New Jewelry? Insure Those Valuable Gifts! – Shield Insurance Agency Blog

New jewelry? Insure those valuable gifts!

New jewelry?

The holidays provide us with good reasons for presenting special – and often valuable – gifts to our loved ones. In the excitement of surprising someone with a gift that makes a big impression, remember that properly insuring expensive gifts can bring you peace and joy long after the holiday season is over.

Follow some easy tips for insuring new jewelry and valuables:

  • Consider taking advantage of a store or manufacturer’s warranties or guarantees, but don’t mistake them for insurance. For example, some major jewelry chains offer limited guarantees on gemstone and diamond replacement or repairs. This is a wonderful perk so long as the store is in business and you comply with regular inspections and the terms of the guarantee agreement. But in the event that your jewelry is lost or stolen, it is unlikely that the store will be able to help you. Talk with your insurance agent about your valuables and the best options to protect them.
  • Be sure to insure your expensive purchases to value, not just what you paid for them. Door buster specials during the holiday season may enable you to get a remarkable price on an item, but if you only insure for the price paid, you may not be able to get that same deal if you have to replace it later. The value of precious metals and gemstones fluctuates, so getting an appraisal can help you and your agent determine the appropriate amount of insurance. (And, don’t hesitate to ask your jeweler to provide an appraisal gratis as a way to close the deal. It never hurts to ask, and the cost of an appraisal may be worth it to the jeweler to make the sale.)
  • Take a photo of new, valuable items, and have it ready – along with any copies of the receipt, serial number, appraisal or certificate – when you talk to your agent about the right coverage for your items.
  • Get to know your policy’s limits. Coverage for expensive electronics differs from the protection for a diamond bracelet. Your agent can help you understand your policy and customize it to make sure it protects all of your valuables, whether the item is something you watch, listen to or wear.
  • It’s natural to want to bask in the warm feelings generated by giving someone special a present that wows, so consider insuring the gift as soon as you purchase it and before you present it. That way, you’re giving an extra gift that lets the recipient know, “It’s already taken care of.”

You may be thinking, “Most homeowner policies have built-in limits that cover high ticket items, right?” But depending on what you are fortunate enough to already own, you may have reached those limits. So, be sure you’re covered by talking to your agent about the coverage that will work best for your new valuables.

With a little planning, you can make sure that your holidays – and future – will be merry and bright.

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Wood Burning Stove Family Safety – Shield Insurance Agency Blog

Wood Burning Stove Family Safety

Wood Burning Stove Family Safety

We can replace your property, but we can’t replace you or your family.

Wood-burning stoves are great for ambiance and pocketbooks. There is also a greater risk of a home fire.

Use these handy reminders to stay on top of maintenance and safety items for wood-burning stoves.

  • Frequently check the unit and chimney flues.
  • Inspect the chimney from the roof, using a flashlight to look for obstructions or damage.
  • Check stovepipes for creosote build-up; have the chimney and stove professionally cleaned as needed.
  • Burn only seasoned wood, preferably at least 2 years old.
  • Keep children away from the stove to prevent burns or risk of clothing ignition.
  • Keep combustible materials away to avoid risk of ignition.
  • Maintain a multi-purpose fire extinguisher near the stove; check the date on the extinguisher and keep it up to date.
  • Check and maintain smoke detectors.

For more information on home insurance, contact our Shield Agents to see if you are on the right track for being insured.

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Umbrella Protection – Shield Insurance Agency Blog

Umbrella Protection

Why an umbrella protction policy? Higher limits, broader coverages.

You want to keep your hard-earned assets and lifestyle. We want to help. Monetary damage awards from lawsuits are a reality in today’s litigious society.

While all your primary Fremont Insurance policies contain liability protection, if a judgment is levied against you for serious damages to someone else’s property or reputation, personal injuries, or even death, your liability limits can be exhausted quickly, leaving you to make up the difference. Your investments, your home, even your personal property could be seized to satisfy a judgment. Umbrella insurance is the answer.

