Boating season is upon us, and you’re ready to get out on the water. Each boat owner’s circumstances are unique, so ask a Mel Foster Insurance agent to compare options from several national companies to find you the best policy to fit your needs.
What Factors Are Involved In Determining Coverage?
Your agent will gather various details to decide what insurance coverage is appropriate for each boat owner. Some key factors considered are:
- How long you’ve owned your boat
- Age and value of the boat
- Speed/horsepower of the boat
- Type of boat (inboard, outboard, utility, cruiser, bass, performance)
- Driving record and boat safety education certifications
How And Where Will The Boat Be Used?
It’s essential to know how and where the boat will be used when determining proper insurance coverage. A boat operated for recreation on the lake has different policy specifications than a boat utilized by a commercial fisherman heading to work on the river each day.
Why Is Coverage Important?
Having a boat insurance policy in place can protect you in a variety of situations. Not only will proper coverage help if the boat is stolen or damaged by collision with rocks or logs, but insurance can also help if you accidentally injure someone or damage their property with your boat. Most states don’t require boaters to purchase insurance, but many marinas require some form of insurance if you wish to use a slip on their property. Additionally, your bank will require insurance if you are financing the boat purchase.
Find more insurance tips for home, auto or recreational vehicles.
Your car needs spring maintenance just like your house does. As we ease out of a tough Midwest winter season, your vehicle could use some tender love and care. Consider maintenance steps to ensure your wheels are ready to roll this spring.
Check Alignment and Rotate Tires
Most of us drove through a pothole or two this winter, and the car’s alignment and suspension are likely imbalanced because of it. Schedule an appointment with your favorite car service company and have the tires rotated and alignment evaluated to confirm the car is safe and secure.
Do A Deep Clean
According to the homeowners’ information website, Angie’s List, leftover salt can be your car’s most damaging remnant of the winter season. Undercarriages, where the metal can rust, endure the biggest hit when they don’t get a deep clean. Take the vehicle to a professional car wash to eliminate salt, so your car has a clean slate this spring. And don’t forget the inside of the car. A quality interior detailing will extend the life of your carpet and mats and will rid your vehicle of those dropped French fries that you just can’t reach between the seat and the console.
Car Part and Safety Upkeep
The emergency kit in the trunk may need some items swapped out after the long winter. Verify that your flashlight batteries are good, replace the flares used, and make sure you still have your jumper cables. Change windshield wipers that don’t quite keep the windows clear and fill your washer fluid.
Test The Battery
Brutal winters with low temps can take a toll on your car battery. Many places like AutoZone offer free battery testing and charging so you know how much battery life is left. Prepare now for the upcoming road trip, so you aren’t stuck on the side of the road this spring or summer.
1. Power Failure
- The most common cause for sump failure is an electrical power outage.
- Prevent this by having a back-up generator that can be manually activated. Also, protect a potential power surge with a service entrance surge protection device.
2. The Sump Pump is the Wrong Size
- Incorrect sized pump will likely cause a failure.
- Too big – pump works too hard and shortens the lifespan, too small – same problem.
3. Improper Installation
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions exactly. Read all the do’s and don’ts of installing a sump pump.
4. Lack of Maintenance
- Check your manufacturer recommendations.
5. Frozen or Clogged Discharge Lines
- Keep the discharge pipe from freezing and free of any kind of debris.
- There is a special grated discharge line attachment that can be added to help prevent this.
6. Product Defect
- Always test after installation to make sure the sump pump is working properly.
7. Switch Problems
- Your sump pump relies on both the switch and float arm to work properly.
Source: Werner Restoration Inc. Photo Credit: i.stockphoto.com
Marc Engels, President of Mel Foster Insurance is pleased to announce the agency earned Senior Partner Plus designation from Integrity based on outstanding business performance.
Out of nearly 700 independent insurance agencies that sell Integrity’s personal auto, home, life and business insurance products, Mel Foster Insurance is one of just 17 agencies to receive this year’s Senior Partner Plus award, an honor earned by independent agencies that set themselves apart by excelling in key areas, including customer service and overall agency performance.
