Hosting a holiday party? 3 Things to Keep in Mind.

How to lower your risk for a liability claim if hosting a holiday party in Dallas, TXThere are many factors that go into hosting a great holiday party. Whether it’s prepping your family’s homemade, traditional recipes, cleaning your home for guests or decorating for the perfect holiday festivity, hosting a party is a lot of work! At the same time, it can be fun & your guests may look forward to your party for weeks. While we wish parties could be all fun and games, there are some risks you should be aware of.

Alcohol

We all know and understand the risks of drinking too much alcohol. However, when you are the host of a party and serving alcohol, you could be liable if someone leaves your home after drinking too much and gets into a car accident. As a host, be aware of how much your guests are drinking and ensure they have a safe ride home. Even if that means calling a taxi or Uber for them.

Tripping Hazards

There are many ways a guest could trip and fall inside or outside your home. You can be liable and a home insurance claim may need to be placed if a guest is injured on your property. Here are a few things to consider to avoid a tripping hazard.

  • Have a clear walkway path from your driveway to front door. Ensure there are no extension cords, cracks in the sidewalk or an icy path where your guest could fall.
  • Clear toys, decorations or other objects from the hallways or stair case in your home.
  • Ensure your rugs aren’t bunched where a guest could trip.

Distracted Cooking

Did you know cooking is the number #1 reason for home fires? It’s easy to get distracted when you’re hosting a party and trying to cook your meal at the same time. However, don’t allow yourself to multi-task or leave the kitchen while heating elements are running.  Other things to consider:

  • Know where your fire extinguisher is located in your home.
  • If a grease or oven caught fire, would you know what to do? For a grease fire, don’t throw water on it, but instead, smother it. For an oven fire, keep the door closed and turn off the oven.
  • If you like to deep fry turkeys, keep it at least 10 feet away from your home.

Holiday parties give lasting memories for not only the host, but the guests as well. However, being prepared is crucial to protect yourself from liability. For questions about your home or liability insurance, contact our agency!

Five Things To Do For Fall Maintenance For Your Home

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist for your Dallas, TX homeWith winter season approaching, now is the time to do a few simple tasks around your home. Not only can this prevent damage from occurring, but it can help keep your home exterior clean. Instead of giving you a long laundry list of things to check off, we go over the five most important.

Is My Home Safe?

This is simple question to ask yourself every spring and fall.

  • Do you have one smoke detector on each floor of your home? Do I need to change the batteries?
  • Do I own a fire extinguisher? If so, is it up to date?
  • Where is my first aid/at home emergency kit? Do I need to make any changes?
  • Can our family be okay if there is a major event like an earthquake, flood, tornado or other natural disaster?

Am I Protecting My Home From Water Damage?

Water damage can be a root cause of home problems. Sometimes they can be covered by your home insurance, but other times they are not. Regardless if they are covered, they are a terrible to deal with. Here are a few areas to check to lower your risk of water damage in your home.

  • Check your gutters & downspouts

Once most of your leaves have fallen from your trees, simply look for debris that could be collecting in your gutters. If you see leaves collecting, remove them in order to prevent clogged gutters. If your gutters are clogged during a rainstorm, it could cause damage to your roof or siding. Also, check if your gutters are damaged & are still attached to your home. Lastly, check your downspouts. Ensure they are draining properly instead of being clogged and pooling water near your home.

  • Check your roof

Loose or missing shingles on your roof can increase your risk for water damage. Make sure your shingles are in good condition before that winter storm hits. If you have a home with a flat roof, ensure it doesn’t have any buildup of leaves. When in doubt, refer out. If you aren’t sure what to look for, ask a professional.

  • Are exposed pipes still insulated?

Check the exposed pipes around your home to ensure the insulation isn’t ripped or torn. Uninsulated garages are very important to check. Many people assume it is “inside” but uninsulated garages can get as cold as the outdoor temperatures. Check there for pipes that need to be insulated.

Is Air Escaping My Home?

Check door and window seals for signs of deterioration. Use weather stripping or caulking around windows and doors to help keep warm air in and cold air out. You’ll also lower your energy bill. On another note, if air can get into your home, water can too.

Did I Replace My Furnace Filter?

To keep your furnace running efficiently, you need to replace the filter often. Some filters may need to be changed every month.

