Thinking Of Buying An Old or Historic Home? Consider This Before.

Older homes exude character. Not only do their walls tell a history, but often the character, details and warmth inside of one of these homes is unmatched in today’s quickly built society. Instead of taking months to build a single home by hand, entire neighborhoods can now be constructed in less time.  If you’re considering purchasing an older home, there are many things to consider during the search as well as when you’re ready to buy.

Outdated Electrical

Updating a home’s electrical system to a more modern electrical panel, grounded switches and updated in-wall wiring can be very expensive. According to Angie’s List, expect to pay anywhere between $8,000-15,000 for an average sized home. Additionally, you may require an upgraded service to the home which can add additional cost. Because you need to get into the walls, this also means repairing all the walls in the home that had to be cut out so you could run the new wiring and disconnect the old.

Outdated Plumbing

Older homes typically will have some form of older plumbing still in place even if the majority of the system was replaced. The most common ones are the sewer line, water supply line and, depending on when the system was updated, could even be out of date again. For instance, if galvanized pipes were replaced by Polybutylene piping in the 70’s, this would also need to be replaced.

Foundation

Depending on the home, it is possible the home doesn’t even have a foundation. Some older homes were built on post and pier meaning they don’t have a concrete foundation they sit on. This can make insuring a home more difficult. The simplest way to check for any foundation problems is to just walk the home. Do the floors feel crooked? Are doors difficult to close? Are there cracks in the walls? These are all signs that the home may have foundation issues.

Dry Rot

Throughout the life of any home, a leak will develop. Whether around a window, the foundation or the roof leaks occur. If a length of time goes when that leak is not detected the water can get into walls and stay wet for years. This can cause dry rot. Detecting dry rot can be difficult. Your best indicator may be your nose. Does it smell musty?

Mold

Mold goes hand in hand with dry rot. If water enters the home and things remain wet, mold can form. Again, use your nose and see if you can detect any musty odors.

Asbestos

Asbestos was a commonly used product in building materials in from the 1930s-1950s. It was used on everything from siding to ceiling and wall plaster materials to duct tape. While buying a home that contains asbestos isn’t necessarily bad as long as the product is not disturbed, it can cause a huge challenge and added cost if you plan to remodel. Do your research.

Lead Paint

Older homes built prior to 1978 have a high likelihood of containing lead based paint. While most have likely been painted over by now, it is important to understand that these paints can be dangerous if you plan to remodel or disturb them.

Insurance Costs

Generally speaking, it is possible that it will cost more to insure an older home. The only way to determine pricing on an individual home would be to get a quote on the specific address. You may find that it is less than insuring a newer home, so do your homework and work with an independent agent who can find you a great rate on your home insurance.

While older homes come with their challenges, it is usually impossible to recreate the charm, character and history these homes have. While you enjoy being a caretaker of this property we can help you protect it with a great home insurance policy.

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Heuer Insurance Agency’s June Newsletter

Greetings

We have had a lot going on the past few months and have struggled a bit to be consistent with our newsletter. We apologize for that and will strive to do better. Things here at the Agency continue to progress with our focus this year being automation. We are working hard on new ways to bring value to our clients while providing the same outstanding customer service you are accustomed to. Most of the changes will be ones you don’t see but on the back end will provide us with a more efficient way to service your accounts. We recognize that time is valuable and we want your interactions with our office to be as quick and efficient as possible. There will be more on this later. 

 

Industry 101

Wow it’s hot and dry out now… what a drastic change from the past few weeks. With all that rain we are sure to have an active fire season. We’ve talked in the past about defensible space between your house and flammable bushes, trees, or weeds and how important it is to keep your yard free of this overgrowth. Now is the perfect time to give your property a hard look again. Are you ready in case a wildfire gets too close to your house?   Besides the whole defensible space conversation, here are “Ten Tips for Wildfire Safety” in the event a fire is coming your way.
    1). Turn a light on in each room
    2). Close all windows, doors and fireplace dampers
    3). Remove curtains and flammable materials from windows
    4). Turn off all pilot lights and shut off propane tanks and natural gas
    5). Seal attic and ground vents
    6). Place outside furniture inside
    7). Prop a ladder against the house for easy access to roof
    8). Connect garden hoses to outside taps
    9). Wet the roof and shrubs within 15 feet of all structures
  10). Continually check the roof, attic and yard for embers, smoke and fire for at least 12 hours

In the event of a loss, call us as soon as possible!   And good luck!

 

Anniversary Corner

Rhonda celebrated her 7th year with Heuer Insurance on May 29th. Rhonda is a true professional when it comes to Personal Lines Insurance and we are incredibly lucky to have her on our team. Thank you Rhonda!

