11 tips for holiday decorating safety (and avoiding home insurance claims)

Make sure to avoid fire hazards when you decorate for the holidays.

Make sure to avoid fire hazards when you put up holiday decorations.

If you’re gearing up for the holidays, you’re probably already scheming how you want to decorate your Atlanta home. You’re thinking lights. You’re thinking lawn decorations. You’re thinking festive holiday cheer. It’s all starting to take form. But the thing is that holiday decorations can go horribly awry. We’ve got 11 holiday decorating safety tips to help you avoid a catastrophe – and a potential home insurance claim. Don’t let an unexpected fire ruin your holiday cheer.

Tips for holiday decorating safety

1. Check all your lights before using them.

Whether you’ve bought new lights or you’re pulling your tried and true set out of the attic, make sure to check all the strings of lights. Look for cracking in the cord, broken cords, fraying, exposed wires, and loose connections. Get rid of any lights that could be unsafe. (This can help you prevent electrical fires.) You definitely don’t want an electrical fire to get in the way of the holidays.

2. Follow all instructions for electrical decorations.

Yes, instructions aren’t super fun to read. But it’s important to follow all the proper directions for using and installing your decorations. Just do what the manufacturer tells you to – improvisation is not a great strategy when electricity is involved.

3. Don’t connect too many lights to a single extension cord.

Don’t put more than three sets of lights on a single extension cord. You could overload it. These things are only designed to take so much strain.

4. Check for the UL testing label on all decorations.

Make sure the decorations have a label certifying that they’ve been tested by the UL (Underwriters Laboratory) – this is a consumer product testing laboratory that makes sure various products are safe for use.

5. Be careful with your outdoor lighting.

If you’re plugging in lights outside, make sure that you’re only using GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupting) outlets. These are designed to protect the outlet from exposure to water. (Remember – water and electricity do NOT mix.)

Also, don’t use staples or nails on your outdoor lighting cords. While you want the lights to be secured to something stable so that they won’t sustain wind damage, it’s probably not a great idea to stab them with metal things.

6. Watch your indoor extension cords.

If you’ve got extension cords inside the house, avoid putting them under furniture, rugs, and so on. These things can cause the cords to get really hot, and that can lead to problems of the fiery variety.

(On a bit of a side note, getting Atlanta home insurance means that you can protect yourself financially in the event of a fire or another loss. Need some help getting quotes? Just give us a call or fill out our online quote form and we’ll be happy to help you find the coverage that’s right for you.)

7. Set your tree up carefully.

First of all, use a sturdy tree stand to keep your tree standing. Anchor it to the wall or ceiling with guy wires if you have to. (Curious pets do love to climb on trees…potentially causing them to crash to the ground.)

And think about where you’re putting the tree. It needs to be at least three feet away (preferably farther) from anything that could produce heat. Think about it – trees are wood and needles. And wood burns. Yup. Make sure your tree isn’t going to go up in flames.

If you’re going the artificial tree route, make sure that it’s made out of a fire-resistant material.

8. Be careful with your ornaments and decorations.

It’s a good idea to make sure all ornaments or decorations are made of flame-resistant material. If you have kids or pets, you probably don’t want ornaments that could break into sharp pieces that could slice someone. You also probably don’t want to have ornaments that are small or are made of small parts, as these present a choking hazard. Be mindful of what you’re putting up around the house and what tiny fingers or paws could reach and eat and/or destroy.

9. Unplug lights before bed or leaving the house.

Yes, your lights look beautiful at night when it gets dark. But turn them off before you head to bed or before you leave the house. You don’t want any fires to start while you’re either sleeping or not at home. It’s best that you’re at home and alert when your lights are lit because you’ll be able to notice any problems with the lights or outlets sooner rather than later.

10. Don’t put the wrapping paper near the fire or other heat sources.

Presents are exciting. But make sure that you don’t let the wrapping paper get too close to the fireplace or any heat sources. Paper is made of trees, and as we’ve established, trees are flammable.

Also, don’t burn wrapping paper in the fireplace or in a bonfire. That’s just not a great idea. It’ll probably get a bit more out-of-hand than you were hoping it would.

