering the pool unsupervised.
- Keep toys away from the pool when not in use to avoid enticement for children.
- Check the pH levels in the water regularly to ensure it’s safe for swimming.
- Always remove pool ladders and other entry points when the pool is not in use.
- Post visible signs such as “no diving” and “children must be supervised by an adult” near the pool area.
- Install a Pool Alarm. Pool alarms are an invaluable safety device that alerts you when someone enters the pool area. They can provide an extra layer of protection, especially for those with young children or pets.
- Invest in Safety Covers. A safety cover is a great way to limit access to the pool when it’s not in use. They’re usually made of strong vinyl material and are designed to withstand heavy weights.
- Post Warning Signs. Make sure to post visible warning signs around the pool, advising people of its depth, any rules for using the pool, and any dangers associated with its use.
- Monitor Activity. Whether you have young children or older adults using the pool, always make sure there is someone present to monitor their activity.
- Educate Yourself. Be aware of water safety regulations, safety equipment, and lifesaving techniques to be prepared in case of an emergency.
Level Up with Policies that Float
In addition to basic safety precautions, it’s also important that homeowners understand what kinds of coverage they have when it comes to their backyard oasis—and where they could have liability gaps. So while yes, homeowners insurance does typically cover pool accidents, there are a few important factors to consider when it comes to determining what is covered and how much coverage you may receive.
First, it’s important to know that liability coverage is typically part of your homeowner’s insurance policy. This coverage covers the costs associated with any injury or damage to property as a result of your negligence. Therefore, if someone is injured in your pool and you are found liable, then your liability coverage will cover the costs associated with the incident.
But understand: liability coverage only covers the costs associated with an injury or damage in property and not necessarily the costs associated with repairing or replacing the pool itself. So, if someone falls into your pool and requires medical treatment, your homeowner’s insurance policy may cover medical bills, but not the cost of repairing or replacing the pool or building a fence.
It’s also important to note that homeowners insurance policies often have exclusions for certain kinds of pools. For example, some policies exclude coverage for swimming pools located on a commercial property, or may limit coverage for certain types of pools.
Ultimately, while homeowners insurance typically covers pool accidents, it’s important to understand the details of your policy and take all necessary safety precautions to reduce the risk of an accident. Your insurance agent can help you determine what coverage you need and what policies will best help provide it. Doing so can help ensure that you and your family stay safe this summer and that any potential accidents are covered by your insurance policy.
With the coverage, you can relax all summer, knowing that you’re protected from whatever comes your way. If you’d like help exploring your options, we at Penny Insurance would love to help. Contact us to schedule a consultation or get a quote for any of your insurance needs.
by Emily Shepherd | Mar 29, 2023 | Insurance, Travel Insurance
All you need to know about covering your upcoming travels
As the days get longer and warmer, many of us are preparing to embark on our next adventure. But before you start packing your bags, it’s important to consider the benefits of travel insurance, which can protect you in case of many unexpected travel-related issues, like illness, cancellations, injuries and more. So, in order to ensure that your next trip goes off without a hitch, let’s help you understand what type of travel coverage you may need and how to go about getting it.
What Does Travel Insurance Cover?
Travel insurance is designed to protect you from any unexpected costs or losses that may occur while traveling. It covers a wide range of expenses, from medical bills to lost luggage, including:
Medical and Emergency Expenses
Many policies cover medical expenses related to illnesses and injuries incurred while abroad. This can include doctor visits, hospital stays, prescription medications, ambulance services, and more. Some policies also provide coverage for emergency evacuation and repatriation back home if necessary.
Trip Cancellation or Interruption
Travel insurance can provide reimbursement for any prepaid, non-refundable trip expenses if your trip is canceled or interrupted due to certain covered events, such as weather, illness, terrorism, bankruptcy of the travel provider, or other factors.
Lost Baggage and Personal Items
Many travel insurance policies will reimburse you for lost, stolen, or damaged baggage and personal items, including expensive items like electronics, jewelry, and cameras.
Accidental Death and Dismemberment
Some travel insurance policies will provide financial compensation in the event of an accidental death or dismemberment while on your trip. (However, as industry experts, we should also add: it’s important to have your own AD&D and Disability policies as well. Let us know if we can help you attain those.)
Liability coverage provides legal assistance and financial protection if you are responsible for damaging another person’s property or causing injury or death.
Many policies offer additional services such as 24-hour travel assistance, roadside assistance, and concierge services—services that can be helpful if you need help with making travel arrangements, finding a local doctor or hospital, or even replacing a passport or other travel documents.
When purchasing travel insurance, make sure you understand the coverage options so you can choose the best policy for your needs. An agent can walk you through the different options. By preparing ahead of time with the right insurance plan, you can enjoy your travels with peace of mind knowing that you are protected against unexpected costs or losses.
