Simplify Your Insurance Claims with a Detailed Home Inventory

inventory home

A home inventory is a detailed list of every valuable item in your household, complete with descriptions, estimated value, and ideally, photographs. This list includes not only high-priced items such as electronics, appliances, and jewelry, but also everyday items like clothing, books, and kitchen utensils.

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Theft Prevention Tips

theft prevention

No home is immune to the risk of theft. Whether you’re looking to protect your home while you’re on an extended vacation or simply at the office for the day, it’s important to take precautions to help deter criminals from targeting your property.

Be sure to utilize these theft prevention tips to keep your home secure and help mitigate the likelihood of burglaries while you’re away.

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Does Atlanta home insurance cover burglary?

Home insurance should cover burglary.

Home insurance should cover burglary.

Your Atlanta house is more than just a structure with a roof and walls. It’s your home. You know you need to protect it with the right insurance, even though it’s scary to think about what-ifs – like burglary and what would happen if your home is burglarized. The thought is terrifying. But you might have this question – does home insurance cover burglary? We’re going to answer that question and give you some quick tips to prevent a break-in at your home.

Does Atlanta insurance cover burglary or theft?

Most home insurance policies do cover theft. Your policy should include personal property coverage, and that will provide insurance for your belongings. So, if someone breaks into your home and steals some of your possessions, you could file a home insurance claim and you should be covered. You’d have to read your policy carefully to find out exactly how your insurance would handle a burglary.

Your policy will probably have a limit for coverage for your personal property. That limit could be a percentage of the dwelling coverage on your home. Anyways, it’s really important to make sure that you have enough coverage to replace all of your belongings, so you need to check that your personal property coverage limit is high enough. (And we can help you make sure that you have the home insurance you need. Get started with Atlanta home insurance quotes by filling out our quick online form.)

To get an idea of how much coverage you need for your belongings to protect yourself against burglary, you can take a home inventory, which is basically a list of all of your belongings and their value. This will come in handy if you ever need to file a home insurance claim for burglary because you’ll easily be able to tell what’s been taken. You’ll know exactly what you need to include in your claim.

What if my belongings are in my car when they’re stolen?

If you have a bunch of stuff in your car and your car gets broken into or burglarized, your home insurance should cover those belongings and replace them. Most policies will cover your personal belongings even if they’re not in the home (although there could be limitations.)

Now, if your car is stolen from your driveway, however, your home insurance probably won’t cover it. You would have to have comprehensive coverage for your vehicle, which is a type of car insurance that will repair or replace your car if it’s damaged by something other than an accident (such as fire, falling trees, animal strikes, vandalism, and yes, theft.)

How to prevent a burglary at your Atlanta home.

No one wants to see their home get broken into, and it’s important to secure your house. The following tips can help you prevent a burglary at your house:

  • Keep the doors and windows locked. Contrary to popular belief, a lot of burglaries occur during the day – not at night.
  • Consider getting timers for your indoor lights.
  • Make sure you have plenty of outdoor lighting.
  • Consider getting a security system.
  • Secure your valuables.
  • Keep your bushes and trees trimmed to eliminate and potential hiding places for burglars.
  • Be familiar with your neighbors.
  • Don’t leave boxes from expensive purchases outside on the curb.

So, that’s the scoop about home insurance and burglary. Your home insurance policy most likely covers burglary and theft. There is a section of your home insurance that covers your personal belongings, and that’s the piece that’s going to replace your belongings. So, hopefully, you can find a little peace of mind knowing that your home insurance covers burglary.

Want to save money on your home insurance? We’d be happy to help you get an Atlanta home insurance quote. Our agents are professionals at helping people get great coverage at a great rate. To get started with your quote, fill out our online quote form or give us a call today.

14 steps to secure your Atlanta home and prevent burglary while you’re on vacation

It's important to keep your home safe while you're on vacation.

It's important to keep your home safe while you're on vacation.If you’re planning a family vacation this summer, you’re probably looking forward to getting out of town for a little while. But in all the excitement, don’t forget to take some steps to secure your house before you leave. When you’re not there to keep an eye on things, your home can be susceptible to burglary. That’s why you need to outsmart the burglars and amp up the security around your house. The following tips can help you get your home ready for your vacation and prevent a burglary.