11. Only keep your tree for two weeks.

While you might want to keep your tree up forever – it’s so pretty! – it’s best to only have it for about two weeks. If you keep it longer than that, it’s going to dry out a lot. And a dry tree is way more flammable than a fresh tree. Unfortunately, trees just don’t last that long when you keep them inside.

The holidays are a great time of year, but it’s important to decorate safely. Get into the holiday spirit safely to avoid having the joy and cheer interrupted by a fire or accident. (And, as a general rule, it’s also a good idea to avoid a home insurance claim.) Anyways, stay safe this holiday season!

If you’re looking for home insurance quotes, we can help. Our agents can help you get multiple quotes so you can compare rates and save on your Atlanta home insurance. You can get started with your quotes by filling out our online quote form or giving us a call today.

Source:

https://www.cpsc.gov/PageFiles/121347/611.pdf

10 tips to prepare your car for another Atlanta winter

It's important to get your car ready for the winter weather.

It's important to get your car ready for the winter weather.

Okay, it’s true that Atlanta isn’t the coldest or most severe climate in the country as far as winters go. However, our winters can still get pretty cold. We even occasionally see snow! (Or, well, flurries.) Anyways, the point is that when a “winter weather event” swoops in, it can happen with little warning. That’s why it’s important to take steps now to get your vehicle ready for the winter. Check out these ten steps to get your car all set for the cold.

Preparing your car for the winter

1. Take your car to the mechanic.

Yes, going to the mechanic might not be your favorite thing to do. But they’re the pros, and they can check the following things:

  • The battery
  • The antifreeze
  • The thermostat
  • The brakes (Kind of important, right?)
  • The heating system (So you don’t turn into a popsicle while you’re on the road)
  • The defroster (Since having a clear windshield is helpful for driving)

So, get a trustworthy, reputable mechanic to give your car a quick check-up. The cold weather can do weird things to a vehicle, and you can hit the road with more confidence knowing your car is (hopefully) ready to take it.

2. Make sure your tires have the proper tread depth.

If your tires look like they’ve seen better days, it might be time for new ones. Your tire tread depth needs to be at a safe level so that the tire can grip the road properly (which is especially important in winter, when it rains a lot.) Bald tires plus winter does not equal a safe ride.

3. Check your tire pressure.

Winter weather can wreak havoc on your tire pressure. It can actually cause the pressure to drop, meaning that you might need to add a little bit of air. Make sure to keep an eye on your tire pressure and pay attention to your tire pressure light.

4. Check the car’s lights.

Do a check of your vehicle’s lights. That means headlights, taillights, brake lights, hazard lights…Basically, just check all the lights and make sure they work and no bulbs are out. All of your lights need to be fully functional so that other drivers can see you. You’ve probably noticed that Daylight Saving Time and winter means it’s getting darker a lot earlier these days. You’ll probably need your headlights more in the winter, and you’ll need other drivers to be able to see you.

5. Think about your windshield wiper fluid and wiper blades.

You can also consider swapping your windshield wiper fluid for on that’s specially designed for winter and its freezing temperatures. (Normal wiper fluid can actually freeze when the temperature takes a nosedive.)

6. Consider your wiper blades.

Yes, it might not snow too often in Atlanta, but we do get frost and ice. You might want to think about switching your wiper blades for winter ones that are made to combat snow and ice. Being stuck with snow, frost, or ice on your windshield can make for a frazzled morning if you’re trying to defrost your car and you’re running late for work.

7. Check your windshield washing system.

It’s really not fun to drive with a dirty, grimy windshield that you can’t see through very well, especially when the sun hits it just right and plays tricks on your visibility and eyes. Make sure your windshield washing system is ready to go so that you can clear off your windshield if needed.

8. Pack an emergency kit for your car.

Just in case you get stuck somewhere or your car breaks down, it’s a good idea to have an “emergency kit” packed and loaded in the truck. Include items like:

  • Blankets
  • Extra clothes and sweaters
  • Nonperishable snacks
  • Water
  • Flashlights and batteries
  • A first aid kit
  • A snow/ice scraper (Yes, this is a useful item to have even in Atlanta.)