When do you need Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance is an important consideration for any vacation or business trip, regardless of the length or destination. Whether you’re taking a short domestic weekend getaway or a longer international journey, you should purchase travel insurance whenever there is a chance of financial loss due to unforeseen circumstances. Even (and maybe especially) if you don’t think anything will go wrong on your trip, it’s still a good idea to have coverage in case something unexpected happens.
Some trips may require you to purchase travel insurance; if you’re planning a cruise or other type of package trip, it’s likely that your provider will require you to purchase coverage. Additionally, some countries may require travelers to purchase medical insurance before they enter the country.
How Much Does It Cost?
When it comes to the cost of travel insurance, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The price of your policy depends on a variety of factors, including your destination, the type of travel, the length of your trip, and the level of coverage you’re looking for, but generally speaking, the more comprehensive the coverage, the more expensive the policy will be.
In addition to the base price of the policy, you may also have to pay additional fees or premiums depending on your situation. For example, if you’re traveling to a high-risk destination or participating in extreme sports, you may have to pay extra for your coverage. Some policies also have a deductible that must be paid before any benefits are triggered, so it’s important to not only understand, but factor these costs into your overall budget when you’re comparing plans.
The easiest way to figure out how much your policy will cost is to get a quote. There are many online companies that offer a quote generator where you can input your information and get an estimated cost, but finding a reputable agent—especially if you have a number of trips or a single, extensive vacation—can better help you compare policies and make an informed decision about which plan best fits your needs.
Travel insurance, in general, is relatively easy to get, but when it comes to preparing for your upcoming trip, there are a few other important aspects you should also consider.
First and foremost, it’s important to make sure that you’re buying travel insurance from a reputable company. Read the policy closely to ensure that you understand the coverage and any exclusions, and check online reviews to help you choose a reliable provider.
Another thing to consider is whether you need additional coverage for activities such as skiing, scuba diving, or other adventurous activities. Some policies may include coverage for these types of activities, while others may require you to purchase additional coverage, or will reject the policy altogether.
Finally, make sure that you know how to contact the insurance company in case of an emergency. If you’re traveling abroad, you may need to contact them in a different language, so make sure that you understand the process before your trip. Keep a copy of the policy with you, and hand one off to someone else to ensure that you can easily get ahold of the records, should you need them. Keep in mind, during an emergency, you’ll want to have information easily accessible.
With the right travel insurance policy, you can rest easy knowing that you’re covered in case of an emergency. So whether you’re planning a busy year of business travel, a quick family getaway, or a large family reunion, make sure you’re covered.
If you need help exploring your options, we at Penny Insurance are here to help. Contact us to schedule a consultation or get a quote for any of your insurance needs.
by Penny Insurance Agency | Feb 23, 2023 | Equine Insurance
Are you planning a trip with your horse? Whether you have plans to enter a competition or are just traveling to greener pastures, traveling with your horse can be a unique and rewarding experience. However, it also requires a bit of careful planning. From finding the right transport to ensuring you have the right equestrian insurance, here are the top five tips for a successful trip.
1. Choose the Right Mode of Transportation
When it comes to transporting your horse, you have a few options available to get from Point A to Point B. What you choose will likely depend on how far you plan on traveling, the size of your horse, and your budget.
One option is to transport your horse in a trailer. This is probably the most common way for people to move their horses around, as it offers the most security and safety for your horse during the journey. If you plan on doing long-distance trips with your horse, purchasing is likely the best option, but keep in mind: it can be an expensive option, depending on the size and type of trailer you need.
Another option is to hire a professional horse transportation service—a great option if you don’t have the time or ability to transport your horse yourself. Professional services will make sure that your horse is comfortable and safe throughout the trip and can take care of any potential paperwork needed, and they can offer door-to-door service, which can save you a lot of hassle.
If you’re planning on a shorter trip and you have access to a reliable vehicle, you could always opt to drive your horse yourself. While this is definitely the most cost-effective option (all you would need to pay for is gas), it may not be the safest option and you’ll need to make sure that you’re comfortable driving with a large animal in tow.
2. Consider Your Horse’s Health and Well-Being
Traveling with a horse can be a great way to explore something new, but you need to make sure your horse is safe and healthy throughout the journey. Before you leave, consider doing the following:
- Have your horse checked by a vet. Make sure your horse has had all its necessary vaccinations and is free of any contagious diseases. Also have the vet check for any signs of illness or injury, as these can quickly become an issue when traveling.
- Prepare a first aid kit. Put together a kit of items to help deal with minor injuries or illnesses while on the road. Include items such as bandages, gauze, antiseptic spray, a thermometer, and a list of phone numbers of vets in the area.
- Check the weather. Check the temperature and the weather forecast for your route and your destination. If you’re traveling to a warmer climate, ensure that your horse has adequate protection from the sun and heat, including a fly sheet or hood and plenty of shade.
