Fall is once again upon us, and there are plenty of insurance considerations that come with this time of year. As you start to rake leaves, set out the pumpkins, and warm up the hot chocolate, don’t forget to cross off the following items on your fall insurance checklist. Of course late fall is the time to think about health insurance and open enrollment, and we encourage our customers to act now instead of waiting until the last minute. Homeowners and auto insurance claims can rise around this time of year as well. It is wise to get your home in shape for winter now and double check your driving habits when road conditions worsen. Let’s get to the checklist so you can get back to enjoying the fall season.
First thing is first, we encourage you to consider your health insurance plans for next year right now. While Colorado open enrollment doesn’t begin until November 1st, you don’t have to wait to find quality health insurance. Square State Insurance can help you find affordable, private health insurance provided by state-licensed brokers who live and work in the same city as you. These plans are non-ACA (Affordable Care Act) or Obama-care plans, which means they are much more affordable than what you would find on healthcare.gov. Since there are no longer any penalties for skipping an ACA-qualified plan, you can sign up for this coverage right away. Not sure which plan is right for you? Not to worry, a Colorado licensed broker will contact you and walk through your insurance needs step by step. You’ll be surprised by what you save with an independent plan, and you’ll receive great extra benefits like a nation-wide PPO that protects you even when you travel. Most ACA plans can’t come close to matching that. Read our post on How To Shop For Colorado Health Insurance or click on over to our Denver Health Insurance page to start your quote. You can check this item off your fall insurance checklist before open enrollment even begins!
Bad Weather Driving
Now that you have health insurance covered for the next year, it’s time to turn your attention to the roads. A big item on our fall insurance checklist is that of fall and winter driving. Even just recently over 300 crashes were reported in the Denver metro area during the first big snowfall. The majority of these crashes are preventable. Stay on top of the weather forecasts this time of year, and give yourself a lot of extra time for your commute. It is also important to drive defensively during this time of year. Leave extra room between you and other cars around you, and don’t be afraid to slow your speeds when road conditions are bad. Finally, if you don’t have to go out during a storm, do the smart thing and stay in! You can’t get into an accident if you’re safe and warm in front of the fireplace at home. Slowing down and exercising caution on the roads this time of year ensures everyone will get home safe.
While we’re on the subject of fall driving, don’t forget that wildlife are more active this time of year. If you’re driving in high traffic animal areas, watch out for deer and other wildlife at dawn and dusk. You certainly don’t want to start the fall with an auto accident claim due to a wildlife accident!
Winterize Your Home
Now we move to homeowners insurance, which is always a big item on any fall insurance checklist. We’ll break this down into two sections, winterizing your home and fire prevention. The first step is to finish your outside yard work and cleaning. Inspect all trees and vegetation around your yard for old or damaged limbs that may become hazards during a winter storm. Be proactive and remove these hazards before they create an insurance claim down the road. You’ll also want to clean your gutters during this time so there are no clogs that could create potential water damage. Next turn your attention to your windows, and as temperatures dip, make sure there are no weak points that will drive your utility bills up. Finally it is wise to inspect your roof for any damage or vulnerable spots that may create leaks or water damage throughout the winter. If you are unable to inspect the roof yourself, you can contact a licensed technician to inspect it for you.
Next on our fall insurance checklist is fire prevention. Every year home insurance claims due to fire rise in the fall season. Don’t become part of the statistics. Now is the time to walk around your home and look for potential fire hazards. First if you have a fireplace, get it cleaned by a professional. The same goes for furnace maintenance. Inspect all your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are functioning correctly and have new batteries. Remember dust can cause a false reading in detectors, and you’ll want to clean them this time of year. It is also helpful to inspect all your outlets, both indoor and outdoor, to ensure they are functioning correctly and are not overloaded with too many cords. Finally be sure to check your fire extinguisher to make sure it is not expired and that it is in an easy to access location.
Once you have all these items crossed off your fall insurance checklist, you can turn your attention back to pumpkin carving, trick or treaters and hay rides. From everyone at Square State Insurance, we wish you a happy and safe fall season. If you want to check on your current insurance coverage or just shop around to see what you can save with other carriers, contact us today to get started.