9. And don’t forget to clean the car off before you drive.

If there ever is snow or ice and it coats your car in white powder, make sure to take the time to brush it off and clean off the car. Clear the windshield, the hood, the roof, your headlights, and your taillights. It might be cold and it might take a little while, but it’s safer to plan to spend those few extra minutes than to have your visibility obstructed.

10. Check your auto insurance.

Okay, okay, we don’t want to sound pessimistic…but if you do have a little snafu with the car, it’s important to know what your Atlanta car insurance will cover. Check your limits of car insurance and your coverages so you know how your insurance will protect you. What are your limits of liability insurance? Do you have collision and comprehensive coverage? What’s your deductible? Are you prepared for what the winter could bring?

Another winter is upon us, which means that it’s time to make sure that your car is ready for the cold weather and the possibility of snow. Yes, even in the South it’s important to make sure your car is winter-ready and safe for the entire season.

Looking for car insurance quotes? We can help. Our agents are here to help you get multiple quotes for Atlanta car insurance so you can look at different coverage options and prices. Get started with your quotes by filling out our online form or giving us a call today.

Source:

https://auto.howstuffworks.com/car-driving-safety/accidents-hazardous-conditions/how-to-prepare-your-car-for-winter1.htm

6 things you need to know about voluntary benefits

You can offer voluntary benefits to your employees.

You can offer voluntary benefits to your employees.

If you have a small business, you’re probably trying to make heads and tails of group health insurance. Which may be easier said than done. One aspect of group health insurance that you might be thinking about is voluntary benefits. What exactly are voluntary benefits? Should you offer them? How does it work? We’ll explain six things you need to know about voluntary benefits.

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5 common Thanksgiving Day hazards (and how to avoid them)

Avoid these five Thanksgiving Day hazards.

Avoid these five Thanksgiving Day hazards.

Thanksgiving is great. There’s delicious food, time with family and friends, and the bracing Atlanta autumn air. But the only thing is that Thanksgiving is actually more dangerous than it might appear at first glance. What could be so dangerous about a turkey, you might ask? Well, it’s not just the turkey. We’re going to explain a few of the top Thanksgiving Day hazards and give some quick tips for how to avoid them.

5 Thanksgiving Day hazards.

1. Fires.

Yep, this one might not be too much of a surprise, right? With a million things on the go at once and the truly heroic amount of multitasking that goes into a Thanksgiving dinner, fires happen. According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency), Thanksgiving is the leading day for house fires related to cooking – in 2015, fire departments responded to an estimated 1,760 cooking fires.

The NFPA also reports that unattended cooking was the leading cause of these cooking fires.

So, be careful as you’re running around like a chicken – ah, turkey – with its head cut off this Thanksgiving. Check out these tips to prevent a fiery inferno this Thanksgiving – and avoid the resulting home insurance claim.

  • Stay in the kitchen and don’t abandon the food while it’s cooking, whether it’s in the oven or on the stove.
  • Establish a kid-free zone and keep the kids out of the kitchen so no one gets run over, burned, or splashed with hot water or food.
  • Keep the floor clear so no one trips over anything.
  • Keep flammable items – oven mitts, food packaging, wooden spoons, and so on – away from the stovetop.
  • Keep knives, matches, and other pointy or flammable items out of reach of children.
  • Make sure your smoke detectors have working batteries and function properly.
  • Skip the deep-fryer. Sure, a deep-fried turkey might taste delicious, but turkey fryers are super dangerous. You might turn your turkey into an explosion.

2. Cooking accidents.

Large knives, high-speeds, too many “helpers” in the kitchen creating distractions, hot surfaces…it’s an absolutely foolproof plan, right?

