It’s Moving Day! Downey Insurance is Back on Flat Street in Brattleboro VT

Posted by on Dec 5, 2011 in Business Insurance, Downey Insurance, Homeowners Insurance, Insurance

After 3 months at our temporary location at 57 Elliot Street  Brattleboro, VT we are finally back in our 80 Flat Street Location that was flooded out by hurricane Irene.  What a crazy ride it has been, but what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.  Overall Downey Insurance Group is lucky, all we lost were material possessions.  Thanks to technology and the ability to work “in the cloud” we did not lose any of our policy data and we were able to help clients with their own claims during and after the disaster.  We could work from the top of Mt. Wantastiquet if we wanted to, but there is nothing like you own familiar surroundings to make you feel at home.  With the addition of new office furniture and carpet we think our office is looking pretty snazzy.  Thank you to Conte Office Interiors for helping us with our new office furniture!

 

Looking around Flat Street it is hard to envision what it looked like during the flood.  We found this video on You Tube, we don’t know this guy but I would like to thank him for this crazy footage of Flat Street during the flood.  Check out this video of our office building being ravaged by the flood waters…

To get the whole story read our first Flood Blog post.

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Scheduling your jewelry on your homeowners policy this Valentines Day will prevent future heartbreak

Posted by on Feb 14, 2011 in Downey Insurance, Homeowners Insurance, Insurance, Personal Insurance

Did you treat your special someone with jewelry or fine arts this Valentines Day?  If your gift is lost or stolen do you know if it is covered by your homeowners policy?  One of the most important discussions we have with homeowners here at Downey Insurance Group is the question of whether or not they should add a special schedule of insurance for their jewelry.  Here are a few reasons why you might want to consider scheduling special coverage for jewelry, art, collections, etc.

1. Most policies limit the amount of coverage for theft of jewelry. If your jewelry burns on a house fire, this is a standard cause of loss and it will be covered along with all of your other personal property that would be lost in a fire.  But if it is stolen, some policies limit theft of unscheduled jewelry to just $1,500 per item up to a maximum of $3,000 for all jewelry that is stolen. Scheduling jewelry voids/overcomes this limit.

2. Low or No deductible for covered losses.

3. Establishes a set value for the payment of the piece’s replacement cost.

4. Expands the kinds of loss covered to include mysterious disappearance, breakage and other kinds of loss. If you just can’t find your jewelry or if it drops down the sink, or if your expensive vase breaks, normal policies will not cover that. But if you schedule your jewelry or art, those kinds of losses would be covered.

Personally, I think items 1 and 4 are the best reasons to schedule certain pieces of property, especially when they are expensive. We’ve helped clients schedule computers, bikes, wine, art, jewelry, baseball cards, guns, cameras, musical instruments and many other things.

Many of the things that our clients schedule are very important to them. Insurance can’t prevent the loss, but having the peace of mind  that an important piece can be replaced is quite a comfort!  At Downey Insurance Group we know how troubling it can be to be unsure if your loss would be covered, so call us today to review your current homeowners policy.

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SNOW LOAD ALERT – PROTECT YOUR ROOF

Posted by on Feb 1, 2011 in Downey Insurance, Homeowners Insurance, Insurance, Personal Insurance, Property Damage

The unprecedented snow load on roofs in the Northeast has led to some building damage and

collapse. According to reports from several localities, schools, churches, commercial and

residential buildings, carports and awnings have been affected.

As the next in a series of winter storms moves into the region, property owners and residents

should be aware of the weight loads these storms may be creating, especially on flat roofs.

Take the following precautions to protect life and property:

1.  Watch for falling snow and ice from roofs.

2.  Don’t put untrained individuals on roofs to clear snow. Falls from roofs and possible

exposure to electrical wires while on the roof are serious hazards.

3.  Inspect roofs for leaks or structural deficiencies that may develop during the storm.

4.  Make certain gutters, drains and downspouts are clear of ice and debris.

5.  Clear snow and ice away from exhaust vents that go through exterior walls.

6.  Clear decks of snow to reduce stress on them.

After the storm:

1.  Clear areas around downspouts so that water from melting snow has a path to flow

away from the house or building.

2.  Remove snow from side walls to prevent high snow mounds from pushing them in.

3.  Temporarily shore up and brace dipping or sagging roofs or walls.

4.  Improper operation of doors or windows, deflection of ceiling finishes or exposed

beams, roof leaks or sprinkler heads moved from their normal positions could be signs

of roof failure.

Owners and residents of flat roof buildings in particular are urged to be aware of the possible

snow load danger. The threat from heavy snow weight will remain for some time after the

storm ends because cold temperatures expected for the rest of the week won’t allow much

melting to occur.

If you have questions about your building’s condition, contact a structural engineer or your

local building official for an assessment of the conditions.

Reposted from our friends at Hanover Insurance.

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As the mercury begins to drop and the snow begins to blanket our roof tops, a quiet cause of property damage may be forming: ICE DAMS.

Posted by on Jan 24, 2011 in Business Insurance, Homeowners Insurance, Insurance, Personal Insurance, Property Damage

As the mercury begins to drop and the snow begins to blanket our roof tops, a quiet cause of property damage may be forming: ICE DAMS.

Cause:

1.The build-up of a heavy snow pack on a roof top.

2.Roof temperatures which vary and hover at or near 32° F.

3.Pooled water in the mid-region of the roof.

4.An ice dam at the lower portion of the roof.

Effect:

An ice dam will likely form when the roof temperature hovers near freezing. The warmer portions of the roof will begin to melt snow allowing water to flow down to the lower roof elevations. The snow melt will re-freeze as it encounters the cooler portion of the roof, thus forming an ice dam. The remaining water will be trapped between the higher elevation snow pack and the frozen run-off in the lower ice dam.

The pooled water may begin to seep through tiny cracks in the roof top. The water can penetrate into the attic space, walls, ceilings and insulation of a structure. This may result in excess moisture, dampness, mold and mildew.

in addition, damage may be seen as gutters and down spouts are compromised under the weight of an ice dam.

Prevention:

Roof top temperature regulation through quality and appropriate attic insulation. This will prevent the warm air of the common areas from penetrating into the attic and heating the roof top.

Proper seals for vents, chimneys and duct work to eliminate hot/cold air ventilation variables.  The cooler the attic space, the better!

Removal of a heavy snow pack from a roof top. It is not recommended that a church employee or volunteer remove the snow. We strongly encourage using a licensed and insured roofing professional who is properly trained and equipped to handle the slippery roof-top conditions.

Thank to our friends at Church Underwriters, Inc. for this timely information.

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