Clarke & Sampson Blog

Before the Storm Hits: Safety and Facts

Posted by Trent Tuttle

Jun 29, 2015 11:50:00 AM

Every thunderstorm produces lightning, which is extremely dangerous. Though lightning fatalities have decreased over the past 30 years, lightning continues to be one of the top three storm-related killers in the United States. In 2010, there were 29 fatalities and 182 injuries from lightning. Although most lightning victims survive, people struck by lightning often report a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms.

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Stress Relieving Strategies at Work

Posted by Trent Tuttle

Jun 22, 2015 4:26:00 PM

Being challenged at work is what most people are referring to when they say, "a little bit of stress is good for you." However, when we face overwhelming demands that can’t be met, that “good for you” challenge can transform into stress and frustration—and eventually, perhaps, illness or injury.

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Planning and Coordinating Events: An Insurance Perspective

Posted by Trent Tuttle

Jun 12, 2015 3:30:00 PM

Event organizers must shoulder a significant burden—they have prime responsibility for ensuring overall health and safety at their events. That means they are culpable for any event-related health and safety failures.

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Data Breaches - An Official D&O Concern

Posted by Keegan Wetzel

Jun 5, 2015 2:11:11 PM

A data breach can be a devastating event, affecting a company financially and damaging its reputation with customers, but the risk doesn't end there. As a director or officer at your company, you face litigation risks based on cyber security policies and management decision made after a data breach, as these are often considered board-level issues.    
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Is Your Deck Safe for the Summer Season?

Posted by Keegan Wetzel

Jun 1, 2015 11:29:42 AM

As the weather warms up, relaxing on an outdoor deck can be a great way to spend time with friends and family. However, the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors estimates that only 40 percent of the 45 million decks in North America are safe. Use these tips to inspect your deck and keep your friends and family safe.

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Spring/Summer Grilling Safety

Posted by Keegan Wetzel

May 6, 2015 12:01:00 PM

Grilling is a great way to make a delicious meal, especially as the weather starts to warm up. However, grilling carries a number of risks that you must be aware of to keep your outing safe and enjoyable. Keep these suggestions in mind the next time you fire up the grill with friends and family:

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Dog Bite Prevention: What You Need to Know

Posted by Keegan Wetzel

Apr 7, 2015 1:02:56 PM

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year and about 885,000 of these injuries require medical attention. If fact, dog bites account for approximately one-third of all homeowner’s insurance liability claim dollars paid out each year.

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Caring for Your Historic Home

Posted by Scott Jefferson

Feb 26, 2015 1:58:19 PM

As a home ages, a thorough maintenance program can help you avoid costly repairs. Here are some steps you can take to help reduce the risk of loss in an older home:

• Consult with licensed electrical, plumbing and heating specialists for an initial evaluation, and arrange schedules for routine maintenance. Maintaining and updating essential systems is a critical step in protecting your property.


• Older homes often have less insulation. To help prevent pipes from freezing, you can insulate
pipes directly, shut off exterior faucets, and maintain a comfortable heating temperature at
all times. The installation of low temperature sensors tied into the central station alarm
system will detect a problem with the heating system and a drop in interior room
temperature. Should a pipe freeze and burst, there are also products available that detect
water leaks.

• If you will be away from home for an extended period of time, shut off your main
water supply.

• Repairing or re-pointing of mortar walls and chimneys may become necessary when any
of the following conditions are noted: cracked or missing mortar, loose bricks or stones,
damp walls or damaged plaster work. Left unattended, these conditions can lead to severe
water damage and other problems. Regular chimney evaluation and cleaning by a
professional is highly recommended.

• Missing, worn or broken roofing materials may allow water to penetrate and deteriorate the
roof structure. Inspect your roof and flashing around chimneys and skylights periodically,
especially after severe storms. Contact a licensed roofer for further evaluation and repairs.

• If you live in a wooded area, falling leaves may clog the gutters and lead to water backup that
could damage your exterior siding. In late fall, clear gutters and downspouts of leaves and
debris. Downspouts should be directed away from the house to improve drainage around the

• Proper ventilation and updated insulation in the attic can not only reduce the potential for
damage or deterioration due to excess moisture, but also reduce energy usage.

• Inspect windows and exterior doors for proper caulking and weather stripping. Check exterior
paint and siding for peeling and/or cracking.

• Regularly inspect decks, terraces and balconies. A deteriorating condition can lead to water
damage of the interior. Uneven, cracked or rotting decks, terraces and balconies can lead to
a personal injury liability hazard.

• Periodically inspect your foundation walls and floors for cracking that might allow water
seepage. Avoid storing valuables in the basement. If your basement is prone to leaks or
flooding, a sump pump is the best defense. Most sump pumps last about 10 years. Follow
the manufacturer’s suggestions for testing and operation. The areas around the pump
should be clear of debris. A battery back-up is recommended to ensure proper operation
during power outages.

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Topics: Personal Insurance, Historic Home, Alexandria VA

Controlling Premium Audits to Eliminate Overcharges

Posted by Keegan Wetzel

Feb 23, 2015 4:21:08 PM

Due to the volume of requests they receive, insurance companies have developed a very efficient premium audit process. While they strive to be as accurate as possible, they don’t have the time or resources to investigate and resolve every possible error or ambiguity that presents itself. As a result, your company may experience one or more unintentional overcharges. If you know the rules, you can take control of the process by anticipating and preparing the exact information your insurance company needs to prevent inadvertent overcharges, saving your company money in the process.

Creating an Accurate Premium Audit Package

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Follow These Tips to Keep Your Pipes From Freezing

Posted by Keegan Wetzel

Feb 19, 2015 12:27:55 PM

Frozen pipes greatly disrupt daily life and can be quite expensive to repair. Water expands as it freezes, and when this is combined with extreme pressure, it can cause pipes to burst. Generally, pipes that are exposed to outdoor temperatures freeze more readily, such as swimming pool lines and water sprinkler lines. Pipes that run along exterior walls in the home with minimal insulation also tend to freeze more easily. Continue reading for useful tips that will help you keep your pipes from freezing.

Before the Temperature Drops

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