14 tips for home safety while you’re on vacation

1. Consider getting a home security system.

Monitored home security systems can help deter burglars from attempting to break into your house. They can also alert the police to a burglary and send them to your house quickly. If you don’t already have a security system, you may want to consider having one installed. And if you do have one, check that everything’s working properly before you head out on your trip.

The benefits of a home security system don’t stop at the added protection for your home. A home security system can help you save money on your home insurance because many insurance companies offer a discount if you have one. So, you can protect your home and save money on your insurance at the same time – it’s a win-win.

2. Know where all your keys are (and don’t hide a key outside.)

It’s important to know where each key to the house is so that none of them get misplaced or lost. Keep track of all keys.

Also, don’t leave a key hidden outside. Burglars know the best hiding places for house keys. Under the mat? Yep. In the potted plant? Yep. On the eaves? Yep. The burglars think that same way you do. So, if you think you’re outsmarting them…you might just be outsmarting yourself.

3. Lock everything.

Okay, we know this one’s a little “no duh.” But it’s still very important to double check that all windows and doors are securely locked before you leave for your trip. Don’t forget to do one last check that your home is locked up tight. Otherwise, you may as well yell, “Come on in, burglars!”

4. Do what you can to make sure your home looks occupied.

If your house looks dark and empty for a long period of time, it won’t take long for a burglar to figure out you’re not home. And they’re also looking for an easy target, which your home could be if you’re not home. To a burglar, they see a home that they can break into and skedaddle from with no one the wiser, perhaps for quite a while – long enough to make a clean getaway.

One way to make your home look lived-in is to get timers for your lights. The timers can turn the lights on and off at specific times so that it appears that someone’s moving around in the house. It makes it look like someone’s home, so your house becomes less of an easy mark.

5. Get someone to tend to your lawn.

An overgrown, slightly shaggy lawn can be a dead giveaway that no one’s home. Ask a neighbor or friend to mow your lawn and tend to any other landscaping tasks. It may seem like a small detail, but why not? It’s better to play it safe.

6. Ask a neighbor to keep an eye out for any flyers, packages, and so on.

Ask a trusted neighbor to look out for anything suspicious around your home. Advertisements stuck to the mailbox or flyers hanging from the doorknob can indicate that there’s no one home to throw them away. You can stop your paper and your mail, but sometimes people come and leave ads on the mailbox or on the driveway. It’s not a bad idea to have someone looking out for your place.

7. Put a hold on your mail.

You may want to stop your mail while you’re away so that it’s not piling up and doesn’t turn into Mount Mail outside your house. Or if you’ve got someone coming over to check on your house or feed the cat, you can ask them to bring the mail in every day.

8. Stop your newspapers.

Hmm…a pile of newspapers outside your house, dotting the driveway…That house looks like a good one to rob.

Newspapers piling up can be another sign that you’re not home. Either stop your newspaper or have your pet-sitter/house-sitter pick them up and bring them inside.

9. Move your valuables out of sight.

If you can, it’s not a bad plan to move your valuables so they’re out of sight. May as well not leave your expensive electronics in plain sight where potential burglars would be tempted. If you have jewelry and such, you might want to consider getting a hidden safe to keep those things super secure.

10. Be smart when you’re talking about your vacation plans.

It’s not the best plan to go broadcasting your vacation plans and blabbing about when you’re not going to be in town. You never know who could be listening to your conversation. Only tell people who need to know about the details of your travels and be discreet when you do. Tell your kids to be careful about it, too.

And another thing:

Don’t talk about your travel plans on social media, and try to refrain from posting pictures while you’re on your trip. It’s best to not inform the whole world where you are. Wait until you’re back to post your vacation pictures.

11. Consider getting outdoor automatic lights.

Light can be a major deterrent to burglars. You can think about getting exterior lights that run on timers so that they’ll come on every night and flood your yard with light.

12. Get a neighbor to pull your trashcan to the curb on trash pickup day.

Ask a neighbor to take your trashcan and recycling to the curb for pickup day and then put them away. That will help it look like you’re home. And then the trash won’t get too stinky either.

