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Protecting Your Property from TheftMultiple studies have demonstrated that crime rates increase in the summer. Why? Well, the answer is complex, but researchers have suggested that some of the reasons include:
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Dryer Vent Safety FactorsAccording to the U.S. Fire Administration, clothes dryers contribute to nearly 3,000 fires, 5 deaths and over $35 million in property loss each year. So making sure your dryer vent is clear is a simple but important way to keep your home and family safer. Even in the absence of fire, clogged vents cause your dryer to be less effective resulting in greater use of electricity and more breakdowns. If you find your dryer is taking longer and longer to fully dry a load of laundry, chances are your vent has become blocked with lint.
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Safety for your Second HomeBecause you can't keep an eye on it all the time, you want your second home or rural property to stay well-maintained and protected. There are many things you can do to keep your land and buildings safe and prevent problems that can arise when a property is unattended.
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Wedding Season TipsGetting married this summer? Read on for ways that marriage affects insurance and other financial considerations to handle before tying the knot...
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Fire Safety: Keeping Appliances in CheckMost people rely on dozens of appliances to support their daily tasks and activities, including small but significant tools like alarm clocks or hairdryers; toasters and stand mixers; and heavy hitters like the dishwasher or washing machine. So, how do you keep your appliances running their best, and getting a good return for your investment by having them work for as many years as possible? Here are a few tips to improve the performance and longevity of appliances.
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End of the Year Insurance ChecklistAs the end of the year approaches, it's a good time to take inventory, reflect on the past, and make plans for future goals. You might consider your relationships, professional life, health, financial situation, or all of the above. Don't forget to also take stock of your insurance coverage and make necessary adjustments based on things that have changed over the past year. Here are some of the most important areas to consider:
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Top Ten Tips for Storing your StuffAmericans love their stuff. And most of us have things in storage somewhere: the garage, attic, basement, or a storage unit off site. But what's the point of having all these things if they never get used, looked at, or if you can't even remember you have something you need when you actually need it? Here are some tips for downsizing, organizing and storing your stuff in a way that makes sense:
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For Homeowners: Outbuildings Coverage ExplainedThere are many reasons you might have additional buildings or structures on your property. Often, these buildings will be covered by your homeowner's insurance. But in some cases, it makes sense to buy more or different coverage for these buildings or what's inside. Here's everything you need to know about insuring other structures on your property.
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Insurance for Seasonal HomesHaving a seasonal home in your favorite vacation spot is part of the American dream for many families. But a seasonal home requires maintenance and protection, which is difficult to do when you're not there most of the time. Since second homes and vacation homes often sit unoccupied for months, they can be a target for theft and vandalism. Plus, if a problem occurs, you might not be around to catch it before the damage becomes serious. For these reasons, second homes often carry more risk from the perspective of an insurance company. But that doesn't mean a second home can't still be a great investment. Here's what you should consider when purchasing and insuring your seasonal home.
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Paint your house to help sell it.Selling your home this summer? If so, there are some quick cosmetic fixes that can make a big difference, and starting now can help. Should you make major repairs or improvements to your home before trying to sell? Maybe. But regardless of what you choose, there are several things you can do to make your home more attractive to buyers that won't require a ton of time and money just a little of each.
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Home Renovation and InsuranceYour roof needs to be replaced. The kids have been begging for a pool and you've finally succumbed to their incessant requests. You've decided to remodel your outdated bathroom and kitchen. Any change to the structure or use of the property will, more often than not, change your policy. However, you'll never know until you contact your insurance company, which you should do before any type of home renovation.
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Tips for Creating Great Outdoor Living SpacesIt's summertime, and many of us long to spend more time outside. Creating an outdoor living space can make it easier to take advantage of wonderful weather, and bring some simple joy and serenity to daily living. Here are some things to consider when planning an outdoor living space, and how to begin the process.
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Tips for a Safe and Sensational BarbecueOutdoor grilling season in West Virginia is here, a time to relax on the deck and enjoy some ribs or a juicy burger cooked to perfection on the grill. But even the most experienced grill master should take safety precautions before firing up the grill. Make sure your outdoor entertaining goes according to plan by following these grilling safety tips.
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Insurance for PoolsSo you're thinking of buying a pool and imagining those lazy, hot summer days when you'll get to slip into the cool water, sunbathe, play with the kids, and invite friends and neighbors to share in your good fortune. But there's more to owning a pool than just the fun stuff. Make sure that it's truly something you want and are willing to put in the work to maintain. Here are a few things to consider before you "dive in" -no pun intended.
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Unpredictable weather, at least in most parts of the country, is here. Suddenly, regular activities like driving and walking outdoors have become more hazardous. Whether you're going about your daily tasks, celebrating the holiday season, or taking part in fun winter activities, here's how to make sure you're safe and protected.
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Insurance policies are made to be customized for a reason. The business executive has more income and assets to protect from liability claims than the recent college graduate. Families have more people to think about than young single people or an empty nester. And it is worth noting that the single person, the recent college graduate, the business executive and the empty nester can all be the same person...at different times. We all have different pursuits, different incomes, different bank balances at different points in time. The insurance policies that make up your insurance program - your blanket of protection - need to be tweaked from time-to-time so that you are getting the right protection and benefiting from all available discounts.
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There are plenty of potentially hazardous activities that go along with the holiday season and the start of winter, such as stringing up Christmas lights, navigating the icy roads, and hopping on those skis or other snow sports equipment, just to name a few. This is also the time of year when we break out the snow shovels and ice melt, so that we, and our neighbors and visitors, can safely navigate our walkways and sidewalks.
