13 Easy Weatherproofing Ideas for Your Home and Auto

As each summer gets hotter than the last, we have to do what we can to reduce the damage brought on by excessive heat. Not only does weatherproofing prolong the lifespan of certain things for the home and auto, but many of them can also save you quite a bit of money.

Today, let’s take a look at several ways you can prevent high temperatures from wreaking havoc on your property.

Weatherproofing Your Home

From a financial standpoint, weatherproofing your home is always a good idea. Not only does it reduce the onset of certain kinds of damage, but it can have an immediate impact on your monthly bills.

A few ideas that can reduce the cooling of your home include:

  • Using aluminum foil on the windows to reflect heat.
  • Using blackout curtains to block heat and light if you don’t like the appearance of aluminum.
  • Replacing insulation and sealing holes and cracks in your walls, windows, and doors.
  • Adding window awnings to provide shade from direct sunlight.
  • Cleaning ducts to allow better airflow.
  • Replacing air filters of your HVAC system every 90 days.

The best part is that most of these ideas cost very little to implement. Nonetheless, they can save you a great deal of money in the long term.

For example, simply keeping the ductwork clean allows for better airflow, which results in the HVAC system having to work less to keep the home cool or heated. This means less wear and tear on the unit itself.

In other words, that $10 filter could save you hundreds of dollars in energy bills and repair costs.

Weatherproofing Your Car

Not everyone thinks about weatherproofing the car or truck. However, they can benefit in much the same way as your home. Well, actually it is you who benefits as it will save you quite a bit in repair costs when the temperature spikes.

Keep in mind that electronics are more susceptible to failure when the ambient temperatures are higher. As there are a lot of electronic devices in vehicles today, it’s imperative to do what you can to reduce the impact of those high temperatures.

A few things you can do to protect your auto include:

  • Keeping the tires properly inflated, as heat can weaken the rubber and reduce elasticity. This can lead to cracking.
  • Making sure all fluids are at proper levels as lubricants are more vital during times of excessive heat.
  • Replacing the battery before it fails, especially those that are exceptionally older.
  • Using window coverings to keep the heat out. It’s more comfortable and prevents damage to things inside the vehicle.

Just like the home, weatherproofing your vehicle now can save you on future repair costs. Not to mention reducing the likelihood of breaking down on the side of the road with temperatures in excess of 100 degrees.

Leave Nothing to Chance

Although there are plenty of ways for weatherproofing your car and home to save money, Vargas & Vargas insurance can help you take the savings to that extra level. Contact us today to find out how we can customize your policy to accommodate your lifestyle.

From protecting your property from the ravages of heat waves to giving peace of mind throughout the winter months, we can help you.

Is Twice Yearly Too Often?

It’s often said that “insurance is boring.”  This notion probably leads many consumers to avoid communicating with their Independent Insurance Agent unless absolutely necessary.

Three “absolutely necessary” moments come immediately to mind:

  1. Increased Premium notification
  2. Notice to cancel
  3. A Claim

While you can only minimize your chances of ever having to make a claim on your insurance policy with smart, proactive and risk-aversion thinking, you can eliminate the first two instances of speaking with with your Agent.

The simple way to cancel out these two dreaded tasks is to speak with your Independent Insurance Agent twice a year. You might think you can cut that down to only once a year, around the time of your renewal period coming up.  But twice annually is truly the ideal scenario to deal with this otherwise “boring” task.

Checking in with your Agent in advance of renewal time allows you both to update each other on developments. 

For your part, you get to share news of:
* the new job
* the new child
* the vacation you’re planning
* the new jewelry or artwork
* the new addition to your home you’re planning. 

Your Agent may find this information fascinating and entertaining, but, more importantly your Agent can react to your news with important information on how these wonderful developments can affect your overall insurance plan.   And that call becomes worth its weight in gold.  Because your Agent can then review your current policies for how those policies cover your new life developments. 

