Tips for Filing a Homeowners Insurance Claim

No one wants to have to file an insurance claim, but if you need to do so, there are steps you can take to make this process go more smoothly. In this article, we will talk about some of the things you can do to make filing a claim easier.

Take Inventory

Before disaster strikes, make sure to have a list of the things you have in your home. Grab a video camera, and use it to take stock of your possessions, and make sure to take photographs of your property from different angles. It also helps to mark your high-value items in ways that will make them identifiable to you later. If you have antiques or fine art, you should have these appraised, and you should keep your insurance policy, appraisal, and your inventory records in a secure place away from your home.

Filing Your Claim

It is important to make your claim as soon as you can. You will need to submit your proof of loss, and after that, your insurance company has 30 days to approve or deny your claim, unless there is a mitigating circumstance preventing them from doing so. You can hire your own appraiser if you’re at odds with your insurance company over the value of your claim, and you can hire an attorney to represent your best interests. The insurance company will need to notify you in writing every 30 days if the claim is still ongoing.

Dern & Company Provides Homeowners Insurance

Residents of Milwaukee, WI are not required by law to have homeowners insurance, but their lenders will usually require them to do so. Homeowners insurance protects your assets by providing compensation when your home is damaged by vandalism or natural disasters, and it will provide liability coverage in certain situations. Dern & Company has experience serving the Milwaukee, WI area and even Denver, CO, and we invite you to call or stop by the office to get a quote on a homeowners insurance policy today!

 

The Underwriting Process for Wisconsin Commercial Insurance Policies

Businesses have to deal with certain liabilities, and the costs associated with them can be damaging to their future. If you don’t have a policy to cover these liabilities, you may have to pay for any costs that can be associated with these types of perils. It can include any accidents that can occur at your place of business, and it may also include any legal fees that you may incur during the defense of a lawsuit. These costs could be high enough to put you under financial hardship, and it can lead to bankruptcy.

Standards of Insurance Underwriting

Each insurance company will have its own set of standards when it comes to commercial insurance underwriting. The process is meant to determine if your business is eligible for a policy, and it’s used to determine the premium that you’ll have to pay to keep it in force. An insurance company will have certain tables that can be used to determine your overall risk, and it will use that information to put you in a certain classification. It will look at the nature of your business, and it will charge you a rate that’s based on the group in which you’re placed.

If you have been sued or had a legal claim filed against you, you could pay a higher rate, and your classification can increase as well. In the State of Wisconsin, insurance companies are required to give you at least a 60-day notice if they decide to increase your rate by more than a certain percentage.

Purchasing Commercial Liability Insurance

Businesses are concerned about certain liabilities, so they look for ways to control their costs. If you live in Milwaukee, WI and need a commercial insurance policy, then you need to get in touch with Dern & Company. We have agents who would be more than happy to talk to you about your commercial insurance needs, and they have years of combined experience in the laws and regulations that apply to the State of Wisconsin. That’s why so many people in Milwaukee, WI rely on Dern & Company to help them find a policy that they can afford.

If you want to find a commercial insurance policy for your specific needs, get in touch with us by phone or an office visit today! We will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

What You Should Know About Driving After Age 70

There is good news for drivers who are senior citizens. According to the State of Wisconsin’s Department of Transportation, 1 out of 3 drivers is over the age of 55 and they are statistically considered the safest demographic on the road due to their experience and level of responsibility. That being said, it is important that senior drivers keep their driving skills up to date because according to the same source people over the age of 75 are actually more likely to be in an auto accident and more likely to sustain serious injuries during said accident. We care about our seniors in the Milwaukee, WI area and want to keep you up to date on what you need to know.

Keeping Safe on the Road is Vital for all Ages 

Dern & Company knows that information is power. So the more information people have about the top causes of traffic incidences in each age group the more likely they can be avoided. As people continue to drive over age 70, they need to be aware of any health issues that may arise that make driving difficult. For example, if a driver has not had an eye test in a few years, they may not be aware that their sight is a risk to their safety on the road. A pair of glasses could be an easy fix that can save a life and prolong driving years. Medications are another risk for drivers of all ages, if a doctor changes the dose or prescribes a new medication it is vital to make sure to read the precautions and take the first few doses without driving, just in case. Knowledge of your capabilities and how to fix any safety issues can mean a longer lifespan.

Contact us at Dern & Company for all of your insurance needs in and around Milwaukee, WI. We want to help all of our customers enjoy the privilege of driving for as long as possible.

Is Your Home Ready for Spring?