 

Employee Spotlight

It’s with great pleasure (and some sadness) that after 41 glorious years Debi has decided to retire. Fortunately, she has agreed to transition out slowly and will be working 2 days a week for the foreseeable future. This email would be far too long if I took the time to list out all of the great things Debi has done for the Agency over the years. The Heuer Insurance Agency will be forever grateful for the years of hard work, dedication and loyalty that Debi given us all these years.

Debi – we wish you a long and happy retirement!

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Home Insurance Can Give you More than Just Coverage for Your Home

We typically purchase homeowners insurance to protect our largest investment – our home. But homeowners, and often condo and renters insurance too, includes many other items besides your home. Let’s take a look at just a few items that might be covered by your homeowners insurance carrier.

While some premier insurance home insurance companies automatically include some of these, others may be available by endorsement. It’s best to talk to us about your policy and what coverage is included.

Personal Property Replacement

Your home insurance will typically provide insurance protection for up to 50 to 70% of the replacement cost of the structure. For instance, if your replacement cost of the home is $150,000, your policy would include $75,000 for your personal possessions such as clothing, computers and such. Keep in mind, jewelry, art and furs would require a special endorsement.

Animal Bites

If you own an animal, it is possible that animal could cause harm to someone visiting your home or while you’re away at a park. Regardless of where the bite occurs, your home insurance policy can provide you with liability insurance coverage to help cover the injured party medical bills as well as any settlement or attorney’s fees.

Identity Theft

Identity theft is a growing problem in the United States. Typically an endorsement, this coverage would help with expenses you incur trying to get your stolen identity back in order and your credit ironed out.

Theft of Items from a car while in transport

If you’re transporting a home item such as a television or even an expensive purse in your car and it is stolen, your auto insurance policy won’t cover it. A home insurance policy can, however. Consider carefully whether or not it would be worth turning in a claim, however, as a deductible and claim on your record could make it a wash, or put you in a worse situation come renewal time.

Additional Living Expenses

If your home is damaged by a covered loss and is unlivable some insurance companies will pay for your room & board while the home is being repaired.

Extra Coverage Availability

By purchasing a high limit home insurance & auto insurance policy together, you become eligible for an umbrella insurance policy. These policies offer additional liability protection if your home or auto insurance policy is exhausted. They’re typically inexpensive and quotes take just a couple minutes.

The coverages above may not be available from all insurance companies and options vary by state. To find out if your home insurance company offers the above benefits, you should talk your agent at Heuer Insurance Agency or review your insurance policy.

Heuer Insurance Agency in Sparks has worked with a variety of clients in the Reno area over the years and we are confident in our ability to meet your personal or business insurance needs. We understand how important an insurance policy can be and we take time to match each of our clients with the perfect insurance policy. Whether you are looking for auto insurancerenters insurancehomeowners insurance, or life insurance we can help you. Not only can we provide you with each of these personal insurance policies, but we can also help you find a general liability policy, workers compensation policy or commercial building insurance policy. Give us a call at 775-358-5554 or visit us.

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Why Dwelling Fire Insurance Is More Important Than You Think

fire

Most people don’t like spending extra money, which means sometimes they skimp on insurance coverage. This may not seem like a big problem, but if you don’t have the right amount of insurance coverage, you’re running a huge risk.

One coverage option that you shouldn’t neglect is dwelling fire insurance. Here’s what you should know about this insurance policy.

What is Dwelling Fire Insurance?

Dwelling fire insurance is coverage designed to protect properties that are not owner occupied. It provides coverage for the home, garage, and other structures on the property like sheds if there is a fire.

How Much Danger Are You In Without This Coverage?

According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were 369,500 home fires in 2013 alone. These fires resulted in a whopping $6.8 billion in damages (and that number doesn’t account for indirect losses such as business interruption).

As you can see from the numbers, home fires, unfortunately, are relatively common and incredibly costly. If you own multiple properties and rent them out as part of your business, you could lose millions of dollars in investments and future business opportunities. Without the right insurance coverage, you could have serious trouble rebuilding your business or regaining your investment.

What Protection Does A Dwelling Fire Insurance Policy Provide?

Dwelling fire insurance policies are designed to protect the structure of the home as well as other structures on the property. It does not cover personal property inside the home.

If you are a landlord, it is essential to invest in dwelling fire insurance, but you should also require your tenants to carry a renters insurance policy that protects their belongings in the event of a fire.

Who Needs Dwelling Fire Insurance?

Dwelling fire insurance is particularly valuable for landlords because the properties they own represent not only a major investment, but in some cases, a major source of income.

When someone else loses their home, it can be devastating, but they still have a job. Without this coverage, landlords could lose their investment properties in addition to losing their job and main source of income.