- Pack plenty of water. Make sure you pack enough water for both yourself and your horse for the entire journey. Pack more than you think you’ll need just in case you get delayed or stuck somewhere.
- Make rest stops. Plan frequent stops along the way so that your horse can rest and stretch his legs. This will help reduce stress levels, and provide him with an opportunity to eat and drink before continuing on.
3. Get Your Paperwork in Order
You wouldn’t think that taking a trip would require a file folder of documents, but when traveling with a horse, it’s important to have your paperwork in order to avoid any unnecessary hassle. Here are some of the most important documents that you should have in place when traveling with a horse:
A valid passport for your horse.
Your horse’s passport should include information such as its name, breed, microchip number, and description.
Proof of vaccinations.
It’s essential to make sure that your horse’s vaccinations are up to date in order to avoid any potential health risks during your travels.
Depending on where you’re traveling, you may need to obtain a health certificate from a certified veterinarian in order to prove that your horse is healthy.
It’s also important to have identification documents such as a valid driver’s license or other government-issued ID when traveling with a horse
If you’re planning on shipping your horse, make sure that all necessary shipping documents are in place before you depart.
Keep in mind, you’ll also want to keep copies of all of these documents in case they are requested at any point during your travels.
4. Make Sure You’re Fully Insured
Traveling with your horse can be a stressful experience, but having the right insurance coverage in place provides peace of mind and makes the journey a lot smoother. It is important to make sure you are covered in case of an accident or other unexpected events that could cause harm to your horse or your property.
Equine insurance typically covers things like medical care, loss of use, death and theft, and depending on the policy you choose, it may also cover liability for property damage or bodily injury caused by your horse. However, it is also a good idea to investigate travel policies that may provide extra coverage while traveling, so you can have additional coverage for unique risks associated with horse travel, such as trailer damage or breakdowns. Some policies will even provide coverage for loss of entry fees for competitions if you have to cancel due to your horse becoming ill or injured.
Regardless of the kind of policy you choose, make sure that you have the coverage you need, understand the details of your coverage and know how to file a claim if necessary—before you hit the road.
5. Always Have a Plan B
Traveling with a horse requires planning and preparation, but even the best-laid plans can go awry. That’s why it’s essential to always have a Plan B in place in case something doesn’t go as planned. Here are some scenarios to consider:
1. A Backup Plan for Transportation.
If you’re driving with your horse, have a backup plan in case of car trouble or delays. Make sure you know the routes and locations of nearby stables, trailer parks, and other horse-friendly places so that you can make alternate arrangements if necessary.
2. Emergency Contacts on Hand.
Have contact information for your veterinarian and other horse professionals you may need in case of an emergency. You should also have contact information for local authorities and the nearest equine hospital on hand.
3. Carry Emergency Supplies.
Bring along all the supplies you may need in an emergency, such as medication, medical supplies, and items for quick repairs (like duct tape). You may also want to bring along food and water for both yourself and your horse in case you get stranded.
4. Have an Emergency Fund.
Unexpected expenses can pop up when traveling with horses. Be prepared by having an emergency fund set aside for any unplanned costs.
Traveling with your horse can be a wonderful experience, but it takes planning and preparation to make sure that you and your horse have a safe and successful journey. Before you leave, make sure to contact your insurance broker to make sure that your horse and your trip are covered. If you’re looking for a new policy, or want to ensure you’re fully covered for all your insurance needs, contact us at Penny Insurance to schedule a consultation and get a quote.
by Penny Insurance Agency | Jan 23, 2023 | General Tips
Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love and show someone special just how much you care. That often means giving expensive and valuable gifts, such as jewelry. But after the joy of gifting has passed, it’s important to make sure your most precious items are properly protected.
That’s where valuables and jewelry insurance come in. This blog post will explore the importance of properly insuring your valuables and jewelry to ensure you’re covered in case of loss, damage, or theft.
What items should I insure?
When it comes to insuring valuable items like jewelry, it’s important to ensure that you have adequate coverage to replace or repair them in the event of loss or damage. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to determine which items should be insured, generally speaking, expensive or sentimental items like engagement rings, watches, bracelets, and necklaces are a good place to start.
When it comes to deciding how much coverage you need, it’s important to take into account the item’s current value, as well as the cost to repair or replace it if necessary. While some insurance companies may have a minimum amount of coverage required, typically items with a value of over $1,000 should be considered for additional insurance coverage.
>But remember: these suggestions aren’t only for jewelry—other items worth considering for insurance coverage include fine art, antiques, family heirlooms, and collectibles. If you have questions about what items you own that should have these special protections, make sure to discuss your individual situation with your insurance agent or broker to ensure you have the right amount of coverage for your entire collection.
When should I insure it?
