Spring Into Action

Spring is a great time to review your home for any minor repairs needed after the storms and cold of winter.  While some may require the assistance of professionals, these tasks can help you get your home ready to safely enjoy Summer and outdoor fun!

  1. Clean gutters and downspouts – remove any dried leaves or debris, make any needed minor repairs, and ensure water is easily running through and away from the home and foundation.
  2. Repair damaged walkways and outside areas – Look for cracks, holes and other hazards and schedule repairs before BBQ season is in full swing.
  3. Check sprinkler and irrigation systems for leaks or damaged sprinkler heads.  Make sure none are spraying the home or windows as this can cause moisture problems. 
  4. Trim back broken or dead tree branches, especially any hanging close or over the home.
  5. Test all CO2 and smoke alarms and change batteries where needed.
  6. Schedule HVAC system service if needed and change any filters. 
  7. Check screen doors and windows for any tears or holes to help keep those summer bugs out. 

We’re Here To Help

It’s no secret that the price for things like gas have gone up exponentially, but there’s one thing we can suggest that’ll help you save some money. We ask, when was the last time you check your homeowner’s insurance policy? You may be over-paying. Getting a free no-obligation quote can only benefit you and ultimately put some money back in your wallet.  

With our A+ rating by AM Best and over 80 years of experience protecting our valued homeowners, we can confidently say that you don’t have to cut quality for a lower price. Western Mutual has always set the standard for service and our agents are living proof of that with customer testimonials that you can read on our site.

Visit us today at www.WesternMutual.com and see how much you were over-paying.

On The Road Again

The long awaited spring break season has finally arrived. Whether it be a staycation or a road trip to the closest beach, we have some travel hacks to make this vacation affordable and easy to plan.

Step 1.  When searching for hotels or activities to do, make sure your browser is on incognito mode. This will deter from cookies tracking your searches and inconspicuously targeting you with other things that may be more expensive. Also, every time you search things such as hotels, flights on an open browser…the price will increase. Yes, you read that right! The price goes up with each search for the same flights, hotels because they see the interest and will try to get you at the highest price possible.

Step 2. Pack like a pro! It sounds cliché but remember to do simple things like stuff your shoes with socks and underwear. Place shoes at the bottom, roll your jeans instead of folding, and place next to your shoes. If your shoes are dirty, put them in a plastic bag. Put toiletries in outer zippers of suitcase to accommodate more articles of clothing inside.

Step 3. Bring as much non-refrigerated food and snacks as you can. Do not forget essentials like water, protein bars, apples and chips. Small foods that can be carried in your purse when out-and-about on the town.

Step 4. Use cash when possible. I’m sure you’ve noticed that places like gas stations charge less when using cash. Most small businesses also prefer cash purchases to avoid the credit card processing fee. So when you can, always carry cash and avoid using your card. This also helps you avoid any fraud on your bankcards that may have occurred otherwise.  

We hope these simple hacks save you not only money but also some sanity in planning your trip and may you enjoy it however you spend it.

File On Time

Did you know that 5% of eligible taxpayers fail to file before the appropriated deadline? That means that roughly 7 million people push it off either to the last minute or simply forget about doing them in the midst of everything else in their daily life.

The good news is that there is still time and tax prep offices are open for business. If doing them online is more your speed, make sure to collect all paperwork necessary just as if you were going into an office. The following items are some of the basic documents needed to file your tax return:

  1. Personal Identification – That includes an ID, social security, mail from utility companies
  2. Documents about your income, formally known as a W-2 or 10-99 form
  3. Any adjustments to your income – IRA contributions, student loan interest, etc
  4. Itemized tax deductions and credits such as child care/ education cost, donations
  5. Taxes paid on real estate, cars registration

Don’t be part of the 7 million; file your taxes today with the comfort of knowing you filed on time.

Easy Money

A quick reminder to all our insureds about our big milestone and referral incentive. As mentioned, Western Mutual celebrated 80 years in business earlier this month and we decided to raffle off $800 to one lucky customer.

For a limited time, we increased our referral incentive to $80 per new customer that switches to us. Therefore, not only will you receive $80 for letting your family and friends know about us but you’ll also be entered in our drawing for the grand prize of $800.

We will announce the winner on May 3rd via our social media platforms, so make sure to be following us…just search us by name.

Life In Full Bloom

The spring equinox will officially arrive Sunday, representing the first day of the new season in the Northern Hemisphere. As the weather slowly gets warmer, the days will also get longer and the sun will set later.

What will you do with the additional light? Will you spend more time outdoors, have an evening under the stars or plan some family fun at home? Whatever you decide, we wish you a very Happy Spring!

