In today’s world, the most valuable asset owned by people is their home. And when considering any size home improvement project, protecting this investment should be a top priority.
If you are planning for renovating or remodeling your home and facing difficulty in finding the proper contractor, here are some tips to be keep in mind while selecting a contractor for your home improvement project.
How to find a Qualified Contractor:
One source for locating a qualified, experienced contractor is from other people who have had similar remodeling work done. When talking with contractors, request references, and take the time to check them out.
Check with a service that keeps track records of various contractors.
You can also use online resources and directory for locating a qualified contractor in your area.
You can also use sites like LocalContractorBids.com, where you can submit your project so that contractors can place a bid on your project. After reviewing all the bids, you can select the most appropriate one.
Hire only a home improvement contractor with strong referrals and high rankings. Depending on the type of project you are planning, you may need to deal with any of the following professional contractors:
Architects are designers of homes, buildings, and home improvement remodeling projects. You may want to consult one if your project includes new construction or structural changes.
Questions you should ask to Possible Candidates:
How long have you been contracting? What licenses and certifications do you carry? How many projects have you completed in the last year; what were they, and who were they for? How many years have you been working on home improvement projects? “What references do you have? Will, there be any subcontractors, and if so, what are their credentials? What insurance coverage do you have? What permits are required for my project?”
Also, check with the appropriate government office to see whether or not there are any unresolved complaints against the contractor before making your final selection.
Call all references and ask questions such as: Was the project completed on time, and were you happy with the results? How well did the contractor communicate with you throughout the project? Were there any cost over-runs?
Also ask if the contractor employees were on time, courteous, and whether or not they cleaned up the home improvement site when they were finished?
Please feel free to contact our office at 713-645-1500, as I am sure we know some contractors we can reccomend. Also, as we head into Fall please keep us in mind for any coverage changes you might want to make such as reducing insurance on your summer toys.
You buy homeowner’s insurance to protect your most important asset. Or, if you are a renter, you buy renter’s insurance to cover your personal property and legal liability. Whatever the case, there are many risks to which you are exposed. Some risks are obvious such as fire and theft, while others are not. We wanted to provide you with some of the not so common claims that can arise out of home ownership or renting.
Homeowner’s and Renter’s Risks
Dog Bite Claims – Homeowner’s and renter’s insurance policies (with liability coverage) will cover the medical bills for someone bit by a dog, a cat, a snake or other domestic animal in your home. These policies even pay lost wages if the person can't work. Bike Accidents - If you have liability coverage and are involved in a bike accident where you are liable for the injury of another person, you most likely have coverage. Falling Objects From The Sky - Damage that comes from "falling objects," which includes stuff that comes from the sky, is usually covered. Lightening - Homes partially or entirely destroyed by lightning-caused fires are not the only items that may be covered by your homeowner’s policy. Damaged electronic equipment like computers, high definition and plasma TVs, and refrigerators could also be covered. Dinner Gone Bad – If you are entertaining your guests and they become ill or sick as a result of your food preparation, your liability insurance will provide medical expenses for your guests.
Remember, each personal insurance policy is different. These items may be covered, but we recommend you check with our office to determine the specifics of your insurance policy.
Losses Not Covered under a standard Homeowner’s or Renter’s Policy
Protect what matters most to you with Pasadena & Houston, TX. Car, Home, Health, Life & Business insurance.We offer the best combination of competitive rates, coverage and personal service in Houston.
It is a fact that many employers actually overpay for their workers’ compensation premiums. According to the latest reports, employers are paying around 20% more in surcharges than they need to. Most surcharges come from increases in the experience modification factor (mod).
The experience mod is a factor unique to each employer. In simple terms, this formula is designed to compare a specific employer’s historical claim and payroll data, to other employers with similar business operations. An individual employer’s experience mod is calculated using claims data compared to premiums from the three most recently completed years, excluding the expiring term.
Key points to consider
If your losses are increasing, your mod most likely will go up even if your payroll goes down.
The frequency of losses hurt you more than the severity of losses.
It is important to check the calculations on the experience modification worksheet each year.
The most common errors are incorrect or incomplete payroll data.
Your workers’ compensation mod is the single most important factor insurers use to identify your risk.
Your mod can be reduced through effective safety and loss control programs.
How to reduce your mod?
Develop a safety program.
Reward safety in the workplace.
Start a return to work program.
Complete regular safety inspections.
Investigate every accident and make corrective actions if needed.
If you suspect fraud, immediately inform the insurance company.
A disciplinary program also should be incorporated into the safety program; it should hold employees accountable for breaking the rules.
