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Henry D Young Inc interviewed about keeping insurance clients informed during disasters using social media

Carol Y Reese, CIC, CRM, owner of Henry D. Young, Inc. Insurance Agency, was interviewed recently for an article by Rick Morgan, Chairman the  Independent Agents & Brokers of America’s Agents Council for Technology on how insurance agencies handled communication with clients and their communities during the recent disasters on the east coast using social media. 

She was quoted in the article as follows about the unique value of social media:  “I feel that social media is a great way to get information out to people immediately to help them deal with disasters and their aftermath.  It also shows the community that we care about what may be happening to them and are here to help them get through the claim process and disaster recovery.”

Asked how agencies can stand out with their communications, she said that “We mainly posted information on our Facebook page and blog.  We posted information such as how to contact us during and after hours, where to find claim reporting information on our website and how to file a cliam online or at our service center if we were closed.  We also posted useful links to local, state and national information to help people through the disaster, cleanup and claims process.  We are a small town of 5000 people, so we see many of our customers on the street and do a lot of walk-in business.  They verbally told us how appreciative they were for the information when we would see them around town.  I also think it’s important to post other things about thanking our first responders for being there for all of us and the photo of our t-ball field (under water).  It makes our Facebook page more interesting, I feel, not just totally informational.”

To read the entire article with interviews from our agency and other insurance agencies on the east coast, click here.

Carol handles all aspects of Henry D Young Inc’s social media presence and has helped many other businesses and organizations in her community set up their own social media presence.  She believes that it is very important for all of the businesses and organizations in a small community to participate in social media together to support each other and to gain a larger presence as a whole inside and outside the community by showcasing the uniqueness of its main street businesses in order to compete with the much larger chain stores, online businesses, and direct mail.  She also takes photographs around town for the Salem Main Street Facebook page to promote her community of Salem, Salem County, NJ and its businesses.

For more information about how Henry D Young, Inc communicates with our clients, or to find out how to become a client yourself, please give us a call at 856-935-0845, or visit our website at www.hdyoung.com.  You can also find us on Facebook, follow @hdyoungins on Twitter, and read our other blog posts for more information.

Henry D Young Inc is a TrustedChoice® Insurance Agency located in Salem, New Jersey.

Insuring Your Desktop of Laptop Computer

You have a computer. So who doesn’t? According to the latest reports, the vast majority of Americans have at lest one personal computer at home. And many count themselves among the “multi-wired” households, with one or more PCs, handhelds (such as Palms or pocket PCs), set-top boxes, Internet access, and a fast-growing minority have enough equipment to have installed home networks to tie everything together. Add in a few beepers and cell phones and we are talking significant value!  

 With this much money tied up in such items, can you count on your homeowners insurance to step in if you suffer a loss? 

Looking at a standard policy, the answer is affected by several factors. 

Perhaps the major question is how much do you use these devices for business purposes? A typical homeowners policy limits coverage to $2,500 total for items used primarily for business purposes. Note the key word is “primarily.” 

Doing your taxes or bringing home some work is not enough to make your PC subject to the business property limit. But for the many people that have set up a home-based office, either for regular telecommuting or for an in-home business, the $2,500 limit will kick in. And also note the limit applies to all such property. Include your filing cabinets, office furniture, printer, fax machine, bookshelves or whatever else makes up your business at home and the $2,500 limit is usually met rather easily.

 But here’s the real kicker – if you use that business notebook (or “laptop”) computer while away from your home, the business property limit drops to $1,500 (if you have a car accessory to power the device). That limit also includes any accessories to be used with the computer, such as a portable printer, projector, external drive or zip disks. 

A second consideration is what causes of damage are covered?

 In a standard policy, first see what specific covered causes (known as “perils”) are listed. Simple breakage is not included. Anyone who has ever accidentally dropped their laptop knows that sinking feeling of wondering if they have seen the last spark of life from their trusted companion. 

Another possibility not typically covered is power surges or spikes. If one of these occurs and fries your computer’s circuits, there will be no payment for the damage under your policy. 

 So how can you be sure to get the best coverage for your computer? First, talk to your local Trusted Choice® insurance professional about what options are available under your current coverage to tailor it to best fit your particular equipment and needs. The answers are different depending upon whether business is involved or if all of your computing power is for personal use and entertainment. Standard endorsements to your policy are available to raise the internal limits (such as the $2,500 and $1,500), and/or broaden the perils provided by the policy (either for all your property or just the computer and accessories). 

Also don’t overlook the good habits of computer usage that have nothing to do with your insurance, but might either prevent the loss or make it less painful.

  • Find a decent backup program and use it faithfully. Keep the backup disks somewhere besides your home. If the whole house burns down, that set of regular backups you kept in your downstairs closet isn’t going to be of much help.
  • Purchase an adequate surge protector and plug your computer and all of your peripherals into it. Consider getting one that also has a place to plug the phone line coming from your wall jack. Power surges and lighting can travel over phone lines as well as power cords.
  • If you travel with a notebook computer, take precautions to protect it from being damaged or stolen.