Although it may be the furthest thing from your mind at this point, when it comes to insuring jewelry and other precious gifts, the best time to get insurance is as soon as possible. Ideally, you should purchase an insurance policy before you even make the purchase to ensure that your valuable items are covered from the moment you bring them home.
It’s also important to remember that a standard homeowner’s or renter’s policy typically does not cover precious items like jewelry and engagement rings unless you’ve added a special rider to do so. You may be able to obtain additional coverage through your current provider, but it’s always wise to compare different policies to make sure you’re getting the best coverage for the best price.
In most cases, it’s better to purchase a separate policy for valuable items like jewelry and engagement rings, since they often require more coverage than other items. A standalone policy will provide you with greater peace of mind knowing that your items are fully protected in case of theft, damage or loss. Keep in mind that some insurers offer discounts if you purchase multiple policies at once, so it could save you money in the long run.
How much coverage do I need?
When it comes to insuring your most valuable gifts, such as jewelry, it’s important to make sure you have the right amount of coverage. Determining how much coverage you need can be tricky, but it’s essential in order to make sure your gift is properly protected.
To figure out how much coverage you will need, start by finding out how much the item is worth. This can be done through an appraisal, which will give you an accurate assessment of the current market value of the jewelry. Once you have that number, you can use it as a guide to decide how much coverage you need. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to get at least double the appraised value in order to be sure you’re covered if anything happens to the jewelry.
Once you have a ballpark number for the amount of coverage needed, you can then talk to an insurance agent about getting the appropriate policy for your jewelry. The agent will be able to go over all of the options and make sure that your jewelry is covered for any eventuality, but don’t forget to ask about any special riders that might be necessary for your specific piece of jewelry—riders could include things like a rider for diamonds or gems, or a rider for replacing pieces if they are lost or stolen.
Insuring family heirlooms
When it comes to insuring family heirlooms, it’s important to remember that these items often carry more sentimental value than monetary value, and so it’s important to research the exact type of item and take into account the age of the item when determining how much coverage is needed. Heirloom items are typically considered collectibles and therefore require special attention and care.
In reality, insuring heirlooms is typically a bit more complicated than insuring traditional jewelry or gifts. To do so, you will need to provide a comprehensive list of the item or items you are wanting to insure, including any known appraisals, certificates of authenticity, purchase information, photographs, or any other documentation, as well as a written description of the item, which should include details about the age and condition of the item. Lastly, you’ll need to know the retail replacement cost for similar items in similar condition—even if you consider it to be irreplaceable.
If that’s the case, you may want a policy for an heirloom for more than its current market value, and therefore you may need to find a company that offers “agreed value” insurance. This type of coverage protects against inflation and guarantees that the item will be replaced at the amount agreed upon by both parties, regardless of what it costs to replace the item today. While agreed-value policies can often be more expensive than standard jewelry or gift policies, they are well worth the extra cost if you want to ensure that your family heirlooms are fully protected in the event of a loss.
Whether your jewelry collection is vast or just starting out, we at Penny Insurance are here to help you keep your most cherished and sentimental possessions safe. Contact us to schedule a consultation or get a quote for any of your insurance needs.
by Penny Insurance Agency | Jan 8, 2023 | General Tips
If there’s anything that the past few years have taught us, it’s that we should always expect the unexpected, and when it comes to the unexpected, there’s no better time to set yourself up for the best possible outcomes than the first of the new year.
As 2023 begins, take a few minutes to ensure that you have the right insurance coverage in place—especially taking into consideration the life changes that may have occurred since you last reviewed your policies. Whether you’re looking for a new policy or simply reviewing your current coverage, this checklist will help you make sure that you have all the protection you need.
Step 1: Review Your Coverage
Starting off the new year, it’s important to review your current insurance coverage and ensure that you are adequately protected. Your current insurance policies will have premiums, deductibles, and limitations on what is covered, and it’s important to make sure these still meet your needs as they may have changed over time.
You should also look into your overall coverage and determine if you have enough liability coverage to protect your assets in case of an unexpected event. If you own a home or vehicle, ensure you have adequate property and casualty insurance coverage to cover any damages. Finally, it’s important to review what your health insurance policy covers and if you need to add any additional coverage.
By taking the time to review your current coverage, you can ensure that you are fully insured for the new year and well-protected from unexpected events.
Check Your Limits
One of the first steps in assessing your insurance needs for the upcoming year is to review the limits of your current coverage—the amount your policy will pay out in the event of a claim. Different policies have different kinds of limits, such as the maximum number of days or the amount of coverage you’re entitled to in a single policy period, so it’s important to understand what your current limits are so you can decide whether they’re appropriate for your needs in 2023.
Additionally, limits can vary from year to year, based on factors like changes in the cost of living, or changes to the rules and regulations related to certain types of insurance. (For example, auto insurance limits may be adjusted depending on local traffic laws or changes to state regulations, and homeowner’s insurance limits can also change based on inflation and other economic factors.)
