Roofing Scams During Hail Season

Barbara Vanhagen lost more than $23,000 in the Lifetime Roofing scam and hopes her story is cautionary to other homeowners according to Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association.   Trust your gut, check contractor references, ask specific questions about experience, work timelines and make sure it’s in the contract.  And, don’t feel pressured and absolutely don’t give full insurance payments upfront”.

Unfortunately, the hail season means roofing scams are abundant.  These storms can bring out the worst in people and employ fraudulent contractors who are scam artists.  These fraudsters will often make false promises, insist on the full payment up front, and create damage where none should have occurred.

So you don’t think it will happen to you?  Well it does happen, that is what 18 disaster fraud victims in Jefferson County thought before their contractor stole nearly $70,000 in upfront insurance money without replacing their roofs.  Jefferson county prosecutors worked with the National Insurance Crime Bureau to convict Jonathan McMillan, owner of Lifetime Roofing.

This roofer hired sales people to go door-to-door soliciting roofing business from homeowners, some of them at risk, elderly adults, and others with homes damaged from hailstorms.  These great salespeople were told to have people sign contracts and to collect as much insurance money as possible, UP FRONT.  After receiving payment from homeowners or their insurance companies, he never returned to do the work.

According to Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, catching these shady contractors is not easy since they usually move on and start something else before people realize they have been taken.  Storm victims have to be the first to defend themselves by knowing who they are dealing with and taking every precaution before paying their insurance claim to a contractor.

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Insurance News: 1 Year Later, Colorado’s Most Costly Catastrophe

An updated damage estimate throughout Colorado is $2.3 billion dollars in insurance costs according to a recent article by RMIIA in their Media Advisory.  Looking back at the hailstorms in Colorado, as of May 8, 2017, they have skyrocketed from the initial estimate of $1.4 billion to $2.3 billion being credited with Colorado most expensive insurance claim era ever.

The Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association is estimating the updated insurance losses for the hailstorm is based on approximately 167,000 auto insurance claims and 100,600 homeowners insurance claims.  As a result of this, initial costs for repairs rises from the initial quoted amounts, especially in an event this size.

According to the article in RMIIA, “The one-year anniversary of Colorado’s most damaging hailstorm demonstrates the magnitude of the damage that can result from a single storm,” says Carole Walker, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association”.

This all serves as a WAKE-UP CALL for all us to consistently review our insurance coverage’s, policies, and to be financially prepared in case of a catastrophe.  With the increased number of people moving to Colorado coupled with the rising costs of living in this state, we constantly need to monitor our insurance needs.

Why Do Insurance Companies Need So Much Information & Ask So Many Questions?

Insurance companies are at risk when they insure you.  Therefore, they have to be very thorough in the information they capture in order to make the right decisions and to take on the risk.  Questions such as who will be driving the car, where  the vehicle will be garaged, what is the Vin# of the vehicle, how many people are in the household, and is there a fireplace in your home are just a few examples of what insurance companies need to know.  Many times people can’t understand why the question is asked….is there a trampoline on the property or a swimming pool?  Think about it, these are liabilities.  What if a child ran away from his parents and wondered onto a property with a swimming pool, fell in, and drowned, what position does this put the insurance company in?  And a trampoline just invites trouble, somebody comes over, gets on the trampoline, starts jumping, gets caught and really hurts himself, what kind of position does this put the insurance company in…..and what if the insurance company doesn’t even know there is a trampoline or a swimming pool on the premises…then there really is a problem. 

Insurance companies have to have the information and COMPLETE information.  Without it, they have a false statement of what the risk really is.   They also have an application that is misrepresented, in this case, they can reject a claim.  Make sure you give your insurance agent complete details on your request, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.  That is why you have an insurance agent.

 

 

 

We Believe In “Good Old Fashioned Customer Service”

When you call in to some companies, it seems you always get an automated system and when you do talk to someone, they either don’t know what they are doing or transfer you to another department.  It is frustrating when you are dealing with the same company but deal with somebody different every time you call in.  The “old fashioned personalized customer service” seems to have disappeared.

At our agency we pride ourselves in customer service.  We like talking to our customers and know that they need great customer service from our licensed experienced agents.  At the same time we believe in  utilizing technology, because we have to keep up with changes in our world. 

If you would like a quote, please use our quick form or call 1-888-270-0995.  Count on us to give you the best customer service possible.