13. Unplug your electronics.

You can save money on your electrical bill by unplugging any electronics that aren’t necessary while you’re away (the fridge, of course, will have to stay on unless you want to come home to spoiled food.) This will also help you prevent an electrical fire while you’re away.

14. Consider getting a pet-sitter or house-sitter to stay at your house while you’re gone.

Asking someone that you trust to stay at your house can help you keep your house safe. Besides, if you have pets, you’ll need someone to check on them anyway. They’ll be able to keep an eye on your home – and check that no pipes have burst, no fires have started, and no disasters have happened. They can also get the mail, pick up the papers, take out the trash, and so on. And if you have cats or dogs, you’ll feel better knowing they have someone to keep them company and look after them.

Going on vacation is great, but you have to take steps to protect your home if you’re going on a road trip or traveling somewhere. Before you leave, take some time to ensure that everything is shipshape at home.

Another way to protect your home is to get home insurance. Our team can help you get Atlanta home insurance quotes from some of the top carriers in the country. We’ll help you get the best coverage at the best rate so you can get the insurance that’s right for you and save money. To get in touch with our team, all you have to do is fill out our online form or give us a call.

8 tips to stay safe with social media when you’re on vacation

When you're on vacation, it's important to be smart with social media.

When you're on vacation, it's important to be smart with social media.

When you’re super excited about a trip or vacation, it’s really easy to get carried away when it comes to posting on social media. But whether your preferred platform is Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, it’s important that you take proper precautions when it comes to your social media habits. If you’re not careful online, you could make your home a target for burglary. Believe it or not, burglars use social media to figure out which houses to burgle. When you post about being away from this date to that date, you’re telling the world that your house will be empty and unprotected. However, with these tips, you can help prevent a home burglary while you’re on vacation.

1. Don’t post about your travel plans.

If you put your travel dates, flight info, or vacation plans online, you’re opening yourself up to a world of trouble.

A tech-savvy burglar trolling Facebook could easily realize that you’re not going to be home, as we said, and what better time to strike than when no one’s home and they can take their time? They can break in, steal your stuff, and be gone before anyone’s the wiser. And they’ll have lots of time to make their getaway since no one’s going to be home to alert the police for a while.

Don’t announce your travel plans to the world. You don’t want to give a thief an invitation to your home.

2. Disable location services on your phone.

Location services on your phone often runs in the background unless you turn it off. Go to your settings and disable your location services so no one can figure out where you are. Usually, it’s as simple as hitting a button.

3. Tighten up your tagging settings.

Change your social media settings so that posts that people tag you in won’t automatically pop up on your page. Your traveling companions might tag you in a photo, and this is another way that thieves can figure out that you’re not home. Unfortunately, burglars are pretty clever. Take some time to check out your social media settings and make sure that posts you’re tagged in won’t appear on your page.

While you’re playing around with your settings, amp up your privacy and make it so that the entire world can’t look at your page. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

4. Don’t check-in at various locations.

You might have the option to “Check-In” on social media when you’re at certain locations. Resist the urge to check-in, as tempting as it might be. Checking-in can also be a dead giveaway if you’re not at home, as you’re essentially telling everyone, “Look at me, in this city that I don’t live in at this place that I’m on vacation in!” Whether you’re going on a road trip or flying, don’t holler about your whereabouts online.

If you're on social media, be careful and don't post your whereabouts.

5. Take a break from social media while you’re on vacation.

Just take a break from your social media accounts while you’re vacationing. Vacation is time for relaxing, experiencing new places, and spending time with family or friends. Don’t let the time fly by as you’re too busy looking at your phone to take in your surroundings or enjoy your time with your traveling companions. Yes, you might fear the unpleasant symptoms of social media withdrawal, but you will survive. You are strong. You can put the phone aside for your trip and simply live in the moment, absorbing all there is to see and relaxing.

6. Post about your trip after you’re back.

If you must take to social media to chronicle your escapades, wait until you’re home. This will give you the opportunity to go through all your pictures and choose your favorite ones to share, anyways, and that way you’re not bombarding people with photo and post overload.

