3 Top Winter Business Insurance Considerations for Your Business Location

business owner with a steady winter business because she prepared for common winter business insurance considerations

As Boston-area business owners are preparing for the winter season, one thing every savvy business owner is looking at is their business insurance. On average, insured losses caused by winter storms are high, with a record of $2.1 billion in 2019 alone. The major factors that affect winter business insurance calculations include snowfall, blizzards, and winter damage.

Every business needs to get insurance against the risks caused by extreme climatic conditions, including theft of closed shops and vandalism. Here are the top insurance considerations for every business owner this holiday.

1. Wind Damages

The exterior of commercial properties may suffer the ravages of blizzards and winds that are a common occurrence in winter. It comes as no surprise that over 25% of homeowners’ claims result from wind damage. But it is even more rampant in commercial areas. So you need a policy that will cover such damage or include add-ons if needed. 

2. Hail and Snow

Snowflakes in winter are a beauty, but they have their fair share of adverse effects on properties. They wreak havoc on pipes, fill up gutters, take down trees, and damage building structures. They can also cause damage to walls and roofs in severe cases. Therefore, having adequate insurance will help to prevent excessive burden and loss on regular business expenses.

3. Damage to the Utility Lines

Issues with water lines resulting in floods can invite a lot of expense that can be costly to your business. Therefore, be sure to reduce such an impact by having the right insurance cover. The best way to cater to such unusual occurrences is to have customized winter business insurance policies that apply to all the potential risks in the location your business is situated.

At Vargas & Vargas Insurance, we offer top-rated insurance services that will help you keep your business safe during the winter season. All our clients enjoy customized insurance coverage to match their unique needs and offer affordable prices. So contact us today for a free quote.

How to Keep Your Home Safe While Using Your Fireplace

a couple sitting in front of a fireplace place in a modern-style home

A fire quietly roaring away in your fireplace creates a cozy, romantic, and relaxing atmosphere, especially during winter. Though they are aesthetically pleasing and warm, fireplaces can be dangerous. Unfortunately, accidents have occurred due to negligence and lack of awareness. It is prudent to follow safety measures to protect your home when you’re using your fireplace.

Safety Measures to Follow When Using Your Fireplace

To avoid incidents that may result from fireplace accidents, you should follow the tips below:

Maintain Your Chimney Regularly

Carbon particles can build up on your chimney’s walls over time. Too much buildup of particles in the duct is a fire hazard. It’s because that gunk is highly flammable and can cause a fire in the fireplace. It can also block the chimney and cause smoke to fill up your home. It would be best if you considered hiring a professional chimney sweep to clean and maintain your chimney.

Always Use a Fireplace Screen

A fireplace screen is a crucial component of your fireplace setup. It has two primary purposes:

  1. Keeping the fireplace inaccessible to children and pets.
  2. Preventing embers from tumbling out into your living room. Spitting embers is a significant fire hazard.

Don’t Leave a Fire Unattended 

Despite it being a no-brainer, most people often forget and break this rule. Most fireplaces, even the most well-maintained, can spit out fire embers that can cause a fire. Even a tiny ember can ignite a flammable item like a couch when it lands on it.

Have a Fire Extinguisher in Your Home

If you have a fireplace burning in your home, you need to have a fire extinguisher and/or a fire blanket to help combat a fire outbreak. It would help if you got an ABC-rated fire extinguisher. This will help put out electrical, regular, and gas or liquid fires.

Having a fireplace in your home requires you to follow fire safety tips to avoid incidents. However, accidents can occur sporadically. You need to have measures in place to ensure that you recoup anything you’ll lose.

It would help if you considered getting your home insured through Vargas & Vargas Insurance. We can tailor your insurance coverage to meet your specific needs and price point. Feel free to contact us here.

How to Protect Your Home During Holiday Travel

Family skiing and enjoying holiday travel

With the holidays fast approaching, you might be planning a trip. It might be to visit family members or take a much-deserved vacation. As you’re packing for holiday travel, you need to take a minute to consider ways to protect your home while you’re gone. Here are a few tips. 

1. Tell Your Neighbors

Talk to a neighbor before you leave and let them know you’ll be gone. They can keep an eye on your home and contact authorities more quickly if something goes wrong when they know you’re not home. 

2. Don’t Tell Social Media

Many people enjoy sharing every moment of their trips with social media. However, it’s best to wait until you return home to share those vacation photos. You don’t want to advertise that your home is empty for an extended period of time. 

