Be a Responsible Dog Owner – 7 Tips to Follow to Avoid a Liability Claim

There are few furry companions in this world who can bring joy to your life as much as a dog. For dog lovers, your pets are as much a part of the family as any other member of the family! Along with the incredible fun of dog ownership comes responsibilities. Here are some tips to help you avoid a dog liability claim.

  1. Understand Your Dog Breed

Dog breeds all seem to represent one personality or another. Some are known for being more aggressive than others, however, even small dogs can nip. When you’re searching for a dog, or perhaps you have one already, pick up a dog book and read about the idiosyncrasies that the breed has.

  1. If adopting, talk to the adoption or dog’s caretaker about its behavior.

Adopting a dog is a wonderful gesture and you’re doing a great thing for the pet. You’re taking it out of a shelter and bringing it into your loving home. When you adopt a dog, it is important to talk to the caretaker about the dog’s behavior, interaction with kids as well as other dogs and even cats.

  1. Socialize Your Pet

Socializing your dog from a young age with other animals, children or the elderly can help your dog behave well around these different age groups and animals. It can also curb their aggression towards other animals.

  1. Obedience Training

Even if your animal doesn’t exhibit aggression towards other animals, obedience training can be a great way to train your dog. Obedience training can include a variety of things from command training to behavior, agility and overall better obedience.

  1. Keep Your Dog On A Leash

Most cities & states have some leash laws. These laws vary and you should check with your local municipalities for rules and regulations. These laws typically exist to keep people and wildlife safe. If you’re in a National Park, or State Park, chances are obeying laws here will keep you from being fined. Some states go as far as to charge the owners with misdemeanors for having a dog off leash in State Parks. Regardless if you are in a State Park or walking your neighborhood, keeping your dog on a leash keeps you in charge of your dog.

  1. Avoid leaving your pet unattended & always watch your dog when around children

Pets left unattended can exhibit behaviors that are not typical. If your pet is new to you, never leave a pet with a child unattended. A child could unintentionally agitate the animal, step on its paws or something else that causes the animal to react. If you leave your animal in the vehicle, be sure it is restrained and can’t nip at someone as they walk past. It’s always good practice to keep a close eye on your dog when it’s around small children. If you are closely watching, you can monitor your dog’s behavior & step in if you feel it’s uncomfortable around children.

  1. Monitor Your Dog’s Behavior

If you’ve noticed a change in your dog’s behavior, you should have it looked at. A dog who is sick, in pain or other can become aggressive even when their history says otherwise.

Owning a pet is a joy. Be a responsible pet owner and keep an eye on your animal at all times. Even the best dogs can exhibit bad behavior if they’re put in the wrong situation. We hope that you and your pet always have a great time, but in the event that your pet does cause an injury and claim having the right home or renters insurance policy can help protect you from a lawsuit. Talk to an agent today about protecting yourself from pet caused injury related claims.

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April Newsletter

Letter from Heuer

Greetings to our faithful readers. You may or may not have noticed, but we are a little behind with our newsletters. We have a lot going on here at Heuer Insurance and just haven’t had the time to reach out. We have some big staff announcements to share.

 

Anniversary Corner

Cheryl recently celebrated her 20th Anniversary with HIA! This is a major milestone and one that didn’t go unnoticed. We pulled the staff together for a celebration and presented Cheryl with a custom fire pit from Twisted Steel. Those of you that work with Cheryl know that she is truly one of the best this industry has seen. Please join me in congratulating Cheryl on her anniversary.

Gina, just today, celebrates her 8th Anniversary with HIA! Gina has been the master of first impressions with the agency for quite some time now and we couldn’t imagine anyone better at fielding calls, walk in clients and all the various tasks we throw at her on a daily basis. Please also join me in congratulating Gina.

 

Employee Spotlight

We have a new team member in our Commercial Lines Department. Jenelle comes to us with a couple years of experience and is eager to learn everything about the insurance industry. She has completed most her training and is off and running on her own. We have made a shift to the account split in the office and those of you that were affected have been notified. We are very happy to have Jenelle on the team and are confident you will enjoy working with her as well.

 

Industry 101 – 6 Tips for Preventing Water Damage from Appliances

Did you know that washing machines are one of the main sources of water damage to homes?  Others that top the list include hot water heaters and dishwashers. Fortunately, there are a few easy and inexpensive steps you can take help to prevent these types of losses:

  1. Check for leaks:  Thoroughly check the area around appliances for any signs of leaking every four months.
  2. Check supply hoses: Check the supply hoses regularly to ensure a tight connection, and no breaks or tears. It’s a good idea to replace supply hoses for washing machines and dishwashers every five years even if there are no signs of wear. Sometimes, wear only shows on the inside. Reinforced, steel braided hoses are recommended.
  3. Read the manual: Always refer to your manufacturer’s guidelines for types of soap and load recommendations for the washing machine and dishwasher. Most new washing machines require HE detergents.
  4. Flush your water heater: It is recommended to flush your water heater once per year to ensure you have fresh water and to remove sediment.
  5. Don’t leave running appliances unattended. Try to only operate washing machines and dishwashers when someone is at home.
  6. Replace hot water heater as needed. It’s recommended to replace the hot water heater when it is nearing the end of its life expectancy, even if there aren’t any problems. As the water heater ages, the risk of a slow leak or sudden burst increases.

Leak detection systems are a great tool to monitor your appliances, and even automatically shut off water in the event of a detected leak.  While there are expenses with a leak detection system, it might just score you a discount on your homeowners policy! Leak detection systems can be added to individual appliances or an entire house.

Of course, not all losses can be prevented, but following these tips should lower your chances of a loss. In the event of a water leak, it is important to know where your water shut-off valve is located so that water can quickly be turned off to minimize damage.

 

Calendar of Events

April 21st – Easter
May 12th – Mother’s Day
May 27th – Closed for Memorial Day
June 16th – Father’s Day

 

Everything You Need to Know About ATV Insurance

Four-wheelers, ATVs, UTVs, side-by-sides and more are so much fun! Some are used for work purposes such as around the farm or hunting, but many are used purely as a recreational vehicle for weekend fun! Regardless of how you use your ATV, you may want to consider an ATV insurance policy. We answer the most common questions that come up both in our office and around the country in the claims departments regarding ATV insurance.

Doesn’t My Home Insurance Cover This?

If your ATV is used only on your property and never off, then likely your home insurance policy will provide some coverage. It is always best to check with your insurance agent on how much coverage and what circumstances are or are not covered.

Is ATV Insurance Expensive?

ATV insurance is very inexpensive when compared to an auto insurance policy. In fact, it can be under a dollar a day. Talk to your insurance agent for a free insurance quote.

Am I required to have it?

Typically no. Just because you own an ATV doesn’t mean you need to have insurance on it. However, if you use your ATV on state lands, parks or other public areas, it would be incredibly unwise to operate your vehicle there and many state lands and parks will require riders to have the vehicle insured and licensed for use in the parks.

What discounts are available?

The most common discount available would be a multi-policy discount for insuring other products with the same company. For instance, if your home and auto insurance is already with an insurance company, that same company may offer you a discount on your new product.

My ATV Is customized, is there coverage for that?

Custom parts and equipment can be added to most policies. Some policies will even include some customer parts and equipment into your base rate. If your ATV is customized it is important to keep up to date documentation of custom parts in the event of a claim.

If you’d like a quote on your ATV/UTV or side-by-side, give us a call. Our licensed staff can quickly and easily help you decide what coverage and options are right for your situation.