Home is Where Your Pets Are

When you think of family, who do you think of? Parents, siblings, grandparents, but what about your pet? Your four-legged furry friend is always there for you when you walk through the door after a long day at work or even when you need some company watching your favorite TV show. You probably can’t imagine your life without your beloved pet, which is why it would be devastating if anything happened to them.

What if there’s an emergency and you have to evacuate your home? Or you just planned a week-long trip with your family? Have you thought of a plan for your pets? It’s just as important to make a plan for your animals as it is for your family members. Bankers Insurance Group cares about the safety of you and your family and wants you to be prepared all year long.

Here are some tips on what to consider when making a pet emergency or travel plan.

Emergency Plans

  • Find a Safe Haven

If you need to evacuate from your home, so do your pets. Identify emergency shelters and foster care centers for animals in your area. Make arrangements in advance with your friends or relatives to take care of your pets for the duration of your absence. If you decide to be with your pets during an evacuation, find hotels or motels that are pet friendly.

  • Emergency Kits

Always plan for the worst and pack as many supplies as you can. The must haves include:

  • First aid kit for pets
  • Enough food and water for 3-7 days
  • Collar & leash
  • Photocopies of medical records
  • Litter & disposable litter trays
  • Blankets & toys
  • Identification

What if your pet goes missing? It’s important that all animals wear collars with up-to-date tags. The tag should include your pets’ name, telephone number and urgent medical needs. Another great way to identify your pet(s) is through microchipping. ASPCA highly recommends microchipping as it’s more permanent and reliable. Any animal shelter will be able to find the identity of your pet by simply scanning the microchip.

Safe Travel Plans

  • Traveling by Plane

Choose a direct flight because it’s less traumatic for animals, especially since they will be confined in a crate during the flight. Your pet’s crate should be USDA approved and large enough for your animal to sit, stand and turn comfortably. Make sure the crate has proper identification including a photo of your pet, your name and phone number. When was the last time your pets got vaccinated? It’s required to have all of your pet’s vaccinations up-to-date prior to the trip.

  • Road Trip

Unfortunately, you can’t just load your pet in a vehicle and drive away. You need to properly prepare for a safe trip. With that being said, don’t let your pet ride loose in the vehicle. It might be fun for your pet, but it’s extremely dangerous. Your animal should be in a carrier case secured in a seat with a seat belt. Don’t forget to pack your pet emergency kit. Last, but not least, never leave your pet in a parked vehicle alone.

Be the owner that your pet looks up to. They always support you, so now it’s your turn to be there for them. It’s never too late to create an emergency and travel plan for your furry best friend. Get started now and be prepared all year long. To learn more about pet preparedness plans, visit: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/disaster-preparedness

 

 

 

Water Heaters, Don’t Let Them Be Your Problem

Hot water, we all love it! Especially after a long stressful day at work, or during the cold winter months. There’s nothing better than a nice hot bath to relax your muscles or dethaw your toes from the tundra. But like many household conveniences we only appreciate them until they’ve stopped working. Who likes cold baths or showers? Gross! Or worse damage through out your home? Not fun! It’s up to you as the homeowner to make sure you’re getting your water heater replaced and maintained in a timely manner.

Here’ what you need to know:

1. Water heaters are the most costly component of your plumbing system. You’ll want to fix it before it dies.

2. When a water heater has sediment build up the mineral layer insulates the water from the burner, forcing it to run longer to heat the water, causing it to overheat and deteriorate the tank.

3. You can get rust that corrodes in the tank causing water to be rusty, or worse causing water to link inside your home.

4. The older the water heater gets, the more worn out it gets causing too much internal pressure. And what happens when there is too much internal pressure? POP! Causing the tank to explode, becoming a bomb or a rocket. This would not be fun to happen inside your home…

5. More than two-thirds of all water heater failures are due to a slow leak or sudden burst of the tank.

6. The average age at failure is at 10.7 years

As you can see you’ll really start to miss your hot water if one of those events happens to you. Lets not get that far. Be sure to keep the maintenance up on your water heater through out it’s life span to avoid any of these unfortunate events from happening. The average life span of a water heater is 8-12 years so you’ll want to replace it before it’s too late.

Here at Bankers we understand there is no quick and easy fix for a hot water tank. Call a plumber right away to see if it needs to be replaced. You’ll want to do this as soon as possible to prevent any damage that could occur to your home. In the event you need to place a claim call your Bankers Insurance Agent right away at 888-465-5515 and have your documents ready. We are here ready to take your calls and assist you in anyway.

