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Our mission is to Inspire,
Value and Demonstrate Integrity
while building relationships.
IBC is Thankful!
Our staff is so very thankful for all of the many blessings we have in our lives, and we want to pay it forward. Each staff member has been given $100 to use toward a worthy cause by December 11. That evening at the IBC holiday party, each staff member will share with everyone what they used the money for and how it positively impacted others. We are excited to hear what each person did with the funds. Stay tuned!
Fall foliage is beautiful, but not when it builds up in your gutters! Take these tips into account during the cool autumn months.
Have your furnace cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified technician.
Keep flammable materials, including all lawn and power equipment, away from water heaters and wiring in the basement.
Insulate water pipes in areas exposed to cold temperatures, and turn up the thermostat during extra cold periods.
Check for damage to your roof, and clean gutters and downspouts to keep debris from accumulating. This is especially important during the fall season to keep leaves from building up in gutters.
Check and repair caulking around doors and windows that show signs of deterioration.
Check caulking around showers, bathtubs, sinks and toilet bases; and make repairs as needed.
Have your chimney cleaned and maintained annually by a professional.
Clean and/or replace your furnace filter.
Clean the clothes dryer exhaust duct and space under the dryer. Remove all lint, dust, and pieces of material.
Check your electrical outlets for potential fire hazards such as frayed wires or loose-fitting plugs. Be sure not to overload electrical outlets, fuse boxes, extension cords or any other power service.
Keep a multi-purpose fire extinguisher accessible, filled and ready for operation.
Inspect your smoke detectors. Make sure there is one on each floor of your home. Test them monthly, and change the battery annually or as needed.
Taken from: https://www.travelers.com/prepare-prevent/home/home-maintenance/fall-maintenance-tips.aspx
It seems there is a gadget or app for everything! As the winter comes upon us, there are a few more pieces of technology that might help keep your home safe and save you money in insurance premiums!
Automatic Backup Generators: These are hardwired into the home's electrical panels by qualified professionals and are fueled by the existing natural gas or LP line. Because they activate without homeowner intervention during a power outage, it means the temperature in the home (and refrigerator) can remain constant. Otherwise, freezing pipes or food spoilage could occur.
Water Shut-Off Systems: When a whole home system is installed, the technology can sense water flow at the main water line to your home, and detect that there is no water flow in a room with water outlets. When this is detected, an alarm is activated and the water is shut off automatically, preventing extensive damage.
Make sure your home is leveraged to take advantage of these new advances! Call our office to discuss discounts to your homeowners policy for these devices! 712-277-2424
Imagine returning from vacation and your home is cold and the carpet is saturated. The kitchen ceiling is in pieces on the counter and floor. The master bathroom laminate floor looks like a roller coaster. Water is pouring from the cracked toilet and mold is on the wall.
Panic sets in: "Where will I sleep; will insurance cover this?"
While insurance generally covers this type of damage, inconvenience is not covered. You are the one displaced, and you will be responsible to hire and oversee contractors.
Water damage can range from a broken pipe discovered immediately to hundreds of thousands of gallons pouring through your house undetected. The following are preventive measures to help keep water damage at bay.
1. IMPORTANT: Have someone regularly check your house.
2. When leaving for more than a day, turn water off. For city water, flip the valve. Turn off power to a well. Heat can fail. Frozen/broken pipes still run; water left on will cause substantial damage.
3. During winter, turn off supply lines to exterior faucets, including "freeze-less" faucets.
4. When water (inside and out) is turned back on, check whole house for leaks.
5. Change the thermostat batteries annually. TIP: Keep track of changes by writing on tape placed inside cover.
6. Keep heating system vent pipes free of snow/ice buildup.
7. Install a device that notifies you of home temperature drops.
8. Install a device that turns off water when there is a detected drop in pressure.
9. Do not set your thermostat below 50 (follow manufacturer recommendations).
10. Do not rely on auto fill programs to ensure adequate I.P. fuel supply.
11. For extended trips, have plumbing professionally drained, even if sustaining heat in your house.
Taken from Auto Owners Insurance, Insurance Update, October-December 2015
By: Kim Painter, Special for USA TODAY
It's late September, time for many adults to settle in for a new season of prime-time drama, comedy, sports, reality competition and the occasional three-hour political debate.
But as you get comfy on your sofa, you might want to consider this: Your TV habit might be killing you. A growing body of evidence links not just sitting in general but TV viewing in particular with all sorts of health problems. Those include obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and, yes, premature death.
Too much TV "is a really serious health hazard," says Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard University. For example:
• In a review of eight studies by Hu and colleagues, each two-hour increase in daily TV viewing was associated with a 20% increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, a 13% increased risk of cardiovascular disease and a 13% increased risk of death from any cause – translating to 104 extra deaths each year for every 100,000 people.
• An Australian study that included only physically active adults – those getting at least 150 minutes a week of moderate to vigorous exercise – found that increases in TV time were linked with increases in waist size, blood pressure and blood glucose in both men and women and increases in harmful blood fats in women.
• Overweight U.S. adults followed for an average of three years in a diabetes prevention trial were 3.4% more likely to develop diabetes for each daily hour they spent watching TV.
Of course, we've been hearing for years that all the hours we spend sitting – including at work, while commuting or even while virtuously reading a book – are linked with health problems. That's why treadmill desks were invented.
But outside of work, and in retirement, we still do lots of sitting, and "TV is a huge part of people's leisure sitting," says Bonny Rockette-Wagner, a University of Pittsburgh researcher who worked on the diabetes prevention study.
How much? Even with the growth of smartphones, tablets, online video and other alternative distractions, . adults on average spend more than five hours a day watching live or time-shifted TV, according to Nielsen, the TV ratings company. The U.S. Department of Labor and other researchers, relying on different survey methods, put the total at a lower two to three hours a day. Nielson and other sources agree that adults over 50 watch far more than younger adults.
The sheer time spent sitting to watch TV can explain a lot of its effect, Rockette-Wagner says. But there may be something, or some things, especially bad about TV sitting, Hu says.
"There is some evidence that the resting metabolic rate is actually lower when you watch TV, compared to some other sedentary behaviors like reading or driving," he says.
Translation: You might burn fewer calories draped on the sofa watching TV than