Recent General Posts

6 Disasters, Home/Property Insurance Won’t Cover!

5/9/2017 (Permalink)

6 Disasters, Home/Property Insurance Won’t Cover!

When disaster strikes your home, Property Insurance, is supposed to be there to help you pick up the pieces. Most of the time, it does.

A Bankrate survey found that 81 percent were aware flooding is not covered by regular homeowners insurance. You may have heard earthquakes also require special coverage. Yet you may not know that there are other types of damage that are excluded from most policies as well:

Mold

At least 1,000 species of mold are common to the United States, according to the New York-based trade group the Insurance Information Institute.

Despite the threat, a standard homeowners insurance policy generally either limits coverage for mold damage or outright excludes it.

Some insurers offer an endorsement to expand coverage limits for mold claims but only if you are willing to pay more for your insurance, she says.

The best cure for mold is to prevent it from growing in the first place. If the basement floods after a rainstorm or a pipe is leaking, eliminate the moisture promptly.

Sewer backup

America’s sewer lines are rapidly aging, with some more than 100 years old. As more homes have been connected to these out-of-date lines, sewage backups have followed.

Other sources of backups include pipelines that handle both stormwater and raw sewage — and become overwhelmed in rainstorms — and blockages from tree roots that work their way into sewer-line cracks.

When a sewer backs up into a home, it can damage floors, walls, furniture and electrical systems. Standard homeowners insurance does not cover sewer backups.

The Insurance Information Institute says sewer-backup damage often can be covered for an additional premium of just $40 to $50 per year.

Sinkholes

Sinkholes can seem like something out of a horror movie. For example, there was the Florida man who was swallowed up in early 2013 when a sinkhole opened without warning beneath his bedroom.

Sinkholes are sudden gaps in the earth’s surface that occur after groundwater gradually dissolves rock such as limestone and carries bits of it away, creating large pores and cracks in bedrock. Once large cavities form underground, the land above it may suddenly settle or collapse, creating the sinkhole.

In the United States, sinkholes tend to cause the most problems in Florida, Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and Pennsylvania, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Most home insurance policies will not cover damage associated with “earth movement,” such as an earthquake or sinkhole.

Florida is the only state in which insurers are required to provide coverage for sinkhole damage

Florida insurers must include insurance for “catastrophic ground cover collapse” — which refers to damage so severe, the home is uninhabitable — as part of standard homeowners insurance.

In every other state, earth movement is excluded from the insurance policy.

Termite infestation

Colonies of anywhere from a few hundred to several million termites can quietly and methodically devastate your home.

Wood, paper and dead plant material that is in contact with soil near the house provides termites with a ready source of food and an entry. And moisture accumulated around foundations and in poorly ventilated crawl spaces gives termites a source of water they need to survive.

Over time, termites can damage or destroy support beams and other wood features in a house. The National Pest Management Association estimates that termites cause $5 billion in damage in the U.S. each year.

If these unwanted guests cause wear and tear to your home, do not expect your insurer to bail you out.

Homeowners policies do not pay for termite damage.

Homeowners can avoid structural damage with early intervention.

 

Nuclear plant accidents

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, says nearly 3 million Americans live within 10 miles of an active nuclear power plant. If an accident at a nearby reactor leaves your home uninhabitable, standard homeowners insurance will not cover the claim. But that does not mean you will be unprotected.

A 1957 federal law called the Price-Anderson Act compensates people in the United States for any damage or injuries resulting from a commercial nuclear accident.

The law was called upon after the nation’s worst nuclear accident, at the Three Mile Island plant near Harrisburg, Pa., in 1979.

The insurance paid for the living expenses of families who decided to evacuate.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says an insurance pool of more than $12 billion is available to pay out claims.

Claims covered under Price-Anderson include:

  • Bodily injury.
  • Sickness.
  • Disease resulting in death.
  • Property damage and loss.

In addition, individuals evacuated from an affected area can expect reimbursement for reasonable living expenses beyond what you ordinarily pay. The coverage does not pay your mortgage, does not pay for your normal food bills.

Some acts of terrorism

The recent Boston Marathon bombings were a reminder that terror can strike at any moment.