3. Update Your Alarm System

If you don’t already have an alarm system or your system needs an update, then this is the ideal time for it. A new alarm system or update can even help you secure a discount on your homeowner’s insurance. 

4. Use a Timer to Turn Interior Lights On and Off

A potential burglar will pass home when there are lights on inside. If anyone is watching homes in your neighborhood, they’ll see the lights going on and off at times to give the impression that you’re at home. 

5. Check All Your Doors and Windows

It’s easy to forget to lock a window when you close it in the fall after enjoying a cool breeze. This makes it essential that you check all the windows and doors in your home to make sure they’re locked and secure before leaving home for holiday travel. 

Vargas & Vargas Insurance is a premier local independent insurance agency. Our goal is to ensure that we offer the best insurance products to our customers. You have specific needs, and we strive to customize your insurance policy to meet them at a price point your budget can handle.  Our team is always ready to answer your questions and concerns, so contact us today.

3 Reasons Why You Should Trim Your Trees Before the First Snowfall

homeowner looking at freshly trimmed trees in her yard during winter

Most Boston-area homeowners don’t realize how important it is to trim your trees before the winter season. After all, there is very little information about winterizing the landscape to minimize potential damage. The truth is that nature has its fair share of adverse effects on properties. It would be best for every homeowner to be ready for such seasons and protect their homes.

Trimming trees in winter is one of the best ways to maintain safety and control the size of trees. It can also help to create appealing shapes to make your landscape look organized. Full-swing winter is likely to remove all leaves, and it makes the best time to rethink tree trimming. Here is why.

1. Reduce Tree Exposure to Pests and Diseases

Winter months are prone to various pests and diseases. You can reduce the infection of your trees by pruning as a measure to regulate diseases. There are other reasons why winter is the best time for pruning. For example, you will require pruning of oaks due to oak wilt and beetle infestations.

2. It Preserves the Appearance and Value of Your Property

You can shape your trees to make them look stunning and align with your home landscape. Therefore, pruning allows you to remove branches hanging in the walkways or help to promote growth.

The damage caused by overhanging branches to your house is also significantly reduced to save on your insurance coverage. Insurance agencies will consider all security risks when assessing damage to your home caused by trees during winter.

3. Reduce Stress for Your Trees

Most trees go dormant in winter. Therefore, it is the perfect timing to trim to ensure you preserve the tree’s energy for healing and growth once the season passes.

Vargas & Vargas Insurance is a top-rated local independent insurance agency. We cater to client-specific needs and have customized insurance coverage at competitive prices. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

Everything You Need to Know About a Condominium Master Policy

condo owner opening her door and smiling
Shot of a happy female opening front door of her home with a smile

A condominium master policy is an insurance policy that the condominium association purchases, and the unit owners routinely share the cost. It is a policy that protects the ground of a unit, the common areas, and the unit owner’s personal belongings. The policy also offers liability protection in case there is an accident within the unit’s walls. 

A condominium master policy has effects on both the condominium association and the condominium unit owners. The coverage of the condominium master policy, however, is dedicated to the master deed of the association.

Like other insurance policies, policyholders can decide on the three main plans depending on their preferred coverage:

1. Bare Walls-In Coverage

Bare walls-in coverage is the plan with the smallest area of coverage. It covers the physical or actual structure of the condominium. This includes the materials used to construct and erect the building. But bare walls-in coverage does not cover anything inside the unit. So it becomes the responsibility of each unit’s owner to seek additional coverage.

2. Single Entity

This plan covers everything listed on the bare walls-in coverage and some types of built-in property, such as fixtures and finishes. These fixtures and finishes must be original to the unit and not anything that the unit owner added.

3. All-In Coverage

This policy covers all the elements listed above. It also includes all the fixtures and structural elements associated with each unit, including in-built appliances and upgrades by the unit owner.

Advantages of organizing a master condominium plan are that:

  • It makes it easy for the developer to sell or separately finance different portions of the premises.
  • It makes it easier for sub-residential condominium owners to get mortgage financing.
  • Residential condominium developers have control over portions of residential sub-condominiums for longer than the period outlined in the Georgia Condominium Act. The developer will have control over the master condominium association, which maintains all the building structures.

Vargas & Vargas Insurance is one of the premier local independent insurance agencies. We work for our clients and not the insurance company. Our team will customize your insurance coverage to your specific needs at the right price, and we’re also here to answer all your insurance questions. So contact us today.