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New Years ResolutionsDon’t drop the ball on your New Year’s resolutions. This year, try some resolutions that are easy to keep and will protect you and your family well into next January and beyond.

Try these resolutions:

  1. Don’t be a distracted driver - Many vehicle crashes are avoidable if people would just pay closer attention to what they are doing and to what is going on around them. Inattentive driving accounted for nearly 6,000 crash fatalities and an estimated 515,000 injuries in police-reported crashes in 2008, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Distractions typically include talking, eating, grooming, attending to children, watching a video, reading, adjusting a navigation system and using a cell phone.
  2. Keep your home warm – The temperature in your house should be at least 65 degrees to prevent pipes from freezing. According to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.), winter storms are the third-largest cause of catastrophe losses, resulting in about $1 billion in insured losses annually. Here are some thing you can do to prevent winter related damage:
    • Clean out gutters. Remove leaves, sticks and other debris so melting snow and ice can flow freely. This can prevent , a condition in which water seeps into the house, potentially damaging ceilings and walls.
    • Install gutter guards to prevent debris from entering the gutter and interfering with the flow of water away from the house and into the ground.
    • Trim trees and remove dead branches. Ice, snow and wind can cause weak trees or branches to break and damage your home or car, or injure someone walking by your property.
    • Add extra insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. If too much heat escapes through the attic, it can cause snow or ice to melt and then re-freeze on the roof resulting in an ice dam that can cause significant roof damage. Well-insulated basements, crawl spaces and unfinished rooms, such as garages, protect pipes from freezing.
    • Provide a reliable back-up power source. In the event of an electrical outage, continuous power will keep your home warm and prevent frozen pipes. Consider purchasing a portable generator to ensure your household’s safety.
  3. Protect your home – Each year billions of dollars are paid out in homeowners insurance claims, with residential theft averaging over $1,800 in losses per burglary, according to I.I.I. Keep your yard well lit and put indoor lights on a timer. If you’re going on vacation, have mail and packages picked up and ask a neighbor to keep an eye on things. Before the trip, invest in an alarm system — it’ll keep your house safe and could earn you a discount on your coverage.
  4. Check your coverage – Homeowners spend billions on additions, alterations, maintenance and repairs each year. Review your insurance coverage to include improvements, major purchases and increased rebuilding costs. If a new addition or gazebo, for example, is destroyed or damaged before you increase your coverage, then you may be responsible for the cost of repairing or rebuilding the addition. If you rent and don’t have renters insurance, talk to us as soon as possible.
  5. Test the detectors – You’ve heard it before, but many families simply forget to test their smoke detectors. Make sure yours is in working order with new batteries and that one is installed on every floor and in every bedroom. Test them regularly. The National Fire Protection Association offers a free smoke alarm installation guidePDF. Also make sure that your home is equipped with at least one working carbon monoxide detector. Properly working carbon monoxide detectors can help protect you and your family by providing an early warning before the deadly gas builds up to a dangerous level.

For questions about your insurance coverage or more ideas on how to protect your home and family throughout the year, give Randall Hall Insurance a call. We are more than happy to answer all your insurance questions and make sure you have the right coverage to protect you and your family and your business.

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