Insurance Policy

Know Your Policies! Named Perils Vs. Open Perils

In everyday life, we never really think about what happens next if some sort of damage occurs to our house, car, or anything else. As fall has arrived and winter is on the move, it’s important to keep these thoughts in mind. What if your pipes freeze and, subsequently, burst? What if the weight of the snow from a massive snowstorm causes the roof of your garage to cave in? You will need to make sure that your property is covered properly!

The causes of loss, while devastating to anyone with property of some sort, can be described in one of two ways – on either a “named peril” or an “open peril” basis. Knowing the difference between the two different types of coverage will help you validate that your property is insured properly and can help you understand what is included and excluded under each separate mode of coverage as well!

Named Perils Coverage Policy

This type of policy lists the specific perils or causes of loss that are all covered under this policy. This means that you will be covered for everything listed underneath the coverage but not for anything that doesn’t appear on that list. If, for instance, your home is covered by “volcanic ash,” as it is listed in your named perils policy, then any damages that might be caused by volcanic ash will be covered! If it isn’t listed on your policy and you wind up getting damage to your house by said ash, then it won’t be covered.

Here is what typically appears on “named perils” policies:

*Lightning or fire

*Hail or windstorm

*Damage caused by aircraft

*Explosions

*Riots or civil disturbances

*Smoke damage

*Damage caused by vehicles

*Theft

*Vandalism

*Falling objects

*Volcanic eruption

*Damage from the weight of snow, ice, or sleet

*Water damage from plumbing, heating, or air conditioning overflow

*Water heating cracking, tearing, and burning

*Damage from electrical current

 

Keep in mind, too, that the “named perils” policy is not meant to be exhaustive, and exclusions will be determined based on whether they are listed as named perils.

 

Open Peril Coverage Policy

This type of coverage is the exact opposite of the “named peril” policy. In this type of coverage, everything is covered except those perils listed as exclusions. So, going back to the “volcanic ash,” if you find that this isn’t specifically named as an exclusion, it will be covered along with all the other perils that are not listed. You’ll find, however, that open peril policies tend to be full of long lists of exclusions, but they still offer great coverage for your property!

If you’re thinking about getting an insurance policy, take a moment to ask yourself which type of policy would suit your needs best. You can always ask the knowledgeable and caring professionals here at Madison Mutual as well! Call us today at 1-800-766-MMIC or find us online at www.madisonmutual.com to learn more!

car thief

Love Your Car? Keep It Safe From Thieves With These 8 Handy Tips!

If you own a car, you know just how important it is to keep your car safe from poor maintenance habits and adverse weather. You also know that it’s critical to have auto insurance in the event that an accident occurs. But did you know that auto insurance is also beneficial to have if your car is stolen?

According to the FBI, there were an estimated 721,053 thefts of motor vehicles nationwide in 2012, and more than $4.3 billion was lost in the U.S. to motor vehicle thefts that year. In fact, every 44 seconds, a vehicle is stolen in the United States. These alarming statistics make it seem as if you’re bound to be a victim of car theft at some point along the figurative road.

Luckily, there are many things you can do to prevent your car from being stolen. Follow these 8 tips below to keep your vehicle safe!

Turn It Off – It’s so tempting to just let your car remain running when you need to run into the post office or grocery store for a quick minute, but you’re essentially giving a potential car thief the green light to steal your car, keys and all. Even if it’s just for a moment, shut off your car when you have to leave it unattended. Besides, stalling will cost you a bit more money and gas in the long run, so shutting it off will save you a few bucks, too!

Put It In the Garage – Do you have a garage? Put it good use! Thieves are typically looking for cars that are parked outside of the garage or out on the streets. If you live in the city, try renting a garage. Sure, it costs you a bit of money, but it’s well worth the investment for your car’s safety and your peace of mind. Plus, a garage will keep your car safe from the effects of inclement weather.

Park It In a Safe Spot – This might seem like a no-brainer, but it needs to be said regardless. If you park your car in a sketchy area, don’t be surprised to see it vandalized or stolen upon your return. Be sure to park your car in a well-lit and safe location that is frequently trafficked by pedestrians and other drivers. The volume of activity will deter thieves from stealing your vehicle.

Lock It Up – This tip is so simple yet so frequently ignored. A thief is much more likely to steal a vehicle that is unlocked; after all, it’s much easier to steal something that isn’t locked up! Lock up your car, including the doors and trunk, and remember that all of your windows are completely closed as well.

Install a Kill Switch – Usually, the greatest challenge a car thief will run into is trying to get your car to start without the key. While the thief has knowledge in how your ignition works, he can’t do too much if you have a starter interrupter switch (a “kill switch”) installed. Put one of these devices in your vehicle so that you can disable it and prevent the thief from stealing your car!

Hide Your Valuables – Let’s pretend you’re the car thief for a moment. You see two cars. Inside one is a simple tissue box and nothing else. Inside the other car, you see an iPod, a fancy navigation system, and some loose change. Which car are you more tempted to break into? Probably the 2nd car, right? Remember to put your valuables away, or better yet, take all valuables worth stealing out of your car in the first place.