On Thanksgiving, everyone wants to pitch in to lend a hand with dinner, right? (Well, hopefully, people want to be helpful.) The only problem is that cooking involves a lot of sharp, pointy objects and hot surfaces. It’s all too easy for inexperienced – or experienced – chefs to accidentally slice a finger instead of a carrot or brush a hand against a hot oven or stove. Make sure that everyone assisting is comfortable wielding their weapon of choice and make sure everyone takes their time. Slow and steady wins the race…and can avoid a situation in which someone loses a finger.

3. Food poisoning.

Turkeys are delicious. But if the turkey isn’t cooked thoroughly, there’s a risk of some not-so-delicious food poisoning. Turkey can be rife with an icky bacteria called salmonella. It’s pretty nasty stuff.

Follow these steps to safely and completely cook your turkey.

  • First of all, read the label. Determine whether it’s a frozen turkey or a refrigerated turkey.
  • Have a refrigerator thermometer to make sure the turkey is stored at 40˚F or just below that and a meat thermometer to make sure the turkey reaches 165˚F when it’s cooked.
  • Thaw the turkey properly.
  • Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water before cooking and after handling the turkey.
  • Don’t wash the turkey. You’ll only end up smearing the germs and turkey-nastiness on your kitchen surfaces.
  • Don’t let the raw turkey mix with any of the other food.
  • Have separate utensils, cutting boards, dishes, and so on for the raw turkey. This will help you avoid accidentally contaminating other food.
  • Use warm water and plenty of soap to wash anything that’s touched raw meat or turkey.
  • Remember that 165˚F is the magic temperature. Use your food thermometer to check your turkey’s temperature in the thickest section of the breast, the innermost section of the thigh, and the innermost section of the wing.
  • Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

4. Car accidents

Thanksgiving is also a potentially dangerous time to drive, as weather conditions could get a bit scary and alcohol is often a guest at dinner. It’s important to check your car before you head out to visit family and make sure it’s ready for the winter weather. And if you’re planning to drive home after dinner, appoint someone to be the designated driver. Or just plan to stay the night at your family or friend’s place.

Anyways, be careful if you’re hitting the roads to see family or friends. Drive safe and take care.

5. Heart issues.

So, Thanksgiving dinner is kind of the biggest meal of the year. The food is super rich, and we may eat more than perhaps is wise. The volume and richness of the food (and the alcohol) can increase the odds of having a heart attack. One study of nearly 2,000 heart attack survivors that was presented to the American Heart Association showed that the odds of having a heart attack were multiplied by four during the two hours following a big, rich meal.

Those are six potential hazards to watch out for this Thanksgiving. Though of course, it’s important to relax and enjoy the time spent with family and loved ones, it’s also important to take care to stay safe during the holiday season. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving, Atlanta!

Looking to save money on your home insurance? We can help. Our agents can help you get quotes for Atlanta home insurance so you can see different coverage options and pricing. Get started with our online quote form or give us a call today.

Sources:

https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Seasonal-fires/Thanksgiving-safety

https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/events/thanksgiving/index.html

https://www.thedailymeal.com/healthy-eating/heres-why-thanksgiving-deadliest-holiday-year

Tips for car insurance when you get married

You can combine car insurance when you get married.

You can combine car insurance when you get married.

So, you’re getting married! That’s great – congratulations! There’s so much to look forward to and so much happiness in your future. In getting swept away in all of the wedding plans, you’ve been off in your own little world. As you should be! But then something brought you back down to earth with a thud – Atlanta car insurance. You both have vehicles and you both have insurance. But when you get married, what’s the best battle plan? What should you do? We’ll explain what the scoop is with car insurance for newlyweds.

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6 tips for choosing a group health insurance plan for your small business

It's important to evaluate each plan when you're choosing Atlanta group health insurance.

It's important to evaluate each plan when you're choosing Atlanta group health insurance.

f you’re a small business owner in the Atlanta area, you might be considering getting group health insurance for your employees. But there are a lot of options out there – and we mean a lot. Which begs the question, how does a small business owner go about choosing a group health insurance plan? We’ve got six tips to help you evaluate and choose Atlanta group health insurance for your small business.

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Atlanta group health insurance: HMO plans and PPO plans

Two options for Atlanta group health insurance are HMO plans and PPO plans.