Time to get back to enjoying the outdoors, taking on new adventures or simply relaxing under a tree.

Cheers to a new season!

Spring Into Savings

When it comes to protecting your home and family we understand the need to know you’re being taken care of at a reasonable rate.  And that’s why we would like to provide you some tips on ways to save, because while protecting your home is our priority, saving you money in the process is our secondary focus.

One way of bringing your cost down is by installing a monitored security system. Installing a home security system is a great way to qualify for a discount. Some insurers like us, may require the system to be monitored by a professional monitoring company, while others are OK with simple video surveillance. If you have already installed an alarm system, make sure you choose a provider that offers a discount for it. If you don’t have a home security system already, consider buying one for a rate discount and additional security.

Another means of lowering your premium is by installing a Wi-Fi water detection system. This device would track the water usage in your home and alert you at the first sign of excess water flow, essentially saving you from a costly water claim. Many insurance carriers offer a discount for this and even an additional percentage off for remaining claims free after a certain amount of years. Check with your carrier for these deals.

A simple way to earn some credit is by going green. Many companies are giving discounts as in incentive for paperless billing and communication. This is something that is easily accessible from your phone or tablet, so why not save some cash?

And of course, raising your deductible seems a bit frightening but many responsible homeowners know that a small increase means a big reduction. While we don’t recommend maxing out your deductible, we do think you should find that sweet spot where you can comfortably pay out a deductible while still saving money on your premium.

Prepare, Prevent & Protect

This week marks the annual awareness of poison prevention week a nationwide campaign during a time when kids are inside more than ever. Poison awareness is used to highlight the dangers of chemicals and household items for people of all ages by reminding them of the three P’s; prepare, prevent and protect.

Prepare by knowing the National Poison Hotline in case something unexpected happens, that phone number is 1-800-222-1222.

Prevent by knowing what chemicals should never mix, such as chlorine and vinegar which causes chlorinated gas that can lead to suffocation. A simple web search will detail this and many others.

And protect those in your household by storing any liquids or items that can be ingested by children up high and out of their reach.

Please take the time to learn and practice the three P’s and share this information with others.

Spring Forward An Hour

Well, we made it to the one weekend many people don’t look forward to and more often than not, forget about.

Daylight saving time 2022 officially begins Sunday, March 13 at 2 a.m., meaning we move the clock ahead one hour. For most people, that means moving the clocks ahead one hour before going to bed Saturday night. The change pushes more daylight hours into the afternoon.

The main reason we still implement the time change, is to save energy that typically would be used in the later hours of the day. The logic is…if there’s still natural light out during work hours or your commute home then there’s no need to use electricity to power offices, street lights, etc.

With that being said, don’t forget to set your clocks ahead an hour before going to sleep Saturday night.

Understanding Your Policy

We know that understanding your homeowners insurance policy can be a bit overwhelming with terms and coverages you may have never heard of. For that reason we created a Policy Terms link on our website which will explain things like your deductible, dwelling and umbrella insurance. We have shared a few of these terms below;

Deductible

The amount that you are responsible to pay out of pocket in the event of a covered loss. For example, if you have a $1,000 deductible on your policy and your home sustains $3,500 worth of damages from a covered loss, you are responsible to pay $1,000 and your insurer will pay $2,500 (the amount that exceeded your deductible).

Dwelling Coverage (Coverage A)

The part of your policy that covers the cost to repair or rebuild the physical structure of your home in the event of a covered loss.

Endorsement

Also known as a Rider, an amendment to an insurance policy that changes the terms of the policy by adding or subtracting coverage.

Exclusion

A provision in the policy that eliminates coverage. Examples include earthquake and flood, which both require separate policies, or intentional loss, maintenance, and intended injury.

Medical Payments to Others

Medical costs associated with injuries sustained by guests.

Other Structures

Coverage for structures on the property but not attached to the home, such as a driveway, fence, or detached garage.

Personal Liability

Personal liability coverage protects you and your household against claims and lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage to others, up to the limits of your policy. If you need higher personal liability limits than available on a typical policy, you may want to purchase an Umbrella Policy (see below).

Personal Property

Contents of your home, including electronics, furniture, appliances, etc. Expensive belongings such as jewelry or fine art may require an additional policy depending on the value.

Premium

The amount a policyholder pays for the insurance policy across the term of the policy, usually 1 year.

Replacement Cost

The amount that it cost to repair, replace, or rebuild damaged property after a covered loss, without deducting for depreciation.

Umbrella Policy

A policy that provides additional liability protection above your homeowners policy.