Game Over

The play date was all fun and games until your four-year-old threw a toy and injured his friend’s eye. Now his parents are claiming negligence and threatening to hit you with a lawsuit.

Umbrella Game Over

#gameover #lifeisunpredictable

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Prepare for Extreme Weather – Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late

First of all, our hearts and prayers go out to all those families and businesses that were damaged over the last couple of days due to weather.

After the storm hits is not the time to discover you don’t have the proper coverage. Renters, are you aware that if your apartment/home/mobile home or condo is destroyed by weather that your landlord is not responsible for your possesions and may not even have to help you with a place to stay. This is why it is important to have a Renter’s Insurance Policy. Do you have enough coverage as a homeowner to cover your home and possesions during a loss? Do you have enough roof coverage? After the storm happens is too late to correct these things. Call your agent or us at (317) 886-0081 for a home/renters insurance review.

“Far too often residents of Indiana are not aware if they have adequate coverage from their insurance policies, especially when it comes to damage as a result of storms that produce heavy rains and cause flooding. The Department urges Hoosiers to review their insurance policies, including rental insurance to make sure they understand their coverage before a disaster hits,” said Indiana Department of Insurance Commissioner Stephen W. Robertson.

The Indiana Department of Insurance offers tips on disaster preparedness, including what to do before and after a storm hits, and how to protect yourself from fraud, on a 5/28/2019 Consumer Alert.

Understanding Extreme Weather Hazards

Check the weather online or a broadcast outlet every morning to better understand what the day may bring. Unpredictable weather means storms can come on quickly, taking you by surprise. Consider the following:

  • Tornadoes can hit anywhere, anytime. Of the 50 states, 49 have experienced a tornado since 2005. Make sure to identify a shelter and practice an annual family tornado drill.
  • Lightning is common, even if getting struck is rare. Stay inside during a lightning storm and take precautions such as unplugging your appliances and avoid talking on a phone.
  • Flash floods are the cause of the most deaths associated with severe weather. Just one inch of water can cause $20,000 in damage to your home. If you live in a 100-year floodplain, there’s more than a 25 percent chance that you’ll be flooded during a 30-year mortgage. In that period, you are 27 times more likely to experience a flood than have a fire. It takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away a car. Don’t ever drive or walk into flood waters and never underestimate the power of flowing water.

Create a Home Inventory

To make the claims process easier, create a home inventory of your belongings. Include identifying information about your possessions (brand name, price, purchase date, model, serial number and receipts) and take photos. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has created a free smartphone app that will help you create a database of your possessions. The app is available for iPhone and Android. A simple-to-use printable home inventory checklist is also available.

If you don’t have time to create a full list of the items in your home, consider videotaping and/or taking photographs in every room. The more detail you include, the easier it will be for your insurer to evaluate your loss. When making your list, open drawers and closets, and don’t forget to document what’s in your basement, garage and storage buildings.

Once you’ve created your inventory, send the information to your insurance agent and/or keep it on your app.

Collect Your Insurance Information

Before a storm hits, review your insurance policies. Make sure you know what is and is not covered. If you have questions, contact your insurance agent or insurer.

Store electronic copies of your insurance policies with your home inventory and keep paper files in a safety deposit box. Make sure to have a copy of your policy declarations page listing all of your coverages, as well as your insurance cards.

Collect the 24-hour contact information for your insurance agent and insurer and enter it as a contact on your smartphone. Make a list that includes your policy numbers, insurer and insurance agent’s phone numbers, website addresses and mailing addresses. Also, check to see if the company or agent has an emergency information hotline. It is a good idea to store this information — and your home inventory — in a waterproof, fireproof box or safe. If you evacuate your home, take this information with you.

Note: Flood damage is generally not covered by a standard homeowners or renter’s insurance policy. If you have a separate flood insurance policy, remember to include a copy of the policy and the contact details for the insurer on your list. Flood is a covered event in most auto insurance policies. If you need flood insurance, you’ll want to purchase it now because typically there is a 30-day waiting period from the date of purchase before the policy goes into effect. For more information about flood insurance, check out this consumer alert issued by the Indiana Department of Insurance.

Prepare for the Worst

To help lessen the damage caused by a storm, take stock of your home. Clear your yard of debris that could become projectiles in high winds and trim dead or overhanging branches from trees surrounding your home. Ensure the roof sheathing is properly secured. Fasten end gables to the roof. Latch doors and garage doors properly. Secure shutters and outdoor furniture.

