Recent Why SERVPRO Posts
5 Insurance Resolutions for 2019
What are your New Year's Resolutions? Do they include reviewing your insurance policies?
Are you making a New Year's Resolution? Statistically, more than half of all resolutions fail... but they don't have to. We have some resolutions you can actually keep this year. Even better? You can accomplish most of these in January and be sitting pretty for the rest of the year, worry free with a simple insurance audit!
Update Home Inventory
Your home inventory is a tool that your agent can use to determine the right level of coverage for your homeowners insurance. Plus, if you have a claim, having an up-to-date inventory will benefit you and get your claim paid faster. If you haven't done an inventory on your home in a while, we have some tips on where to start. If you have completed an inventory, right after the holidays are and ideal time to update! Be sure to share the updated home inventory with your agent when you're done.
Right-Size Your Life Insurance
Life insurance is not one-size-fits-all. Your coverage needs to evolve over time. If you don't have a policy yet, now is a great time to talk to your agent about what type of policy would best suit your needs (and your budget.) We have six things you should consider when you are looking at coverage.
If you do already have life insurance, is it working hard for you? Could you get more benefit out of your policy while you are still living? Maybe. Talk to your agent about the ways you can make your existing policy work for you and your family.
Did you know that you can play a part in determining your auto insurance rates? With Driveology, you have the chance to earn discounts based on your good driving behavior. You can also monitor your vehicle health and environmental impact in the process.
If you have a teen driver in the house, you may be able to save even more with you Young Driver Safety program. With this program, drivers under the age of 25 can learn safe driving behaviors, and help you earn discounts on your auto policy premiums.
Prepare for the Unexpected
You try to be as prepared as possible, but you never know what is right around the corner. Prepare for unexpected risks with an umbrella policy. Umbrella earns its name because the coverage arches over your vehicle and homeowner's insurance to provide an extra layer of protection: it starts where vehicle and homeowner's insurance liability limits stop. You might be surprised by all the things umbrella policies cover for an affordable price.
Call Your Agent
When was the last time you evaluated your coverage's with your agent? Your agent can do an annual SuperCheck and make sure you are covered where you need it (and aren't paying for coverage's you've outgrown). Life changes fast, make sure your insurance keeps up. If you have been wondering if you could bundle your policies, need a different life insurance policy, or bought a new boat, you could use a SuperCheck. Contact your agent and schedule a brief review today.
With this new year, if you have resolved to save money, your agent may be able to help. Contact your agent today. It's an easy resolution to keep and can affect your bottom line all year. Can you say that for other resolutions?
5 Simple Steps for a Home Inventory
A home inventory is a smart move!
Five Simple Steps for an Insurance Home Inventory
You know how much you paid for that new TV; same for your computer. But what about those plastic bins of toys you keep under the stairs? Your collection of antique china? That expensive woodworking equipment? You might have already taken stock of the big things, but in an emergency, could you do a mental household inventory list and name all your valuables? That's why it's important to do a home inventory. For peace of mind, and for insurance purposes, a home inventory is just a smart move. It can help you decide how much and what type of homeowners' insurance to buy, speed up the claims process, and help verify losses for your income tax return. Where do you start? READ ON!
1. Starting a Household Inventory- Get Organized
First of all, you'll need to get organized. You'll want to document things like the insides of your tool boxes and closets; start a household inventory list. Tidy up; it's easier to see what you have if your possessions aren't in piles on the floor of your closet or crumpled up in a junk drawer.
2. Starting an Insurance Home Inventory- Method to the Madness
Before you start making your home inventory list, plan your starting point. Map your course through your household and move room to room methodically. By plotting your course in advance, you're saving yourself time and also decreasing your chances of missing important inventory items. For an insurance home inventory, remember to include your attic, garage, and even detached structures (like your shed).
3. Making a Home Inventory List- Document Everything
How you document your household inventory is important. Photography is your friend; go from room to room, taking pictures (or even video, provided you narrate!) as you go. Make special note of your most valuable items (jewelry, antiques, electronics) and where you keep them. It's also helpful to keep receipts and to note the serial numbers for your gadgets.
What type of items do you include on your household inventory list?
- Furnishings (bookcases, cabinets, couches, tables, drapes, lamps)
- Appliances (stove, washer/dryer, hair dryer, scale, vacuum)
- Electronics (Flash drives, gaming systems, tablets, chargers, computers, DVD collection)
- Lawn and Garden (patio furniture, lawn mower, snow blower, hoses, bikes)
- Antiques and Collectibles (baseball cards, dolls, signage, toys, stamps, coins, art)
What details do you include about the items on your household inventory list?
- Provide a general description of the inventory item
- List the quantity of those items
- Note the date each item was purchased
- Specify how much you paid for each item on your inventory list
4. Securing Your Insurance Home Inventory- Store It Somewhere Safe
You'll be tempted to keep the inventory list in your home, but that's definitely not the safest place. Create a private album on an online site like Flickr or on the Cloud, and label it "Home Inventory." Print your inventory and keep it in a safety deposit box. Whatever you do, don't keep your only record of your possessions on your property.