The Insurance Information Institute says terrorist attacks using nuclear, biological, chemical or radioactive weapons are considered “acts of war” that are fundamentally uninsurable. Standard home insurance policies do not specifically reference terror attacks.

However, the policy does cover the homeowner for damage due to explosion, fire and smoke, these are the most likely types of damage a home would suffer in a terrorist incident.

If you own a condominium or co-op, the policy you carry on your individual unit will protect your structure and possessions from damage related to a terrorist attack.

However, damage to common areas — including the roof, basement, elevator, boiler and walkways — is not covered unless your board purchases separate terrorism coverage.

Chimney fires

1/18/2017 (Permalink)

chimney on fire

No One Welcomes a Chimney Fire
A chimney fire in action can be impressive. Indications of a chimney fire have been described as creating:

  • loud cracking and popping noise
  • a lot of dense smoke, and
  • an intense, hot smell

Chimney fires can burn explosively – noisy and dramatic enough to be detected by neighbors or people passing by. Flames or dense smoke may shoot from the top of the chimney. Homeowners report being startled by a low rumbling sound that reminds them of a freight train or a low flying airplane. However, those are only the chimney fires you know about.

ICE storm facts

1/16/2017 (Permalink)

Ice storm damage
  1. Ice storms are caused by freezing rain. The raindrops move into a thin layer of below-freezing air right near the surface of the earth, allowing them to freeze on contact to the ground, trees, cars and other objects.
  2. Ice accumulates when super-cold rain freezes on contact with surfaces that are below freezing point. That can be dangerous, especially for older adults. You can walk a senior’s dog to keep them injury free! Sign up for Dog Days of Winter.
  3. Throughout the US, ice storms occur most often during the months of December and January.
  4. Ice storms have the bizarre effect of entombing everything in the landscape with a glaze of ice so heavy that it can split trees in half and turn roads and pavements into lethal sheets of smooth, thick ice.
  5. Ice can increase the weight of branches by 30 times.
  6. Urban areas tend to suffer more economic and physical damage than rural areas because of the concentration of utilities and transportation systems (aircraft, trains, vehicles) — all of which may be affected to a great degree by the ice storm.
  7. The Midwest and Northeast are prime areas for freezing rain. In the high frequency band in the Midwest, an average of 12 to 15 hours of freezing rain occurs annually.
  8. Driving during an ice storm is extremely hazardous, because ice can cause vehicles to skid out of control, leading to devastating car crashes.
  9. The National Weather Service refers to winter storms as the “deceptive killers” because most deaths are indirectly related to the storm. In addition to car crashes, people die from hypothermia which is prolonged exposure to cold.
  10. In 1998, an ice storm in northern New York and northern New England damaged millions of trees and caused $1.4 billion in damage. Accumulations were as much as three inches thick!
  11. The ice storm that struck the northeastern US in December 2008 left 1.25 million homes and businesses without power. Described as the worst storm of the decade, a state of emergency was declared in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and parts of Maine.

Tree removal

1/13/2017 (Permalink)

Tree falling on a house

Late summer is upon us which means hurricane season for the Atlantic. The first major storm, Hurricane Danny” of the season already has Durham weather forecasters on alert.

A common occurrence during tropical storms is trees falling on and damaging your property. Don’t wait until it happens. Be prepared for this type of storm emergency. Here are 5 steps to take for emergency tree removal in CherryHill,NJ

  1. Trees that are old or diseased can easily succumb to flooding and windy storms. Go ahead and remove hazardous trees before a storm approaches.
  2. In the event a tree does fall on your property, first make sure everyone is okay. Leave your home if you feel unsafe inside the property.
  3.  Look to see if there are any wires or power lines hanging and if they are call the police and the power company.
  4.  Call your insurance company and if you can safely do say take pictures.
  5. Contact your local mitigations and emergency storm cleanup provider in Durham, NC. They will place a tarp on the roof if needed. They will also carry out any board up services required and cleanup any water inside the home. Boarding up parts of the home that have structural damage will help with your insurance claim and also deter any vandals while you are away from your home.