 

Can A House Or Apartment Fire, Damage A Foundation?

Concrete is used  in many parts of a home or building. This includes the foundation, barriers, support beams and other structures. Concrete is also used as a fireproofing, due to its low thermal conductivity. In a substantial fire, concrete can weaken and sometimes must be replaced. This is the reason why insurance companies account for a foundation, when insuring a building or dwelling.

Facts of Concrete Being Exposed To Fire

Up to 300 °C(572F),  the concrete undergoes regular thermal expansion. Above that temperature, shrinkage occurs due to loss of water. Aggregate continues expanding, which causes internal stress. Up to about 500 °C, the major structural changes are carbonation and coarsening of pores. At 573 °C(1063F), quartz undergoes rapid expansion due to Phase transition, and at 900 °C(1652F) calcite starts to shrink due to decomposition. At 450-550 °C(842 to 1022F) the cement hydrate decomposes, producing calcium oxide. Calcium carbonate decomposes at about 600 °C(1112F). Rehydration of  calcium oxide on the dropping temperture of the concrete causes expansion. This can cause damage to the concrete which sustained the fire without falling apart. Concrete that has experienced a fire and left standing for several years shows extensive degree of carbonation and deteriation.

The Temperture of a house or apartment fire.

  • A House or Apartment Fire can exceed 1100F is 3 1/2 minutes.
  • The Heat from a fire can spread to any room. These temperatures can reach over 300F without an active fire in that room.

Overall if concrete of any sort is exposed long enough to fire, it could cause little or even a lot of damage. This can be a concern, due to the fact that the foundation supports the dwelling or building and supports a lot of wait. A Structural  or Civil engineer can determine if a foundation is safe or not.

Sources:

http://www.fairviewok.org/id71.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concrete#Leaching

SO HOW ARE YOUR TIRES REGARDING THE WINTER MONTHS AHEAD?

We all have to prepare for the winter months ahead and now is a good time to get started.  One of the most important ways to prevent an auto accident is to have good tires on your car.  If you have a blowout because of a bad tire, this can cause an accident and not only damage your car but others as well.

Check your tires, are they bald, do they need to be rotated, are they out of balance, do you need a rotation, or do you need new tires because of normal wear and tear?   People usually wait until something happens before they invest in new and good tires.  But the fact is, good tires can prevent a lot of accidents. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), at least 400 people lose their lives every year due to tire failure or bad tires.  There is another factor, rubber starts to break down as it ages.  There is a CODE on the side of the tire that starts with DOT that tells the age of the tire.  Check this to make sure your tires are not getting too old.

With the snow coming, do you have “all weather” tires or do you have the tread needed to fight the snow?  With your destinations, do you need chains at times?   Mud and Snow tires are ideal for most conditions, but the more chronic conditions could require chains, especially in the mountains.

Let your tires be the cushion to safety and security for you.  Invest in a good set of tires if you don’t already have them.  They could save your life or someone else’s.  With slippery, icy and wet conditions, it is hard to get around with a set of bald tires.  Don’t let this happen and be prepared for the season.   

Don’t wait until it snows to invest in a good set of tires.  Do it now, beat the crowds and set yourself up for a good winter season.  Your insurance premiums will go up the more you have accidents.  Try not to have to use your insurance and have a good set of tires.  Should you have any questions or need a free quote, please call us.

HOW THE BEAUTIFUL COLORS OF FALL CAN AFFECT YOUR RISKS ON YOUR PROPERTY

So you look out your window and see a tree changing colors from red to orange to yellow to light green or you see a bush that is covered in red.  What a beautiful display of color our earth offers us during the month of October.  That tree in your front yard is sprayed with a beautiful array of red and orange that is breathtaking.  If we take a trip in the mountains we see landscapes of rivers reflecting the colors of the trees and a wonderous view of color delight.

Fall colors are at their peak right now, but after their show we start to see leaves fall to the ground.  These leaves eventually clutter and cover our lawns with a blanket of debris.  that debris can become a hazard for not only appearance purposes but for people walking onto your property.  Those little piles of leaves left on the walkways can get wet and become slippery and troublesome for people who don’t see them.  The piles of debris of leaves can become a hazard just waiting for an accident to happen.  Here are a few tips for you to adhere to in order to prevent accidents during this beautiful and colorful season.