And, if you’re considering a major life change—such as getting married, buying a home or boat, or starting a business—it’s important to make sure that your existing limits are still appropriate for the new situation. For a comprehensive look at what you have covered already, make sure to get in touch with your agent.
It’s easy to take the first quote you get as a final estimate, but it’s important to shop around and compare quotes to ensure you are getting the best deal when it comes to insurance. That means getting a few different options for policies—and maybe sometimes even reaching out to a different agency.
Keep in mind that while cost is an important factor, the cheapest option doesn’t always mean it is the best coverage, and you should consider not only the monthly premium but also the coverage limits and deductible amounts. It may seem like a lot of work, but it’s worth spending some extra time researching and comparing options as it could save you money in the long run.
Protect Your Valuables
The holidays are a great time for new gifts, and sometimes those gifts—jewelry, vehicles, or artwork—should be protected separately from a regular homeowners or automotive policy. So, as the new year approaches, take a quick inventory of your high-worth assets, and make sure they are fully covered.
If you have acquired new items since the last time you checked, make sure to include them in your policy and increase your coverage if necessary. If your policy does not cover the full value of an item that you think may have increased in value, you will want to get it re-appraised.
Finally, make sure to keep a record of all your valuable possessions in case they are lost or stolen. This may include keeping photos and serial numbers of electronics, jewelry, artwork, and other items. Having these records will make filing a claim much easier and help ensure that you receive the full amount of coverage.Then, make sure to revisit your policy each year to keep up with changes in value and potential risks, so you can be sure that you’re fully covered in the new year.
Prepare for the Unexpected
No matter how much we plan, life can still take us by surprise. That’s why it’s important to be prepared for the unexpected with adequate insurance coverage. Consider protecting yourself and your family from natural disasters, floods, life and other health events with individual and appropriate policies.
As examples, if you live in an area prone to flooding or natural disasters, you should consider purchasing flood insurance. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers both flood insurance and mitigation assistance for those living in areas at risk of flooding. For those with health concerns, look into getting health insurance or supplemental coverage to help cover some of the costs associated with medical bills, emergency treatments, and more. Finally, if you have dependents who would be financially affected if something were to happen to you, consider getting a life insurance policy that covers your burial costs and provides financial support for your family during a hard time.
For any policy you’re considering, the main thing is to be sure to read the policy details closely so you understand what is and isn’t covered. By preparing for the unexpected, you can help ensure that you and your family are protected if anything ever happens.
No matter your position in life, we know that protecting yourself, your family and your assets is of vital importance, and that’s why we at Penny Insurance are here to help. If you’d like to schedule an annual check-in and have one of our agents advise you on comprehensive coverage for everything in your life, please contact us and let us know.
by Penny Insurance Agency | Dec 9, 2022 | General Tips
As winter approaches, it’s easy to forgo home maintenance and want to put it off until spring. What you might not realize, though, is that procrastinating on winter-proofing your home (or ignoring it altogether) can cause expensive property damage—and those insurance claims are more common than you think!
For that reason, it’s a good idea to make sure your home is winter-ready and will remain in good condition over the cold season. Fortunately, winterizing your home is a lot like preparing for a storm. You need to be aware of what’s coming and prepare in advance. After all, you can’t close the door on winter weather—even living in the temperate South.
So for a winter season you can enjoy to the fullest, use these tips to keep your home safe and winter-ready all season long. Then, enjoy everything that comes with the cold weather—without having to worry about costly insurance claims.
#1. Avoid the Ice Dam
An ice dam is a sheet of ice that builds up along the edge of your roof, blocking meltwater from running down and away from the edge of your roof, which can cause water to back up and instead leak into your home.
There are many ways to prevent an ice dam from forming on your property, but the simplest is to clear snow and ice off the roof before it accumulates too much weight. Additionally, make sure you have the proper insulation in place and that there’s enough heat inside the house to warm your home from the inside out.
#2. Protect Your Pipes from Freezing
Probably the biggest challenge for most homeowners in the winter—even in the South—is freezing pipes, which can cause a lot of damage and costly repair if you’re not prepared to prevent them.
To get started, keep an eye on external or exposed pipes by wrapping them with insulation or heating tape and make sure any drainage spouts are clear of snow. Regularly check outdoor hoses and pipe connections for leaks, so there won’t be costly damage come springtime when warmer temperatures melt ice off walls, roofs, and other structures where the problem may not have been noticed previously.
Also, make sure you keep a faucet in your home dripping slightly any time below-freezing temperatures come calling—this will keep water moving through your system and help prevent the pipes from grinding to a frozen halt.
Finally—don’t forget your outdoor plumbing! Covering your pool pump will protect it from freezing when exposed; if water has already frozen around the pump, then drain water away first to avoid additional damage.