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After your home is damaged by wind, hail, or other natural elements, the storm isn't necessarily over; in fact, it might be just the beginning. Here's what you need to know about the storm-induced insurance process from diagnosing the damage to filing a claim and making repairs so that weathering your home's recovery is as painless as possible.
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Have you heard of supermodels insuring their legs or singers taking out a policy on their priceless vocal chords? That's probably not necessary for most people, but many of us probably do have a few valuables that can and should be insured separately.
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For most American families, summer is outdoor celebration time, fireworks time, barbecue time, and fun-in-the-sun-by-the-pool time. If you're the one who happens to be hosting, however, it's important to recognize that these quintessential summer activities present unique risks, as well as potential liability issues.
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Summer in West Virginia is coming and with it is the opportunity to experience all kinds of warm-weather mishaps. Here are some common summer dangers and how to avoid them.
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A Christmas tree is a non-negotiable tradition for many families during the holidays. But even those who look forward to those twinkling lights and strings of popcorn may have a small child or mischievous cat that makes having a tree difficult and sometimes even dangerous.
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Enormous inflatable bouncy castles also known as bounce houses are often seen at kids' birthday parties and the like. They're colorful, bulbous enclosures where cake and ice cream filled youngsters can jump to their hearts' content, burn off some of the manic sugar buzz, and one would presume stay out of harm's way. In recent months, however, what once seemed to be a benign source of entertainment for the young and young and heart has come to be regarded as a menacing, potentially injurious if not deadly choice for party-day entertainment.
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Between personal motor vehicles, factories, trains, and other sources of toxic fumes, the outside air would seem to be significantly more toxic than the air within our seemingly pristine indoor environments. Unfortunately, this is an illusion. The air you breathe at home or work can be seriously harmful. In fact, according to a study by the World Health Organization, indoor air pollution kills approximately four million people worldwide every year.
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Asbestos is a hidden health hazard that can lurk right in the place where you should feel the safest: home. While those who work in the construction industry are considered the most vulnerable to asbestos exposure, especially repeated exposure, it's important to keep in mind that even very limited exposure-such as what you might experience during a simple renovation project-can have long-term negative effects. Make it a priority to prevent you and your family members from coming into contact with this dangerous material.
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What would we do without our handy power strips? Those convenient blocks of electrical sockets, which enable us to convert one outlet into several, make it possible to plug in all the gear that we can't live without these days. A typical location for a power strip is the home office, where it helps computers, speakers, printer, monitors, and all sorts of other necessities come to life. But many households have power strips in multiple rooms, if not every room, since there are so many items that require plugging in these days. Hairstyling tools, cooking equipment, and phone chargers come to mind!
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For most of the children in the West Virginia, the end of August means those lazy dog days of summer are coming to a close, and those books and desks are what will be opening up next. For parents, the back-to-school season is a great time of year to look over insurance policies, and make sure they are up to date. Here are some insurance situations to consider as the kiddos hit the books.
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Sometimes, what appears to be an impenetrably solid roof above your head actually has little openings through which the rain can leak. The same is true of some car insurance and homeowner's insurance policies; they can appear to provide sufficient coverage, but, in the event of an accident of some sort, you may find yourself drowning in debt. To avoid getting soaked by surprising expenses, use an umbrella; umbrella insurance, that is.
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Before winter strikes in West Virginia, most of us tuck away our summer clothes and bring out the sweaters, coats, and scarves that will keep our bodies cozy when there's a chill in the air. But how many of us take similar steps to prepare our homes for winter weather? Readying your home for winter, also known as "winterizing," will not only help you and your family to stay snug and warm while saving money on energy bills, but it may also protect your home from damage that can lead to costly repairs.
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Want to Maximize Your Insurance Dollars? Make 'Conduct a Home Inventory' One of Your New Year's Resolutions
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A standard homeowners insurance policy includes four essential types of coverage. They include:
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There are a number of preventative measures you can take to avoid water back up damage and minimize the amount of damage should it occur. But a significant amount of water back up incidents may not be preventable. For example, Colorado Springs Utilities estimates that water back up damages amount to $1,000,000 annually and that 80% of these losses are unpreventable. Worse, 80% of homeowners do not have insurance protection against water back up.1
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Technology and social trends have driven a wave of telecommuting. Many of us work at home at least on some days while some may work from home all the time. For that reason, more and more homes contain a designated office area; with increasing frequency that area is a room.
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First let's tackle the question of whether you need a separate insurance policy for your boat at all. If your boat is small and has limited or no power, the chances are that your homeowner insurance policy will afford you all the protection you need, although you may need to modify, or endorse, your homeowner policy.
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Download Home Inventory Worksheet (Excel) Keeping a home inventory is an important exercise that aids you in three ways:
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Your son or daughter probably needs some new, expensive computer equipment. When they were in high school they probably used a desk top computer but they now have a lap top. Lap tops, by the very nature of their portability, are much more susceptible to theft.
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Maintenance for your vacation or second home is pretty much the same as for your primary residence. There are a few reasons why you may need to take a few extra measures with your second home. You are most likely away from your vacation home for periods of time and, if you have nearby neighbors, they may be away from their homes during the same intervals. Many vacation homes are situated 'away from it all' so, if something were to happen to your home, it's possible no one would notice until too late.
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Arndt-McBee Insurance Agency



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