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Rutt Insurance Agency Blog

View the latest blog posts from Rutt Insurance Agency.

With the kids out of school for the summer, it's the perfect time to take a family vacation. And by family, I mean the whole family – the dog too!

Traveling with your dog can be difficult, but with planning and a little bit of research you can make it a fun and unforgettable experience. Here are some tips to make sure your dog stays happy and healthy throughout all of your summer adventures!

Find Lodging that Allows Pets
There are a fair amount of hotels and rental homes that allow pets during your stay. Many online sites even allow you to filter search results so that you only see pet-friendly options. Before you book, call and confirm their pet policies – it will save you some trouble down the road.

Tip: Try a pet-friendly campground. With hiking trails and room to explore, it’s sure to be fun for the whole family.

Don't Leave Your Dog in the Car
Car rides can be challenging with a dog, especially if you are driving long distances. Leave someone outside with your dog if you stop to get food or go to the bathroom. Cars can get extremely hot when parked in the sun and, if left inside, dogs are at risk of overheating. Besides, it's probably time for a potty break anyways.

 
Tip: Some places allow dogs to come inside. Call ahead and plan your pit stops to make traveling a little bit easier.

Pack Water
Cars aren't the only place that dogs can overheat. Normal activities such as going for a walk can become a health hazard if you don't take the necessary precautions. Panting, loss of energy, lethargy, and a dry nose are all signs of dehydration and overheating. If you notice any of these signs in your dog, it may be a good idea for everyone to take a water break in the shade.

Tip: Bring a collapsible water bowl. You can pull it out to give your dog water and easily fold it up to store it once you are done.

Watch out for Paw Burns
A dog's paws are sensitive to heat in the same way that our palms are. Even if they don't show pain, walking on hot pavement can cause serious burns. Make sure to test the pavement before taking your dog out for a walk. Be especially careful in cities with dark, paved roads. If it's too hot for your feet, it's too hot for theirs.

Tip: Try walking in the shade. The pavement will be cooler, and so will you!

Protect Them from Fleas and Ticks
Would you believe me if I told you there are monsters in the forest? Tiny little monsters called fleas and ticks are parasitic to humans and animals. They live in heavily wooded areas and tall grass. Make sure to check your dog's fur after being outside to confirm they are bug-free. Once you get home, wash their toys and bedding to get rid of any stowaways.

Tip: Did you know that fleas and ticks can’t fly? Walking on short grass or dirt will make it harder for the bugs to get on you or your dog.

 

Originally posted by Foremost Insurance Group: https://blog.foremost.com/vacationing-with-your-dog.asp

Posted 12:16 AM


Firework Safety Tips for July 4th

4th of July is a day where we celebrate the thirteen colonies claiming their independence from England and more commonly a day where friends and family gather for food, music and beautiful firework displays across the country.  Many of us will also purchase consumer based fireworks to celebrate on our own, however these certainly come with risks.

Did you know that according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s 2014 Fireworks Annual Report by Yongling Tu and Demar Granados, fireworks cause a yearly average of 18,500 reported fires and resulted in over $21 million dollars in direct property damage in 2013.

Fireworks are also a leading source of emergency room visits each and every year on the 4th of July.  Check out some injuries by the numbers below.

 

Firework Injuries:

  • Sparklers accounted for roughly 28% of all emergency room firework injuries.
  • More than 33% of firework injuries are to the hands or fingers.
  • Children 5-9 years of age were 2.4 times as likely as the general public to be injured by fireworks.
  • Males account for 74% of firework injuries
  • Only 6% of firework injuries are caused by public displays

Fireworks cause an average of 18,500 fires per year.

4th of July Safety Tips

Firework Safety:

  • Sparklers burn at 1200°F – Don’t point them at yourself or others.
  • Never light fireworks in hand; only light fireworks while they are placed on the ground.
  • Never attempt to light multiple fireworks at once.
  • Never allow young children to handle sparklers.
  • Never light any fireworks that appear damaged or torn.
  • Don’t take apart fireworks or attempt to make your own.
  • Always keep a fire extinguisher and water source nearby in case of emergency.
  • Never dispose of used fireworks in trash cans until completely cool.

Grill Safety Tips:

The 4th of July just isn’t the same without sharing some amazing BBQ with your friends and family.  Be sure to check for the following before throwing those steaks, burgers and dogs on the grill.

  • Always check your grill’s hoses for cracks and leaks.
  • Never grill indoors or near surfaces that can catch fire.
  • Keep the grill at least two feet away from decks, siding and other surfaces.

We wish everyone a very happy and safe 4th of July celebration.

originally published by Mammoth Restoration http://mammothrestoration.com/

Posted 9:08 PM


After a storm hits your town, and you're left with property damage to your home, chances are you;re going to need a contractor to repair the damage.  While many contractors are reputable and perform quality work, there are those that have questionable intentions.  A recent example of a contractor scam involves storm chasers.

What is a storm chaser?

You may know them as individuals who pursue severe weather conditions.  When it comes to property repair, the term often refers to contractors who follow severe weather events, anticipating a large amount of repair work to be done.  While many of these contractors are truly trying to help those in need after a storm, others are looking to exploit vulnerable homeowners.  They are a contributing factor to roofing scams across the U.S.