5. Maintaining Your Home Inventory List- Update it Frequently
Whenever you make a big purchase, or even just every couple of years, reevaluate. This is also a good excuse to de-clutter as you go. Remember, an out-of-date home inventory could hold up the claims process at a time when that's the last thing you need.
6 Things to Consider When Buying Life Insurance
It's important to understand the factors that affect how much life insurance you need.
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all life insurance policy. You might need more, or less life insurance than your neighbor down the road, depending on multiple factors.
Of the 60 percent of Americans who have life insurance, 1 in 4 felt they needed more coverage.
Before shopping for a policy or purchasing additional life insurance protection, it's important to understand the factors that affect how much life insurance you need. So how do you determine how much life insurance you need? Here are six things to consider:
The amount on your tax return plays a significant role in your life insurance calculations. The more you earn the more coverage you need. Your agent can help you determine how much life insurance you may need.
The proceeds from a life insurance policy need to take care of all of your debts, including mortgage balances, car loans, student loans, credit card balances or other debts that would be a burden to your family and will need to be paid in full. More debt necessitates more life insurance.
Review your existing assets. If you have significant savings and investments that can be used to cover burial/estate expenses, pay off debts and provide a financial cushion for your family, you'll need less life insurance than someone with few assets.
4. Existing Coverage
Do you have life insurance coverage through an employer? One 2016 survey found 19 percent of policyholders had life insurance through work. Depending on the amount of that coverage, having your own policy may be a good idea.
5. Family Size
The more dependents you have, the more life insurance you need. In addition to thinking about the number of children depending on you for coverage, take their ages into consideration as well. You'll need more life insurance to protect young children through adulthood than you would for college graduates with their own policy.
6. Future Needs
Life insurance helps protect your family, and that means purchasing enough coverage for their future including educational expenses. When calculating your life insurance needs, determine how much it'll cost to send your children to college.
To determine how much life insurance you need, an online calculator is a good place to start. And you'll want to make an appointment with your agent for a detailed analysis of your life insurance needs.
Important Message From: Idaho Department of Health & Welfare
Testing for radon during home inspections is highly recommended!
Frequently Asked Questions About Radon
- What is radon and where does it come from?
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that comes from the breakdown of uranium in the soil. It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless and invisible gas.
Radon levels are measured in picocuries per liter of air or pCi/L.
- Can radon harm me and my family?
Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that radon causes 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the U.S. The risk of developing lung cancer from radon depends on the level of radon you are exposed to over a lifetime, as well as other genetic and environmental factors, such as if you are a smoker.
- How does radon cause lung cancer?
Long-term exposure to high radon levels can increase your risk of developing lung cancer. When radon gas decays, it breaks down into radioactive particles that can get trapped in your lungs when you breathe. As the particles continue to decay, they release small bursts of energy that can damage lung tissue and may lead to lung cancer in some people.
- Is radon a problem in Idaho?
Yes, there are many areas throughout Idaho that have high levels of radon. For more information on radon levels where you live, call the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s Indoor Environment Program at 1-800-445-8647.
- How can I find what the radon levels are in my home?
Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon. There are two general tests for radon: short-term and long-term. The quickest way to test is with a short-term test. These tests provide a quick radon value within a brief period (typically three to seven days) of time. Long-term tests are typically placed in the home for at least three months and may remain in the home for up to a year. Long term test kits give a better estimate of the amount of radon in your home throughout the year.
- Where can I get a radon test kit?
You can purchase radon test kits from hardware stores, home improvement centers, online or other retail outlets. Reduced price short-term radon test kits may be purchased by Idaho residents from Air Check.
- When and where should I conduct the test?
Preferably test your home for radon in the winter. Your test should be performed on the lowest floor of your home where you spend time. If you have a basement and spend time there, test in the basement. Otherwise, test on the 1st floor in a bedroom or spare room.
- I just received my test results, what do they mean?
The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that your home have radon levels below 4.0 pCi/L. If your levels are above 4.0 pCi/L you can test again to confirm your test results and/or mitigate your home to lower radon levels. If you have additional questions about your results, call the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s Indoor Environment Program at 1-800-445-8647.
- How can I reduce the radon levels in my home?
A quality radon mitigation system is able to reduce the amount of radon in your home to usually below 2 pCi/L. Contact an experienced radon mitigation professional for more information or you may also choose to mitigate your home yourself. There are many instructional videos on YouTube that can guide you through the process.
- How much will it cost to reduce radon levels in my existing home?
Steps to reduce radon levels in your home depend on many factors. If you do it yourself, average costs for parts range from $300 to $600. The cost to have a certified radon mitigation specialist do the work in an existing home ranges from $1,500 to $2,500. Cost of installing radon-resistant features during construction runs from $300 to $500. Contact an experienced radon mitigation professionalfor more information.
- I'm building a new home, what can I do to prevent radon?
Discuss with your builder how to incorporate radon reduction techniques into the construction of your new home.
