Flashback Blog: Boston is No Stranger to Fire

The city of Boston has been destroyed by large blazes multiple times. The first devastation of fire occurred in 1631; just one year after Boston was officially established.

Here are a few tips to keep you from having to file a fire damage claim on your home insurance.

The first thing you should cement in your mind is to never leave a flame burning where it cannot be seen. Enjoying an aromatherapy session with some scented candles? Even if you need to leave the room for just a moment, blow them out. You never know if something will delay or distract you from returning immediately.

Keep pets, especially agile cats, away from lit candles, scented oil burners, and other open flames. They could bump or knock over the materials, causing a fire that could have been avoided. On the same train of thought, teach your children proper fire safety. Flames and the resulting smoke can be very dangerous.

In case a fire does occur, despite your best efforts to handle flames safely, make sure you have up to date insurance in Boston, MA. Boston boasts median home values above $100,000. 

Without coverage, how would you repair or rebuild your home after a fire ravaged your property? Avoid this potential financial burden by requesting a free insurance estimate today and putting your coverage in place. 

With Vargas & Vargas Insurance, you can get the coverage you need for your home. Click here to contact us today for more information!

How to Prevent Home Damage from Frozen Pipes This Winter

family enjoying a cozy winter morning in their home
Stay safe and protect your home this winter by preventing your pipes from freezing.

Fall may be in full swing, but for Northeasterners, winter weather is already here. This puts homeowners on high alert as lengthy periods of sub-freezing temperatures means an increased risk of pipes freezing and bursting. Damaged pipes are not merely an inconvenience. They can cause serious damage to a home’s integrity. Fortunately, preparing your house for icy weather can prevent these unfortunate scenarios from occurring. Reducing the risk of frozen pipes is just one of the ways to keep your home ready for winter.

Why Are Frozen Pipes Dangerous?

Water expands when it freezes. This puts excess pressure on pipes and can cause them to crack or burst. Preventing pipes from freezing in the first place will keep your pipes intact and protect your home from damage.

How Can You Prevent Pipes From Freezing?

Prevention is the first step. Take these steps to reduce the risk of frozen pipes inside your house and frozen exterior pipes:

  • Turn off all outside water sources.
  • Keep your house warm. Program your thermostat and leave it at the same temperature day and night, even when you leave.
  • Open the cabinets in the bathroom and kitchen to allow warm air to circulate around the piping.
  • Keep your garage doors closed. Cold drafts and wind increase the likelihood of pipes freezing.
  • When the weather gets exceptionally cold, let water drip from the faucet. This can relieve pressure in the pipes and keep the water moving.
  • If you won’t be home for a long period of time, turn off the water supply line to your washing machine.
  • Cover pipes with insulation or other products meant to insulate them.
  • Have a friend walk through your home regularly if you will be away for an extended period of time. 
  • Clearly label the water supply line so you can easily identify it later. This can help you turn it off quickly if an emergency ensues and it needs to be turned off.

What Should You Do If Your Pipes Freeze?

If your pipes freeze, there are several steps you can take to minimize the resulting damage. These steps include:

  • Keep the faucet open. As the ice starts to melt, the flowing water will help the rest of the ice melt.
  • With a space heater, heating pad, or heated towels, apply warmth to the frozen length of the pipe.
  • Never use an open flame, such as a blow torch or propane stove, in an attempt to warm the pipes.

If you do experience damage to your home due to a frozen or burst pipe, rest assured that our team at Vargas & Vargas Insurance will be on hand to assist you. Contact us today to learn more about our policies or for help protecting your home.

What Happens When the Main Condo Furnace Fails and There is Damage To Your Unit

If your Condominium unit gets its heat from a main furnace controlled and maintained by the Condominium Management, but it’s not part of your unit for which you are responsible, you may have some interesting insurance challenges should the furnace fail during the cold winter months; and you experience damage inside your unit.

When you own a Condo you are covered by two different Insurance policies.  The “Master Policy” for the Condo Building, generally covers all the common areas of the Condo.  It does not cover the inside of your Condo unit.

You insure the interior of your unit with your own insurance policy, typically called a HO-6 policy.  This insurance very much resembles renters’ insurance for apartment-dwellers. The premiums for an HO-6 policy are typically reasonably affordable.  These policies insure you for any claims you may have inside your Condominium unit.

But what happens when the main condo furnace goes out and you have damage in your unit?

We recommend the following as your logical course of action:

1.       Immediately contact the Managing Agent and inquire about filing a claim against the Master Insurance Policy for the Condo.  You should expect that you’ll run into some resistance here from the Insurance carrier for that Master Policy. They’ll attempt to direct you to your own HO-6 Insurance policy since the damage is inside your unit.

Remember, that damage was caused by the main furnace failing.  Stand your ground.

2.       Assuming you are successful in filing a claim against the Master Policy, you still may need to file a claim against your HO-6 policy for the finer points of items that would not covered at all, or not covered to the full extent of value for your precious belongings inside your Condo.

Review your current insurance policy now to be 100% sure you have all the appropriate coverages before it’s too late.

We’re happy to provide a free consultation to review your existing Master Policy and your HO-6 policy.  We want you to know the extent of your existing coverages for your protection and to help assure you of any additional coverages you may need.

The review is free of charge. Call us now at 617-298-0655 or text us at 617-409-0329. Click here to Visit our Contact Us page.