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    Should I Buy a Generator for My Home?

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Wed, May 15, 2013 @ 07:35 PM

    Protect your home from storms with homeowners from andrew g gordon inc insuranceIf you’ve ever experienced the inconvenience of an extended power outage from a storm, perhaps something like Storm Nemo, you’ve probably wondered if you should invest in a generator. Not only is it a huge nuisance, but an extended power outage can result in frozen pipes, food spoilage, and sump pump failures. There is also an additional risk of a house fire when rarely unused fireplaces are put to the test or candles are knocked over accidentally.

    While portable generators are less expensive, there are a few disadvantages. Portable models do not go on automatically should you be away from your home. In addition, some portable models will only power a few items. The portable models are usually fueled by gasoline. A full tank may only last a day. Oftentimes, there is a shortage of gas during a power outage. This may be due to blocked roads, closed gas stations, or fuel trucks unable to travel and replenish gas supplies. This happened during Hurricane Sandy and the Blizzard of 2013.

    For this reason and many others, automatic generators are a better option. A permanently installed generator will supply power directly to your home’s electrical circuit breaker box as soon as the outage commences. After power is restored, the generator will shut down. Permanent generators are safer because the risk of carbon monoxide is lower than a portable generator. Permanent installed units are placed outside a home and are powered by the natural gas or liquid petroleum supply. There is no need to run to the gas station as you must do with a portable generator.

    Protect your home in case of a power outage with homeowners insurance from Andrew G Gordon IncAn automatic generator cost varies based on the wattage and features. A small generator with 7-10kw will power just a few basic household appliances. One of those will cost around $1,850 to $4,000.

    A large automatic generator with 22-45kw will allow you to power your entire home. This will cost in the $9,000 range. A midsize 12-20kw automatic generator can handle a heating or cooling season. Cost can range between $4,000 and $10,000.

    The automatic generator will run as long as its fuel supply remains uninterrupted. A licensed generator installer can install the fuel supply and generator. You should also have the unit serviced annually to assure it is in good working order.

    You can determine the right size generator by first identifying a list of appliances that you would want powered during an extended power outage. This may be a few appliances or your entire home. Check how may circuits are used by each appliance. Think about how many appliances you will use at the same time. Some appliances use more when they first start up and less when running. Since a generator is an investment, pick a model that you may add circuits. The permanent generator may also be an investment that pays off when it is time to sell your home. It is becoming a great selling point in areas such as the northeast that regularly experience power loss.

    Installation of an automatic generator by a licensed installer should be less than a day. The usually place on top of gravel or concrete pad. The wiring is connected between the generator panel and the circuit breaker panel in the house.

    You may be interested to learn that several of our home insurance carriers offer policy discounts if you install a permanent automatic generator. They do this because if the power comes on automatically there is less risk of an insurance claim from fire, food spoilage, frozen pipes, and sump pump failure. In addition, we have several carriers  that offer manufacturer discounts for automatic generators. Contact us for an insurance quote and we can check how much a permanent generator will save on your home insurance premium. Simply click the button below. Learn more about home insurance here.

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    Tags: home, irene, hurricane, electricity, home generator, heater, storm, nemo, blizzard, sandy

    Damage Caused by Nemo

    Posted by Donna Bellavance

    Wed, Feb 27, 2013 @ 12:50 PM

    Insure yourself for blizzard damage with homeowners from andrew gordon incNow that Nemo has left its imprint on the area, we hope that all survived its destructive force and are on the road to normalcy. For those who had to file claims, we hope they are resolved quickly and satisfactorily; and for those who escaped damage to their property, we’re sure you’re thanking the powers that be.

    Tree Damage

    As you may surmise, the agency was quite busy this past week counseling clients and placing claims on their behalf. The majority of the losses involved tree damage, whether it involved trees hitting structures or vehicles, pulling wires off houses, or blocking driveways. Most homeowner carriers provide a limited amount of coverage (usually $500-$1000) for tree debris removal after the deductible. Even then, some companies require that the tree strike a structure before payment will be made.

    Temperature Damage

    The combination of several days of power outage combined with frigid temperatures also resulted in several claims caused by burst pipes and cracked furnaces. (To learn how to prevent frozen pipes, click here). These losses may prove to be significant, especially those involving water damage. We recommend taking steps to prevent this from occurring, such as letting faucets trickle, insulating basement pipes, or draining the pipes if power is expected to be out for any length of time and/or shutting off the main water source.

    Flood Damage

    Some coastal homes suffered significant flood damage due to the high tides during the storm.  As you may have seen on recent television commercials following Hurricane Sandy, homeowner policies do not cover this type of loss and the claim would need to be filed with the flood insurance carrier. An important thing to remember about flood coverage is that there is no coverage for contents located in the basement. The items in the basement that would be covered by the building coverage portion of the policy would be the equipment that services the home such as furnaces, hot water heaters, central air conditioners, sump pumps, well water tanks and pumps. Also covered would be the drywall for the walls and ceilings, nonflammable insulation, and electrical outlets, switches and circuit breaker boxes. The contents coverage portion of the policy would cover washers, dryers, freezers and the food in them, and portable air conditioners stored in the basement. Since the basement area is most susceptible to potential flooding it is obvious why FEMA has taken this position.

    Let’s hope the groundhog was right this year and that spring is right around the corner!

    If you have any other questions about insurance, risk management, or would like some advice involving claims with regards to storms such as Nemo, feel free to contact us at anytime. If you're thinking about a new homeowner's policy, we'll quote you for free! Simply click the button below. Visit our winter storm center here.