Protect what matters most to you with Pasadena & Houston, TX. Car, Home, Health, Life & Business insurance. We offer the best combination of competitive rates, coverage and personal service in Houston.
Many schools may not be opening, or you may be doing online school as a result of COVID. Some parents may be thinking of homes schooling their kids rather than enrolling them in school this fall.
At first, opting for home schooling is such an overwhelming matter. Most parents thought that it is impossible to teach a child through home schooling method.
On its basic concept, home schooling refers to the alternative way of educating children. It differs from the usual type of schooling because the learning process is done at home, and the teachers are usually the parents themselves. They only use a particular type of teaching method that can be obtained in different institutions that provide home schooling programs.
For parents who find home schooling a bit of an overwhelming task, here is a list of some tips on how to get you started in home schooling your child:
1. Arrive at a decision
The problem that most parents encounter when opting for home schooling is the fact that they find it hard to finally decide whether to home school their child or not. This is because deciding on this kind of thing is relatively important, especially because the future of the child is dependent on it.
However, the choice should be based on the capacity of the parents to conform to the requirements in home schooling their child. They should be able to wholly participate with whatever items that were entailed in the program in order to provide the best education for their children.
2. Keep in mind that home schooling is a process
Since home schooling is a process, parents who want to home school their children should take things one at a time. For instance, if they have a pre-school child, they should focus more on what pre-school students should learn. They should not delve more on how to teach higher levels of education that are fit for students in higher levels.
3. Know your state laws regarding home schooling
In the United States, each state has its own laws regarding home schooling. Hence, it is best to know what your state asserts about home schooling so that you can provide the best education for your children in conformity with the law.
4. Look for a support group
Home schooling should not be the sole responsibility of the parents. That is why it is important for the parents to find a local support group wherein they can mingle with other homeschoolers who can provide them with additional pointers regarding the process. Each member in the support group can help each other regarding the best technique in teaching their children.
5. Do your homework
Nothing can get you started on the right track than doing your homework first. In this way, you will be able to know the important details you need to be familiar with in order to provide the best education for your children. Knowing what you have to do will give you the best guidance in home schooling.
6. Identify your child’s learning manner
It is best to assess your child’s learning manner first before you choose on a particular home schooling method. Conforming to your child’s learning manner will provide the best way on how to home school your child.
There are many choices available when teaching your child through a home school program. Though it is still best to always pattern the program that you will choose on your child’s learning style.
7. Organize the things needed in home schooling
Just like a typical school, home schooling your children would also need different materials and a proper place where they can easily and comfortable learn new things each day.
Hence, it's best to organize the place first by providing them with adequate space for their learning. Most children would respond to the process easier if they were comfortable with the place where their classes are held.
8. Have a budget for home schooling
Some parents tend to overindulge with the materials needed in home schooling. It does not necessarily mean that because you have lowered your expenses because you have opted to home school, as compared to sending your children into a typical public or private school, you can spend more.
It is still a must that you have to set a budget for home schooling. There are many books and other materials that can be found on the Internet which are definitely priced cheaper.
Indeed, home schooling is not just a process but also a lifestyle. Its something that parents should be best acquainted with in order to give their children with the best education they need.
As summer draws to a close all of us at Duckworth Insurance Agency would like to thank you for your continued business.
Remember, your homeowner’s insurance may or may not cover the next disaster, so it is a good idea to have our team complete a personal insurance review. Here are some things you can do right now. First know what is covered and not covered under your current insurance program.
Wind insurance is designed for those who live in coastal areas. Wind insurance may cover damages from hurricane-force winds, tornados, hail, and other weather events that are accompanied by wind gusts that exceed 35 miles per hour.
Flood damage is excluded under most homeowner’s policies. We can obtain coverage for you through the National Flood Insurance Program
Disaster Preparation Tips
Create a personal backpack for each family member
Develop an evacuation route in advance
Have a pre-determined meeting place if separated from family
Think about what your pet’s needs may be
Would you need to build a shelter? Having plastic sheeting might help
A basic emergency kit should include the following:
Three-day supply of food and water
Sanitation and personal hygiene items
Solar power source for smartphone
Dust masks for every family member
First aid kit
Your Home Insurance Policy Isn’t Enough
Only the National Flood Insurance Program can provide you with flood insurance. Facts worth knowing about flood insurance and flood-related losses include:
Flood losses an average of about $38,000 per claim.
Even if your flooding incident is given a Federal Disaster Assistance declaration, of which only 50 percent are, you’ll most likely have to repay whatever assistance you’re given, including interest.
Homeowners policies do not provide coverage for flood.
There is a 30 day waiting period before a policy goes into effect.