Landlords should also invest in this insurance policy because they may have a greater risk of losing a property to a home fire. Even if the tenants are responsible, most tenants do not care for a home they are renting the way they would care for a home they own. They may be more likely to leave the stove on, ignore problems with wiring, or forget to tell the landlord about a clogged filter or vent. This can result in more risk for home fires.

If you are not a landlord, but you still own property that you don’t reside in (such as a vacation home) you should still check with your insurance agency and determine what kind of additional coverage you need.

Don’t risk losing your major investments or your source of regular income. Invest in dwelling fire insurance today.

To learn more about insurance coverage options, and dwelling fire insurance in particular, visit Heuer Insurance.

 

 

How Can I Manage Stress At Work?

stress

Did you know that more than one third of American workers suffer from chronic work-related stress? Aside from being harmful to both your physical and emotional health, this stress is costing American businesses millions – even billions – of dollars per year in medical bills and hours lost of work.

 

Unfortunately, not all organizations provide sufficient resources to help you effectively manage your stress. Instead, you’re expected to do more with less, further adding to your list of current stressors. Other common factors that add to stress in the work place are:

 

  • Low salaries
  • Excessive workloads
  • Little chance of growth or advancement
  • Unchallenging work or assignments
  • Little social support
  • Little control over job-related decisions
  • Conflicting demands
  • Unclear performance expectations
  • Performance standards
  • More

 

Thankfully, there are steps you can take to deal with your work-related stress in healthy, effective ways. Here are the top five:

 

1. Schedule appropriately

Contrary to common belief, working tirelessly for eight to ten hours a day does not help you get things done. In fact, these only add to stress, lower productivity and steal energy that you could be spending with family or friends after work. Instead, take scheduled breaks throughout the day to clear built up stress, rejuvenate and refocus.

2. Deter Distractions

You’ve probably noticed that throughout the day, you’re bombarded with texts, emails, phone calls, unscheduled meetings, urgent deadlines and more. This adds an immense amount of distraction to our days, which inevitably leads to higher stress. Consider only answering emails or responding to texts during specific times throughout the day. Set up walk-in hours to your office and have “silent” hours during the day.

3. Know What You Can Control

There are some factors in our day that we simply cannot control. On the other hand, there are also several factors you can control. If you begin to feel angry, overwhelmed or stressed, take a moment for a few deep cooling breaths – through your mouth, out your nose – and think about how you’re responding to the current situation.

4. Have Priorities

Create a to-do list that focuses on the projects or deadlines that have the most impact on your current job tasks. It’s important to not over-load this list, however, as you’ll likely feel more stressed if you end the day having only achieved a fraction of your list. Be realistic with yourself and your work load and prioritize appropriately.

5. Change Your Mindset

It’s all too easy to be hard on our selves. In fact, with more than 60,000 thoughts streaming through our brains a day, it’s no wonder we internalize negativity and stress. Instead of being your own worst critic, try to be positive and pump yourself. If necessary, consider making a list at the end of every day of all the things you accomplished – this will motivate you in the days to follow and it will positively influence those around you.

 

If you’re suffering from chronic stress don’t let concerns over proper insurance coverage add to the load. Contact Heuer Insurance Agency today. They can create a personalized plan that will help ease life stressors and get you on the right path to stress-free living.

 

 

June’s Blog – Mom’s on the Run and the Miracle Madness

Welcome back.  As I write this blog this afternoon, the 3 time World Series Champions SF Giants are playing and SF needs a WIN!  Even more important than that, our Vice President, Mr. Adam Heuer, recently presided over the Reno South Rotary’s most improved student banquet where some very deserving  local high school kids get awarded Scholarships as the Most Improved Student of their respective school.  Just hearing these kids’ stories is heartwarming and a tear jerker.  I attended one of the preliminary events and it was nothing short of AWESOME!  I really invite you to check out Rotary’s website at www.renosouthrotary.org . Adam’s year of Presidency is almost over and he has received huge compliments of a job well done.

 

Heuer Insurance LOVES to be involved in the community, so look for us out there and let us know what charity YOU support and maybe we can join in and help, maybe even a matching funds type of deal, if it was done right and still affordable, I think it would be a great way to help local nonprofit groups, that are important to you.

 

This August, one of our most valued Team members celebrates their 29th anniversary of working at Heuer Insurance, and for their clients.  If you get a chance, send her a quick email or better yet give her a call and congratulate her personally.  LaRee Cobb is in our personal lines department and has served our clients for a LONG LONG time!  Great job LaRee, here’s to 29 more fabulous years!!

