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file an insurance claim

Tips for Filing an Insurance Claim

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Accidents and natural disasters can strike without warning, causing costly damage to your home, vehicles and personal belongings. When this happens, you will have to file an insurance claim in order for your policy to kick in and recoup your losses.

In order to get the most out of the claims process, consider the following tips:

  • Call John Scott Insurance Agency as soon as an incident occurs. The quicker you get the process moving, the better. After you’ve contacted us, we will get everything in place for an adjuster to come and inspect the damage.
  • Document your losses before the adjuster comes. Make a thorough list of property that has been impacted by a disaster. Provide purchase receipts, or estimate how much the belongings cost and when you bought them.
  • Take photographs of the accident scene, and don’t throw out damaged items before notifying us.

Above all, it’s important to document the claims process, noting when you speak with the team here at John Scott Insurance Agency and what the conversations entailed. This will help you track the amount of reimbursement you should receive and allow you to keep a record of insurance claims for future use.

 

manage credit card debt

Managing Credit Card Debt

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Credit cards can be incredibly helpful, particularly when you need to make a large purchase. However, if you don’t keep up with your payments, credit card debt can compound and create a serious source of stress. You need to manage credit card debt.

To get the most out of your credit cards without piling up debt, consider doing the following:

  • Treat your credit cards like cash. Avoid spending money you can’t pay back in a timely fashion.
  • Pay the entire balance of your credit card each month.
  • Select cards with no annual fees, 30-day grace bill periods, rebate incentives or other incentive programs.
  • Conduct an assessment of your expenses on a quarterly basis, and make adjustments to your spending if you are going over budget.
  • Enroll in a prepaid credit card program where you load money onto the credit card for purchases. Once you’ve reached your set limit, the card will not work.

Seek out financial assistance if you feel overwhelmed by debt. By reaching out to a financial advisor, you will be able to find specific ways in which you can minimize your debt and improve your personal financial situation.

 

preventing frozen pipes

Preventing Frozen Pipes

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One of the messiest and most costly homeowner repairs is fixing a burst, frozen pipe. Water from a burst pipe can cause damage to carpeting, short out electrical appliances and ruin furniture. Luckily, there are several ways to protect your home:

  • Keep the heat in your house at a minimum of 50° F.
  • Allow faucets to drip slightly, which can alleviate pressure in the piping system.
  • Keep interior doors open. This allows heat from the rest of your house to spread, keeping your pipes warm.
  • Seal any cracks and holes found near your pipes. This can help keep cold air out of your home.
  • Add extra insulation to your pipes. Experts recommend fitting your pipes with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves.

Water expands as it freezes and puts significant pressure on the metal or plastic pipes that hold it. If you fail to take the proper precautions, your pipes can easily fail during a cold winter, which can be incredibly costly to repair.

Preventative measures now can save you in the long run in time and money and will also give you peace of mind that your family and belongings are safe.

If you need any help with your homeowners policy please don’t hesitate to contact John Scott Insurance Agency.  We protect what matters most.

 

 

defensive driving

Defensive Driving Techniques

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One of the best ways to stay safe while you’re on the road is through defensive driving. Being a defensive driver means driving to prevent accidents in spite of the actions of others or the presence of adverse driving conditions. To avoid accidents through the use of defensive driving, do the following:

  • Remain on the lookout for hazards—Think about what may happen as far ahead of you as possible. Never assume that road hazards will resolve themselves before you reach them.
  • Eliminate distractions—Listening to music, talking to passengers and using a cellphone are all activities that can be distracting and lead to an accident.
  • Maintain your distance—When driving, maintain a safe following distance behind other cars. Provide adequate time for you to brake to a stop if necessary. Many experts suggest using the three-second rule, which recommends staying three seconds behind another car or about a full car length.
  • Act quickly—Once you see a hazard and decide upon a defense, you must act immediately. The sooner you act, the more time you’ll have to avoid a potentially dangerous situation.

Defensive driving requires the knowledge and strict observance of all traffic rules and regulations applicable to the area you’re driving in. It also means that you should be alert for illegal actions and driving errors made by others, and make timely adjustments to your own driving to avoid an accident.

 

mobile

Four Procedures For SAFE Utilization Of Jobsite Cell Phones

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Mobile technology can be a valuable tool for the construction industry, but when it comes to using it on the job site, there’s one device workers should probably leave behind…their cell phone.

Although cell phones can be a necessary method of communication on job sites, they can also distract workers from potential hazards and recommended safety practices.  And despite an absence of OSHA regulations pertaining exclusivity to cell phones on the job site, OSHA can cite employers for violating the general duty clause, which states the requirement to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards.

Employers can also violate OSHA’s cranes and derricks standard by allowing cell phones on the job site, since it states “the crane or derrick operator must not engage in any practice or activity that diverts his or her attention while actually engaged in operating the equipment, such as the use of cellular phones.”

Phones may be used for signal communication but OSHA requires a hands free system for the operators’ reception of signals. A construction worker who uses a cell phone while operating a motorized vehicle may face civil or criminal liability for damages they cause.  An employer can also face liability for the acts of its employees if it fails to enforce a policy that prohibits texting while driving.

General contractors can also face OSHA liability for worksite hazards if they fail to address actions by subcontractor employees who use mobile phones improperly on site. As such, general contractors should be cautions of improper mobile phone usage by their subcontractors.

Employers in the construction industry should consider implementing the following Four Procedures For Work Site Cell Phone Safety:

  • Enacting and enforcing clear policies that prohibit texting and talking on the cell phone while operating any kind of motorized vehicle on site.
  • Consider a prohibition on workplace cell phone use in specific areas where distractions could create employee hazards, regardless of whether the employees are operating motorized vehicles.
  • For company issued cell phones, consider the use of applications that block internet access and texting functionality while in a moving vehicle.
  • Make construction sites cell phone free zones and post signs in designated areas to remind workers. Only allow workers access to their cell phones during break period and in designated areas.

Besides the potential for OSHA penalties and legal liabilities, insurance rates can also be affected by job site cell phone use. With distracted employees causing an increase in accidents, the cost of workers’ comp and other insurance coverage is likely to increase.  For further information contact your insurance specialists at the Contractors Insurance Agency.

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