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Thinking about renting out a room in your home for a little extra cash? According to AirBNB, you could make up to $455 monthly by renting out one room in your home.  That may seem like a nice addition to your income, but there are some factors to consider before making a final decision.  Did you know that it might affect your future plans to refinance your home or take out a line of credit?  It may also impact your homeowners insurance, which is where the agents at Kasmann Insurance Agency come in.  We would like to educate you on the ins and outs of putting your home up on an online marketplace such as AirBNB, HomeAway,  or VRBO and how it affects your insurance coverages and exposures.

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AN ARTICLE FROM OUR PARTNERS AT TRAVELERS INSURANCE:

By Scott Humphrey

Second Vice President, Risk Control

CO is a colorless, odorless gas produced by the incomplete burning of any carbon-containing material, including gasoline, natural gas, propane, coal or wood. CO is dangerous because it replaces oxygen in the blood and interferes with the transport of needed oxygen to cells in the body.

Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips

Many incidents involving carbon monoxide poisoning can be prevented — with the right preparation. Start with these seven tips to help keep your home and family safe from carbon monoxide.

  1. Know the risks of carbon monoxide.
    Anything that burns a fuel — such as a furnace, fireplace or generator, gas appliance or car — produces a toxic by-product: carbon monoxide (CO).When these devices are properly maintained and vented, this colorless, odorless gas can be effectively dispersed and channeled out of your home. If not, inhaling carbon monoxide can trigger serious health issues.At lower concentrations, victims may experience such symptoms as a headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. But at higher concentrations, CO can quickly cause a loss of consciousness, even death.
  2. Keep your vents clear.
    During and after a storm, make sure nothing is obstructing the outside stack or vent for your dryer, stove, furnace and fireplace.Take special care to prevent snow from building up and blocking these critical exits for dangerous gases.
  3. Do not run engines in a closed area.
    Proper ventilation is critical to avoiding CO poisoning. So do not start a car, fire up a grill or stove, or run a generatorin a closed area — like a basement or garage.Even if you leave the garage door open, carbon monoxide gas can quickly build up to toxic levels.
  4. Schedule regular maintenance.
    Make sure you rely on experts to install your fuel-burning devices and set up the appropriate venting for each device.At least once a year, have a qualified professional inspect your fuel-burning devices to make sure they continue to operate properly.
  5. Keep fireplaces clean and well vented.
    If you have a wood-burning fireplace or stove, make sure you keep it clean and that the flue is working properly.Even if the last embers are just smoldering, keep that flue open to let the gases escape.
  6. Install CO alarms.
    If you have fuel-burning appliances, a fireplace or an attached garage, consider installing these special devices in your home. You will want one on every level (including the basement), within the vicinity of each sleeping area and in other locations required by any applicable laws/building codes.Some CO detectors can even be interconnected across your house, so that when one detects an issue, they all sound the alarm. If you do hear the CO alarm, immediately move to fresh air and call 911.
  7. Maintain your CO alarms.
    Keep in mind that CO alarms do need to be maintained regularly.Many come equipped with a battery backup to ensure uninterrupted operation, even if the power goes out. But you will need to remember to change your batteries at the frequency recommended by the manufacturer, like you do with your smoke detectors.It is also a good idea to keep a supply of batteries on hand in the event of a multi-day power outage. Other maintenance tips to consider are removing visible dust with a vacuum, and testing and replacing units (check your owner’s manual for details).

It’s important to have the right homeowners insurance to protect the things you value. Contact your agent to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need.

*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6030a2.htm

This content is for general information only. It is not intended to provide legal, technical or other professional advice, nor is it an endorsement of any particular product. In no event will Travelers or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates be liable in contract or in tort to anyone for the accuracy or completeness of this information. Laws, regulations, standards or codes may change from time to time, and you should always refer to the most current requirements. This information does not amend, or otherwise affect, the provisions or coverages of any insurance policy issued by Travelers, nor is it a representation that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any such policy.

A lot has changed in the past couple years since we first wrote about ridesharing (the service where you obtain a ride through a smartphone app for a fee). There are several transportation network companies (TNC’s) who provide this service; however, Uber and Lyft are still the most recognized.  With time, usage has increased in urban areas and especially with people aged 18-29.  Our main concern? The changes insurance companies have made. As the needs of society advance through technology, insurance companies have to fight to meet demands for coverages and stay competitive.  The agents at Kasmann Insurance want to educate you on the gaps in coverage when you contract with a transportation network company, and what insurance companies are doing about it.

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An article from our partners at Auto-Owners Insurance:

 

Estimating Your Life Insurance Needs

It’s that time of year, again: Time to reset the new year with a resolution.

What type of resolutions have you set for this year? Was it a new weight-loss goal? Was it putting more money into savings? Taking up a new hobby? How about protecting your finances with a life insurance policy?

What better way to prepare your family for the future than to secure the mortgage or student loans. This sounds like a great plan, but what if you don’t know how much life insurance you need?

Calculating life insurance needs could be easier than you think! With available industry resources, determining coverage requisites might be exactly what you need to set up your new year for success.

The industry provides a variety of resources to calculate the coverage your family would need in the event of a death. With the help of our agency, these estimates encourage certainty when deciding what type of policy matches the financial needs of your life.

The Auto-Owners Life Needs Estimator is a perfect example of one of these tools. The program prompts you to take into consideration loans, income, expenses, education and any other insurance you may carry to give an accurate picture of what the family’s financial needs are.

Try to imagine how your family would get through their day-to-day life if they didn’t have you. Would they be able to cover the car loan, education costs, or credit cards if they didn’t have your income to take into consideration? Estimating your life needs will help you put into perspective the coverage needed to alleviate any financial strain on your loved ones in the event of a death.

Every step toward a financially protected future is a resolution. Don’t wait to find out how much your life insurance needs are; contact our agency for more details on how to calculate your needs!

 

(For a PDF version of this article click here: AO Life Article FEB)