7. Use scheduling tools for posts.

If you want, you can even consider using a scheduling software to create posts and set them to post at a later time – after you’ve returned. There are multiple platforms you can use to schedule and manage your posts. That way you can write or compose your post while the experience is still fresh, but your post won’t go live until you’re home.

8. Go over social media safety with your whole family.

Make sure that everyone’s on the same page when it comes to being smart with social media when you’re on vacation. Ask your teenagers to wait to post pictures and so on until you’ve returned from vacation and make sure they understand the importance of not posting details about your family’s travel plans online. Teenagers often seem glued to their phones, so make sure that they’re aware of what not to post while on vacation.

Don't post about your travel plans on social media.

Vacation is meant to be a relaxing, stress-free time for you and your family or friends. Be social media savvy this summer and don’t give away your whereabouts, as cool or envy-inducing those whereabouts might be. Traveling is great and of course, you want to capture the memories with photos. Just be careful on social media and don’t broadcast your location to everyone. Focus on being in the moment instead of flooding the Internet with pictures and posts about your vacation.

Want to save money on home insurance? We would be happy to help you shop your rates and get multiple quotes for your Atlanta homeowners insurance. All you have to do to get in touch with our insurance professionals is fill out our online form or give us a call today.

Protect your business from four different types of theft

You business faces several different types of theft.

Sometimes people really want things that don’t belong to them, and your business faces numerous types of theft. There are various threats out there, but by being aware of them and taking steps to lower your risk you can protect your business from theft. We’ll go over four types of crime that businesses face and offer tips to help you prevent them.

Protect your business from burglary:

Burglars are extremely crafty, which means that you need to be craftier to foil their efforts. Protecting your business from burglary takes some planning, but it’s important to do – burglary can be disastrous for business. To keep unwanted thieves out of your building, check out the following tips.

  1. Make sure you have plenty of interior and exterior lighting, especially around any entrances.
  2. Keep your trees and bushes trimmed. By doing so, you eliminate hiding places for any would-be burglars.
  3. Have a monitored alarm system installed, along with security cameras. A commercial security system can be a deterrent to thieves.
  4. Secure your windows with shatter-proof glass and strong window locks.
  5. Have strong doors installed, preferably ones made of steel.
  6. Get a fence around the perimeter of your business.
  7. Have a safe for valuables. The safe should be hidden and secured to the ground.

Protect your business from robbery:

The concept of robbery is terrifying. It’s something that every business owner hopes fervently won’t happen to their business and their employees. To try to keep everyone – employees and customers both – safe in the event of a robbery, try the following tips:

  1. Spend time training your employees about robbery and what to do if the business is ever robbed. Stress that their lives are the important thing, not the money.
  2. Get in touch with your local police department for help with creating a training plan. They will most likely have some good advice for you and can give suggestions for training and robbery prevention.
  3. Don’t keep large amounts of cash in the register. You can post signs that state clearly that the register is emptied regularly to discourage robbers.
  4. Have a safe that’s hidden.

Protect your business from employee theft:

Unfortunately, employee theft is more common than we might like to think. Even small businesses are at-risk for employee theft – it’s not just large corporations. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the possibility and protect your business from employee theft. Try the following tips:

  1. Have video cameras installed.
  2. Keep an eye on your finances and bookkeeping.
  3. Do inventory frequently.
  4. Create a return and void procedure.
  5. Foster positive relationships with your employees and encourage a happy, pleasant workplace atmosphere.

Protect your business from cybercrime and identity theft:

Data breaches and cyber risks are becoming more and more serious for businesses. If a hacker steals the personal identifying information of your clients, your business could be in big trouble. Check out the following tips to prevent a data breach and reduce your business’s cyber risks:

  1. Have a firewall on your computers to repel unwanted visitors.
  2. Get anti-virus and anti-spyware software.
  3. Educate your employees about cybersecurity.
  4. Make sure your Wi-Fi network is secure.
  5. Protect computers with strong passwords.
  6. Consider getting cyber liability insurance.

Here we assess how should you respond to the theft of your identity and a recovery plan. 

Burglary, robbery, employee theft, and identity theft are very real possibilities for businesses. We hope that you never have to deal with any of these devastating losses, but nonetheless, it’s important for you to be prepared and to take steps to protect your business from these various forms of theft.

