Tips for Preventing Water Damage at Home

You’ve put a lot of time and effort into keeping your home clean and well protected but did you know that you could be making some mistakes in Centralia, IL that could lead to water damage later? Before you make some costly mistakes that could haunt you later, be sure to use these tips from Alcorn Insurance Agency today. 

  • Be sure to keep a close eye on your water bill. You should already know what a normal water bill looks like for you but if you notice an increase and you have not actually used more water than normal, then you have cause for concern. This could mean that there is a small leak somewhere and you will want to get it inspected before it becomes an even larger leak. 
  • Be aware of where you plant your trees and other foliage. While this is not something that can cause a water leak immediately, if you plant something in an area close to underground pipes, it will one day be an issue. Make sure you do not plant anything close to underground pipes because they will not move when roots reach them and it will cause a huge water issue that can be costly. Avoid this if possible and be careful of where you plant things. 

Other than using these tips and thinking ahead on any actions for your home, you also need to have a great home insurance policy in place so you can protect yourself in case water damage still happens. There is no way you can prevent it completely from happening so you want a home insurance policy. Whether you currently have one or not, be sure to contact Alcorn Insurance Agency serving Centralia, IL for more information and to get a free quote. 

Winter is Here! Is Your Home Ready?

Smart homeowners recognize the importance of preparing their home for winter. Winterizing a home not only takes the chill out of your indoor environment but can save you money on heating costs. The following tasks should be included in your winter prep plans.

Service Furnace

Before winter hits in earnest, take the time to service your furnace. Professional cleaning and maintenance will keep your furnace operating at top capacity all winter long. Regular maintenance will also extend the lifeline of your furnace to keep it running efficiently longer.

Prep Plumbing

Insulate your water pipes with foam insulation to keep them from freezing in winter. Pre-slit pipe insulation sleeves can be readily found in most hardware stores. Exposed water pipes will only cool down hot water as it passes through, wasting money on heat. By insulating pipes, you save on heating costs and reduce the risk of pipes bursting and causing interior and structural water damage. For added protection against the risk of water damage due to burst pipes, make sure you have water damage insurance coverage from Alcorn Insurance Agency in Centralia, IL.

Prep Fireplace

Get ready to enjoy the warmth of your fireplace by scheduling your annual fireplace inspection at the onset of winter. A professional inspection should include checking and cleaning the chimney to make sure your fireplace is safe to use throughout the season.

Seal Drafts 

Minimize drafts by caulking or weather-stripping windows and doors to seal leaks that allow cold air to seep into your home. If necessary, replace old, worn windows and doors that no longer provide the protection you need from severe cold. By upgrading windows and doors, you can create a warmer, more secure home environment.

Home winter prep includes updating home insurance coverage to meet your present needs.  For more information on home insurance options, contact Alcorn Insurance Agency in Centralia, IL.  


Preparing for the Winter in Centralia, IL

If you live in the city of Centralia, IL, you should make sure that you are familiar with home insurance as it operates in that city. You should know everything about your home insurance policy, and this applies some times more than others. It does apply a great deal during seasonal changes, which can be fairly extreme in the state of Illinois and can have an impact on your home.

There are things that you can do to prepare your home for the winter, however. For a comprehensive list of things to do, you should review your home insurance policy. This will tell you which types of damages are covered and which ones are not. Though there are several things that you should do around your home to be prepared, it is more important to take precautions against the events that will not be covered by home insurance.

One of the things that you should make sure to do is clean out the gutters and install gutter guards. If there is debris, such as sticks and leaves, clogging up the gutters, you can end up with ice damming, which is the result of the water being unable to go properly through the drainage system and ending up seeping into your house through the walls and ceiling when the debris prevents ice from being able to flow through. You should also make sure to repair handrails, steps, and holes and cracks in the walls and foundations. Indoors, you should make sure that your house is relatively warm and insulated, and that the pipes are not broken in any way.

If you live in Centralia, IL, you can benefit from contacting the professionals at Alcorn Insurance Agency and asking them about what you can do to make sure that your home is prepared for the winter. The agents at Alcorn Insurance Agency can answer any questions that you might have about home insurance and its importance in the Illinois winters.

Your Funtastic Fall To- Do List

Insuring a Loved One

People fall in love with their homes during the fall months. There is nothing better than coming home to a warm cup of mulled apple cider after a hard days work or a successful tailgating party. Coming in out of the cold renders visions of warmth, security and calm. It is what the residents of Centralia, Illinois dream of, work hard for and work hard toward.  At Alcorn Insurance Agency we respect your logistic loved one. Your home. By helping you provide insurance protection for your home so that you can enjoy it  worry free.