“Integrity makes it a priority to partner with the very best independent insurance agencies that provide superior service and value for their customers,” said Integrity Insurance President Jill Wagner Kelly. “We are proud to name Mel Foster Insurance a Senior Partner Plus agency and appreciate their commitment to going above and beyond to serve customers.”
This recognition acknowledges the personalized service we provide our clients. While the designation recognizes our business performance, it is only possible by building relationships with clients and becoming their trusted insurance provider,” said Engels. “We are humbled to receive this elite designation from Integrity Insurance and are grateful for their continued support as we serve our local community.”
Integrity Insurance sells exclusively through independent insurance agents. These agents are not only dedicated to supporting the communities in which they live and work, but they also offer guidance to help individuals, families and businesses select the right coverage for their lifestyle and unique needs.
Ready to dive into a home remodel project? Aside from creating a realistic budget, schedule a meeting with your Mel Foster Insurance agent before selecting a contractor to determine how the upgrades will affect your homeowner’s insurance coverage. Consider a few questions to be sure you’re ready to proceed.
Who Should Do The Work?
Feel confident in your choice of contractor and team. Reliable, professional contractors often have reviews and references available through the Better Business Bureau. The contractors should provide you with proof of workers’ compensation and liability insurance before the work begins. Hiring a subcontractor or paying a friend to complete the job makes you an employer, which means you should purchase the worker’s compensation insurance yourself to cover liability in case of injury. Know who is doing the work and how this affects your insurance responsibility.
Will I Be Covered During Renovation?
Your home insurance company will typically insure the building materials you’ll need for renovation. But how much is covered? You may need to raise your coverage limits before beginning your project, and your Mel Foster agent can help settle this with you. Determine if your policy provides sufficient allowances for the unexpected, like if a fire struck and destroyed both your home and the building materials. Some insurance policies also have limitations on whether dwellings under construction or vacant for more than a set number of days are covered. Discuss all options to find the best insurance coverage so you’re protected.
Does The Remodel Affect My Coverage Limit?
Most home insurance policies require you to insure your home for a minimum of 80 percent of its replacement value, while a Mel Foster home insurance policy covers 100 percent of your home replacement costs.
According to the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, one in four remodeling projects increases the home’s value by more than 25 percent. It’s essential that your insurance coverage reflects your remodel’s impact on the value of the house. Your agent can determine if your policy limits are adequate to cover potential rebuild costs, including the remodel, if damages were to occur.
Winter weather creates additional risks with potential financial impacts on your business property. Consider a few weather-related issues that can arise thanks to good ‘ole Jack Frost and suggestions to mitigate risk.
Protect Pipes From Freezing
Frozen pipes are common during the winter months when temps drop below 20 degrees outside. Know what can cause freezing to develop and take steps to alleviate the chance of occurrence.
- Confirm that proper pipe insulation is in place
- Keep temperatures consistent inside the building and monitor temperatures throughout to ensure cold air isn’t seeping in and exposing pipes to the bitter cold
- Test water flow in pipes to verify circulation
Keep Entryways Clear And Safe
Maintain clear walkways and entrances on your property to prevent injury.
- Purchase adequate supplies of shovels and ice melt to keep sidewalks free of slush and sleet
- Repair damage to steps, rails and potholes on the property
- Place non-slip, water-absorbing floor mats just inside doors
Plan Ahead For Business Interruptions
Keep in mind the famous adage, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Have a contingency plan in place for a few common issues that can arise.
- Have a generator ready when power outages occur so you can continue business as usual
- Create a procedure for redirecting phone lines if you must close your building
- Keep an updated employee contact list so you can easily communicate in case of emergency
Connect with a Mel Foster Insurance agent to confirm you have proper coverage.
January 27, 2021 – Marc Engels, President of Mel Foster Insurance is pleased to announce the agency earned Westfield RISE status by demonstrating a proven commitment to customers and long-term success, as well as superior performance industry wide. This is a distinguished honor and title reserved for only the finest of Westfield’s agency partners.