Another way to protect your business is with business insurance. It’s important to have enough insurance to fully protect your business from all of your risks, and our team of commercial insurance agents can help you identify your risks and get the coverage you need to protect your company from them. All you have to do to get business insurance quotes is fill out our quick online form or give us a call today.

How to prevent a devastating burglary and protect your Atlanta business

Burglary is devastating to businesses.

For many business owners, burglary is a very real fear. Maybe you’ve been the victim of a burglary in the past, or maybe you fear one happening in the future. At any rate, a burglary can be devastating to your business. Yes, your business insurance might help you, but the effects might not only be financial – a break-in robs you and your employees of your peace of mind. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to lower the chances of a burglary happening at your place of business.

1. Let there be light.

Having plenty of lighting outside your premises serves as a major deterrent for potential burglars, who prefer to skulk around in the dark. So shine some spotlight on your entryways and exterior of your building. The idea is to eliminate burglar-friendly shadows.

2. Bolster the locks.

All locks need to be good at their jobs, as do the doors. Might as well not make the burglar’s job any easier by having easy-to-break locks. Make sure your windows are locked tight, and don’t forget to check those doors when you close for the night. Also, have deadbolts on your exterior doors.

3. Maintain your trees and bushes.

Keeping the building and your premises well-manicured and cared for is important. Make sure to keep your trees and shrubs trimmed away from the windows so as to eliminate potential hiding spots.

4. Consider security cameras.

Security cameras inside and outside the building are a major deterrent for burglars. Burglars prefer not to be caught in the spotlight. Plus, if you have camera footage you’ll be able to help the police if you do have a burglary.

5. Have an alarm system installed.

Do some research and consider having a commercial security system installed. Having a monitored alarm system will make burglars think twice before targeting your building. Make sure it’s properly maintained. Foil the burglar’s plans by showing that they won’t escape undetected.

6. Make sure your safes do their job.

Your employees should be in the habit of depositing cash into the safe frequently throughout the day. Ideally, the safe would be bolted to the ground.

It's important to protect your business from burglary.

7. Complicate burglary.

Have glass that’s shatterproof in the windows so people can’t just smash the glass and let themselves in.

8. Have interior emergency lights at night.

Having a little bit of light in the building itself after close helps deter burglars – it makes it easier for passersby to see movement and increases the chances of the burglar being caught.

9. Protect the outside of the building.

To protect the perimeter of the business, you can consider installing a sturdy fence. That can help keep your business safe. Make sure that you’ve taken steps to protect all possible entry points for burglars.

10. Keep track of who has keys.

When you issue keys to those who need them. Have records of who has keys, and make sure to collect keys of employees who will no longer be with your business. You can even consider changing the locks every so often.

11. Have a “more the merrier” philosophy.

Make sure that you have enough staff to mind the premises properly – it will keep both your business and your employees safer. Also, make sure that the closing people do a sweep of the building so that no one hides inside after close.

12. Change up your banking routine.

Make sure that your money-related tasks and routines, like making bank deposits, have varied schedules. You don’t want to be predictable. Would-be burglars pay attention to these things.

Burglary is a very real threat for business owners. It’s important to keep your premises safe and sound and to tighten up your security, even if you feel like your business is in a safe place and that burglary would never happen to you. You can even consider including burglary when you do disaster planning for your business. Don’t invite the burglars to come in and help themselves to your merchandise and business equipment.

Are you looking for business insurance quotes? Great – we would love to help you out with that! We can help you identify the risks that your business faces, and from there we’ll work with you to create a customized insurance plan just for your business. All you have to do to get started with your free business insurance quotes is fill out our quote form or give us a call today.


Practical tips to protect your Atlanta home against burglary and prevent break-ins

Protect your home from burglary.

No one wants to think about what would happen if their home got burglarized. But it does happen. Your home is supposed to be a safe place, a haven for your family, and that peace of mind would be shattered if you came home to find that someone had broken into your home. Yes, your home insurance might help you replace your belongings, but nothing can replace your sense of security. However, there are things you can do to help prevent a burglary. Check out these tips to keep your Atlanta home safe.

