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Staying Safe While Playing Sports

Every day, millions of youths participate in recreational sports. While these activities build the body and mind, they can also lead to serious injuries if the proper safety precautions are ignored. To avoid injury, parents should do the following:

• Tell your child to abide by the rules of the sport.
• Schedule a physical examination to make sure your child is cleared to participate in physical activity.
• Purchase the proper apparel and protective gear for your child.
• Instruct your child to warm up and stretch before and after playing a sport.
• Make sure your child drinks plenty of fluids before and during the sport.
• Don’t let your child play if they are extremely tired or in pain.

If your child experiences any pain or discomfort following a game, prompt treatment can often prevent a minor injury from becoming worse. If you notice the following warning symptoms, consider scheduling a doctor visit:

• Inability or decreased ability to participate in the sport
• Visible deformity, such as a shoulder out of joint
• Severe pain in the extremities

Keeping these tips in mind will ensure that your children stay safe and healthy whenever they participate in a sport.

Filed under: Health & Wellness,Personal Insurance — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 3:50 pm August 1, 2018


Create a Fire Escape Plan

It only takes a few minutes until an entire house is full of thick, black smoke and is engulfed in flames.

Every year thousands of people die or are injured in house fires. Don’t let your family become a statistic—many of these injuries are avoidable if you have a sound escape plan in place to protect you and your family if a fire occurs in your home.

Preparation
First, always ensure that your smoke detectors are properly installed and operating. Test them every month—a working smoke detector is the earliest signal alerting you to a potential fire.

Second, you and your family should establish an escape plan that outlines at least two exits from each room in your home in the event of a fire. If the primary exit is blocked by fire or smoke, you will need a second way out.

Every member of your family should practice the escape plan each month both in the light and in the dark so that everyone knows how to feel their way out of the house.

The Plan
When creating an escape plan, incorporate the following elements:
• When coming to a closed door, use the back of your hand to feel the top of the door, the doorknob and the crack between the door and the frame to make sure that the fire is not directly outside. If the door feels hot, use the secondary exit. If the door feels cool, brace yourself against it and open it slowly.
• Do not waste any time trying to save your personal property. Instead, take the safest exit route.
• If you must escape through smoke, crawl low under the smoke and cover your mouth.
• Establish a meeting place outside of the home where everyone knows to go once they are safely out. Designate one person to go to a neighbor’s house to call the fire department.
• Never go back into a burning building for any reason.

Filed under: Personal Insurance — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 10:00 pm July 9, 2018


5 Home Improvement Projects That May Have the Biggest Return on Investment

Conventional wisdom has long held that kitchens and baths sell homes. Those are also two of the more expensive areas to tackle for home improvement, but if you make sound design and material decisions, you could end up making your home more appealing to potential buyers — and a more enjoyable place for you to live.

A recent study from the National Association of Realtors confirms that kitchens and baths still top the interior home renovation projects that appeal most to potential buyers. The survey ranked the projects’ likely value to the home for resale. These five home improvement projects can potentially provide the biggest bang for your buck for ROI.

1. Complete Kitchen Renovation

NARI Remodelers’ cost estimate for the project: $60,000
REALTORS® estimated cost recovered: $40,000
Percent of value recovered from the project: 67%

The look and feel of a kitchen can serve as shorthand for how up-to-date the owners have kept a house. Potential buyers have been known to rule out homes based on kitchens alone. Stainless steel appliances and granite countertops continue to be on many buyers’ checklists, especially those who want to move right in and start entertaining.

The top reason for renovating a kitchen, cited by 36% of homeowners, was to upgrade worn out surfaces, finishes and materials. According to the Remodeling Impact Report, 12% of realtors said a completely renovated kitchen most recently helped them cinch a deal, resulting in a closed sale.

2. Kitchen Upgrade

NARI Remodelers’ cost estimate for the project: $30,000
REALTORS® estimated cost recovered: $20,000
Percent of value recovered from the project: 67%

A less expensive alternative to completely gutting a kitchen is an upgrade. Replacing dated appliances, refinishing cabinets and changing out tile backsplashes are some cost-effective updates that can still modernize a kitchen and make it more appealing to buyers.

While only 17% of realtors suggest sellers completely upgrade their kitchens, 57% have suggested a kitchen upgrade. A quarter of realtors have said a kitchen upgrade most recently helped complete a deal. In addition to the resale value, kitchen improvements can also help you enjoy your time in your home, with better functionality and livability cited by 28% of respondents as the most important result of their remodel.