Mel Foster Insurance is one of 169 agencies to earn one of the top designations of Westfield’s 1,000 agencies. “Westfield is a top-notch company with insurance solutions that our clients value. We are grateful for their partnership and honored to be recognized for his exclusive status,” said Engels.
Westfield Legacy of Caring Program Lends a Hand to Quad Cities Community
Jordan’s Joy was nominated by Mel Foster Insurance to receive a grant to help support families battling life-threatening illness or facing life-altering events as part of the Westfield Legacy of Caring program. At Westfield, it’s more than writing insurance policies, it’s about going above and beyond to help people and families grow and prosper. Lending a hand to friends and neighbors during times of need is at the core of the Westfield Insurance Foundation. Each year, Westfield independent insurance agents, like Mel Foster Insurance, are invited to nominate a local nonprofit for the Legacy of Caring program. The program invests in communities and helps impact disaster recovery, family stability or safety.
“With the pandemic, Westfield’s Legacy of Caring program became even more relevant because it will take months, and maybe years, to return to the stability and security people and businesses, including nonprofits, enjoyed before a disaster happened,” said Marc Engels, Mel Foster Insurance, President.
“We are so grateful for the generous support of Jordan’s Joy, said Michelle McCaw, marketing manager for Jordan’s Joy. “The Legacy of Caring grant will have a direct impact on filling funding gaps for comfort items, meals, gas cards, or medical bill that are not traditionally covered by other charitable sources and will help us provide the support and hope needed to be successful.
This year, the Westfield Insurance Foundation donated more than a half million dollars to neighborhoods in across the country. Mel Foster Insurance is one of 50 agencies that nominated a nonprofit, including Jordan’s Joy, for the Westfield Legacy of Caring grant program. Awarding grants through the program is an extension of the fundamental role that insurance plays every day in stabilizing families, businesses and communities in times of uncertainty. Westfield is proud to work with their independent agents in distributing over $3 million since 2015.
“Together with our agency partners, Westfield continues to build on the strong commitment to caring that the founders of our company imagined,” said Ed Largent, Westfield President, CEO, board chair and Westfield Insurance Foundation chairman. “At Westfield, we want to give our communities everything we can: Protection, safety and support and our commitment doesn’t stop there.”
About Mel Foster Insurance
Locally owned and operated, Mel Foster Insurance is a full-service, independent agency with specialized professionals in the areas of business risk management, employee benefits, individual/group retirement planning and personal insurance. Founded in 1932 and it represents over 25 of the region’s most financially stable insurance carriers and offers coverage for residential and commercial clients. Visit their website at http://melfosterinsurance.com for more information.
About Jordan’s Joy
Jordan’s Joy was established in memory of Jordan Schmidt. Jordan was a true hero that passed away at the age of 15 from a rare and aggressive form of cancer. Though he faced tough battles, his spirit and positive attitude never wavered, and he was an inspiration to all that knew him. The purpose of Jordan’s Joy is to fill the void that a Quad City family may have while battling life-threatening illnesses that cannot be met by other charitable organizations. 100% of the funds raised by Jordan’s Joy stay in the Quad Cities and go to local families, as all operating expenses are donated by a local business. www.facebook.com/jordansjoy
About Westfield Insurance Foundation
Westfield Insurance Foundation was established in 2005 as an independent private foundation endowed by Westfield Insurance. In keeping with the values of Westfield Insurance, the Foundation exists as a dedicated community and industry partner; concentrating resources to have an impact on safety, disaster recovery and family stability. The Foundation donates over $3 million annually to a variety of charities.
Westfield was founded in 1848 by a small group of hard-working farmers who believed in the promise of the future and the power of the individual. Today, as one of the nation’s leading property and casualty (P&C) companies, we remain true to their vision and are dedicated to your protection and prosperity and to the progress of our community. Visit westfieldinsurance.com for more information.