#3. Clearing the Walkways
When driving conditions get tough, homeowners should be extra cautious about moving around, and one easy way is by clearing the walkways and driveways of any buildup from snow or ice. Not only will this help your family (or friends, visitors or even postal workers) avoid slipping on the ice, but also help you avoid expensive insurance claims should a slip-and-fall happen.
To effectively—and easily—clear your walkways and driveways, simply use a shovel and broom to remove the snow, and sprinkle some salt down to prevent them from freezing over.
#4. Don’t Forget the Inside
It’s easy to consider the outdoor needs of your home when preparing for cold weather, but don’t forget the inside, too!
First, make sure smoke detectors are working properly and have fresh batteries installed—especially if you like the feel of a roaring fireplace during the cold snaps. While you’re at it, replace the air filter so your heat pump can work efficiently, and, if you need a little heating “boost” for your basement or other cold-prone areas, check out insulated curtains or even heated sub-flooring to maintain an even temperature.
From homeowner’s insurance to protect you from the worst that winter can throw your way—to an automotive policy that protects you from icy roads, Penny Insurance is here for you. We’d love to help you with any of your insurance needs – home, auto, life, business, equine, premium and more, so if you’d like to schedule a consultation or get a quote for any of your needs, please contact us and let us know.
by Penny Insurance Agency | Oct 27, 2022 | Insurance
The Carolinas are one of the most diverse and beautiful regions in the United States, offering opportunities for people of all ages to experience their fair share of fun and adventure throughout the year. It’s one of the main reasons that Penny Insurance calls this area home—with office locations in both Hendersonville and Tryon, North Carolina.
With this area offering a wide variety of places to visit, you have the opportunity to explore many areas and find your perfect fall experience. With this guide to fall in our own backyard, you will be sure to make the most of your time enjoying all that our area has to offer in this beautiful season of autumn.
Drive the Blue Ridge parkway
If seeing the fall colors and changing leaves is top of your “to do” list, one of the best (and easiest) things to do is to drive The Blue Ridge Parkway. This scenic, four-lane highway runs for 469 miles through the Appalachian Mountains, connecting Shenandoah’s Skyline Drive to the Cherokee National Forest near Gaffney, South Carolina. With incredible views all the way, this winding, remote path is great for adventuresome souls looking to explore.
Fortunately, the drive can be completed in less than a day if you’re looking for a quick getaway, although you can see plenty with picnic spots and a few hours in North Carolina’s section of the drive. If you decide to drive it, make sure you check out Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park—the highest point on the parkway at 6,643 feet.
Pick some apples
Fall means apples, and apple picking is an excellent way to spend a fall day in Hendersonville, North Carolina. There are plenty of places for apple picking, but some of the most popular—Mountain Fresh Orchard, Justus Orchard and Sky Top—provide incredible experiences surrounding your pick of your favorite fruit.
If you can’t decide where to go, just decide when. Plan to visit the area over Labor Day weekend, when you can attend the Apple festival, and sample apples, ciders, donuts, and other treats from around the state—all within a mile’s stretch of downtown Hendersonville.
Fly through the air
For those looking for adventure and a bit of adrenaline, look no further than The Gorge in Saluda, N.C. This zipline is one of the steepest and fastest ziplines in the nation, and is an adventure like no other. You’ll soar over a picturesque gorge on a suspended cable, and enjoy breathtaking views of the surroundings below.
Once you’re done with your flight, there’s still plenty more to explore. Seek out Green River Adventures for everything from whitewater trips to rappelling down one of the local waterfalls. Whatever you do, you’re sure to have a rush after doing it.
Take a hike
Looking for beautiful sights and a little fresh air? You’re in luck—both North Carolina and South Carolina have some of the prettiest spots to take a hike anywhere in the southeast. Check out the trails at Lake Jocassee, head toward Sassafrass Mountain (right on the NC and SC border), or head out toward Caesar’s Head, Flat Rock, or any number of gorgeous locations. If waterfalls are your thing, check out the Carolina Mountain Club’s WC100—a list of 100 waterfalls in the region that are “must sees”.
In short, Western North Carolina is the best place to hang out in the fall. The mountains and the lakes are breathtaking, and it’s a great place for outdoor recreation and exploration. Fall means that all the leaves are changing colors and falling from the trees, so there are photo opportunities a plenty for nature lovers. Even better: there are lots of events happening during this time, too—like festivals, arts fairs and live music.
We fell in love with Western North Carolina, and we know you will, too. And whether you’re new to the area, looking to buy a second home in the mountains, or just stopping in, we’d love to help you with any of your insurance needs – home, auto, life, business, equine, premium and more. If you’d like to schedule a consultation or get a quote for any of your needs, please contact us and let us know.
by Penny Insurance Agency | Oct 5, 2022 | Equine Insurance
Horse owners have known the importance of equine insurance for decades; those who don’t often discover it the hard way. Whether you own one horse or an entire stable, it’s important to make sure you and your animals are protected in case they fall ill or sustain an injury while you’re away from home. The best horse insurance policy can cover all of your most valuable assets at reasonable prices, so if you aren’t sure where to start looking, consult this guide on why equine insurance is important and how to get the best coverage possible.