If there are any challenges encountered therein, the kind that could affect a premium at renewal time, or worse, offer the carrier an opportunity to cancel the policy, your Agent has the chance to get out in front of the problem.

While you’re busy sharing wonderful developments, your Agent can also update you on any developments in the insurance realm that can either affect your current policies in a negative fashion (again, anticipating problems before they arise at renewal time), or potentially save you money by changing the coverages, policies, or even insurance carriers.

It’s not boring when you’re saving money and improving your insurance coverage.  Make that call to your Independent Insurance Agent. 
Twice. Every year.

Please schedule a call with us to discuss your policy portfolio to ensure you have adequate coverage at an affordable price.

Back to School: Finance 101 – Your Children Money

It’s never too early to talk to your children about money and finances.

Specifically, when was the last time you reviewed your life insurance? 
Life insurance is the safest and most secure way to protect your family and dependents against financial ruin should the family breadwinners die.

Helping Your Children Reach Their Dreams

When was the last time you spoke to your children about money?
About financial planning?

Many families believe that talking about money is taboo. However, if children are raised to fear certain discussions, they may not have the confidence to think and focus clearly on fundamentals to achieve their dreams when the time comes for them to make responsible financial decisions.

Whole life insurance can help give your children a financial head start.
It provides a guaranteed amount of life insurance that also accumulates cash value.

Securing life insurance on your children is a sound strategy to kick start the financial planning your children will appreciate as they enter adulthood. Entering adulthood means having to make tough financial decisions. It’s a right of passage in its own right.

As adults, your children could have the benefit of accessing their policy’s cash value for any reason, including but not limited to:

  • College tuition and expenses
  • Funding a wedding
  • A down payment on a house
  • Starting a business

Never Too Young to Start

Life insurance premiums are based on a number of factors, including a person’s age and health. Premiums are generally lower for children because they are young and healthy. This is one of the basic reasons why this makes sense to help your children structure their own life insurance portfolio.

A Gift They Can’t Outgrow

Children outgrow clothes, toys and other gifts. A whole life policy is different. You can give your children a fully-funded life insurance policy that will provide:

  • Permanent life insurance to one day protect their families.
  • Cash value that can be used to help fund life’s big events.
  • The option to increase their protection as their families grow.

Remember, if you are afraid to discuss money, that will transcend to your children’s belief system too. Give them the gift of financial freedom by way of planning and knowledge.

If you would like to discuss a comprehensive insurance review and any advice that pertains to your kids financial future, please call Jack Carrigg at 617-298-0655 ext 104 or email Jack at jcarrigg@vargasinsurance.com.

5 Ways to Reduce Your Insurance Costs. #3 Will Blow You Away!

Saving money isn’t a responsibility you should hand off to someone else, especially if that someone else is the insurance company. 

Knowledge is power.  With these 5 tips, you’ll have the power you need to negotiate lower premiums with your insurance carrier.  Take back the responsibility and own your power!

  1. Take a defensive driving class. Providing proof of your renewed defensive driving class will save money. In some states for 3 years.
  2. Shop for other carriers.  You should speak with your Independent Agent at least annually to see if your current carrier and other insurance carriers can offer lower premiums on the same (or higher) coverages when available.
  3. Reduce your coverage as your car gets older. Because you’re reviewing your policies annually, you can discuss updating your policy based on the advancing age of your vehicle. Collision can be expensive and may not be required.
  4. Increase your deductible.  Look for the perfect equilibrium between the affordability of a larger deductible and lower premiums.
  5. Bundle your auto coverage with your Homeowners and Umbrella Liability policy.  Can you say “Multi-Line Discount?” 

These five simple steps can help you save hundreds of dollars in a given period of time.  All it takes is a few minutes to own your power and make the call!

Speaking of calling…call us today to learn about saving money on your insurance portfolio. Your piggy bank will thank you and so will we!

You can reach us by calling 617-298-0655 or text us at 617-409-0329 for a free, no-obligation annual review. Click here to Visit our Contact Us page.