Put an Alarm Sticker on It – Burglars tend to be deterred from houses that have signs stating that they’re protected by certain alarm systems. Apply this logic to your vehicle. In a row of cars, the vehicle that has blinking LED indicating an alarm is installed is much less likely to be tampered with, regardless of whether an alarm is present or not.

Keep Your Car Maintained – A well-maintained car can be a big deterrent to car thieves. If they see that you care about and take good care of your car, they deduce that you will more than likely have an alarm, be able to locate the car if it is stolen, and notice its presence. Keep it clean inside and out, wax it, replace missing hubcaps, attend to the cracked windshield or broken windows – make it look shiny and new to keep potential thieves away!

The ultimate protection for your vehicle comes in the form of superior auto insurance. Madison Mutual is dedicated to protecting you and your vehicle. Stop by one of our many offices, call us at 1-888-766-MMIC, or visit us online at www.madisonmutual.com to see why you should choose us!

Trick-or-treating

7 Easy Halloween Safety Tips to Keep In Mind This Year

Yes, it’s still September, and while the conditions are still up there with the sweltering heat and humidity of summer, we are beginning to see more and more Halloween and autumn merchandise grace the store aisles once more. Some fall enthusiasts have even begun decorating for the upcoming season (and we can’t blame them – fall is great in the Midwest!).

These visual reminders of fall and the ever-popular holiday of Halloween makes us give pause and send out friendly reminders to you and yours to stay safe this Halloween. Here are 7 easy safety tips for you to keep in mind this Halloween and all Halloween events in the future!

*Check your candy and treats for choking hazards and tampering before you eat them. It’s best to eat factory-wrapped treats only and to avoid eating homemade treats made by people you don’t know.

*Stay in groups. Try to avoid trick-or-treating alone, and make sure that kids walk in groups or with a trusted adult.

*Never allow a child to enter a home unless you are with them, and only stop at well-lit houses when you trick-or-treat.

*Stay seen! Wear reflective tape on your costume and consider putting some on your bags to help drivers see you at night.

*Holding a flashlight or glow-sticks while you trick-or-treat will help you and your kids be seen by those driving vehicles.

*Remember to walk and not run from house to house.

*Be smart with your costumes. Remember to well well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, falls, and injuries.

We hope that you’re ready to have a fun, happy, and safe Halloween with your friends, kids, and loved ones! Just keep these 7 tips from the experts in the back of your mind, and you’ll be all set!

save money

8 Ways Homeowners Can Save Money on Home Insurance Policies

Everyone’s looking for different ways to save money. Maybe you’ve chosen to lay off the fast food and restaurant hopping in favor of cooking your own meals most days of the week. Perhaps you’ve considered carpooling to work with some of your fellow coworkers to help save money on gas.

These are all great ways to save money, but did you know you can save a bit of money on your home insurance policy? Read about these 8 ways to help you save a few bucks below!

Get a Multi-Policy – If you happen to have policies through different insurance companies, you’re probably paying way too much money for your insurance. Instead, consider getting your policies through one insurance company. Many times, they will offer multi-policy discounts when you sign up for auto and a homeowners or renters policy.

Raise Your Deductible – If you’re not familiar with this term, the deductible is the amount you pay before your insurance kicks in when you have a claim. The higher your deductible is, the less you will have to pay for your policy! Use discretion, however, and remember that you’ll risk paying more out-of-pocket if you have a claim.

Go For a New Home – In the hunt for a new home? Try to look at newer homes. They’re bound to have stronger structures and are typically less likely to have something wrong with the electrical, plumbing, and heating systems than older homes, which can help keep your price on your home insurance policy down.

Don’t Cover What You Don’t Have – Home policies tend to include an automatic protection limit for your personal property, and the amount is actually adjustable. If you find that you don’t need all the protection offered in the policy, you can choose to lower it in order to save some money. Ask your agent to help you with a quick personal property calculation to see how you can save while being properly protected.

Stay Safe – There are usually some sorts of discounts available in home insurance policies. If your home features smoke detectors, deadbolt locks, or burglar alarms, you might be able to take advantage of a small discount. Even some sophisticated alarm systems can help, but be sure to ask your agent first to make sure that the systems you’re thinking of installing count.

Don’t Smoke – Nonsmokers can usually enjoy some sort of a discount if they choose not to smoke. Unattended cigarette butts produce more than 23,000 residential fires nationwide every year, which is usually why there are discounts available to nonsmoking homeowners.

Stay a While – An easy way that many homeowners can save some money on their policies includes being a loyal policyholder. If you like the insurer you have and have been with them for a while, stay put! You could be eligible for some serious savings.

Maintain Good Credit – It’s true – good credit typically means lower rates! Most companies will need your credit history to help determine their pricing structure by seeing how you handle your finances. Those who have good credit will pay less for their insurance in most cases. If you don’t have good credit but want to get it back up to where it needs to be, discuss some strategies with your agent to get started!

Don’t have an insurance policy or need to know how you can save a few extra bucks on your own policy? Just call up your agent from Madison Mutual at 1-800-766-MMIC! If you’re new to the insurance scene, be sure to check us out online at www.madisonmutual.com!