- I'm buying a house, should I have it tested for radon?
Yes, before you buy a house, you should have the home tested for radon. The most common procedure for testing during a real estate transaction is for the potential buyer to request the radon test as part of the overall home inspection. If the test is near 4.0 pCi/L, you may negotiate with the seller to have a radon mitigation system installed with the goal of bringing radon levels below 4.0 pCi/L.
- I am a renter. Does my landlord have to test for radon if I ask?
No, your landlord is not legally required to test for radon. You may conduct the test yourself or ask your landlord to conduct the test.
- I tested my rental home and the results were high. Is my landlord required to reduce the radon levels?
No, your landlord is not legally required to reduce radon levels in your rental home. However, you may notify the landlord of the results and discuss with them the need for radon reduction repairs.
- Who can I contact for more information about radon?
If you have more questions about radon, please call the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s Indoor Environment Program at 1-800-445-8647.
F1rst Responder Bowl
Do you know someone who deserves this award?!
SERVPRO is proud to be the sponsor of the first-ever First Responder focused bowl game and we extend a heartfelt thank you to all the brave men and women on the front-lines. Their courage and compassion is inspiring to all. We are grateful to live in a country where individuals dedicate themselves to protecting and serving their fellow citizens. We are humbled by their bravery and thank them for putting their lives on the line in order to save those around them. We thank them for their service and sacrifice.
The game will be played on December 26th in Dallas, TX. However and broadcast on ESPN; however, we have an exciting opportunity to take part, here in Boise, at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
We are currently seeking nominees within the Treasure Valley community that are worthy of receiving the "Honor a Responder" award. To qualify, the nominee must have served in fire, police/law enforcement, EMT, National Guard, disaster relief, or military. This includes anyone who has been injured and returned to work, has saved lives during their career, entered retirement (but had served their community for many years), trained or mentored fellow First Responders, or has lost their life in the line of duty (their family members are encouraged to receive the award on their behalf). The nominee shall be someone who has accomplished something remarkable in 2018. The winner of this award, as well as their family and friends, will be given tickets to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on December 21st and will receive media recognition.
Please forward your nomination, to include the name, affiliation or department, and the reason you feel they deserve this award, via email to; marketing@SERVPROboise.com. The deadline is Monday, December 3rd. The winner will be chosen by a separate panel of first responders and business community members, not SERVPRO of Boise employees.
We are also seeking persons interested in selecting a finalist. If you are one of those people or would like additional information please contact our marketing manager, Kelly Parziale, at 208-991-6880.
Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to bestowing a local First Responder with this honor for years to come. Because when we lift up those we depend on, we strengthen our ability to serve - our ability to make the memories of Fire & Water Damage "Like it never even happened." ®
Relocating to Boise?
You should move to Boise, Idaho too!
Maybe you're moving to Boise to accept a job. Maybe you're doing it to be closer to your family. Or maybe you just want to experience something new. Whatever the case may be, moving out of state can be really intimidating. It can also be a logistical nightmare if you don't make the proper preparations. Fortunately, there are some relatively simple steps you can take to make your move as smooth as possible. Take a look at these 10 tips for moving out of state.
- Do as much research on Boise as you can
- Search for a new home
- Use the move as an excuse to purge
- Pack up the things you're going to move properly
- Hire a reliable moving company
- Save all the receipts related to your move
- Forward your mail right before you move
- Let your friends and family know you're moving
- Obtain a new driver's license when you arrive
- Take time to explore your new surroundings
Boise is a fast-growing city that's teeming with culture, natural beauty and job opportunities. It encompasses a whole lot of open spaces and a little bit of big city. This city boasts almost non-existent crime, great schools, friendly people and easy access to any outdoor activity you could dream of. Who wouldn't want to move here?
5 Things NOT to Store in Your Garage
Clean your garage and reclaim your space!
With the onset of Spring in the Treasure Valley, most of us try to accomplish new goals, get a new fresh start. Getting healthy, organizing our homes, bettering our lives' always seem to be at the top of the list. One space to start cleaning and organizing is the garage! That extra storage area that easily becomes a catchall for excess items. We have compiled a list of items that should not be stored in your garage. Get them out and reclaim your space.
- Paint- Because the garage is prone to extreme temperature changes, paint should not be stored in the garage. Recycle paint according to your county guidelines or donate it.
- Electronics- If you are putting electronics out in the garage, you must not be using them. Donate these items because they can’t withstand the temperature fluctuations and will easily break.
- Propane and Hazardous Chemicals- Proper ventilation is key for storage of propane and hazardous chemicals. For safety reasons, these items need to be stored outside.
- Food- Keeping food in the garage is an open invitation to rodents and insects. Although shopping in bulk can save money, storing extra food in the garage will cause problems. The moisture and humidity will spoil the food. Find room in the house for food storage.
- Cardboard boxes- Insects, mice and other rodents love cardboard. Invest in waterproof plastic bins to store your items.
Hope these tips help you gain back your garage. Happy Cleaning from SERVPRO of Boise!