Two options for Atlanta group health insurance are HMO plans and PPO plans.

If you’re a small business owner in Atlanta, you might be considering offering group health insurance for your employees. Unfortunately, all the terms, abbreviations, acronyms, and so on can be bamboozling. In considering what sort of plan you want to offer, you’re wondering what the difference is between an HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) plan and PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) plans. Well, apart from having different letters, that is. Anyways, we’ll explain what HMOs and PPOs are and why they’re different.

What is a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan?

One type of Atlanta group health insurance is offering an HMO plan to your employees.

Basically, the Health Maintenance Organization creates a network of healthcare providers that work with them. These providers have agreed to be paid set amounts for the services they provide. This means that the HMO is able to keep costs fairly low for people who are on these plans, making it an affordable health insurance option. The premiums and copays (fees for visiting a doctor or specialist) can be more affordable than those of a PPO plan.

However, there’s a catch:

Remember how we mentioned the network of healthcare providers? If your employees are on an HMO insurance plan, they can only go to doctors who are in that network in order for expenses to be covered. They can’t see a doctor who is out-of-network unless it’s a complete medical emergency.

So, employees could see lower costs as far as premium, copay, and out-of-pocket expenses, but they lose the flexibility of being able to see whichever doctor they please.

Another thing about HMO plans is that the employee will most likely to be required to choose a Primary Care Provider from the network provided. This doctor will become their doctor, who they’ll go to for check-ups, when they get sick, and so on. And if there’s ever a time that they need to see a specialist, the Primary Care Physician would refer them to a specialist in-network. (The referral is a must – kind of like a Golden Ticket.) The specialist’s care would be covered after the copay and deductible are met by the employee.

So, HMOs could work for your employees if they’d rather pay lower premiums and they’re okay with being limited to choosing doctors in the network. Generally, HMOs can work for people who don’t need more than basic care in the form of checkups, vaccinations, and so on.

(We can help you get the Atlanta group health insurance that’s right for your business. Get started with your quotes by filling out our online form or giving us a call today.)

What is a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan?

Another Atlanta group health insurance option is to offer a PPO plan to your employees.

A PPO plan also consists of a network of healthcare providers, and these providers have agreed to offer set rates for their services to members. However, the employee would have the option to go to a doctor or hospital that’s out of that network. (Although choosing one of the in-network providers will most likely cost less.) Basically, you can go to any doctor, in-network or out-of-network.

These plans offer more flexibility and options as far as doctors go, but the premiums can be higher, as can the copays. (But, like we mentioned, choosing an in-network doctor can help save money.) These plans usually require enrollees to pay a co-pay when they visit a provider, and there may be an annual deductible that needs to be met before insurance will cover certain claims. There are more options with these plans and it can be easier to see a provider when away from home or if there’s an urgent medical situation.

Another way that these plans offer more flexibility is that the employee doesn’t have to choose a primary care physician and don’t need a referral to see a specialist. They can just go without needing a primary care physician to act as a liaison. If you offer a Preferred Provider Organization plan as group health insurance for your small business, employees would most like to be able to keep their current doctor, which is helpful if they wouldn’t want to switch.

So, PPOs can provide more flexibility and choices for your employees since they don’t have to visit an in-network health care professional, but they’re often a little more expensive. It’s a trade.

And that’s the difference between an HMO plan and a PPO plan. When selecting Atlanta group health insurance for your small business, it’s important to consider what your employees would prefer and how the plan will help them get the care they need. Your employees need group health insurance that will work for them.

If you’re looking for small business health insurance, we can help. We’ll go over your options for Atlanta group health insurance and help you find the right benefits package for your employees and your business. We can also help you get workers’ comp insurance, general liability insurance, and more. Get started with your Atlanta business insurance quotes by filling out our online quote form or calling us today.

Sources:

https://www.humana.com/all-products/understanding-insurance/what-is-hmo

https://www.humana.com/all-products/understanding-insurance/hmo-vs-ppo

What is the personal liability section of my Atlanta homeowners’ insurance?