1. Keep doors and windows locked tight while you’re at work.

Most burglaries don’t happen in the dead of night. They happen in the middle of the day (8 am – 4 pm) when people are at work. Burglars go for homes that are going to be empty. You should always keep your doors and windows secure, but especially when you’re at work.

2. Set up some automatic timers for lights.

Set some timers to turn on some lights in different rooms in your home. You can even set the timers so that the lights go on and off and move from room to room to make it look like someone’s home. By switching the lights from room to room you can keep it from looking like a pattern.

3. Have motion-sensor lighting around your home and garage.

Lighting is a great deterrent to burglary. Motion-detected lighting will brighten the exterior of your home and hopefully keep the thieves away. Plus, it’s handy for you when you get home late at night! But even if you don’t have motion-detected lighting, you can turn on exterior lighting around your home at night to protect it.

4. Amp up the defenses on your doors to protect them against burglary.

Your doors can be strengthened by adding deadbolts and chain locks, and you can also think about having a peephole put in to add extra security. You should also make sure that your doors are made of solid wood or wood-wrapped steel. These doors are harder to break in, and they’ll provide more security. Another way to protect doors is to reinforce the windows next to them with Plexiglass. That’ll make it harder to break them and unlock the door through the opening.

5. Get a security system.

A security system is another deterrent to burglary. A home that has security monitoring is not an easy target. And an added bonus is that you might get a discount on your homeowners’ insurance if you have a security system.

A home security system can deter burglars.

6. Stash your valuables.

Don’t leave your valuables in plain sight of the windows. That’s just asking for trouble. You can even come up with creative hiding spots to stash things that you want to keep safe – just don’t forget where your hiding spots are! You should also keep the blinds or curtains drawn on your windows. You don’t want to advertise the contents of your home.

Speaking of the contents of your home, it’s important to take a home inventory so that you know exactly what’s in your house. If you have a fire or burglary, having a list of your belongings will help make the claims process easier when you work with your insurance company.

7. Maintain your bushes and trees.

Having a clear view outside will help you to keep tabs on anything suspicious happening near your home. It also means there are less hiding places for potential burglars.

8. Be smart when you go on vacation.

If you’re planning to be on vacation, make plans to have your home looked lived-in. Remember, burglars go for homes that look empty. If you’re planning to be away, you can ask a trusted neighbor to keep an eye out for anything suspicious. They can also pick up newspapers from the driveway since papers piling up are a sure sign that no one’s home. You might also want to have someone cut the grass – if the lawn looks shaggy, that’s a sign that no one’s there to take care of it.

9. Be technology-smart when you’re on vacation.

Don’t mention anything about being away on your voicemail. Also, don’t post anything about your vacation plans on social media, and wait to post pictures until after you’ve returned.

10. Consider a “Beware of Dog” sign.

Sure, you know that your Jack Russel terrier couldn’t scare a fly, but a burglar doesn’t know that it’s not a pony-sized Doberman on the other side of the door. Even if you don’t have a dog, a “Beware of Dog” sign deters burglars from breaking into your home. Dogs are very protective of their territory, and burglars know it.

11. Get to know your neighbors.

You should be familiar with the people who live in your neighborhood. Once you get to know people, you’ll be able to notice things that are suspicious or out of the norm more easily. It’s important that you know who should be hanging around on your street and who shouldn’t.

12. Don’t dump boxes for fancy new purchases on the curb next to the trash.

This tells any potential burglars exactly what’s in your home. If you have a box for a brand new computer sitting outside your home, the burglar will know there’s something there that they want. Break down all boxes and stuff them securely in the trash.

The middle of the day is the most common time for burglary.

It’s scary to think about your home being burglarized. Take steps to make your home look occupied when you’re not there – remember, burglars tend to avoid striking when someone’s home. And don’t forget to secure your home when you leave for work in the morning. The middle of the day is the most common time for a burglary to occur. By bolstering your home’s defenses, you can lower your chances of being burgled.

Looking for home insurance or renters insurance? Great! We’d be happy to help you out with any of your insurance needs. We’ll get you a free quote for your home insurance, and we can help you create an insurance plan to protect your home and your family. You can fill out our quote form or give us a call today and we’ll be happy to help you with all your insurance needs.