What is Equine Insurance?
Equine insurance is a type of insurance that covers horses and their owners against injuries and other losses. There are two main types of equine coverage: liability insurance, which pays for any damage done by your horse, and property insurance, which covers anything your horse damages while in your care. There are many more types of equine insurance policies available today than there were decades ago; it’s important to read up on the differences between these policies before deciding which one is right for you.
Why should I have insurance on my horse?
It’s a sad reality that we live in a world where accidents can happen at any time, but if you own a horse, it’s important for you to have equine insurance, which can help cover veterinary costs and lost earnings due to injury. Having coverage will also help you avoid going into debt if your horse needs expensive medical treatment. But more than anything, you want to have peace of mind that if something does happen, your horse will be taken care of, and your financial investments will be well-protected.
Our Policy Solutions
At Penny Insurance, we always want to find the best solution to the daily challenges that our clients face. For our equestrian clientele, it was important to us to find coverage that not only protected the animal themself but also reinforced the relationships that most owners have with their animals.
For this reason, we have recently expanded our policy coverage for horses and their owners—and include options in both areas of life and health insurance through Core Specialty Equine. We truly believe that we can offer some of the best insurance options through this new program. Here’s a quick download on what makes these policies so great:
Major Medical Coverage
If you own a horse and have bought health insurance before, you may be aware that not only do you have to consider the deductible for each visit, but typically will also have a percentage-based co-pay as well—something that can quickly add up in the case of a problem. But with our policies, you don’t have to worry about that sneaking up on you; we can offer plans with no co-pay requirements at all.
When you purchase an equine policy through Penny Insurance, you don’t have to worry about claims taking forever or being “farmed out” to other claims departments. With Core Specialty, the claims department is all in-house, allowing them to respond quickly. And not only that, but they are in the same space as underwriting, allowing them to know each policy and its benefits intimately.
Loss of Use; Not Loss of Horse
If your horse is an income generator—whether riding, breeding or racing—then a loss of use policy is a must-have, and will protect you in case something happens to your major breadwinner. But should the worst happen, you don’t want your only option to be euthanization—something that most other policies require in order to gain your payout. With Penny Insurance, you have options: either rehab the horse in an adoptive scenario for the full payout, or keep your four-legged friend for half. Either way, your loss of use doesn’t have to mean the end of an era.
If you’re looking for a new policy for your equine companion, you’ll want to take a look at our new policies immediately. If you’d like to schedule a consultation or get a quote for any of your home, family or business needs, please contact us and let us know.
by Penny Insurance Agency | Sep 8, 2022 | Insurance, Valuable Items Insurance
Insuring Your Art Collection: Everything You Need to Know
How to insure your collectibles and collections
Your art collection is probably one of your most prized possessions, but it can also be one of the most difficult to insure. That’s because art insurance often comes with high premiums and plenty of exclusions, and you’ll need to take the proper steps to protect it from damage or theft.
The good news? If you have enough appraised value in your collection, you may qualify for extra protection from your home insurance provider—or even full coverage under certain circumstances. So whether you’re looking to start or expand your collection, here are some of the basics you should know about insuring art collections and collectibles.
What’s a collectible insurance policy?
A collectible insurance policy is a premium policy that covers art and collectibles. This type of policy is designed to protect your investment—whether that be antique art, legacy jewelry or a priceless vase—in case of damage or theft. However, while collectible insurance policies are usually more expensive than standard homeowners or renters insurance policies, they also offer more comprehensive coverage specific to the needs of the owner, as well.
Considerations for Policies
If you’re considering getting an insurance policy to cover your collectibles, it’s important to know that it’s not as simple as a one-size-fits-all policy. In fact, there are a lot of coverage areas you should consider, so if you’re in the consideration phase, make sure you sit down with a trusted agent to go over your options. Here are a few things you should review when shopping for a collectibles policy:
- Coverage Settlements
When you itemize your pieces of artwork, many insurance companies will cover them for the agreed value. That way, in the event of a total covered damage or loss, you receive the full amount of the agreed value, with no depreciation. However, other policies allow for market appreciation and may pay over the agreed value if the value has increased considerably. Another option is to receive a cash payout in the event of damage or loss if an item is irreplaceably damaged.
- Newly Acquired Items
Still building your collection? You’ll want to ensure you have immediate coverage for new acquisitions. Then, within 90 days, you’ll be covered for at least some of the total itemized coverage.