It may have been a cold winter in Milwaukee, WI but the warmer weather of spring is just around the corner. Even if you are already prepared for spring and are patiently waiting for it to arrive, your home may not be in the same condition. As a homeowner, there are a few things you need to do to ensure that your home is ready for spring. Use these tips from Dern & Company to get you started. 

  • De-winterize your home. if you took the time to winterize your home before the colder weather hit, then you also need to de-winterize it now that spring is coming. 
  • Do some spring cleaning. Take the crisp, fresh air and channel it into cleaning inside your home. You will be amazed by home much better you feel once it is done. Not to mention, it will look great as well. 
  • Get your HVAC checked. Now is the perfect time to ensure that all of your air conditioning hardware is working correctly. The last thing you want is to need it on a hot day only to find out that it is broken. 
  • Plant some flowers. Spring is not complete without flowers so if you have some yard space you can plant some, then take advantage of it and plan an afternoon of planting. You will love the way it looks when everything starts blooming right outside of your windows.

Even if you do all of these things, your home is not fully protected without a home insurance policy. You need to go ahead and get a great home insurance policy if you do not already have one. Contact Dern & Company, serving Milwaukee, WI, to get a free quote that fits within your budget and meets your needs. 

Tips to Avoid Hydroplaning

Driving in rainy weather conditions can be dangerous in the Milwaukee, WI area because hydroplaning can occur. Hydroplaning can happen when there is standing water on the road and sufficient speed that causes your tires to lose contact with the road. A loss of road contact results in a loss of ability to steer and brake. The loss of control feeling often causes drivers to panic and overcorrect, which can lead to an out of control car.

Avoid Hydroplaning

If you’re traveling in the rain, do not use the cruise control so you can stay aware of your speed and adjust as needed. Make sure your tires have adequate tread and rotate your tires regularly to maintain even wear and maximize the life of your tires. Replace tires when the tread is getting low. The better the tread, the more efficiently the tire will push rain and snow out of the way. Avoid standing water on the road and pay attention to cars in front of you to see how much water is coming from their tires.  It will help you know when you need to slow down.

Handling Hydroplaning

Remain calm because hydroplaning tends to be a short situation and that feeling of a loss of control will be short. Do not panic and hit the brakes. Gently lift your foot off the gas to allow the weight of the front of the car to bring things back under control. Avoid over-correcting by gently steering in the direction you need to go. 

Dern & Company

We have been providing auto insurance coverage to those in the Milwaukee, WI area for over 25 years. Dern & Company agents are experienced and are here to help you find the auto insurance policy that’s perfect for your situation.

3 Reasons to Find a High Quality Home Insurance Company

For homeowners of all kinds, finding a high-quality home insurance company should be at the top of the priority list. In addition to purchasing sufficient coverage, you want to take the time to research and ensure that the company you opt to purchase your policy from as it has the propensity to either negatively or positively influence the situation. In light of this, the following is a closer look at three reasons to find a high-quality home insurance company for those who live in Milwaukee WI.

Longevity

Firstly, one of the top reasons to find a high-quality home insurance company is because they typically have longevity. In the age of the internet, it is too easy for someone to set up a company and begin conducting business. Not all insurance companies are created equal, and by taking some time to research the company before doing business with them, you will save yourself the hassle of being left scrambling to find a new company at the last minute.

Rates

In addition to that, rates also vary from agency to agency. Be sure to check to rates of the insurance companies and inquire about how and why they may fluctuate over time.

Customer Service

Lastly, customer service agents are the driving force behind most companies. Be sure to inquire about their general level of service as subpar service can become quite costly over time.

For those seeking high-quality home insurance, Dern & Company is an excellent option. A premier company located in Milwaukee, WI, we here at Dern & Company remain dedicated to providing you with customer service as outstanding as our rates. Contact us today!

Tips for Keeping Your Pipes Warm this Winter

There are some pretty cold nights in Milwaukee, WI. Even if you are staying warm inside, you may still be setting yourself up for bigger problems. When temperatures get below freezing, pipes are prone to freezing. If this happens, you will have a huge mess on your hands once they defrost. Not only that, it can be costly to fix. Use these tips to ensure your pipes are warm this winter and avoid the hassle. 

Insulate Your Pipes

If you have pipes that are exposed to the outside, you need to insulate them so they can stay a bit warmer. You can get insulation for pipes at our local hardware store. Make sure these are on your pipes before they have a chance to freeze.