For personal safety, identify the nearest storm shelter and have an emergency or evacuation plan for your family. Practice your evacuation plan, making sure everyone knows where emergency supplies are stored. Have a storm survival kit that includes bottled water, a first-aid kit, flashlights, a battery-operated radio, at least three days of nonperishable food items, blankets, clothing, prescription drugs, eyeglasses and personal hygiene supplies.

If you must evacuate your home, turn off all utilities and disconnect appliances, reducing the chance of additional damage and electrical shock when utilities are restored.

For more information about how to prepare your family and home for weather threats, visit the American Red Cross.

After the Storm

The days following a natural disaster can be confusing and stressful, but report your insurance claim(s) as quickly as possible to help protect your financial future.

Contact your insurer and/or agent with your policy number and other relevant information. Be aware that your policy might require that you make this notification within a certain time frame.

Document damage by taking photographs/video before you begin any clean-up. After you’ve documented the damage, make repairs necessary to prevent further harm to your property (cover broken windows, leaking roofs and damaged walls). Don’t make permanent repairs until your insurer has inspected the property and you have reached an agreement on the cost. Be prepared to provide the claims adjuster with records of any improvements you made prior to the damage. Save all receipts, including those from temporary fixes.

If your home is damaged to the extent that you cannot live there, ask your insurer or insurance agent if you have coverage for additional living expenses.

Work with your insurer to learn what documents, forms and data you need for your claim. Keep a diary of all conversations you have with the insurer and your insurance agent, including names, times and dates of the calls or visits, and contact details. Provide your insurer with all of the requested information, as incorrect or incomplete information may delay your claim.

10 things you didn’t know about Memorial Day

More than 1 million men and women who have lost their lives defending America in wars from the Revolution to the global war on terrorism will be remembered on Memorial Day. Flags will be placed at gravesites, ceremonies and parades will be held, and many more events will occur nationwide to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
052119_MemorialDay
Parents of Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Corey Goodnature lay a wreath on his grave at Graceland Cemetery in Albert Lea, Minn. Goodnature was killed on June 28, 2005, in eastern Afghanistan when his MH-47D helicopter was shot down by enemy fire. Photo by Justin L. Stewart/The American Legion

In honor of Memorial Day, here are some things you may not know about the holiday.

1. Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day. Gen. John A. Logan, commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, called for a day of remembrance on May 30, 1868, “for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion.” Nearly 620,000 soldiers lost their lives in the Civil War.

2. On the first Decoration Day in 1868, Gen. James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, where 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there. (via history.com)

3. In 1966, Congress declared Waterloo, N.Y., the official birthplace of Memorial Day for being the first town to celebrate the holiday 100 years prior. Waterloo, which first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866, was chosen because it hosted an annual event where residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flags and flowers. (via history.com)

4. In 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May, instead of May 30, in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees. The change went into effect in 1971. (via history.com)

5. On Dec. 28, 2000, President Bill Clinton signed into law the National Moment of Remembrance Act, which asks Americans to pause on Memorial Day at 3 p.m. local time for one minute to honor those who died protecting America’s rights and freedoms. (via time.com)

6. On Memorial Day, the U.S. flag should be displayed at half-staff from sunrise until noon, then raised to the top at full staff until sunset. (via legion.org)

7. Red poppies are to be worn the Friday before Memorial Day. The red poppy is a nationally recognized symbol of sacrifice worn by Americans since World War I to honor those who served and died for our country in all wars. The American Legion brought National Poppy Day® to the United States by asking Congress to designate the Friday before Memorial Day as National Poppy Day. After World War I, the poppy flourished in Europe. The red poppy came to symbolize the blood shed during battle following the publication of the wartime poem “In Flanders Fields.” The poem was written by Lt. Col. John McCrae, M.D. while serving on the front lines. (via legion.org)

8. The American Automobile Association estimates that more than 36 million people will travel at least 50 miles from home this Memorial Day. (via time.com)

9. The American Legion traditionally has a float in the 500 Festival Parade in the National Headquarters city of Indianapolis; as the Indy 500 is held over Memorial Day weekend, it essentially doubles as the city’s Memorial Day parade. This year’s Legion float has the theme “Turning the Corner Into the Next Century.”

10. “Peak hot dog season” is considered to start on Memorial Day; between then and Labor Day, Americans will likely eat 7 billion hot dogs, or 818 every second during that period. (via hot-dog.org)