Are Rodents Nesting In My Home?

Rodents tend to nest in your crawlspace, attic and even in your walls. Walk the perimeter of your home & any access points in your garage to make sure you do not have any cracks or holes for rodents to enter. Also, check your vents along your foundation for holes or deterioration. As the weather gets colder, rodents are always looking for a warmer place to live.

Also, remember rodents love a food source. If you are storing food or bird seed in your garage, make sure it’s properly stored in a sealed container.

While preventative maintenance can get easily get pushed on the back burner when life gets busy, it’s still important to make the time to do it.

If you have questions about your home or condo insurance, call Red Gorman Insurance. We’ll shop to find the best policy for your needs and answer all your questions!

Do I Need To Keep My Insurance During The Off-Season?

Why You Should Keep Your Summer Toy Insurance Year Round in Dallas, TXIt’s now time to enjoy some amazing fall camping excursions, calm boating on the lake or a motorcycle road trip. Each year we’re asked by many of our customers about the possibility to cancel your insurance policies on your summer toys like motorcycles, RVs, boats and ATVs. While you may not be using these alternative vehicles during the fall and winter months, your vehicles may be damaged and insurance claim would need to be opened. If you cancelled your insurance policy, you may be forced to pay for repairs or replacements out-of-pocket. During the cooler months while your toys are parked events can occur that could get expensive without a valid insurance policy.

Types of claims that could occur during the off-season:

Comprehensive insurance claims: Even though your vehicles are secured, theft or vandalism can still occur at any time. Having to pay out-of-pocket to repaint, repair or replace your toy could put a serious strain on your finances. Catastrophic events like floods or fires can occur during the off-season. If your comprehensive insurance policy is not in effect, you may be responsible to pay to replace your toys without assistance from your insurance carrier.

Liability insurance claims: Accidents can happen at any time, even if your toy is secure. During a party at your home someone thinks it would be great to take a picture on your Harley. They hop on and fall over damaging both your bike and themselves. Even if you did not give them permission to do so, you may be legally responsible for their injuries. Without a liability insurance policy in effect, you may be responsible to pay for the injured party’s medical bills and recovery costs.

Additional claims scenarios:

  1. A blustery storm knocks over a tree and it falls on your parked camper. (Comprehensive claim)
  2. A hail storm damages your vehicle (Comprehensive claim)
  3. Your garage catches on fire and burns your motorcycle, boat, or ATV inside (Not home insurance, Comprehensive claim for the vehicle)
  4. Your RV or Boat is parked in an off-season boat/rv storage facility and is damaged when an unknown party backs their vehicle into it. They don’t leave their information.
  5. A thief vandalizes your vehicle looking for valuable items

These are just a few of the many claims that can occur in the off-season. Some carriers understand that these vehicles are not used year-round and the premiums reflect the high and the low season.

Keeping your motorcycle insurance, RV insurance, ATV insurance or boat insurance in effect during the off-season may not only save your from a costly out-of-pocket repairs or medical payments, keeping a year-round policy may also save you money on your policy premium. Ask us today about the benefits of keeping a comprehensive and liability insurance policy on your toys all year!

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Which one is best for your homeowner’s policy: ACV or RCV?

Insurance policies are full of language and terms that may not be clear right off the bat. Many terms are specific to the industry and to the specific type of insurance that is being purchased. Having a local insurance agent for all of your insurance coverage allows you to chat about all the details with your agent so you completely understand your policy. If you haven’t done this, there are many potential claims where it’s easy to assume you have full coverage.

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What to do if you get into a car accident

Being in an accident can be a very frightening event. Being prepared to know how to handle the situation when it occurs will help you deal with the shock of it, as well as ensure you are covered for the loss when it does happen. While accidents will happen to almost every driver, whether their car is parked and unattended, or while they’re driving, knowing these important steps will help you deal with the unfortunate situation.

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Everything You Need to Know About Gap Insurance

While buying a home tends to appreciate in value overtime, buying a vehicle is the opposite. Especially if you are buying a brand new vehicle, the moment you drive off the car dealership’s lot, your vehicle has already depreciated in value. For many vehicles, the more expensive the purchase, the faster the depreciation. New vehicles offer more safety features and conveniences, so we understand why people like them.