 For more ideas, read through the documents that came with your computer, log onto the manufacturer’s website, and check with many of the other help sites pertaining to computers or your type of business. And don’t forget to ask your Trusted Choice® insurance professional. While he or she has expertise in helping you arrange coverage for your potential claims, you might be surprised how much they know about preventing them! 

After all, the best possible claim is the one that never happens!  

The above information is courtesy of Trusted Choice®. For more information about coverage for your home and/or business computers, please give us a call at 856-935-0845, or visit our website at www.hdyoung.com.

Henry D Young Inc is a TrustedChoice® Insurance Agency.

The information in this article is meant as a guideline only and is provided by. There is nothing in this article that alters the coverage or interpretation of any specific policy. Because some statements are generalizations, and because different companies’ policies contain slight differences, please refer to your specific policy. Call our office before making any judgements or decisions concerning your particular situation and coverage that may, or may not, apply.

Does your insurance policy cover satellites falling from space?

You may be wondering today if your insurance policy will cover your property if the “space junk” from the breakup of the 5-ton satellite falls on your home, automobile or busines property.   Falling objects, such as airplanes, hail, asteroids, and satellites are not specifically excluded under a standard homeowners policy HO3 form, which means that damage from falling objects would be covered.  Damage to your auto would be covered if you carry comprehensive coverage on your vehicle.  Business property insurance policies are not standardized, so you should read your policy to find out if coverage for falling objects is excluded.

 In any case, you should read your policies covering your home, auto or business to be sure there are no exclusions for falling objects.  Look for either covered perils or exclusions under the property section, or give us a call to review your policy.

To find out if your homeowners, auto or business policy covers your property for falling objects, give us a call at 856-935-0845 or contact us at our website at www.hdyoung.com

 Henry D Young Inc is a TrustedChoice® Insurance Agency.

The information in this article is meant as a guideline only. There is nothing in this article that alters the coverage or interpretation of any specific policy. Because some statements are generalizations, and because different companies’ policies contain slight differences, please refer to your specific policy. Call our office before making any judgements or decisions concerning your particular situation and coverage that may, or may not, apply.

Disaster Recovery Center Opens In Salem County to Assist Hurricane Irene Survivors

News from  FEMA:

A FEMA/State Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) will open Friday, Sept. 16, in Salem County to provide face-to-face assistance to those who suffered damage and losses from Hurricane Irene.

The center is located at:

Ware Agricultural Complex
51 Cheney Road
Woodstown, NJ 08098 (Mannington Township)

The center will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week, until further notice. Residents are urged to register before visiting a DRC.

There are three ways to register – go to www.disasterassistance.gov, to m.fema.gov or call FEMA toll-free, 800-621-3362 (FEMA). Those with access or functional needs and who use a TTY may call 800-462-7585 or use 711 or Video Relay Service to call 800-621-3362. Telephone lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET; multilingual operators are available. .

At the center, visitors can:

  • Receive information about different types of state and federal disaster assistance.
  • Get help completing applications for U.S. Small Business Administration low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations.
  • Inquire about the status of applications for federal assistance.
  • Receive referrals to voluntary organizations to help with immediate unmet needs.
  • Learn cost-effective measures to reduce the impact of future disaster losses.

FEMA’s (The Federal Emergency managment Agency’s) mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

See this article at the FEMA website.

If you have any questions about flood insurance, please visit our website at www.hdyoung.com or give us a call at 856-935-0845.

Henry D Young Inc is a TrustedChoice® Insurance Agency.

Federal disaster assistance available from FEMA for flood damage not covered by insurance caused by Hurricane Irene.

The President has declared an Emergency for NJ. If you have flood damage from Hurricane Irene that is not covered by insurance, click here to see if you are eligible to apply for federal disaster assistance from FEMA.

Visit us at www.hdyoung.com.