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    Donna Bellavance

    Tags: damage, hurricane, pipes, tree, frozen, claims, nemo, blizzard

    Will Naming Winter Storms Affect Your Deductible?

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Wed, Feb 20, 2013 @ 08:10 AM

    Cover your home and car for winter storms with homeowners and auto insurance from andrew gordon incWho’s bright idea was it to name winter storms? Nemo? Really? I don’t know about you, but Nemo just doesn’t quite ring right. The Blizzard of 1978 conjures up powerful imagery of the superstorm of all winter superstorms. All I can say is our recent brush with Mother Nature will forever be the Blizzard of 2013 to me.  

    The Weather Channel apparently decided to name winter storms  in a bid to boost public awareness and coordinate response efforts. Guess I will never get use to winter storms being named after Disney characters. First, there is Nemo. What comes next?  Will a future storm be called “The Little Mermaid”?  Where will it end??

    Okay, to be fair, Nemo was not named after a Disney character, but rather from the Greek name meaning “from the valley” or “nobody” in Latin.  Or perhaps Nemo is named after Captain Nemo, aka Prince Dakkar from Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Regardless, I still don’t see the connection with a blizzard.

    Once possible outcome of this seemingly innocuous public relations move to name winter storms is the possibility that insurance companies could apply a higher named storm deductible for damage from a named storm. While I have not seen this happen, it’s a possibility if a carrier carries policy wording that applies a higher deductible for damage from a storm which is named by the National Weather Service or any other recognized meteorological authority. The question remains if the Weather Channel is a recognized meteorological authority by insurers.

    The Weather Channel apparently decided to name winter storms  in a bid to boost public awareness and coordinate response efforts. The Weather Channel announced that in addition to providing information about significant winter storms by referring to them by name, the name itself will make communication and information sharing in the constantly expanding world of social media much easier. As an example, Twitter hash tagging a storm (#Nemo) based on its name provides a one-stop shop to exchange all of the latest information on the impending high-impact weather system.

    The naming of winter storms may have been a PR move by The Weather Channel but the naming could have broader implications within the insurance industry. The intent of a named storm deductible was to apply to tropical storms nearing hurricane strength. #Nemo and his successors open the door for some insurers to apply a higher deductible because now there is a name attached to a blizzard.

    Fortunately, we have not seen a change in deductible practices with any of our carriers as result of winter storm naming. I do not foresee this changing but it’s an interesting twist to the named storm debate. Regardless, our most recent storm will always be #Blizzard2013 to me.

    If you have more insurance questions, feel free to contact us here at Gordon Insurance by clicking the button below.

    INSURANCE QUESTION?  Winter Storm Center

    Tags: winter, insurance, storms, changes, nemo, blizzard, deductible, named

    Winter Storm Nemo

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Wed, Feb 13, 2013 @ 08:13 AM

    If you're reading this, then congratulations, you have power! If you aren't reading this, then you don't!

    Cover your home for winter storms with homeowners from Andrew gordon incWinter Storm Nemo (dubbed so by the Weather Channel) caused a lot of damage. Whether you want to believe this violent storm was named after the cute little clownfish from Disney/Pixar's Finding Nemo, or after Captain Nemo from Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, or even after the Latin word meaning "no one", absolutely nemo can say that Nemo was just like any other winter snowfall. (Hahaha, see what I did there?)

    However, the effects of Nemo are not a laughing matter. In fact, Nemo caused quite a lot of damage. You can see on the right, a picture of a tree sliced into two from a falling tree branch. (Sorry the quality is bad; I took the pic on my phone.)

    More than 97% of my town went without power for days; some homes still do not have electricity. Trees snapped, branches broke, and for the first time since 1978, the Massachusetts governor, Deval Patrick, banned driving on the roads. The penalty for breaking the ban was heavy- a $500 fine and a one-year prison sentence.

    Personally, I think the driving ban was well within reason. Granted, my neighborhood is enclosed by lots and lots of trees, and the snow piled up rather quickly. I remember hearing copious amounts of snow falling from the tree branches onto my house and listening to trees snapping as if they were only toothpicks. Snow is heavy, and all the extra weight on the trees caused quite a lot of branches (as well as trucks) to fall to the ground, occasionally taking power lines down with them.

    What's even more scary is that trees landed on houses, garages, cars, fences (our fence fell victim to the collapse of a smaller tree) and destroyed A LOT of property. Besides the whole electric inconvenience of not having electricity, the places where people lived got damaged- and that let in even more cold.

    Fortunately, my family invested in a generator after Hurricane Irene two summers ago. Thank goodness we did that. Although the summertime is generally warm, with slight chills in the night, the generator during Irene helped a lot. And now, especially that Nemo took place during the wintertime, the generator provided much needed heat to our home when our fireplace couldn't do the job. So, as a word of advice, I recommend purchasing a generator for the next time there's a power outage. With that generator, make sure you buy gas to fuel it (we had to refill ours two or three times before we got power back). And if you plan on investing in one, be sure to do it sooner rather than later. Imagine all the people who think about purchasing generators immediately before storms, and then imagine the stores being out-of-stock when it's your turn to purchase. Don't be that person left out!

    If you need to file a claim, click here. If you have any other insurance questions or would like some more safety advice, feel free to contact us.

    INSURANCE QUESTION? Winter Storm Center

    Tags: home, winter, damage, insurance, homeowners, storm, weather, snowfall, nemo, blizzard

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