Not just for the wealthy anymore

  • Do you have a high profile or vital professional, community, or corporate responsibilities?
  • Do you conduct business activities in your home or take your business to people?
  • Do you have a trampoline or swimming pool or live on the water where someone could be injured?
  • Do you have pets/animals that might injure someone?
  • Do you engage in high-risk recreational activities such as ATVing, snowmobiling, flying, or hunting?
  • Do you have a teenage driver, who is statistically more likely to cause an accident?
  • Do you entertain a lot?

For as little as $90 for $1 million protection, Fremont Insurance Umbrella Policies are low-cost peace of mind, picking up where your primary policies leave off. If you think you might need one, contact a Shield Insurance Agent today.e

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Car Seat Safety For Snow – Shield Insurance Agency Blog

Car Seat Safety for Snow

Car Seat Safety For Snow

Apparently, I fell off the face of the planet when it comes to car seat safety. Despite reading all the NHTSA tips for car seats, doing the safety checks, and experiencing Michigan winters my whole life, I have never, ever heard of winter car seat safety. If have a bundled-up little one, this is a must-read and must-share on your Facebook page to educate other parents.

The rule to remember: No bulky coats on children in car seats.

First, let me divulge a few of the (brutally honest) thoughts that came to mind when I heard this:

  1. This article must be written by a person from a mild weather state. There’s no way in zero degree weather I’d let my kids go without a coat!
  2. But I wear a coat with my seatbelt and I’m fine…
  3. So I’m supposed to get my kids out of the car and bundle them up in the…parking lot?? This sounds like such a hassle to me.

A child may be buckled in tightly with their winter coat on, but in an accident, the impact of pressure would compact the bulk of the coat making the harness too loose to keep the child safe.

While I quickly thought of every reason why this was a bad idea, I landed on the one reason why this was a good idea: safety always comes first. The fact is, a child may be buckled in tightly with their winter coat on, but in an accident, the impact of pressure would compact the bulk of the coat making the harness too loose to keep the child safe. So, I called my local fire department and got these important tips that are pretty simple and much more do-able than I imagined.

Here’s a simple way to test the bulk of your child’s coat:

  1. Put the coat on your child and buckle them up, tightening the straps until you can’t pinch the harness with your fingers.
  2. Undo the straps without loosening them and remove your child from the seat.
  3. Take your child’s coat off, put them back in the seat and fasten the harness.
  4. If you can pinch the straps, then the coat is too bulky to wear in the car seat.

The winter coat rule applies to children in car seats and for children in boosters if the seat belt system in the car does not automatically lock when the brakes are applied.

Keep them warm, and safe.

If you find your child’s coat is too bulky to buckle them in safely, here are some alternate options to keep your child warm:

  • Put their coat on backward, like a blanket.
  • Use an actual blanket.
  • Use a thinner coat for car rides. Or if your child has layers in their coat, use the thinner layer for car rides and add the other layer when you go outdoors.
  • Heat your car up ahead of time and let them ride comfortably without a coat.

For all the other snow-state mommies and daddies like me who didn’t know this…now you do! So, test the bulk of your child’s coat and keep them safe in their car seat this winter. Foremost encourages all parents to be safe while driving, especially with a child passenger.

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Winter Wise Protection – Shield Insurance Agency Blog

Winter-Wise Protection

Is your home insurance winter-wise? Protect your home from the ravages of winter.

Michigan winter can bring burst pipes, leaky roofs, and costly structural damage. Is your home at risk? Ice dams and frozen water pipes are the main culprits.

Ice Dams

  • Keep gutters and downspouts clear of debris, snow, and ice to facilitate the flow of runoff. Use a roof rake to keep buildup to a minimum.
  • Evaluate your attic’s insulation and ventilation. Use R-38 value insulation in northern climates. Vents promote airflow under eaves and soffits; a cool, dry attic in turn curbs the formation of ice dams.

Frozen Water Pipes

If you think turning the heat down low while you’re away will save money, think burst water pipes and thousands of dollars in repair and replacement costs.

  • Insulate pipes susceptible to freezing.
  • Shut off and drain water from the garden hose and pipes leading to outside faucets.
  • Show everyone how to shut off the water in case pipes burst; when going away, drain and shut off the main water supply to your home or business.
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