This Fall it is Important To…Have Fun While Checking Off a Few Important To Do’s

  • Make certain that leaf removal is thorough and complete. Instead of the boring chore this typically is, make it a challenge for your family by taking plenty of pictures while you all work together keeping your surroundings leaf free. Have a "Leaf Challenge".by giving out rewards for the "cleanest corner of the property", or the "fastest leaf remover", etc.
  • Putting away the lawn furniture can be another fun to-do list item. Most likely most of your neighbors are ticking off the same fall to-do list. why not join forces. An assembly line effort comprised of all of your neighbors will get those lawn chairs back in everyone’s storage shed faster than going it alone. After the lawn furniture is safe and secure in the shed have a Fun Fall Block Party of sorts featuring a pot luck dinner as a sort of farewell until spring gesture. 

Whether you make your home in Centralia, Illinois or in the surrounding areas that we serve at Alcorn Insurance Agency,  your fall to-do list can be fun. Why not give us a call to discuss your home insurance needs.    

Final Expenses and Life Insurance

The old saying is that the only two things assured things in life are death and taxes. While extremely cliché, death is one of the things that we will all have to face eventually. With this in mind, we need to think hard about what we leave behind for our family and loved ones.

According to national statistics, the average cost of a funeral in our country is currently somewhere between seven and ten thousand dollars. Keep in mind that this only accounts for the funeral services and burial alone, not the extra costs of arranging an estate, travel of family to the funeral, and other costs.  For the average American family, this is an incredible burden. 

Putting together a savings account for your funeral is not exactly a reasonable thing to do. However, a solid life insurance plan can go a long way in helping with this financial situation.

Life insurance comes in a wide variety of types and coverage levels. There are affordable coverage available for almost anyone who is looking for it. However, shopping for coverage on your own can be difficult and confusing, as the language in policies can be difficult to grasp. 

We here at the Alcorn Insurance Agency, serving the Centralia, IL area, are here to help you figure out exactly how much coverage you need and what will fit within your budget. We have experienced agents who can help you get quotes for different levels of insurance coverage. Contact us today to help you and your family have a peace of mind when it is time to take care of your final expenses. 

4 Benefits of Whole Life Insurance

When buying life insurance, there are several things to consider when choosing a policy. With so many options available, it can be confusing and overwhelming trying to choose the best insurance plan for you. However, there are several benefits whole life plans have over other life insurance plans. The following benefits of whole life insurance may help you decide why this may be the right policy for you.

Fixed Premiums
As a whole-life insurance policy holder you are given a cost from the insurer that allows you to pay a level and predictable premium throughout the life of your policy. Having a fixed premium cost makes it easier for you to plan your budget.

Lifelong Insurance Coverage
Just as the name implies, a whole life insurance plan is designed to provide insurance coverage your whole life. Unlike term life insurance policies that only offer coverage for a specified period of time. As long as your premiums are up to date, a whole life insurance policy does not expire.

Cash Value
One of the best features of a whole life insurance policy is the cash value. This means that the insurance premiums that are paid towards your plan accumulate into a cash balance that you can borrow. If you do decide to discontinue your policy, you may still have value in the insurance plan. However, this depends on how much cash value has accumulated in the policy.

Tax Deferrals
An added benefit of whole life insurance policies is that the growth of interest in the policy is tax deferred. Also, if you have a basic participating policy, all dividends that you receive are considered a return of premium and they will not be taxed until your total dividends exceed your total policies.

A whole life insurance policy encourages savings and there are flexible money options. The accrual nature of a whole life insurance plan offers several flexible future options should you decide to discontinue paying premiums. Keep in mind that there may be a waiting period before you can borrow against a cash value.

Residents of Tucson, AZ who are interested in reviewing their current life insurance policy or are interested in exploring the various whole life insurance policy options available, should contact Castillo & Associates Insurance.

Is Commercial Insurance Mandatory?

As a business owner in Centralia, IL, you may wonder if commercial insurance is actually mandatory. After all, if you don’t have to spend the money, why would you? The answer is going to vary based upon the type of business that you have and all that is going on with it.

Auto Insurance

Commercial auto insurance is a requirement if you have commercial vehicles. This is very similar to personal auto insurance. However, when it is being used for a commercial nature, you need to have the right insurance in place so that a claim does not get denied. You may be able to get discounts on this type of insurance if you have multiple vehicle or you purchase multiple types of commercial insurance policies from the same insurance company.

Liability Insurance

Some industries require you to have liability insurance, while others don’t. Even if it is not required of you, it can be extremely beneficial to have. You don’t want to run into a legal problem where you have to handle everything on your own. It can be business savvy to turn to an insurance company with an issue so that they pay all or most of the costs.