A storm chasing contractor will watch weather reports, waiting for severe weather like a tornado, hail storm, or windstorm to hit a region.  After the storm hits, the contractor will get a crew together and travel to the affected area.  They often use aggressive marketing tactics to get business from the local community.  The scammers will complete a rush job and will not be available in the future when the roof starts to fail.

What are warning signs of a storm chaser?

Look for red flags that may indicate you're dealing with a storm chaser.  Be cautious of contractors:

  • From out-of-town, or even from out-of-state.  Check for the company's physical address.  If only a P.O. Box is listed, they may not have a physical location in the area and are set up temporarily.
  • Offering to repair storm damage at a fast pace and at little cost to the homeowner.  They will encourage homeowners to use their homeowners insurance for the damage.
    • Some contractors may ask you to sign over your insurance benefits to speed up the process.  Be cautious of these "post-loss assignment" contracts, and obtain legal advice before signing one.
  • Asking for cash payment upfront.

What can you do to ensure a contractor is reputable?

To lower your chances of being scammed, make sure you do your research.  Ask these questions before making any commitments:

  • Is the contractor visiting your door unsolicited?  This may indicate a storm chaser is looking for business.
  • Can the contractor provide references from previous customers in the area?
  • Does the contractor have valid insurance and licensing required by the state or local government?
  • How much experience do the contractor and crew have?
  • Are quality materials being used in the repair?
  • Can you pay with credit card or check?  Paying with a cash deposit or cash in-full is a warning sign of a scammer.
  • Will a warranty accompany the work?  A scammer will often leave town right after the repair, leaving you with no support if there are problems with the roof in the future.
  • Is the repair work a good deal only if you sign today?  Don't feel pressure to sign anything before you've done your research.  Often scammers will offer what sounds like a great deal on a repair, hoping you'll make a hasty decision.

And if you're concerned about your homeowners policy coverage of the repair in question, give your agent a call. 

Additional Resources

https://www.bbb.org/en/us/article/tips/1489-bbb-tip-protect-yourself-from-storm-chasers-after-a-natural-disaster

https://www.bbb.org/CSAL/news-events/news-releases/2016/03/watch-out-for-storm-chaser-scams-after-severe-weather/

https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/taking-action/consumer-alerts/attorney-general-josh-shapiro-warns-pennsylvanians-cautious-scams-following-winter-storm-quinn/

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2016/01/how-stay-high-and-dry-against-storm-chasing-scams


originally published by  Goodville Mutual Casualty Company

Posted 7:17 AM


Can You Name Every Item in Your Home?

Most people don't think about the many items they have collected over the years. Items are used every day, but often never thought about. Many items are replaced throughout the years, but no thought is given to the increased value of inventory. Creating and maintaining an inventory of items in your home can help ensure you have purchased the right insurance coverage. In the event of a loss, it can help you settle a claim faster, and put less strain on your brain in an already stressful situation.

How do You Create Your Home Inventory?

Creating and maintaining your home inventory is easy with available software. Now you can download apps right on your phone to create, maintain, and update your inventory. Having online storage will allow you to access your inventory anywhere, any time. You never know when a claim may happen, but you can be prepared with an up-to-date online home inventory.

What Should You Include in Your Home Inventory?

You should take inventory of everything of value in your home, and update the list as you acquire new items. Here is a list of some of the most common items:

  • Electronics (TV, Gaming Console, Computer)
  • Kitchen and Household Appliances (Washer/Dryer, Microwave, Oven, Refrigerator)
  • Furniture
  • Clothing
  • Jewelry
  • China
  • Silverware
  • Artwork
  • Antiques
  • Linens
  • Books
  • Guns
  • Sporting Equipment

Some items like jewelry, antiques, and other special items, may need to be insured separately. Talk to one of the specially trained independent agents at Rutt Insurance to make sure you have the coverage that you need.



For the second time in recent weeks, extreme winter weather is in the forecast for the NorthEast and Mid-Atlantic States.  Before temperatures drop into single digits or below, here is a reminder about the things you can do to protect your homes and families from frozen pipes, winter fires, and more.  Make sure your clients are ready with Chubb’s list of helpful tips they can use right away!

 

1.      Arrange for a home energy audit

2.      Feel for under-door drafts

3.      Seal around windows

4.      Add insulation

5.      Update your appliances

6.      Change the direction of your ceiling fan

7.      Install a programmable thermostat

8.      Lower your water heater temperature to consume less energy

9.      Keep your home temperature no lower than 65 degrees

10.  Clean your gutters regularly

 

8 Safety Tips for Winter Fires

1.      Get your fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned

2.      Maintain wood stoves, gas log, or oil-fired heating systems

3.      Install a spark arrestor

4.      Install carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of your home

5.      Use a protective screen with a wood burning fireplace

6.      Use seasoned hardwood

7.      Keep your fire to a reasonable level

8.      Stay by your fire, until it’s out

 

Stay warm!

Posted 3:34 AM


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