*TIP: The nature of emergency situations do not allow you to check licenses or BBB reports. It’s best to have a trusted restoration and storm cleanup company in mind before things like this happen. Contact SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange County to receive a free Emergency Readiness Plan. This plan will organize all the necessary steps and information you will need in the event of storm damage, water damage, fire damage, and cleanup.

As a trusted leader in the restoration industry has highly trained technicians that are dedicated to responding faster to any size disaster. We provide 24-hour emergency service and have the training and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs.

Snow

1/9/2017 (Permalink)

snow

Nearly three feet of snow fell in New Jersey this weekend as the state endured a blizzard that shut down NJ Transit trains, caused more than 90,000 power outages, flooded roads and made highways impassable.

Police departments were describing roads as “treacherous” and telling people to stay home as state troopers handled more than 230 crashes and 1,040 motorist aids.

Bridges and tunnels to New York City reopened Sunday morning, but NJ Transit trains remained shut down while crews worked to clean the tracks.

Gov. Chris Christie said NJ Transit should be restored by noon on Sunday, and nearly 20,000 power outages remained, mostly in Cape May County. He said 90 percent of those outages should be fixed by the end of the day.

“To all the folks of N.J. thank you,” Christie said during a Sunday press conference. ”To the people of the state, please enjoy the beautiful day.”

duct work

12/23/2016 (Permalink)

duct work

Ventilation systems can often be the biggest culprit of poor indoor air quality because many people allow HVAC systems to operate for some time without much attention or upkeep.  Your HVAC system could be circulating odors, dust, and other contaminants throughout your property.

A routine part of SERVPRO of MT laurel service is inspecting the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC).  Keeping the HVAC system and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which can in turn save you money and give you cleaner air to breathe.

SERVPRO of MT laurel will inspect your HVAC system and ductwork and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns.  This inspection can provide peace of mind on the health of your HVAC system and ductwork.  Benefits of servicing your HVAC unit include:

  • Helps to restore peak energy efficiency.
  • May help to eliminate offensive odors.
  • Helps reduce the potential for mold growth.

For more information on duct cleaning, or to set up a written inspection and estimate, call SERVPRO of MT laurel

Vandalism Damage

9/23/2016 (Permalink)

vandalized toilet

 

Do:

  • Hose or wash egg damage from building exterior as soon as possible.
  • Blot freshly spilled food from carpets and fabrics with a dampened cloth or sponge (but don’t overwet). Scrape and blot (don’t rub: it may damage fibers).
  • Vacuum glass particles from carpets and upholstery.
  • Save containers, which reveal the composition of spilled inks, cosmetics and paints.


Don’t:

  • Attempt to remove ink, paint or cosmetic stains.
  • Operate damaged lamps or appliances.
  • Discard wood chips, broken pieces from furniture, porcelain or other sharp objects.


Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Call emergency service personnel if the situation is life-threatening.
  • Treat all bodily fluids as if they are contaminated.
  • Turn off the HVAC system if there is a sewage damage.


Don’t:
 

  • Attempt cleanup of any kind.
  • Touch or handle items that might be contaminated with bodily fluids.
  • Eat, drink, smoke, apply cosmetics or handle contact lenses in affected areas.


If exposed to harmful waste, OSHA recommends a post-exposure medical evaluation. Consult your local health department or physician.


SERVPRO of Mt.Laurel/Moorestown
Fire & Water – Cleanup & Restoration
24 Hour Emergency Service
856-778-4055
 

Stress Free Claims

6/28/2016 (Permalink)

Emergency Preparedness & Safety Begins Before a Disaster.
SERVPRO of Cherry Hill/ Haddonfield is here to help you when a disaster happens.
For a stress-free claims process, SERVPRO can help manage the insurance paperwork and process. Call for details. We work with your insurance. For a stress-free claims process, SERVPRO can help manage the insurance paperwork and process. Call for details. (856) 662-2772

Protecting Your Documents

6/28/2016 (Permalink)

It's important to keep important papers, books and pictures up and away from any area that floods or gets damp. Protect your valuable documents ?#‎SERVPRO?