Get the Fresh Fall Look – Five Fall Décor Trends for Your Home

Fall is here and you know what that means? New fall home trends that will make your home feel cozy yet sophisticated. From neutral accents to bold colors and brass finishes and matte black pieces, this year’s fall home trends have a wide variety of styles to give your home a fresh fall look.

You’ve had so much fun decorating your home, so why not experiment with seasonal décor trends. Of course you don’t have to give up what you love, but choose what compliments what you already have. Bankers Insurance Group not only cares about the safety of your home, but creating a space that feels like your own.

Here’s what fall 2017 has in store for you:

In: Velvet

velvet-couch---Big
(Mezomorf Home Furniture, n.d.)

This luxurious material is so soothing during the fall and winter months. Velvet adds a cozy touch and a classy look to the room.

In: Brass

Brass-Accents---BIG

(Mommy Essence, n.d.)

Brass is back and it’s better than ever. This timeless metal is a great accent to any room and it will always compliment other colors.

In: Quilts

quilts---BIG

(Modern Bedding, n.d.)

Say goodbye to the bulky comforter and say hello to this homemade pleasure. Quilts are back in style to fit any traditional, modern or luxurious bedroom.

In: Matte Black

Matte-black

(Simmonds, 2012)

Add some matte black accents to your kitchen or bathroom to create a strong contrast to those shiny countertops in your kitchen or bathroom. This adds a modern flair and is a bold statement to any room.

In: Woven Art Pieces

Woven-fixtures

(Design, n.d.)

Woven textiles are setting the tone for fall this year. Use woven décor pieces as the focal point of your room to give off a warm and cozy feeling for these next few fall months.

Are you getting excited for fall yet? These fun new seasonal trends will get you in the mood to add a little flair to your home. Bankers Insurance Group wants you to feel at home every time you walk through your door. Keeping up with these fall décor trends will do just that. The leaves aren’t the only thing changing this season, are you ready to decorate?

Love Thy Neighbor After a Storm

The devastation after a hurricane, whether it was the recent Harvey, Irma or the next “big one” seems to bring communities together and offer support to all those affected. It’s really important to put your “generosity hat” on and help your community put the pieces back together. According to Ready.gov, forty-six percent of individuals expect to rely a great deal on people in their neighborhood for assistance within the first 72 hours after a disaster. We all are human and, as such, we need assistance in times of great turmoil. It is the same for assisting our neighbors as well. It is important to help when we can.

When everyone comes together to respond to a disaster, great things happen. Needs are met, recovery occurs faster and amazing bonds are created. Here are a few ways to assist and make a lasting impact during catastrophic storm event:

Helping Your Neighbor

Go to your neighbor’s house to check on them. See if they need any help removing debris, cleaning up soaked items, repairing windows, etc. Be their support system if need be; you might be all they have to help in the recovery process. Also, if they are without power, offer them your showerand time to cool off in your AC. Any offer, even as simple  as offering your sink so they can brush their teeth, makes a huge difference.  Pull together – it will make them (and you) feel a lot better.

The Little Things

When a hurricane forces you out of your home,  little things suddenly become the most important things in your life. Your neighbor could have been hit harder than you were, being left with nothing. Go over and offer them toothpaste, food, water, undergarments, clothes, hairbrush, blankets, shoes – anything you can think of they may need on a daily basis. You may not have much, but every little bit helps.

Help the Community

There are a lot of organizations that benefit disaster relief, such as the Salvation Army and the American Red Cross. If you are willing and want to donate, these are great organizations where your money will help directly with relief efforts. If you are looking into other organizations to donate to, just make sure to evaluate them based on their transparency, effectiveness and financial accountability. This will give you the knowledge to determine if your money is going to a good place. Here are some other solid organizations you can donate to to assist with Harvey and Irma: UNICEF USA, Catholic Relief Services, Charity Navigator, and the ASPCA.

 Always Remember

The effects of these storms will be felt for many days, weeks or even years. As time passes by, and we get consumed by other things, try to remember those who suffered. They could still be rebuilding even though you’re not. Make a note in your phone for every few weeks or months to follow up with your neighbors and community to offer them help and try to make a contribution. They will always remember your kindness and generosity.