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I would also like to talk briefly about keeping your dollars local, and as a business owner I can tell you how much we appreciate your dollars staying local.  My FAVORITE store to spend my local dollars, is Scheels Outfitters in Sparks.  Out of all the stores I used to frequent, these guys have it going on!  Whether it’s a blue shirt associate or a white shirt, they always care about the customer.  I LOVE it when you walk in and are greeted by one of the associates at the cash registers…..it makes you feel local and glad you are.  I would also like to personally thank, and give a loud shout out, to the manager of the fishing department…Chris Pyra.  I promise you, if you need help, or have a tough question, this guy can help!  Great job Chris and Scheels, you are both a credit to the concept of spending your dollars locally. Thank you for taking the time to read our most recent publication, we appreciate each and every one of you. Larry Heuer

This month we also want to highlight some activities that our team supports, first, Debi Baucom has a short blurb about her experience with the annual Mom’s on the Run Fundraiser:

 

The ladies in my family and I proudly sign up for Moms On The Run every year.  It is always held on Mother’s Day.  This was their 15th year.  Moms On The Run is a non-profit organization created by hard working, caring people of the Reno community. They financially assist local patients during treatment for breast and gynecological cancers when it can be very difficult to pay living expenses.  All donations stay in Northern Nevada.  This event offers a 3k/5k Walk and 5k/10k Run as well as a Bon Bon Stroll and Kidlet’s Race.  Please visit their website www.momsontherun.info to get involved!  I would encourage anyone to help in this endeavor, and I would like to thank my family and Heuer Insurance for getting involved in this important organization.

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Secondly, our newest team member Mike Powell was involved with the Miracle Madness Charity and he would like to tell you about it:

 

I recently participated in the Miracle Madness charity event hosted by Phi Delta Epsilon at the University of Nevada-Reno. It was an amazing event created to raise money for the Renown Children’s Miracle Network and they helped raise more than $10,000! The dance marathon hosted several local bands and dance crews and a carnival themed walkway full of face painting, pie throwing, and bounce houses! Kids of all ages joined in the festivities; unaware of the impact they were having on the lives of the hundreds of kids who pass through the children’s hospital. It was a fun loving event with great intentions and I enjoyed being able to participate this year!  Heuer Insurance Agency and I encourage others to get involved and help make a difference!

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Tips to Prevent Theft From Your Car

Welcome back and thanks again for supporting Heuer Insurance Agency.  Let’s talk prevention this time.  One of the most common claims we are seeing is a huge increase in THEFT from  a parked car…  We all heard during the holiday season about how to be safe while Christmas shopping and where to park your car and how to stash your purchases out of sight.  What I didn’t hear talked about was what could be done to limit or stop it altogether.  These claims have far reaching consequences.  Did you know that if you have property stolen out of your car, you will most likely have a Homeowners claim, and the resulting deductible, as well as an automobile claim and following deductible.  That can be a lot of money, and two hits on your insurance record.  What is the EASIEST way to prevent these theft claims???  EASY; don’t leave valuables in your car, no matter how long it is parked, or where it is parked. Unless it’s in your garage, you stand a greater chance of a theft than ever before.   I’ve seen claims where people had $10,000 in property left in their cars, CRAZY!   Thieves have perfected ways to enter your car and sometimes without visible evidence of how they broke in.  They too are getting smarter, and now it’s OUR turn, don’t make it so easy on the bad guys.  Just don’t leave any valuables in your car when you aren’t there….EVER!   Another easy way to prevent break ins is to lock your doors. We still see claims where keys were left in a car, or a garage door was left open, don’t make it easy to become a victim…stand up for yourself and your property, all it takes is a little extra care, and believe me, you will be glad you did!  Stay safe… ALSO – Have you heard about our new referral program for 2015??? If not, be sure to give you agent a call today. There is a lot up for grabs this year and we want to be sure you get your piece of the pie!

God Bless America!

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Is Buying a New Home the Right Choice for Me?

buying a new home

Buying a home is a huge decision, and whether you are buying a brand new home, or buying a previously lived in home it will be a difficult choice to make. As you decide whether or not to purchase a home, there are several factors you should keep in mind.  Here is a quick guide to the pros and cons of buying a new home.

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Summertime Safety Tips and Claim Prevention

Hot enough for you outside this week?  Wow….Northern Nevada hasn’t seen this kind of heat for a couple of years and until you are used to it, it can be just miserable, let alone deadly for pets and the Elderly.  JUST DO NOT leave pets, or Children, in cars, and if you have an elderly family member or neighbor, be sure to check in on them and if you can, donate a fan to them!  For this months blog,  thought I would talk about some of the more common claims we are seeing right now in the Agency, and maybe we can learn something here and prevent a claim in your life…. Read more

Top 5 Places to Visit in Nevada

If you live in Nevada, you’ve probably visited most of the tourist sites, i.e. Las Vegas. Here are some other beautiful (and natural) sights to see in the silver state.

Valley of Fire

This state park of 79 years has the longest history in the state, and there’s plenty to do and see. Go camping, hiking, or petroglyph-hunting – there are 3,000 year old ones to be found!

Valley of Fire

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