Make sure your walkways are clear of the leaf debris and piles of leaves.  Have your driveways and walks well lighted so people can see where they are walking.  Clear all debris and leaves from the lawn so walkers on don’t fall, and clean all leaves from your front door especially.  Clean all areas of your lawn and walkways you feel someone might enter to prevent any type of accident. 

When it snows or rains, leaves tend to become ugly and slippery.  Make sure to shovel your walks and driveway so people don’t fall from the slippery leaves. 

Leaves are usually less harmfull  than a lot of other hazards, but when they clutter together, they can become a strong hazard.  It becomes your liability as a homeowner when people fall.  Make sure your homeowners policy carries good liability coverage.  Don’t allow accidents to happen by keeping your home’s walkways safe from accidents.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us for a free quote or information.

The Liability Of Halloween Trick Or Treaters On Your Property

Halloween can be a great and fun time of the year. Those little pumpkins come to the door and say “Trick or Treat” and you give them all kinds of candy. Many Moms and Dads walk along with their children in gathering those little treats, and even sometimes grandmas and grandpas. As We all know they come on your property, ring your door bell and you give out goodies. The unforeseen threat is when the “trick or treaters” come  on your property, you could potentially be held liable for anything that could happen. This is if someone slips o falls, or any other type of “accident”. This could be if you are  a renter, homeowner or landlord. There are a couple of ways to prevent and protect yourself and we are going to explain what to do.

What To Do To Your Property To Prepare For Trick Or Treaters

  • Make sure there is a clear path from the street to your door. Make sure there is enough space for people to walk.
  • Have the area’s well-lit with light. This is so people can see clearly where they are walking on your property.
  • If its snows, shovel your driveway and walkways, and lay down salt. This is to prevent slip and falls.
  • Don’t have any hazards in the way or attractive nuisance’s.  This could be a hole you are digging in your lawn, or a pile of lumber or rocks in your yard.

Check Your Home Insurance Policy

Make sure your homeowners or renters policy has enough liability and medical coverage. We at least recommend having $5,000 in Medical Payments Coverage and having at least a $300,000 liability. Increasing these coverages will at most cost you an extra $50 dollars per year.  If someone sues you or there is a monetary judgement held against you due to an incident, your home insurance policy protects you.

If you take these basic steps it will assure a lot safer Halloween for you as a homeowner, and for your trick or treaters. Happy Halloween. If you have any questions or would like a quote, please contact us. Thanks for reading!

The General PGAC Indepedent Insurance Agent In Denver, Colorado

Looking for a Local PGAC agent? Look no further because we are exactly that. We are appointed agents. Click HERE to see our local listing on PGAC’s website.

Call us for a free quote @ 303-219-4985

About PGAC

They Insure most cars and drivers
Permanent General specializes in “non-standard” or “specialty” auto insurance, which is auto insurance for people who are quote “high risk”. This includes relatively drivers that are new to the auto insurance market, or who have been dropped by their former insurance carrier because of their driving records. PGAC also offers Sr22 filing.

They Offer Low down payments, convenient monthly payments
They offer low down payment options to every policyholder coupled with convenient monthly payments plans if you so choose. In most cases they combine their budget-sensitive plans with electronic verification of driver information and vehicle information when the customer is buying the policy so there are no surprises in the future. They also offer payment by credit card or check online.

Quality Claims Handling and Customer Service
Policy holders receive top notch service. PGAC claims department are focused on serving the customer to complete the client to satisfaction. Many questions and needs can now also be resolved online.

Financially Stable
A.M. Best recognizes PGAC financial strength and stability with a A – “Excellent” rating

Are You Prepared For A Loss?

So much of the time we are more concerned about how much our monthly premium is than what we have to pay in a deductible should we have a loss.  We margin our deductible at a level in order to make our insurance premium comfortable, thus, in the time of a loss, we are not prepared to make the deductible payment.

For example, Susie has a business that is a high-end clothing store.  She has taken out business insurance to cover her investment but has set her deductible at a high level because she wants to keep her premium low.  When the time comes when Susie does suffer a loss, she is not prepared to pay the $10,000 deductible that she has requested on her insurance policy.

We need to prepare ourselves by saving money each week so we are can make the deductible payment should we experience a loss.  Isn’t that what insurance is really about, taking care of the loss when we actually have one?  So, put the money aside, and take care of yourself,  your business, your home and family by always having enough money to cover your deductibles on your insurance policy.