Clarke & Sampson Blog

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
foundation.

• 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.

Learn More

Read More

Topics: Personal Insurance, Historic Home, Alexandria VA

Coverage Insights: Technology Professional Liability (E&O)

Posted by Scott Jefferson

May 6, 2014 1:39:00 PM

What does Tech E&O cover?

Technology professional liability (Tech E&O) insurance is intended to cover two types of risk:
(1) Financial loss of a third party arising from failure of the insured’s product to perform as intended or expected, and
(2) financial loss of a third party arising from an act, error, or omission committed in the course of the insured’s performance of services for another.

Who needs Tech E&O coverage?

  Common examples include information technology firms, programmers, software developers, data processors, web designers, computer consultants, and more. It is important to note, however, that Tech E&O is not limited to the technology industry. Most companies today utilize technology in some part of providing a service or product and need to take the necessary precautions. To ensure your company is covering all bases, a full risk management assessment is needed.
Read More

Topics: Business Insurance, Professional Liability, Alexandria VA, Liability Insurance, E&O Insurance

Rain and Flood Driving Tips

Posted by Scott Jefferson

Apr 29, 2014 2:44:00 PM

Flooding can occur within minutes of heavy rainfall or tidal changes. Be prepared and be safe on the roads. Here are some smart driving tips if you have to drive during times of heavy rain or flooding:

Read More

Topics: Flood Insurance, Flood Facts, Alexandria Flood, Alexandria VA

Errors and Omissions Insurance Basics

Posted by Scott Jefferson

Apr 11, 2014 1:40:30 PM

Lawsuits, once a measure of last resort, are now commonplace in settling disputes. The good news is that you can protect your business by investing in professional liability coverage, also known as errors and omissions (E&O) insurance.

Read More

Topics: Business Insurance, Professional Liability, Alexandria VA, Liability Insurance, E&O Insurance

Personal Umbrella Liability Basics

Posted by Scott Jefferson

Apr 4, 2014 3:25:38 PM

As we all know, accidents happen—and it’s not uncommon for jury awards and out-of court settlements to run into the millions. While it’s difficult to pinpoint the monetary consequences of the risks you and your family take each day, are you certain your current liability insurance offers you enough protection?

For example, what if:

  • Your teenager runs a stop sign, causing a serious accident?
  • A visitor trips in your home and is seriously injured?
  • A babysitter is injured by your otherwise friendly dog?
  • The small fender bender you caused results in a neck injury?
Read More

Topics: Personal Insurance, Personal Liability, Alexandria VA, Personal Umbrella, Umbrella policy, Umbrella Liability

Yard Work Safety Tips

Posted by Scott Jefferson

Mar 6, 2014 11:11:05 AM

For many of our neighbors in Alexandria, spring and summer mean more than sunshine and vacations. It also means working in the yard - often with tools that can be dangerous if not used properly.

Read More

Topics: Personal Insurance, Personal Liability, Alexandria VA, Homeowners Insurance

Securing Your Home Before Hitting The Road

Posted by Scott Jefferson

Feb 14, 2014 2:52:00 PM

With the upcoming holiday weekend, we thought this would be a great opportunity to emphasize the importance of securing your home before leaving for a trip. Burglar activity tends to spike around holidays. Fortunately there are a number of simple steps you can take to protect yourself.      Alarm_blog

- Lock doors and windows. It may seem so obvious it isn't worth mentioning, but according to a nationwide survey, 25% of homeowners acknowledged leaving the house regularly without locking doors or windows.

Read More

Topics: Home Security, Alexandria VA, Homeowners Insurance

Six Things You Should Know About Debit and Credit Cards

Posted by Scott Jefferson

Feb 7, 2014 11:02:00 AM

Debit and credit cards are often used interchangeably. While these card types may seem similar, there are key differences between debit and credit cards in terms of how they work and consumer protection features. Here is a list of things you should know before using a debit or credit card:

Read More

Topics: Personal Insurance, Personal Liability, Alexandria VA

Protecting Your Assets With An Umbrella Policy

Posted by Scott Jefferson

Jan 29, 2014 2:29:00 PM

Your home and auto policies are designed to protect you from liability losses up to a certain dollar limit, but what if that limit is exhausted? Consider this scenario: you caused a major auto accident that resulted in $750,000 worth of bodily injury and property damage. Your auto insurance only covers $500,000. Who is responsible for paying the remaining $250,000? You are - unless you have an umbrella policy.  

An umbrella policy is designed to protect you above and beyond your home and auto policies. With umbrella liability insurance, you are safe, your family is safe, and so is your lifestyle.

Read More

Topics: Personal Insurance, Personal Liability, Alexandria VA, Personal Umbrella, Umbrella policy, Umbrella Liability

HO3 vs. HO5 Homeowners Insurance

Posted by Scott Jefferson

Jan 22, 2014 10:12:00 AM

Many homeowners operate under the assumption that all homeowners insurance is created equal. A common notion is that as long as the coverage limits match, a policy or quote comparison is "apples to apples." The reality is that that homeowners policies differ substantially even though they may appear to be identical. One major difference between homeowners policies is whether coverage is provided on a HO3 or HO5 form.

 

 

 

 

Read More

Topics: Personal Insurance, Historic Home, Alexandria VA, Homeowners Insurance, HO3 vs. HO5