Let Faucets Drip

When temperatures are going to get below freezing, you should let a faucet or two drip throughout the night. It does not have to be a stream of water, just a steady drip. Just do not let it drip too much or you will spend too much on your water bill. The constant flow of water will prevent it from being able to freeze during the night. 

Use the Heat Inside Your Home

You are probably already heating the inside of your home when it is that cold outside so use it to warm your pipes. You can leave the cabinet doors open to exposed pipes to let the heat get to them so they can avoid freezing. 

Another great way to protect yourself from mishaps in your home is a great home insurance policy. If you do not already have one, contact our office serving Milwaukee, WI. We can take a look at some options that will best protect your home while still fitting into your budget. 

What Milwaukee WI Homeowners Need To Know

If you’re looking to buy a home in Milwaukee, WI, there are a few things you’re going to need to know before you put your money down:

  • Your home can suffer some pretty serious weather damage. Wisconsin is one of those states that really gets the seasons in spades. Falls are beautiful, Winters are snowy, Summers are hot and Springs are rainy. This means that you need to protect your home against all of the elements. Dern & Company can help you to get a great insurance policy, but you’ll get more discounts the better you take care of your home, so invest in the right siding, roofing, storm windows and so on.
  • The safer your home, the lower your insurance. It’s not just the neighborhood you’re in, it’s whether or not you have a burglar alarm or monitored system, whether or not you have any surveillance equipment and so on. Any policy you buy through Dern & Company, you’re more likely to get some great discounts if you’ve taken some measures against theft and burglarly.
  • Prepare for salty air. Living right by one of the great lakes is the next best thing to living right on the beach, but the salty air can do some serious damage to the surface and even the structure of your home. Invest in some protective primers and siding to keep the salt from taking hold of your home and chewing it up.

Milwaukee WI is one of the best cities in the US for homeowners. The city is not as pricey as, say, NYC or San Francisco, it stays close to its working class roots, but it is also more pleasant than many other parts of WI.

How to protect your home during the winter

Winter can be such a harsh time of the year. Especially in Milwaukee, WI, because of all the snow that is produced. Dern & Company has come up with some ways to protect your home during the winter.

First, it is important to keep your pipes warm and that can be done by keeping the water running when temperatures get really low. Burst pipes can be really expensive. Also, wrapping the pipes with insulation can help. Also, avoid ice damage by making sure ice dams do not form by keeping your attic cold, sealing holes from light fixtures, and ceiling fans. It is also important to protect the outside of your home by cleaning gutters so water does not back up and freeze. Trim low hanging tree branches that can freeze and break off causing damage to your home or even power lines.

Next, check your roof for snow accumulation because if it starts to build up then it could collapse. Also, purchase a carbon-monoxide detector because it is one of the biggest winter damages. It is caused by improper ventilation of furnaces, generators, and charcoal burning devices. It would also be a good idea to purchase a generator that can keep your heat and power going, as well as a sump pump. It can also help to install storm windows or covering them with plastic from the inside to keep the cold air out. Make sure you have homeowners insurance on your home to protect you from a winter disaster. It’s easy to find the best coverage for your budget by comparing insurance quotes with Dern & Company in Milwaukee, WI online in minutes.

Some easy ways to burglar-proof your home

Popular Mechanics, quoting Department of Justice statistics, notes that 1.7 million home burglaries took place in 2014 with the resulting loss of $3.9 billion worth of property. The article lists a number of easy ways to make your home more burglar proof.

Secure your doors by strengthening the deadbolt lock or by installing a smart keyless lock. Some of the smart locks that are controlled by a phone record the date and time when the lock is opened.

Install a home alarm system. An alarm service will have a monthly fee but will offer the feature of alerting the police if someone breaks into your home. Cheaper, peel and stick alarms are also available to install on your doors and windows.  These emit a piercing sound if opened.

A lot of people use a stick of wood or a broom handle to secure a patio door, but it looks ugly and has to be removed every time you use the door. Consider installing a patio door lock that works like a dead bolt.

You should remove hiding places around the house by keeping trees and bushes trimmed. You can also install motion sensor lights around your house that trip on automatically when an intruder is detected.

A new product called the Ring has been introduced that allows you to know whenever anyone rings your doorbell and to communicate remotely with your smartphone. Some thieves will ring the doorbell to make sure no one is home before breaking in. The Ring fools the would-be criminal into thinking you’re at home when you may be miles away. Also, you can install webcams inside your home to detect and record intruders so they can be identified by law enforcement. 

For your home insurance needs contact Dern & Company serving Milwaukee, WI.