In life, it’s the little things, the kindness and generosity and the selflessness that make the world a better place. We’re all human, and should be willing to help one another, not only during a disaster, but on a daily basis. You know you’d want assistance during a hard time, so always remember to give back! We’re all in this together! If you have any questions on how you can help your neighbors during a disaster you can contact a Bankers agent today!

Going Home After Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma

Torrential rain poured onto properties and businesses and flood waters kept rising. Destructive winds battered trees, homes and shelters. It felt like the storm would never end. Losses keep piling up as people tried to evacuate from the devastation. Homes were lost, ranches were destroyed and businesses may never re-open their doors. Hurricanes are no joke, and this hurricane season of 2017 has not been so kind, with Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey as examples.

As the rain subsides, and the time comes to return to your homes and businesses, safety should be the first thing on your mind when you open those doors. Your household items may be lost, but remember – it’s just stuff. Take that into perspective as you start your recovery process. Safety for you and your loved ones should be the first thing on your mind as you return home and start to absorb the destruction that Hurricane Irma or Hurricane Harvey may have caused.

As you start to handle the overwhelming damage, here are some helpful tips:

 

Responsibilities for every homeowner:

  • Report a claim as soon as possible under the flood or homeowners policy by contacting your agent or the company that sold the policy to you. Bankers claim number: (800-765-9700)
  • Homeowners are responsible for mitigating any additional damage to their property
  • Keep track of expenses incurred to repair or replace property, since these will be submitted as part of the insurance claim

 

Watch out for dangers.

  • If you have fuel oil or propane tanks, make sure to turn off the fuel valve on the tank
  • Only enter buildings during the day, since there will be many hazards that may not be visible at night
  • Mold can begin to form in 24-48 hours. Pregnant women, young children and people with health issues need to be very cautious
  • Heavy work or thick-soled rain boots provide greater protection against exposed nails, popped boards, mountains of debris and unexpected encounters with some wildlife

 

Take pictures of the damage.

  • Take as many pictures as you can
  • After everything is photographed, damaged property should be separated from undamaged property in order to be reviewed by your insurance carrier
  • Take a careful inventory of what was damaged. (Insurers will ask for documentation)
  • Proof of loss needs to be sent within 60 days after a loss

 

Time for the Cleanup.

  • Wet contents such as books, clothing, furniture and other items should be removed from drawers, cabinets and shelves and laid out to dry
  • Open dresser and cabinet drawers to allow air to circulate inside – it’ll help to keep drawers from sticking together
  • Don’t clean everything with bleach, you can use regular clear water to rinse off then use regular cleaning products
  • Clean-up all debris around your home

 

There’s no place like home and there’s no place like a safe and protected home. Follow these easy steps to begin your recovery process after a hurricane like Irma or Harvey comes blowing through. We understand it’s not easy or fun, but we hope these simple steps will make the process a lot smoother. Contact your Bankers agent at (800-765-9700)  today to report a claim or if you have any questions on how to recover after a hurricane. We’re here to help!

 

(BARLOW, 2017)

 

Free Disaster Service Program Provided by Bankers Insurance Group and GIS

Bankers Insurance Group is monitoring Hurricane Irma very closely as it continues to threaten South Carolina and Florida. Our claims team is ready and willing to assist. Rest assured we are prepared to respond quickly and efficiently.

In times of need, we all come together to support one another. Global Institutional Solutions is providing immediate assistance to Texas, Louisiana, Florida and South Carolina families and business customers of Bankers Insurance through our Disaster Services Program. Services can be accessed by mobile and desktop/laptop devices and cover the following;

Family Disaster Services:
-Planning, Proactive Steps and Communication
-Children, Seniors, Special Needs and Pets
-Emergency needs, such as prescription replacement and identification documentation replacement
-Ongoing assistance, including working with insurance carriers
-Business Disaster Services
-Business Continuity
-Risk Assessment
-GIS Specialized Services, including contact with customers, vendors and employees
-Achieving Rapid Recovery and operating business while displaced, including replacement of business documentation

Please go to the following link to access your services. www.gisandco.com/hurricane-harvey

You may also dial 888-465-5515. Due to heavy call volume, you may be asked to leave a message. A disaster advocate will return your call.

This is a free service available to all Bankers customers.

Bankers is here for you. Our claims team is ready and waiting to assist. To report a claim call 800-765-9700.