There are all sorts of other different types of commercial insurance that you can obtain as well. This includes property coverage, electronic data loss, and so much more. By working with an independent insurance agent, you can learn about the possibilities in order to get the right coverage for your business. You can learn what is mandatory and what is optional so that you can pick and choose in order to form the best policy at the best price.

Contact us at Alcorn Insurance Agency to learn more about commercial insurance as it pertains to your business.

Worst Case Scenarios: 5 Reasons You Need Umbrella Insurance

Like many people, you probably have homeowners insurance, auto insurance, and life insurance. You might feel that your current coverage protects you in the event of a problem. But does it give you enough coverage? Often, yes. Your homeowners insurance will cover many types of situations — to a point. Auto insurance will also cover you through most common scenarios. However, there may be instances where you need additional coverage. This can be had in the form of an Umbrella policy.

What Is An Umbrella Policy?

It’s extra protection. It protects your assets above and beyond your current home and vehicle coverage, up to the limit of the policy. It helps protect you in the event of a lawsuit due to a tragedy. It may cover legal expenses such as attorney fees. Here are five situations that an umbrella policy may help you through:

1. Bodily Injury Or Death In Your Home

It’s anyone’s worst nightmare. Someone visits your home and an accident occurs. If someone becomes severely injured or dies in your home, you may be held liable. Depending on the situation, you could be sued for wrongful death. While your homeowners insurance can help cover much of the costs involved, it may not be enough. 

2. An Automobile Accident

On the road, accidents happen. If you are in a car accident and are found at fault, you may be liable for damages, injury and more. Depending on the state you live in, the amount of coverage your auto insurance includes and other circumstances, a lawsuit or other action against you can be financially devastating. Umbrella insurance can give you piece of mind.

3. Accidents On Recreational Vehicles Such As Boats, Dirt Bikes, Etc.

4. Damage You May Cause To Someone Else’s Property

5. Libel Suites Or Other Lawsuits

Again, while you hopefully never need the extra protection of an Umbrella Policy, it does provide that protection, as well as peace of mind for you and your family. Talk to your local Alcorn Insurance Agency and find out if an Umbrella policy is right for you.

Boating in Centralia, IL: What you need to know about insurance

With warm summer temperatures, Centralia, IL can be a great place to live. It’s perfect for people who want to spend time on the water, too, but before you take that boat out you’ll want to make sure you have good insurance. Illinois has boating safety rules you must follow to protect yourself and others, and the state requires that you have insurance in case of an accident, fire, or other problem with your watercraft. You don’t just want to pick a policy and go, though. It’s important that you get a boating insurance policy that’s right for your needs.

Consider the size of your boat, how you use it, and who normally goes with you. Also consider the value of your boat, whether you’ve taken a safety course, and other things that might affect how much you would expect to pay for your boating insurance. Since there are many different options when you pick a policy, it’s important to talk with an agent who can help you make the right decision. Then you know you’re covered properly, and you can go out on the water and enjoy your boat without any worries about financial issues if there is a problem with your boat.

Before you take your boat out on the water for the first time this season, get in touch with the Alcorn Insurance Agency and get a policy. If you already have an insurance policy on your boat, it’s still a good idea to reach out to your agent. That way you can go over the coverage you have and see if anything needs to be changed. Knowing you have the right insurance policy for your boating needs in Centralia, IL can give you a lot of peace of mind, so you can just enjoy all that the summer and your boat have to offer.

3 ways to save money on your next move

When you’re moving, it can very easy to blow through thousands of dollars without really knowing where it all went.  Packing all of your possessions can take weeks, during which time you can find yourself running to the store on a daily basis for more supplies and other expenses.  There are ways to save some money when you move, however.  If you’re going to a new home in the near future, try these tips.

  1. Sell before you leave.  About two months before you plan on moving, have a yard sale to get rid of items that are too expensive or difficult to move.  For long moves, really think about the cost per pound to move various items in your home, versus how much it will cost to replace them.
  2. Clean out your closets.  If you haven’t used something in a year, then you don’t need to move it.  Try to sell it in your yard sale, or give it away to someone who can use it.
  3. Consider moving in stages.  If you have a local move, consider overlapping your leases or mortgages so that you can move small items, such as kitchen gear, ahead of hiring a moving company for the big stuff.  You’ll cut down on the amount you pay the moving company, and you can reuse your moving boxes.  This method takes a lot of planning, but it can save you hundreds of dollars.

Of course, if you really need to save money, look towards the amount you pay for your homeowner’s insurance.  Moving is a good time to look for a new policy.  Call Alcorn Insurance Agency to get a quote for a new policy.