- Pairs, Sets and Parts Coverage
When dealing with sets (like antique chess or even jewelry) you always have to consider the value of the item alongside its other pieces. With Pairs, Sets and Parts coverage, you can hand over the remaining pieces, and coverage will be paid out for the entire set.
- Loss of Market Value
Sometimes, if a work of art is damaged, it can lose a lot of market value—quickly. With Loss of Market Value coverage, your insurer may not only pay to repair the item, but also compensate for any loss to value.
How much does collectible insurance cost?
On average, collectible insurance policies cost between 1% and 3% of the total value of the collection. That means, if your art collection is valued at $100,000, you can expect to pay between $1,000 and $3,000 per year in premiums. However, it’s important to note that these are just averages, so it’s worth getting a quote from your trusted insurance broker, first, before committing to a particular policy.
While there are many things to consider when insuring your art collection, one thing that shouldn’t deter you from doing so is cost. When deciding how much collectible insurance costs, it helps to remember that owning valuable artwork provides financial security as well as emotional benefits. After all, we all want our collections to grow in value over time!
Hiring a professional appraiser
One of the first steps in insuring your collection is knowing its market value, and the best way to do that is through a professional appraisal. Hiring a professional appraiser is the best way to do this, as they will have the expertise and experience needed to accurately assess your collection. Fortunately, the cost of having an appraisal done is small (especially when compared to the value of your collection) and ranges from $200 to $500, depending on the size and type of items in your collection.
Whether you’re an accomplished collector or just starting out with your first purchase, we at Penny Insurance are here to help you keep your most valued possessions safe. If you’d like to schedule a consultation or get a quote for any of your needs, please contact us and let us know.
by Penny Insurance Agency | Aug 4, 2022 | General Tips
If you’ve followed recent news about Yellowstone, you may have realized that floods are one of the most devastating natural disasters to exist. However, they also happen to be the most common, and occur far more often than people realize. In fact, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), there are approximately 500 flood-related events in the U.S. every year. What’s more, major floods can cause billions of dollars in damage and destroy countless homes, so it’s important to know whether you live in an area that’s at risk of flooding and what steps you can take to protect your home.
But even if you don’t live in an area with an especially high risk of flooding, it’s important to make sure you have considered flood coverage on your home insurance policy before disaster strikes. If you need it, flood damage can be surprisingly extensive and hard to cover out-of-pocket, so there’s no sense in taking unnecessary risks when you don’t have to.
What is flood insurance?
Flood insurance is a type of insurance coverage that helps protect your home from damage caused by flooding. Most standard homeowners insurance policies do not cover flood damage, so it’s important to purchase separate flood insurance if you live in an area at risk of flooding, or you suspect that a singular flood in your area will damage your home or other property.
What does flood insurance cover?
Flood insurance is vital for homeowners in flood-prone areas, but many people don’t know what their policy covers. Generally, there are two types of insurance that can protect you against this danger: building and contents insurance policies. Building insurance will cover any damages caused by flooding during a storm event, including damages to your home itself as well as any fixtures inside it (such as plumbing). Contents insurance will cover anything that was damaged by water or ruined due to wet conditions during the event (like clothing).
When pricing out a policy, insurance companies consider your risk level—the higher your risk level, the more expensive the policy will be. That means if you live in a flood plain, or your property has a long history of flooding during big weather events, you may find it to be quite expensive.
How do I know if I need flood insurance?
As a homeowner, you should always be prepared for the worst, and in some cases, that means having insurance to cover you in case of a flood. But how do you know if you need flood insurance?
A homeowner will likely know they need to purchase a policy when they see changes in their neighborhood that could indicate an increased likelihood of flooding, or if they notice that their own property has flooded previously. For example, if a water pipe broke upstream and water levels started rising or there was an increase in river levels or heavy rain storms near their home, then they may have some indicators that they should purchase this type of coverage.
More generally, there are two important questions to ask yourself before purchasing a flood policy.
- Is your home at risk for flooding?
- What would happen if it did flood? How much money would I lose?
If either of these questions can’t be answered with a positive and reliable outcome, then flood insurance may be something you should consider.
What policies are available?
There are two standard types of flood insurance available for homeowners: the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and private flood insurance. Depending on the level of risk, homeowners may consider either or both of these options for coverage.
The NFIP is a government-backed program that is available through participating insurance companies. NFIP policies are available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and have standard coverage limits. NFIP insurance may be required if you have a government-backed loan for your mortgage.
Private flood insurance is offered by some insurance companies and may provide additional coverage not available through the NFIP. You can get this type of insurance through a variety of different insurers, who will offer a variety of flexible coverage options. Private insurance is a great way to cover all types of risk for any type of home.
If you’re concerned about flooding at your residence, or any other type of coverage to protect it, we would love to chat with you further. Whatever your needs, we at Penny Insurance are here to protect what you hold dear. If you’d like to schedule a consultation or get a quote, please contact us and let us know.