Common Insurance Questions Following a Hurricane

Hurricane Irene FAQs: What Is Covered – Or Not – In Your Insurance Policies from the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I):
1. Is damage from hurricane winds covered under my homeowners insurance policy?
Property insurance covers damage from windstorms, such as hurricanes and tornadoes, to the “residence premises,” whether it is a single-family home, a duplex where the policyholder lives in one of the units, or any other building where the policyholder resides as shown on the insurance declarations page. Dwelling coverage also applies to an attached structure, such as a garage or deck. A standard homeowners policy also covers “other structures” that are unattached, such as a separate garage building or shed and swimming pools. The policy also includes coverage for damage to contents. 
Damage from flooding, including flooding generated by hurricane-generated storm surge typically is not covered under a standard homeowners policy. Flood insurance is available from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
2. Does my renters insurance cover damage from hurricane winds?
A “tenant homeowner policy” or renters policy covers personal belongings that may be damaged from the storm by wind. Damage from flooding may be covered under some renters policies, although most require separate policies be purchased from the NFIP. Damage unrelated to your personal possessions, such as part of the apartment’s structure like walls and floors, is covered under the policy of the building owner.
3. Are flood losses covered under my homeowners insurance policy? How will insurers handle claims that involve both wind and flood damage?
While there are a few exceptions, the vast majority of homeowners and renters insurance policies do not cover flood damage. Flood coverage requires a separate policy from the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). If you purchased a flood policy, in most cases you can file a flood claim with your insurer, although some companies may have you file directly with the NFIP. Some companies may send a single adjuster to handle both the flood and wind claim, while others may send two claims professionals who specialize in distinguishing between the two types of loss. Determining the precise cause of damage is necessary to properly pay the claim.
4. Is storm surge considered flood damage?
Yes, the insurance contract has a clause that excludes the liability for damage caused by flooding, and storm surge is flooding.
5. I live in a condo/co-op. Am I covered for hurricane damage to my unit?
If you have purchased a homeowners policy tailored to condominiums or a co-op, you would be covered for damage to the interior space of your home. The condo association’s insurance might have coverage for your fixtures, wiring or plumbing, or it may only provide coverage from the “bare walls” and not what is behind them, so you should obtain a copy of the master policy to understand what is covered.
6. Is flooding covered under a condo/co-op insurance policy?
Flood damage to the building is covered only if the condo/co-op association purchased a separate flood policy, either from the NFIP or through a private insurance company. This flood insurance would cover only the structure itself, including common areas; the condo-co-op flood insurance policy will not pay for damage caused by flood waters to the personal belongings of individual tenants. Tenants would have flood damage coverage only under their own flood policy, if they purchased one.
7. My car was flooded in the storm. Is it covered?
Flood damage to vehicles is covered if you have purchased comprehensive coverage, also known as “other than collision” coverage, which is optional with a standard auto policy.
8. If I make temporary repairs to my home, will I get reimbursed?
Yes. Do not wait until a claims adjuster arrives to make temporary repairs needed to prevent further damage. Most policies have a provision to reimburse you for the expenses of reasonable and necessary repairs that protects against more damage, up to a specified dollar amount. Be sure to save all the receipts from your repair purchases.
9. The power went out during the storm and food in the refrigerator and freezer were spoiled. Is that covered?
Following a hurricane, most insurance companies include food-spoilage coverage, usually for a set amount that can range from $250 to $500 per appliance. In a non-storm situation, however, if you lose electrical power without damage to the residence, it is typically not covered in the insurance policy. Most policies include coverage for “sudden and accidental damage from artificially generated electrical current,” meaning that a power surge would be covered that damaged the building and items considered part of your home, such as a built-in range or heating/air conditioning system, but not damage to transistors, computer chips and other similar items. This means damage from a power surge would not cover items such as televisions, VCRs, and computers.
10. Should I file a claim if the damage is less than my deductible?
Yes. Sometimes there may be additional damage that becomes evident in the months following a significant storm. Filing a claim, even if the damage total is under your deductible, will protect you in the event further repairs are needed. And if your home suffers damage from more than one storm in a single season, the damage from the first storm may apply toward the deductible amount.
11. My home was not damaged, but can I file a claim for the large tree that fell in my yard?
Homeowners insurance policies do not pay for removal of trees or landscaping debris that did no damage to an insured structure. If a tree hit your home, that damage is covered. If your tree fell on your neighbor’s yard, his or her insurance company would pay for the damage; however, if the felled tree was poorly maintained or diseased and you took no steps to take care of it, their insurer may seek reimbursement from you for the damages.
12. My home is uninhabitable. Does my policy cover temporary living expenses?
Most policies cover additional living expenses, which are the extra charges over and above your customary living expenses incurred when you are displaced from your home and need temporary shelter. The amount is generally 20 percent of the insurance you have on your home. Some insurers pay more than 20 percent; others limit additional living expenses to an amount spent during a specific time period. You should always check with your insurer to be sure you understand what this coverage allows. Keep all your receipts to document your expenditures.
13. If I evacuated due to the storm, are my evacuation expenses covered?
It depends on what is stated within your insurance policy. Generally, mandatory evacuation expenses are covered under certain conditions.
14. I have a percentage deductible for hurricane damage. How do I know what my out-of-pocket costs are?

The declarations page of your insurance policy details the exact dollar amount of your hurricane deductible. Whether a hurricane deductible applies to a claim depends on the specific “trigger”, which can vary by state and insurer and is usually linked to wind speeds. Percentage deductibles were adopted by many coastal states to lower the cost of annual insurance premiums and have those impacted by the storm more directly pay for recovery costs.

For more information:

The above information is from the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I).

Give us a call at 856-935-0845 if you have any other questions, or visit our website at www.hdyoung.com

 Henry D Young Inc is a TrustedChoice® Insurance Agency.

The information in this article is meant as a guideline only. There is nothing in this article that alters the coverage or interpretation of any specific policy. Because some statements are generalizations, and because different companies’ policies contain slight differences, please refer to your specific policy. Call our office before making any judgements or decisions concerning your particular situation and coverage that may, or may not, apply.