FAQs / Tips

What to do if you are in an auto accident…

Knowing what to do if you are involved in an accident can save lives and also make the claims process easier.

  • Stop your car and find out if anyone is injured.
  • Call the police or highway patrol. Tell them how many people were hurt and the types of injuries. The police will notify the nearest medical unit.
  • Cover injured people with a blanket to keep them warm.
  • Try to protect the accident scene. Take reasonable steps to protect your car from further damage, such as setting up flares, getting the car off the road and calling a tow truck.
  • Ask the investigating officer where you can obtain a copy of the police report. You will probably need it when you submit your claim to your insurance company.
  • If necessary, have the car towed to a repair shop. But remember, your insurance company probably will want to have an adjuster inspect it and appraise the damage before you order repair work done.
  • Make notes. Keep a pad and pencil in your glove compartment. Write down:

• the names and addresses of all drivers and passengers involved in the accident.
• license plate numbers
• make and model of each car
• driver’s license numbers
• insurance identifications
• names and addresses of witnesses
• names and badge numbers of police officers or other emergency personnel.

  • If you run into an unattended vehicle or object, try to find the owner. If you can’t, leave a note containing your name, address and phone number. Record the details of the accident.

FURNACE MAINTENANCE – You want to make sure you have heat when you need it.

Seasonal furnace maintenance is essential to make sure your furnace is running efficiently and safely.

  • Test heating system – turn the thermostat to heat mode and set it to 82 degrees just for testing. The furnace should turn on and warm air should blow through the vents. If running ok, turn your thermostat back to its normal setting. It the test fails you may need to contact your qualified service technician.
  • Be sure to protect your family by testing for Carbon Monoxide leaks, this silent killer can easily be detected with either a test badge or battery operated alarm.

FIREPLACES – Time to prepare for cozying up to that warm fire

With cooler weather approaching it won’t be long before it’s time to cozy up to a warm fire in your fireplace or woodstove. So now is the time to prepare your fireplace or woodstove for those chili days and nights.

  • clean or have your chimney cleaned and make sure to check that the chimney is clear of any nests from birds, squirrels or other animals.
  • clean out your woodstove
  • remove clutter which may have accumulated on or near the stove or fireplace
  • Examine the outer mortar between bricks or stone to make sure it is intact. Shine a flashlight down the chimney to look at the mortar inside. If the mortar is crumbling, it must be replaced. Look for cracked tile liners or missing bricks and have repaired immediately.
  • be sure chimney bricks and mortar are in good condition
  • Inspect for Formation of Creosote – Creosote is a flammable substance that is hard, dark, and crust like. It is produced during incomplete combustion of wood. An accumulation of creosote can cause a dangerous chimney fire, so it must be removed. You can minimize creosote by burning dry hardwoods, since their lower moisture content promotes more complete burning. A hot fire produces less creosote than smoldering woods. Increase the air supply if necessary so that wood burns more completely.
  • Check chimney draft to make sure the chimney will draw up the fire and smoke properly. (Note: can test this by lighting newspaper to make sure smoke will rise up the chimney).

SMOKE ALARMS

  • test all smoke alarms and replace batteries regularly.
  • place an alarm on each floor to give advance warning
  • it’s advised to place an alarm in each child’s bedroom
  • practice a family fire drill of what all members of the family would do if the smoke alarm went off

After a Property Loss

  • Report the loss immediately to your agent or the company you are insured with.
  • Take photos showing damage prior to repair.
  • Protect the property from further damage.
  • Make reasonable temporary repairs and keep your receipts.
  • Prepare an inventory list a description of the damaged or missing property.

After an Accident

  • Call law enforcement, even if the accident appears to be minor.
  • Check for injuries.
  • Check the vehicles. Make note of specific damages to all vehicles involved. If you have a camera take a few snapshots.
  • Look for witnesses. Write down the name, address and vehicle license number of anyone who may have witnessed the accident. This can prevent disagreements concerning how the accident actually occurred.

Other Do’s & Don’ts…

  • Do not sign any document unless it is for the police or insurance company.
  • Contact your Insurance Agent or the company about the accident immediately.
  • Jot down details about the accident such as weather conditions, time of day, number of persons in other vehicle, etc.