Personal liability insurance can help you if you're found responsible for causing someone bodily injury.

Personal liability insurance can help you if you're found responsible for causing someone bodily injury.

Your home insurance does a lot more than just fix your house if Mother Nature sends a disaster your way or you have a fire. It can also protect you financially with personal liability coverage – it’s a part of what your home insurance covers. We’ll explain how personal liability coverage works and how it can provide a safeguard around your bank account.

What is the personal liability insurance coverage section of my policy?

Personal liability insurance will protect you if you (or a member of your family who’s covered under the policy) are found legally responsible for causing someone bodily injury or property damage. For example, if a guest tripped while walking down your driveway, you could end up shouldering the legal blame. You could end up facing a lawsuit, and that lawsuit can become very expensive very quickly – expensive enough to threaten your assets and even your future wages.

What does personal liability insurance cover?

No-fault Medical Payments.

Medical bills aren’t cheap. If someone gets hurt on your property, they’ll need to get the care they need. There could be a medical payments coverage included in your liability insurance, which allows the injured person’s medical bills to be paid without the ado of a lawsuit.

Your personal liability insurance can also help you if there's a lawsuit.

Legal expenses/Lawsuits.

Should the person who got hurt on your property decide they’re in a litigious mood, they might sue you. Which means you’d need a lawyer. Liability insurance could cover the legal costs – which add up very quickly. Whether or not you’re guilty of what you’re being accused of, you still need that lawyer. And you need to pay them. Jury awards or settlements from a lawsuit can also be very, very expensive, but the liability section of your home insurance would help you out.

Property Damage.

If you’re responsible for accidentally causing property damage to another person, your home insurance can help you cover the costs of a lawsuit (if one happens) or repairing or replacing the property that was destroyed. So, if your kid accidentally smashes your neighbor’s priceless, rare vase, you could get some help from your home insurance.

How much liability insurance is included in my home insurance?

Many home insurance policies offer $100,000 of liability insurance, but you can increase those limits. ($100,000 is often the minimum amount you can get.)

It’s important to check your limits of insurance to see how much liability coverage you have. If your current limit isn’t high enough, you can talk to your agent about raising it. You can also consider getting a personal umbrella insurance policy to really boost your liability coverage. (A personal umbrella policy sits on top of your existing liability coverage to provide additional coverage.)

Can personal liability insurance cover me if my dog bites someone?

Well, it could, yes. But it’s really important that you talk to your insurance agent about your dog and check to see what your policy says about dog bites. It’s better to know exactly what’s covered than to think something’s covered…only to find out it’s not. Dogs and home insurance don’t always mix.

Some insurance companies are leery of insuring homeowners who have dogs of certain breeds (like Pitbulls, Dobermans, Rottweilers, or bulldogs) because of their history of aggression. Some carriers won’t even offer coverage to those who own certain breeds.

Anyways, it’s not impossible to get insurance if you have a dog or to get home insurance that will cover dog bites, but take care to understand how your insurance would handle a dog-bite situation.

So, that’s a brief look at how personal liability insurance can protect your finances. It’s easy to get caught up with the coverage for the house and for personal belongings, but it’s important not to overlook the liability portion of your policy. Don’t underestimate how expensive lawsuits can be!

If you’re looking to get quotes for home insurance, our team can help. We’ll shop for your insurance so you can get great coverage at a great rate. To get started with your quotes, fill out our online quote form or give us a call today.

Source:

https://www.thebalance.com/personal-liability-insurance-coverage-3957084

10 fall home maintenance tips to prepare your Atlanta house for winter

Prepare your home for winter with fall home maintenance.

Prepare your home for winter with fall home maintenance.

Fall in Atlanta is a great time to get some home maintenance done. Okay, truthfully our winters may not be as harsh as in other areas of the country, but still, it’s important to strengthen your home before the winter and do some fall home maintenance. Cold weather and maybe – yikes – snow is really hard on a house. We might want to think our home is an indestructible Super House, but that’s (unfortunately) not true. We’re going to go over several home maintenance tasks so you can prepare your home for winter.

Fall home maintenance tips.