3. Bathroom Renovation

NARI Remodelers’ cost estimate for the project: $26,000
REALTORS® estimated cost recovered: $15,000
Percent of value recovered from the project: 58%

Bathrooms are another place where a home can show its age, and potential buyers may hesitate at the cost and work involved in remodeling an outdated bathroom after buying a home. Still, while 45% of realtors have suggested sellers complete a bathroom renovation before completing a sale, only 6% said the project most recently helped them complete a deal.

4. Add New Bathroom

NARI Remodelers’ cost estimate for the project: $50,000
REALTORS® estimated cost recovered: $26,000
Percent of value recovered from the project: 52%

A remodeling decision often driven by function rather than a desire to modernize, adding a new bathroom is nearly as expensive as completely remodeling a kitchen, but with less of a “wow factor” for potential buyers. With only 8% of realtors suggesting sellers add a bathroom and only 2% saying the project most recently helped cinch a deal for them, this may be one project that makes more sense for homeowners planning to be in their homes for several years.

5. New Master Suite/Owners’ Suite

NARI Remodelers’ cost estimate for the project: $112,500
REALTORS® estimated cost recovered: $60,000
Percent of value recovered from the project: 53%

The costliest project on the list, a new master suite or owners’ suite, is another project that may have greater value increasing your enjoyment while living in the home rather than in making it attractive to future buyers. Eighty-eight percent of respondents said they have a greater desire to be home since completing the project. Only 4% of realtors have suggested sellers complete an owners’ suite before attempting to sell, and only 1% said the project most recently helped cinch a deal for them.

Deciding where to focus your home renovation budget? Make a list of the reasons you’re considering each project. Want to attract future buyers and increase the value of your home? Kitchens and remodels to baths remain a good place to start. If you plan to remain in your home for a number of years, you may want to update a bedroom, add a bathroom, convert a basement to a living area, or any other project that will add to your own appreciation of where you live.

Always be sure to share with your Warren G. Bender Co. agent if you have made improvements. Chances are that a review will be needed to ensure you’re properly covered.

Sources:
1 http://www.nari.org/assets/1/6/2015-Remodeling-Impact-Report.pdf
2 https://www.travelers.com/tools-resources/home/renovation/5-home-improvement-projects-with-biggest-return-on-investment

Filed under: Personal Insurance — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 11:30 pm June 20, 2018


Guide for Insurance During Home Improvements

As we head into brighter and clearer weather, spring seems to call out the inspiration in all of us. The cravings to start our home improvements must be satisfied. Remodeling or renovations, unpredictably enough have the potential to drastically affect our homeowners insurance or completely put us in the deficit. Here are our opinions and tips on how to approach home improvements.

Strategizing your home improvement(s) can be cumbersome and often times can leave you unsure on how to properly approach the situation. Deciding who will be doing the work is a very big decision and how this decision is made can make or break the project. Be sure to do your research and see the below table for helpful tips once you have decided.

If a loss does happen you could potentially be in violation of your insurance contract and coverage may be voided. This type of situation can be avoided by simply calling your insurance agent at Warren G. Bender Co. where we will review your insurance contract with you; let you know if additional temporary coverages will be needed and what the options are to protect you.

Dealing with DIY or having a contractor come to do your home improvement(s), are two very separate situations. Below you will find our chart that we trust will help you obtain the proper knowledge to embark on your home improvements with ease of mind, knowing that you will have proper and adequate protection.

Filed under: Personal Insurance — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 12:06 am May 1, 2018


Avoiding Contractor Fraud

The average homeowner isn’t likely to know much when it comes to the costs of materials and labor put into home repairs. As a result, it’s important to stay informed when dealing with contractors so you don’t end up paying for repairs you don’t need.

It’s often said that if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is. This advice is invaluable when dealing with contractor fraud. To avoid fraud, look out for the following suspicious characteristics:

• Contractors that contact you looking for work.
• Unsolicited, free home inspections that turn up problems you were previously unaware of, or discounted rates that are only offered that day.
• Pushiness on behalf of the contractor that you commit to repairs immediately.
• Contractors that request money in advance

Another dangerous type of fraud involves using a homeowner’s insurance to pay for unnecessary repairs. If a contractor causes intentional damage to an area of your home and convinces you that it is an acceptable use of your insurance policy, you may be held liable for insurance fraud.

Home Considerations

Remember, if you didn’t contact them, you probably don’t need them. Be wary of any contractor that shows up at your door out of the blue and claims that your home is damaged. To ensure that the problem they discovered is a legitimate concern, always get multiple opinions before committing to anything.

Contact Warren G. Bender Co. for more tips on how to protect your home and avoid contractor fraud.

Filed under: Personal Insurance — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 11:29 pm April 10, 2018