1. Look after your roof.

Have your roof inspected. Replace loose or broken shingles. Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against weather – kind of like a super fancy helmet. A helmet with cracks or holes in it isn’t super effective, right? And besides, your roof affects your home insurance rates.

2. Check the caulking around your doors and windows.

The caulking around the doors and windows serves as a seal against the weather. The delightful, cozy warm air inside your house can leak out of the home. That makes your heating system work harder. Repairing any caulking that needs it can help you keep your home nice and toasty – and it will make your home more energy efficient (and thus lower your heating bill.) Take some time to inspect your caulking and make necessary repairs.

3. Maintain your heating system.

Enlist the services of a trustworthy technician and have them check over your furnace and your heating system. It’s better to find out about a problem before the temperatures get super cold. Otherwise, you might find yourself with your teeth chattering as you shiver and wait for someone to fix the heat…when they’re available. By getting a maintenance check of your heating, you can make sure that your home will stay nice and warm all winter.

4. Put away garden hoses.

Before you put away any outdoor garden hoses, make sure to drain them of water. If there’s water in the hose and it freezes, you hose will probably be toast. And that would be a real drag to have to replace your hose first thing in the spring when you go to water the plants.

5. Clean the gutters and downspouts.

Yep, we know that gutters are gross. Cleaning the gutters is on no one’s “favorite things to do” list. But it’s got to be done. Leaves and debris are problematic because they can block water that needs to escape. That water can cause damage to your home because it builds up and just sits there. Before the rainy, gross weather of Atlanta winter hits, clean out the gutters.

Cleaning the gutters is a part of fall home maintenance.

6. Take care of your trees.

If there are any tree branches that are getting too close to the house, you might want to have them trimmed before they crash-land into your house. Dead trees aren’t stable and they can fall easily, so you should also have any dead or diseased trees removed. Though most likely your home insurance covers fallen trees, it’s best to not have to deal with it at all.

7. Get your chimney checked.

Who doesn’t love a warm, crackling fire in the fireplace in the winter? It’s great. But it’s a good idea to get your chimney inspected or cleaned before you start a fire in the fireplace this winter. And the best time to do that is in the fall before there’s a huge upswing in demand for these services. Chimney-cleaning businesses get super busy in the winter, as you can imagine, so you’ll have much less hassle scheduling an appointment earlier in the fall.

8. Prevent your pipes from freezing.

Pipes that are exposed to cold temperatures can freeze if the weather gets cold enough. You may want to go ahead and add preemptive insulation to your pipes to prevent them from freezing when the temperatures drop.

9. Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Make sure that you’re regularly checking your smoke detectors. The batteries also need to be changed at least once a year. Winter is the prime time for electrical fires, so it’s important to make sure that your smoke detectors can do their job. There should be at least one smoke detector on every floor and preferably one outside each bedroom.

10. Look over the outside of your home.

As part of your fall home maintenance routine, take a minute to walk around your home. Look at the roof, the siding, and foundation. Look at your driveway, your porch and steps, your walkway. Make sure to repair any areas that need to be repaired while the weather is still decent.

The winter can really put a beating on your home. By taking the time to put some TLC into your house and do some fall home maintenance, you can help it stand up better to the cold, rain, and maybe snow. Your house endures a lot. Take time this fall to baby it a little.

And of course, it’s important to protect your home with the right Atlanta home insurance. Out agents can help you get great coverage at a great rate. We’ll help you get the coverage you need to fully protect your home. Get started with your home insurance quotes by filling out our online form or giving us a call today.

Why is my Atlanta car insurance so expensive?

If your Atlanta car insurance rates seem too high, these are some possible reasons.

If your Atlanta car insurance rates seem too high, these are some possible reasons.

If you cringe every time you get your car insurance bill or every time the payment auto-debits from your bank account, you’re probably dwelling on this question: why is my car insurance so expensive? You’re just about fed up, and thinking about Atlanta car insurance rates kind of makes you want to flip some tables. There are a lot of factors that affect the cost of car insurance, and there are a few reasons that your premium might seem high.

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